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V8SHO Teardown - Part 1

updated 3/12/03, updated 10/12/2003

Our thanks to Robert Lookhoff for providing this information.


Getting the subframe/tranny/engine/lower suspension/steering system out in one piece is fairly straight forward.

The manual would have you leave the A/C compressor attached to the body, but I found this to be much too intrusive.

I discharged the system and disconnected the manifold line @ the A/C compressor. Leave the compressor attached to the engine.

Remove the High pressure p/s hose from the pump, remove the return feed to the reservoir.

Disconnected the steering coupler @ the firewall, where it connects to the rack-n-pinion, removed both steering knuckles from the strut base, disconnected the ARC sensors and ABS sensors, and positioned to one side, hung the brake calipers to the struts, and then lowered the car to 4 awaiting jack stands.

Disconnect the main PCM connector at the firewall, disconnect both heater hoses at the engine, not the heater core, and misc, other connectors at transaxle. Lets not forget about the throttle cable and shift cable, heck while your their, unhooking cruise cable would ease things along, lol.

Raise the body off of the entire assembly.

This pic took me about 2 solid hours of work.

The following picture is the assembly minus the engine, as seen on hoist in back ground, I recommend unbolting the torque converter bolts before hand, but they can still be reached from below while on the stands.

Notice how the steering knuckles sort of flop out to one side, this was detrimental in this engine replacement somehow, as after final install, created an extreme wobble under acceleration. Both axle shafts had to be replaced to correct this condition. (Notice the indentation of the right inner boot.)

I would recommend also loosening the cv axles from the spindles before hand, to avoid this.
P.S. I forgot to add remove the sway bar endlinks from the struts, but anyone performing this op, should come as a no brainer, lol


Thought it only appropriate to add his narrative to this page. I'm thinking you have know how to get it out before you can start experimenting!


As a side I asked him if he was a cam failure victim. I think everybody will appreciate his response:

Original engine had cams welded, what got it was aviation fuel, and an already weak #7 wrist pin.

I drove it like I stole it from day one and, well, it did have 125k on the clock.

#7 wrist pin and piston decided to part ways

Seems Robert forgot to tell us something, see below:

Perhaps somewhere in the description you could add the ground cable attached to the PCM connector, and the vapor management valve connector, also located near PCM, those were two oops I missed, and essentially had to re-splice them due to breaking them on removal.


Thanks to James W. Gibat-Thoroski


Jim is working on a project with the V8 SHO motor and has graciously taken photos for us. 

Four pages of text and photos, all of the V8 SHO can be seen at.


Enjoy, I did.

I think James gave up on his project of a turbo propane SHO V8 in his Capri about the time the Cam issue cam to the forefront. Together we made annotations for the photos and I will not make any deletions if if we don't plan on transplanting the engine since perhaps the observations may be helpful if not confusing at times.

 shov8-01.jpg (55978 bytes)  This shows the front/passenger side of the engine, note the vertical oil filter with the oil cooler above it. The wire near the oil filter is the oil pressure sending unit. Coolant comes out of the block through the oil cooler and an external line takes it to the water pump. To the left under the oil fill cap is the AC compressor. On the other end, the rear/driver's side is the water pump. The thermostat is in the water pump housing. Tube going to the top of the exhaust manifold is the Secondary Air Injection Valve tube. Above the oil filter, on the head, to the right of the exhaust manifold is the CMP - camshaft position sensor.                      
shov8-02.jpg (73864 bytes)

This photo is of the front/driver's side of the motor. This is with the cover removed showing the valve cover. Looking down the center of the valve cover you can see the holes where the spark plugs are. They are centered directly in the center of the combustion chamber.

Hanging directly at the above right of the oil filter is the IRMC box. This controls the secondary valves that allow the motor to breathe more above 3500RPM. Once at 3500RPM this box opens the secondaries, much like a carb, and allows air to pass through to the other intake valves.

