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Zero's Cam Weld Experience

New 03/15/2005

97 TR SHO VIN # 1FALP54N6VA102972

I had purchased a 98 TR Duratec with 85K in 8/04 and loved the car. I figured that the 3.4L V8 would really be fun. I came upon the V8SHO website and got an education on the joys and pains of V8 SHO ownership. I concluded that after welding, it could be a pretty nice ride at a reasonable cost. I found a clean 97 Ford executive with 45000on the clock. I am the third owner. I test drove the car and listened carefully, no death rattle. Made the deal and drove it home and about briefly. I studied all the weld articles carefully, especially Kirk's correspondence & Hamilton's analysis and all the others who contributed to the reasoned conclusion of welding the cams as the only viable option.

Initially, I was going to use the MIG process, but I wasn't thrilled by all the spatter going everywhere. I decided to TIG . I am a competent welder, but I called on the services of a friend who is certified with 25 years of experience and does this work all day every day at local nuclear plants. I never let my ego get in the way of getting the most skillful people I can access to assist me with critical work. The welding was done in my shop with my equipment. Four tacks at 90 deg. on each cam & nut and then back for 5/8" beads to secure the sprockets properly using 70S filler rod.

I personally did all the mechanical work. I was amazed at how dirty the intake system was for the mileage. Cleaning the system was very time consuming. Berrymans saved my ass. (Thanks Kirk) All in all it was a labor intensive effort, but a satisfying one. Coils looked very good and were switched. Wiring OK and was re wrapped. New plugs. Flushed cams & heads with brake cleaner with pan drain open. Lubed all the cams, lifters & chains before replacing the covers. Car fired right up, but no road test yet, too much cold, snow & salt.

In retrospect, for the costs incurred, (appx. $130 for gaskets & $50 for misc. supplies) I would say that the rates charged by Qualified people like Kirk or Doug is very reasonable. The travel and lodging are the things that tip the scale. My gratitude to all those who contribute to this site. I found the Utah Ford Club's weld site to be most helpful. It filled in a lot of the holes that the text never could. I purchased this SHO eyes wide open and fully aware of the problems, But to those who purchased this car in a good faith reliance on Ford honoring it's warranties and standing behind a obvious Mgf. defect, I think that their legal pursuit of FoMoCo is justified. I will join the plaintiffs in pursuit of that goal as this is now a numbers game.


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