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97 sho hesitates at 60km/h and 90km/h

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97 sho hesitates at 60km/h and 90km/h

Post by 97fosho » Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:22 pm

Hey folks,

I just bought a 97 SHO. It's a beauty. However, it hesitates at 60km/h (~40mph) and 90km/h (~55mph). The PO told me that this is a common problem with these, that some magnet inside may have fallen off and at these two speeds is when it gets out of whack. He also told me that it's a design flaw from Ford, that there's nothing actually wrong with the cam position sensor, and that it's apparently a $3500 job for someone to get in there and fix it.

I've searched and searched and I'm not finding anything relating to camshaft position sensors or cam magnets causing anything like this. The only thing I'm finding is talk about cam sprockets falling off and causing engines to go boom. I did not notice a ticking with the engine, but the idle lopes a bit.

Any ideas?


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Re: 97 sho hesitates at 60km/h and 90km/h

Post by BillR » Wed May 28, 2014 9:30 pm

I don't know if you got everything sorted out yet, I know this is an old post.

First, the cam position sensor. When they go the problems are usually a lot more radical. Stalling, bad missing while driving etc.

My first guess on your problem (you didn't mention if it had had a tune up or what other service might have been done) would be new spark plugs and wires...not exactly a fun job on that car. One thing that is critical is that you use Motor Craft plugs of the correct part number. Ford just don't like non Ford plugs...They work for a short time and then give you issues. The second thing is new plug wires and coils. Now in this case you don't need to use the OEM parts, a good set of wires with coils from a good manufacture will work fine.

One small issue here is to replace the plugs you need to remove the intake manifold but as far as I can remember that intake gasket is no longer available. The last set I did I was careful and didn't damage the old one.

Some good instructions on the project here if you are a do it yourselfer:

https://answers.yahoo.com/question/inde ... 940AASPsUV

Now before you jump into this project let's talk about your camshafts. The sprockets will come lose, that's not an "IF", it's a "WHEN".

The problem can be solved if there is no damage at this point but it's neither fun nor cheap and it's not easy to find a place to do the work. The sprockets were original pressed on (bad idea) and the repair is to weld them in place. This can be done without taking the engine apart but not many places will or can do the job.

Here is one:


Feel free to search out other places (some older Ford Dealers can handle it if they have techs that have been around long enough) but make no mistake, it isn't something you want to chance.

Another common issue is your MAF or mass air flow sensor. This is located in the intake tube between your air cleaner and throttle body. When they get dirty they need cleaned. Cleaning isn't hard, you pull the intake tube out of the rubber boots and spray the unit with MAF cleaner (I like CRC MAF cleaner). I don't recommend carb cleaner because it leaves residue behind. Word of caution, don't though the MAF with any tools or your hands, simply spray it clean and let it dry for a half hour or so.

There is a picture of your MAF here:


They only made that engine (Cosworth block, Yamaha heads) for a few years so keep in mind parts are getting scarce.

Sorry I didn't spot this post earlier... :(
1989 Thunderbird Super Coupe
1993 Taurus SHO
1994 Taurus Wagon
2000 Taurus SE - 2002 Taurus SEL
2002 Taurus SEL - 2002 Sable
2012 Taurus SEL-White Platinum Metallic Tri-Coat

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