The water pump assembly is to the right
shov8-03.jpg (54726 bytes) This photo is of the rear/driver's side of the motor. The upper left side is the water pump. You can see how the intake and surge tank cover the entire passenger side/rear of the motor. You can also see the flexplate from this angle. It has a hole through it right into the back of the crank. Perfect for a manual transmissions! You'll notice also that the bellhousing pattern isn't perfectly around the entire block. There is room on the right side for a regular starter, I just hope there is enough room!
shov8-04.jpg (69731 bytes)

Here is the SHO V8 from the front/passenger side. Here you can see the wiring harness to the left as well as the A/C compressor on the right. One serpentine belt wraps around all of these pulleys on the front. A pretty small and compact package. Directly in the center of the motor at the top of the front cover you can see the power steering pump without it's pulley.

Just above the power steering pump to the left you can see the shiny chrome fuel pressure regulator.
shov8-05.jpg (60458 bytes) This is the surge tank (upside down) The large opening goes to the throttle body. For our project however, a large stainless steel tube will be entering here from the twin turbos. This is actually a great intake for the project as all you have to do is form the pipe and clamp it on. Also with the way the intake is made it might be pretty easy to shorten or lengthen the intake runners to tune the motor for high or low RPM.
shov8-06.jpg (54821 bytes)

This shows the rear/passenger side of the engine. The four circles through the center of the valve cover are the coil-on-plug ignition coils. I would LOVE to keep these coils if I can for our project but I am not sure if I'll be able to get an ignition system to work with it as the original SHO V8 ignition was all controlled by the EEC-V. I am going to try and work something with Electromotive if I can. Perhaps they can ship me a unit without their coils and set something up that will fire my coils instead.

You can see most of the wiring harness here.

On top you can see the individual runners into the intake. The surge tank clamps on to these.
shov8-07.jpg (46472 bytes)

These are the upper intake manifolds. Pretty simple. I think it might be pretty easy to get a set of custom intakes made and mount a few downdraft Webbers to them.

The orange things in the middle are the 19 lb/hr fuel injectors which screw into the lower intake manifold.

Note the odd oval shaped holes in the gasket - oval for the siamese intake ports in the lower intake manifold. The manifolds come down to the IMRC and then it widens to allow air into both intake runners for the valves.
shov8-08.jpg (94643 bytes)

This is the top view of the engine showing the IMRC manifold in place. The two rows of holes down the center are where the fuel injectors push in. The right/passenger side of the engine is closest, note the dipstick on the far side. The close side shows the secondaries being closed. These lead to the secondary intake valve. These are the secondaries that open at about 3500 rpm. They are larger than the primary intake port though the intake valves are the same size. Some say this valve closes near redline to limit RPM and keep the SHO Taurus out of trouble. In our project this won't be a problem as the Electromotive unit will have a rev limiter.

This is the IMRC intake manifold removed from the engine valley. It still has the IMRC deactivation motor attached. Note the gaskets have a relief on one port for the fuel injector. This allows the injector to get a straight shot at the intake valve. This will be of no value in our project. I will get the ports ported as best I can. I've even thought about bigger secondaries. Shouldn't be hard to port out the IRMC and add larger butterflies from a carb of the same size butterfly. Something to try anyways.

Soon I will be testing the IMRC box. I want to see if you apply 12V to the box if the secondaries will open. I am expecting them to do so.
shov8-09.jpg (106931 bytes)

This is the IMRC intake manifold removed from the engine valley. It still has the IMRC deactivation motor attached. Note the gaskets have a relief on one port for the fuel injector. This allows the injector to get a straight shot at the intake valve. This will be of no value in our project. I will get the ports ported as best I can. I've even thought about bigger secondaries. Shouldn't be hard to port out the IRMC and add larger butterflies from a carb of the same size butterfly. Something to try anyways.

