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Performance Plus Cam Weld Experience

new 10/26/02, updated  8/7/03,1/11/2004,02/29/2004, etc


Though I would take a few moments to share with you my experience with my recent cam weld at Performance-Plus in Madison, WI. (http://www.performance-plus.com/main.htm)

Like all of us, I was faced with the crap shoot of do I or don't I. As the months went by and more and more reports came rushing in to the V8SHO site, the answer quickly presented itself to me.

Not looking forward to what amounted to a 16 hour round trip to FPS and having to kill a day in Atlanta (admittedly there are worse things) I decided to check out Performance-Plus in Madison Wisconsin.

I have to tell you, from the first contact which was made with Cathy via e-mail to the final answer to my paranoid questions asked of Doug, this place is a class act.

When you first walk into the shop at 5380B King James Way Madison, WI 53719 (608-277-8161) you can't help but notice that you could virtually dine off the shop floor. This struck me immediately as someone who was particular to attention.

The shop itself is all business, brightly lit both thru natural as well as hi intensity lights.

It was a cold damp morning - nah you've heard that before. But the weather on the appointed day just sucked. It was a typical Chicago cold rainy 45 degree fall morning when I pulled out of my driveway at 5:15A.M. After an uneventful sloshy two hours I arrived at their door at 7:30. Doug was already in the shop and my Invoice, which by the way was e-mailed to me a week in advance of the work, was already on the counter.

I was no more in the door for five minutes, when the kind just outta college "rent-a-prise" person was standing there with the keys to my prearranged rental. (The neon went back, no way!) Thanks, Cathy!

Off I go for a five hour meeting with a client in Madison. About every hour or so I would check the phone to see if I perhaps had missed their call - nope.

I check in with Doug at 2:00P.M. tells me just about ready to go, ok I'm thinking I left him a full blown laundry list besides the welds, (Tim, he did the steering with your suggestion) only thing he asks me is type of oil I wish!!

After a quick hook up with Brett Huntley, SHO owner and stereo shade tree audio engineer extradonaire, (you guys gotta see what he did to the MACH Audio system), I arrived at the counter where Cathy was on the phone, checking out a customer, scheduling another maintenance visit and oh my god where is my pen, coolly handling the front end.

We talked a little about the sorry state of the Gen III owners and our plans, when I finally had to asked who owned the tricked out green GEN II in the parking lot?? You guessed it --no not Doug - Cathy!! Sold me right there.

For any of us living in the upper Midwest that doesn't want to trek to FPS, by the way Cathy told me some slick stories about Connie down there, I strongly urge you to get in touch with these guys. They are the real deal!!!

Tim, you were absolutely correct. The drive home was the sweetest ride I have had in my SHO since that fateful day when I learned of the cam issues.

P.S. When you go there, chain your credit card to your body, It's a boy toy store all the way!!!!

Larry Eck
97 Torredor Red
3rd Cat got lost somewhere
K&N Porterized intake
All Pia's up front

Hi, my name is Wes Holt. My wife and I bought a 1997 Ebony Satin SHO about two months ago. It was well cared for and in excellent original condition. The car has 81k on it now. I looked at V8sho.com before I purchased the car, but I still had to have it even with the cam issue. I am an aircraft mechanic, so I believe in preventative maintenance. I removed the cam covers and inspected the cam sprockets for any play, but could not find any, however, I bit the bullet and called Doug and Don at Performance Plus in Madison, WI and had the cams welded Jan 10. I was very happy with their hospitality and knowledge of Ford vehicles. I would recommend them to anyone. Since we live in MN, Madison wasn't too far to drive.

Wes Holt



You can add me to the list of satisfied customers at Performance Plus. Dropped the car off at 8:00 AM, went over everything with Don & Cathy. Got picked up by Enterprise for the loaner for the day (took the '02 Grand Am (not too terrible) over the PT Cruiser (*gag*)), ate breakfast out, did some shopping, drove by the shop at 12:30 and saw my car out in the lot. They were already finished and out to lunch!

In four hours they: welded the cams, installed new plugs all around, did a power steering flush (thanks to the suggestions here), and did a diagnostic scan. I was also informed that Ford is aware of a problem with early model coil packs - seems they have a tendency to short out internally, with no way to test them. Ford has apparently redesigned the coils, but has not released this information in a TSB or any other form. If that doesn't just build up our confidence in Ford, I don't know what does...

One thing I did notice, though - their walls are plastered with pics of Mustangs, Gen 1 & 2 SHO's and a variety of others - but I couldn't spot a single V8 SHO! What gives???? :-D


Ben Sprague
'98, red, pinstripes


Ben I am right there with 'ya. I had my '97 done at PP and they were great! If it weren't for the 1100 miles it took me to pull the car there it would have been totally painless, long way from WY to WI. Doug, Don and Cathy really know their stuff. They are into Stangs but did you hear the 1/4 time of Don's pull truck? Talk about WILD! That's one V10 that picks 'em up and puts them down. If anyone wants a more personal testimony on the quality of workmanship I received at PP just mail me off list. I can't say enough good about them. Just don't stay at the "wrong" motel while in Madison, listen to Cathy's directions!!!!! 

