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First I want to thank you for the best site on the Gen III SHO. I recently purchased a 98 SHO new and I am loving it. I have had detailed discussions with Doug Lewis regarding what I can do to the car to make it quicker/faster...but first I must wait for money.
I am writing to inform you and all readers of your site about a acknowledged problem with the 98 SHO and the speedometer at higher speeds.
at speeds in excess of 105 mph, the speedometer in my car (and others according to Doug Lewis at FPS automotive in atlanta and Fort SVT Tech support line) drops like a rock to zero. I have taken the car into my local Ford dealership, and because of the speed, no technician is willing to "verify" the problem. The dealership did call Ford SVT tech support and got the following explanation of the problem.
according to Ford, the problem exists with the communication from or between the a.B.S., G.E.M. (General Electronics Module ?) and Speed Control. The way it has been explained to me, that unlike other Taurus, the SHO gets its input for the speedometer from the a.B.S. sensors. On the regular Taurus, vehicle speed is read from the transmission. The signal from the a.B.S. is converted into a corresponding frequency to be fed to the speedometer. at the speed of 105+ mph, the frequency gets distorted and the speedometer can't figure out what's going on and essentially turns off. Unfortunately, for those who have a silly streak a mile wide or who live in Montana, the odometer still works.
I have been told (from SVT through my local Ford Customer Relations Manager) that an individual in Canada who races the SHO has had the same problem and fixed it by disconnecting the G.E.M and Speed Control modules. This is great for those who don't need headlights, stereo, wipers, etc... but for all others, this is not a workable solution.
So far, the number of complaints to Ford have not been enough to justify a recall. I am asking all owners of the 98 SHO, the last model year, to help out with this cause. This is NOT an issue of the speedometer turning off for the sake of safety. This IS an issue regarding faulty manufacturing/engineering and the lack of complaints to justify a recall. If you have a car that exhibits the dead speedometer above 105 mph, you must do the following.
1) Tell you local Ford Dealership to file an E.D.S.R (Electronic Dealer Service Report) to Ford regarding this problem. They may protest and ask you to call the below number, but do not cave and make them file the report.
2) Call the Ford Customer Service Number and report the problem yourself @ (800) 392-FORD.
I would be curious to hear how many have this problem and where they have gotten with Ford.
Good Luck & Thank you in advance!
Chris Swinford / firstname.lastname@example.org