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Matthew Gilbert - Cam Failure

new 5/25/02


I came across your website after returning from the Ford dealership in our area. We (my wife and I) were searching for answers to the severely unfortunate news that our cam & cam sprocket had failed in our 1997 SHO after only 62,000 miles. Please let me know if there is any new info on resolving this issue. I am without my car, owing almost $3000 on the loan, and with Ford saying that there isn't much they can do for me. Here is my info:

VIN: 1FALP54NXVA131049


WHERE DID THE MAL. TAKE PLACE: Died while driving 10mph on suburb street


SPEED OR ACCELERATION: Decelerating to make turn

DATE OF PURCHASE: Feb. 1999 (used)



Matt & Kate Gilbert
Description of events: Our car started to have a mild clacking ( similar to a lifter tap) noise a week before the eventual engine failure. We decided to take it to a dealer in the area that told us (without opening the motor up) that "we needed a new motor" and that "it could cost up to $16,000 to replace it." They stated that there was sludge in the motor, which was very unlikely considering the oil had been changed only hours before the visit. Then they proceeded to tell us that we could be contacted by a salesman to see what they would give us for a trade?!?! I decided to take the car home when the service department said that the car should be fine to drive for right now since the motor was getting oil to the top. We decided to get a second opinion, which was scheduled to take place only 2 days later. The next day the car failed after only 15 additional miles, needing to be towed to the independent mechanic. This gentleman decided to take off the valve cover discovering that the cam sprocket, cam and several valves were damaged by as he called it "defective parts" We then had it towed again to a second Ford dealer ( were it still is) that confirmed the cam problems.

C.S. Phone # called: 1-800-392-FORD Several Times.

Satisfaction with calls: All info was taken and documented. Both reps stated that they had never heard of this type of problem with the SHO and did not feel that Ford could do anything for us.

Dealership That Car Was Taken To:

1st visit: C&C Ford
1100 Easton Road
Horsham PA 19044

2nd Dealer: Bergey's Ford
700 N. Bethlehem Pike
Ambler PA 19002

Cause of Failure by Dealer: Final Dealer answer: cam failure (they feel that the valves are not bent and further damage would only become obvious if they tore the engine apart.)

Cause of failure by me: As shown to me by the independent, the cam and cam sprocket are broken due to a defect causing catastrophic engine damage.

Estimated Statement for repairs: $3550 for the cam only to be replaced. This does not include the valve or sprocket damage. (Ford did say the would "help" with $750 towards the repair as a token of good gesture)

What Can Ford do for me: Pay for the entire repair or replacement of the motor in the car or give us Fair value towards a new vehicle. They only offered to give us $2000 as a trade in towards a new vehicle which is devastating considering we still owe almost $3000 in payments on the car. Besides this problem the car is in very good condition. I just want Ford to acknowledge their responsibility to fix a defective part that obviously has affected many more people than Ford would like to admit.

Please contact me if I can provide more information!

--- Matthew Gilbert
--- broncoguys@earthlink.net

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