God bless,

Gary Waxler
PP'ed '97 WT

My name is Duncan Jolly and I own a 1997 SHO with 96,000 KMS and have had my cams welded at Performance Plus in Madison on July 22, 2003. They are very professional and the whole thing was pain free other than the 2000 mile return trip (to get it done.) I recommend them highly. I think I lucked out when I went to make the appointment as they had a cancellation at that time and I was able to get jump in with a 1 month waiting period. The trip down to Madison was a bit concerning as I was always listening to the engine for the ticking sound but Don said the cams were fine when they opened it up. I arrived at 8:00 am and they had me back on the road by 1:00pm.

Hey Tim, Please add me to the list. I drove up to Madison Wisconsin yesterday to have my cams welded at Performance Plus. I am glad it's finally done. I was very impressed with Don and Doug they run a very professional shop. The cost for the weld was $525 which included a valve adjustment. I also had a bunch of other work done. My favorite though is the K&N without the silencer it sounds fantastic. The drive home, all 100+ miles of it was the best drive of my life I highly recommend this shop to anyone.

David Winiarski


I am writing this letter to you as the webmaster of V8SHO.com in hopes that you will post if for others on the site to read. I would like to thank you for bringing the cam failure problem to my attention and providing the extensive list of people who could perform the cam welding.

After reading the numerous horror stories on your site I looked for the closest place to get it done. I contacted Performance Plus in Madison, WI who said they could perform the welding. After not being able to make several of the appointments I made them due to MY work schedule, they were kind enough to open their shop on a Saturday to accommodate me. So I drove to Madison from Green Bay and turned the keys over Performance Plus. They completed the work in just a little over 2 hours with two mechanics working on it so that I was not trapped in Madison with out a car for a whole day.

I am extremely pleased with the work they performed. The car run greats and I no longer have to worry about giving the car a work out. The car is much snappier with the valves in proper adjustment and the new spark plugs in. I would highly recommend Performance Plus to anyone looking to get this procedure done. If you can get your car there, GET IT THERE!

Tony Decker.
Green Bay, WIS



After a nerve racking month of watching the failure list grow from 348 to 362 , my "day in the sun " came and went . I was up before most bar patrons were home and out the door for my 4 + hour trip to Performance Plus in Madison Wisconsin .
I traveled in darkness and quiet (as i was even afraid to turn the radio on fearing I ouldn't
hear the warning signs of imminent doom ) through the fog . I arrived with time to spare , even with time out for a fill at an Exxon station and a short chat with Wisconsin's finest - no ticket !
Quite a feeling of relief considering the vin # 's of the 1999 model year failures skirted right around mine . Within 20 minutes of me , an early model red ( gen 1 ? ) SHO and a really Bright red Grand Am followed by a silver Contour surrounded me . Doug ,Cathy and Don had arrived to give me peace of mind .
The details of the work were discussed and the welds commenced at 8 am . Doug
was very accommodating to my short picture taking spree and explained what he found (like the mystery of the missing valve cover bolt ) . He had a few questions about the Nimz condensation can - which I attempted to explain in Pauls words , he
seemed a little amazed when I told him of the foul liquid that drains from it at regular intervals .
All this time , Cathy was scurrying about the office while Don took care of the phone ,
customers and answering my questions . Then it was done and waiting for me at 1:20 pm ! Paid up ,a handshake and I conveniently took a wrong turn or twenty on the way home ( yes Larry I did drive it like I stole it ! ) enjoying every moment for nearly 480 miles of a 260 mile return trip. Yes I said that correctly .  Pictures  to follow - still grinning and worth every penny !
99 UA


Hello Larry,

I was cam failure #365 in February from a 1996 SHO. When I was having the used engine from a 1998 with 78K put into my 96 SHO I speculated that I would have a cam failure on the used engine some time soon. Currently the clock on the 98 engine is about 88K with close to 110K on the 1996 body. Well, I found out today that one cam on the front bank of cylinders had moved about a Quarter inch. I was lucky that this was found when the cams were being welded at Performance Plus in Madison WI. Doug knocked it back into place, and welded it up. It had not started the dreaded ticking when it was found, but if I had not taken the unnecessary and inappropriate step of having the cams welded I would have wound up stranded some time soon with a large pile of easy to find parts.

I have nothing but good to say about the job done by Doug at Performance plus. The price that I was quoted was exactly what I paid ($525), and the cam weld included a valve adjustment. While I was there I had new plugs put in, added a K&N filter, and Doug found the annoying whining sound that had been bugging me for months and fixed it ASAP. Everything was explained fully and I was kept up to date on exactly what was going on. Doug knows these cars better than anyone that I have ever talked to, and he does an excellent job.

I would advise anyone in the upper Midwest, or nation for that matter, to make the trip to Madison to get the cams welded at Performance Plus! It is a great experience and quite a relief to have it done.



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