Soon I will be testing the IMRC box. I want to see if you apply 12V to the box if the secondaries will open. I am expecting them to do so.
shov8-10.jpg (67129 bytes) With the lower intake manifold removed one can see the two green knock sensors, one on each side of the box whish is the crankcase oil separator. Note that the water pump is still attached on the left side of the photo. On the right of the photo is a hole where the PS pump would be in the crotch of the V between the heads.
shov8-11.jpg (64865 bytes)

The mess above the flexplate is water plumbing. The actual pump is to the left. The lower hose carries water into each head from the water pump. The upper hose is the hot water return from the center of the block which goes to the radiator, heater core and throttle heater.

The SHO V8 is unique as it sends coolant to the heads first and then through the block. This is also found on the LS1 and LT1 V8s from Chevrolet. This is the first and only motor to have this cooling arrangement from Ford.
shov8-12.jpg (38097 bytes)

This is the back side of the water pump. The lower hose carries water into each head from the water pump. The upper hose is the hot water return from the center of the block which goes to the radiator, heater core and throttle heater. Note the pulley, which runs off the intake camshaft and the belt tension above it.

There has been some controversy about the water pump being driven off the intake cam. I am not sure if this adds any undo stress to the cam or not. I am hoping to get an underdrive pulley for the water pump so that it doesn't put as much strain on the motor. With a large aluminum radiator it might relieve some of that stress.
shov8-13.jpg (53690 bytes)

This is the same view as photo 11 only with water pump removed. You can see the big holes which feed coolant to the heads, in between them is a whole in the block you can not see which is the water return. It is flush like a thermostat would be on a Chevrolet small block V8.

In the center is the rear plug for the balance shaft above the flywheel.

The 3 bolt pulley on the intake cam drives the water pump. Note the top-heavy

Note the proportion of the block with the big DOHC heads, and 60 degree V construction. If it were a 90 degree V it would be wider but not as tall over all. The 60 degree V8 is much lighter and more compact than a 90 degree V8.

This is what we need in our project. A small, light weight, narrow, compact engine. This SHO V8 has it all!
shov8-14.jpg (61654 bytes) These are the cast valve covers. They are not stamped steel, aluminum or plastic like on many other motors. These are cast out of aluminum and are a lot heavier than most valve covers. The gaskets are rubber and reusable.
shov8-15.jpg (60222 bytes)

Here is the passenger side/rear head with the valve cover off.

You can see the cams, intake on top and exhaust on the bottom. The cams are hollow tubes with the lobes glued on. The lobes are placed in a jig and the tube is place in the center. A ball is rammed down the center which expands the cam tube and fixes the lobes on the shaft. A glue makes the arrangement permanent. Down the center, like a Hemi are the 4 central spark plugs in their wells. Each little timing chain has it's own tensioner. The oil passage from each side of the block lubricates the tensioner first then has two galleries on under each camshaft that lubricates each "bearing". The camshaft has no bearing shell, the camshaft touches finished head surface.

Check out the cool webbing on the block exterior. The aluminum block and heads are is not as strong as an iron would be of the same dimensions. Instead of making a thicker and heavier bock the block is webbed externally for strength which results in a engine 100's of pounds lighter than a iron V8 of the same output.

Just looking at it gives me technolust.
shov8-16.jpg (50531 bytes)

Missing are the AC compressor on the right, power steering pump on top in the crotch of the V, alternator on the left and a drive belt tensioner which lives under the alternator. 

The center crank snout pulley is the only one changed when going to an underdrive pulley. Just above it's centerline on the right side is the crankshaft position sensor. It maybe not visible in the shadows. One can see the asymmetrical chain drive system. The V8 chain drive in contrast should last as long as the car.
shov8-17.jpg (65599 bytes)

This is a more revealing photo of the chains that drive the cams. The upper center in the crotch of the Vee is the balance shaft. The intake cams are always in the center and the exhaust cams are toward the outside. The cams must have large sprockets because the turn only 1/2 as fast as the crankshaft. On the block, above and to the left of the crank snout is the timing chain sprocket tensioner, which gets as much oil as the mains. The "tube" cast into the block above the timing chain sprocket tensioner is the oil main gallery going to the head. Another like it is visible on the other side.

