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Mike Miller - Cam Failure

new 10/15/01, updated 4/5/03, 6/8/03


I have a red 96 SHO. My mother has it in Oklahoma right now. It has around 50,000 miles, and yesterday while she was out shopping (trying to park) - it died. She took it to a ford dealership in Bartlesville, Ok. The mechanic opened it up and discovered the sprocket failure on the camshaft (I believe the shaft on the intake side-Sorry, I am not a mechanic). This resulted in bent valve heads on one side. The total bill is $7,038 to fix. I just wanted to document this with you since you are keeping a tab. By the way, I am not a member of your club, but I became interested after the SHO died. If you need any further information, feel free to contact me. Also, I was wondering if the v6 duratec engine would work in the Taurus. Since my mom is driving it she wouldn't necessarily need the extra hp. I figure they are about the same size, but I don't know if this is possible.



PS the mechanic is taking digital pictures and will be sending them to me in the next day or two. I will forward these to you when I receive them. He said the sprocket had loosened from the shaft.

> We got a top level contact at FOMOCO for the cam sprocket problem from SHO
> Jim and must have a complete list of:
> 1) owners Michael Miller,NJ
> 2) model year, 1996
> 3) dates,ford taurus sho
> 4) VINs, 1FalP54N6TA271287
> 5) mileage, 51308
> 6) which cam failed, see attached photo-i am not a mechanic
> 7) warranty status-none
> 8) and outcome-bill is $7,000 but I am in the process of contacting a lawyer at this time!

If you need any more info please contact!

I am attaching photos of the sprocket that failed (slave I think). Please, help me with info.

I am really pissed about this! Ford MoCo is responsible!

Mike Miller

> If I don't have that information it never happened according to Ford We
> have everything we need to go to the next step except well organized and
> complete information.
> If you had a cam fail please contact me ASAP.
> Timothy Wright
> timwright@msn.com

Intake cam (1).JPG (54969 bytes)Stripped gear.JPG (14990 bytes)

That is the highest repair bill so far, a new record by $1000, I might ask Ford to pay 1/2 and the dealer to pay 10% since this is a KNOWN DESIGN DEFECT.

Have you spoken to the zone rep yet? Contact NHTSA at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/

and call 1-800-392-FORD for with your VIN, call them every day, and raise hell (but in a nice way).

I will also forward a copy of this to Don Mallinson, president of SHOCLUB, Don is a good guy on our side who has been working behind the scenes trying to get FORD to make concessions.

Bottom line is FORD knows they have a problem and will give you the deal they think you will accept. Get their best offer, in writing, then get a lawyer.

Tim Wright


I wrote you back in late 2001 about the camshaft failure in my 96 SHO. I got it fixed (put an engine from a 98 SHO in it). The work was done by http://www.brunswickautopros.com. Bob and Len are a class act, and they have been very helpful. I am going to take the car in soon to have the sprockets spot welded. They highly recommended it. They also told me about the class action suit. I have contacted the law firm if I can offer any assistance. I have all receipts, and luckily I had the car initially looked at at a Ford dealership. Since they charged me $300 just to open the engine up, they gave me a full report. They stated that the gears were stripped on the camshaft and this caused the damage to the cylinders and heads - their words on the report. The mechanic even sent me pictures (those were the pictures I sent you). Anyway, I wanted to update you. This whole thing has really ticked me off. This car was the first new car I ever bought. I purchased it in the Detroit area after finishing college and going to get my first real job. I hate to say it, but I will never buy another Ford OR American made car. My next purchase will be a Japanese or German made car - hopefully I can get 100,000 plus on the SHO after welding the cams. I have always been partial to Ford's but this whole thing has left a bad taste in my mouth. I called the consumer help line at Ford back when this happened, but I doubt that will go anywhere.

Michael Miller
96 red SHO


I just wanted to update you on my 96 sho. I just got it back from Brunswick Automotive Professionals after they welded the camshafts in the replaced engine. I feel a lot better now. I would go nuts if the replaced engine failed due to the camshafts (replaced 98 engine had approx 30000 miles.) I plan on keeping the car until I have to buy another one. Also, I have forwarded my receipts and info to the law firm in Chicago.

Thanks again for the website so this kind of info can be shared.



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