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Phil Bayle - Cam Failure

new 4/24/02

I'm not sure if I suffered a cam sprocket failure but about a month ago the engine in my 99' grenaded with a bang and a trail of smoke as I drifted to the side of the road- 45,216 miles on the odometer. I was getting on it modestly (shift points around 5K) and when I caught third gear it let loose. Based on the "bits and pieces" that were hitting the bottom of the car and the major smoke screen (oil on the converter) I knew that I had thrown at least one rod.

The vehicle has been maintained well within Ford recommendations and have been using Mobil One 5-30 since the first oil change at 3,000 miles.

I had it delivered to the dealer where a cursory inspection on the lift revealed the back of the block was knocked out. I asked the dealer for an estimate for a short block or crate motor and was advised that neither is available from Ford. They could only get a bare block and bare heads and they would not perform a rebuild from ground zero.

At this point I asked that they immediately get in touch with the Ford area rep to request his inspection of the engine when they opened it up. I authorized $300 to drop the pan. I didn't the engine myself but was advised by the dealer that there were 3 shattered rods laying in the pan and the block webbing was torn up. The Ford rep said "tough luck Charlie - out of mileage warranty".

Could this be the result of a cam sprocket coming off?

I am going to have a used motor dropped in by my mechanic. Do you or any of your club members know of any 99' (or compatible) motors out there for sale?

After the blown motor is pulled we'll tear if down to see what if looks like inside and I'll report back if you are interested.


Phil is OFF LIST so watch how you reply, Anyone have an extra motor? You know who you are!!!!

Yes Phil, I have to suspect you are blessed with a "Ford Cam Syndrome"

Go to,


Print everything out, get a lawyer if you have to. Ford has been paying on out or warranty cam repairs. Don't go away till they knuckle under.

Sorry buddy, they say we are paranoid - until some one gets pooched...

** Phil, May I ad your letter to FAQ? It may help the next guy.

Timothy Wright

Since you were higher in the revs, if the rods and pistons were from the same bank, I would suspect that a valve may have prevented the piston from making the full stroke bending a rod and ejecting some of the rotating parts from the block. My pistons took a beating but I was only slightly above 2,000 RPM when mine let loose so I didn't bend anything other then the valves. With only the oil pan off, it would be difficult to determine if a valve was pulled out of the head to wedge into the piston, unless you can see all the way up there with a flashlight. Main thing to check would be the sprocket. Have the dealer take the cam covers off and see if they are loose.
As far as a motor, I am fairly sure Brad Hogue (Fordtaurus97sho@aol.com)
still has a rebuilt one for around $3500.

If he doesn't, I have seen a new one in the crate listed at Cherry-Auto.com as recent as last week, but I am not sure of the price, fairly sure it would be a lot cheaper then a rebuilding cost with a new block and heads though.

Carter Fuji
Greenwood, AR.

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