I am the former owner of a 1997 Ford Taurus SHO. Even though the Taurus SHO has a long and peppered history, Ford Motor Company recently reintroduced the model. In earlier years, the SHO came with a host of troubles.
At first, the SHO was one of Ford’s flagship performance sedans. The difficulties began when Ford took over the engine program from Yamaha. The monkeys went to work and quickly changed this proud vehicle from a stellar product to a vehicle that Consumer Reports actually warned people against buying as a used car.
To make a long story short, the Generation 3 SHO came with a 3.4-liter (207cid), 32-valve V-8, which was a major change from the 3.0-3.2-liter, 24-valve V-6 that Ford used in the first two generations of the SHO. When Ford developed the four-camshaft V-8, it designed the camshaft sprockets without any keys or pins. Instead, it pressed the sprockets on to the cams to create an "interference fit" to hold the sprockets on to each cam.
This proved to be a very unwise decision. It was considered to be a zero-tolerance engine, meaning that if the timing goes, the valves won’t get bent. Not so with the SHO. Many of these sprockets have slipped, usually without warning, causing catastrophic damage to the valve-train and engine.
Here is a link with a ton of information related to this problem.
This entry was submitted by Cedric E. Dunn and edited by Rob Spiegel.
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