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William Brannen - SHO Defender

new 5/25/02

Dear Ford,

I have a real concern about my 1997 Ford Taurus SHO

VIN# 1FALP54N1VA252195

Mileage 92,000

I purchased the SHO new in 1997. All in all it has been a very good vehicle. I am approaching the 100,000 mile service and understand that Ford has had a lot of camshaft failures in the 96-99 SHO's.

The dealership has warned me about this and said the sprockets or something need to be checked and tightened before they fail and cause catastrophic and expensive engine failure. Scared me to death.

They also reminded me that the 100,000 mile "true service" is very expensive anyway.

With this in mind I check with some independent SHO shops in the Atlanta area about the 100,000 mile maintenance and the possible failure of the camshaft assembly. They said it was a fact and for $1500 they would do the maintenance and "weld" the sprocket to the camshaft. They said they had a "technique" to do this because of so many failures. A technique to overcome what I consider a shortcoming in the engine's design.

I am certainly overwhelmed with disappointment. I just purchased a new Ford Explorer and have had "just Ford's" all my life. What am I to do?

My thinking is that Ford Motor Company should offer a fix for this problem before it becomes catastrophic and the cost of repair is unreasonable and perhaps very unfair for loyal Ford and SHO fans. Ford should take responsibility for this portion of any "camshaft" related issue. I have done all the maintenance as scheduled for the vehicle and this is just a little too much.

For the record....my family has had Ford's since 1934. I was about 6 years old when we had a 34 Coupe with a flathead V8, yellow spoke wheels, mechanical brakes, running board and a rumble seat. My sister and I had many wonderful times in the rumble seat...along with some great fights....I can remember mom and dad rolling down the back window and reaching in the rumble seat to "straighten us out".

I think... all in all... between my mom, dad and 4 brothers and sisters we have had at least 30 Fords just in our family since I was born. We are valuable Ford supporters.

Keeping the faith.



William T. Brannen, Jr.

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