Where the crank pulley used to be you can see the trigger pulse wheel. This is what the crank shaft position sensor reads to tell the EEC-V where the engine is in it's rotation. It will be replaced or reused with the Electromotive ignition system.
shov8-18.jpg (52840 bytes)

This is the timing chain cover, on can see the front main seal, where the crank snout sticks out. To the right of the front main seal is the crankshaft position sensor.

Looking at this, some how I will have to have motor mounts attached. In our project we plan to have motor mount plates. Usually on normal V8s you can attach them to the front of the head or through the front water pump. This SHO V8 is a lot different in this respect. I am sure I will be able to figure something out.
shov8-19.jpg (74570 bytes)

With the camshafts removed one can see the bucket shims which move the valves and the tops of the sparkplugs which are way down in the wells. No chance of them getting much air. Note the absence of cam bearing half shells. Camshafts must be removed to access 10 bolts that hold the head down. One can see the oil hole for the tensioner on the left.

There are only 10 bolts that hold down the head, which means 4 bolts per cylinder. Pretty typical of Ford. This can contribute to problems with head gasket sealing. A lot of SHO V8 owners probably havenít experienced this as they are just running their stock motors. I guess we'll find out when we put on our twin turbos.
shov8-20.jpg (76783 bytes)

One can see the oil separator better with the knock sensors better in this shot and the siamese water ports to the right in the crotch of the V.

On the head gasket surface, the large round holes are all head bolt holes. Everything else is a water passage except the small round hole on the left which is a oil passage. Note the abundance of water holes on the lower side, where the exhaust valves are in the head. 

Towards the right side of the motor you can see in the center the hole in the face of the V. This is where all the coolant comes out of the motor. The coolant flows through the heads, then the block and comes out there.

Another interesting note is how high the deck height is. It doesn't come up much higher than the center "valley". On a lot of older V8s, the deck would come up much higher. I think this gives the SHO block added strength as it's one compact piece of aluminum without any extremities hanging out.
shov8-21.jpg (39078 bytes)

It may be difficult to see but the piston tops are near flat with a small shallow dish in the center. The dish an indication reducing the compression ratio. The combustion chamber in the head is a measly 39cc. This is incredibly small. With a flat top piston I am sure the compression ratio would be close to, if not over, 11:1. The stock compression ratio is 10:1.

Note the absence of valve relief eyebrows on the piston tops. Four valve engines require less valve lift than 2 valve engines for the same port flow. Oil passage is visible as small round hole on left side.
shov8-22.jpg (43022 bytes)

Intake valve run across the top row of the head in this photo. Their valve stems are all parallel. The exhaust valves are smaller and run across the bottom. Note the emphasis of cooling passages on the exhaust side of the head. Also visible are the bucket shims and a long head bolt. So far I haven't seen much use of studs, I looks like the engine is put together with bolts not studs so far. I wonder what the lower end uses. The orange thing on the right side of the head is a chain guide.

You can see the spark plugs in the center of each combustion chamber.
shov8-23.jpg (72660 bytes)

Here on can see just how high head is. On the nose of the crank snout is the crank driven "G-rotor" oil pump. Above that one can see the balance shaft sprocket.

You can see how compact the block is itself. I know how the short block goes together. This should be one strong little motor. 600 to 700 HP would probably be the max.
shov8-24.jpg (49768 bytes) Here is a great close up of the combustion side of the head. I should be getting some clearer ones later. Intake valves on top, center spark plug, smaller exhaust valves on the bottom. The four round holes in the corners are bolt holes. The oblong holes are for coolant.
shov8-25.jpg (85327 bytes) Close up of the power steering pump without it's pulley.

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