You can add my story to the website:
Bought my 1996 Toreador Red SHO new. Love it to death since day one. Had a lot of initial build quality control problems during the warrantee period (squeaks and creaks galore) that were mostly solved before Ford warrantee was out at 36,000 miles. Car has been rock solid mechanically since then.
Recently decided to maybe do some tweaking to upgrade the car a little, just to keep it interesting after nearly 6 years of ownership (a new personal record for longest-owned car for me), Looked at the SHOshop website. Was totally shocked to learn about cam problem on the SHOshop website. My SHO has always been serviced by Ford dealers since new; no mention of problem from them.
Once I knew about the problem and read everything I could on this website (thank you so much Buford!), I called Ford dealer and regional representative. While the dealer knew nothing, the call to the regional rep prompted a call back to me from a woman in Dearborn. "There is no program to address this issue at this time," she says.
Well, I decided to get the pinning job on my 82,000 mile old baby before having a problem. Couldn't live with the potential to be driving my fantastic SHO down the road and randomly have it turn into a collection of car parts in an instant. Drove it to Huntington Beach (LA) and left it with the SHOshop on a Monday, and flew back to Sacramento.
While it was there at the SHOshop for the pinning fix (a shim valve adjustment is included in that work), they flushed the power steering and brakes, put on new front pads and rotors, did a transmission flush and filter, and installed their underdrive pulleys (with a new serpentine belt included). They also tightened the subframe connections, suspension parts, and made sure the SARC (semi-active ride control) was still functioning correctly. That Friday I flew back to LA, only $3200 poorer (plus the price of the plane ticket), I picked up my refurbished SHO, and guess what? That damn car drives better now than it did when new. Thank you SHOshop!!
I look at this major cost as an investment to keep my so excellent SHO running for another 6 years and 80,000 miles. Sure beats the cost of getting another vehicle that provides similar performance and comfort.
I feel lucky to have learned about this problem before my car became just another sad story. I urge the readers of this website to get their car's cam fixed NOW, before anything can happen. Weld or pin, it's up to you. I know it's expensive, but it's a lot less hassle and expense than if you're one of the unlucky ones with failed cams.
"Just do it."
Just to let you know that my 1996 SHO that I bought new has just crossed
112,000. This car was "pinned" by the SHOshop at 82,500 miles in January, 2003.
Recent services include replacing the valve cover gaskets, new rear 4 COP's
and the two O2 sensors (one had worked its way loose, but I had already bought
the two of them, so in they went). Even more recently I had all the fluids
flushed (radiator, tranny, power steering and brakes), and put on a set of
Pirelli "P Zero Nero" tires (the best yet). Original tranny works fine. No major
failures yet except for a crankshaft position sensor at 80,000 miles. The car,
seriously, runs better than ever! Amazing. I'm keepin' this beast for the long
haul. It continues to be entertaining, and the car I choose to drive, even
though there are newer cars in the family.
Keep up the good work and thanks for the website. I depend on it.