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Old 04-01-2012, 11:33 PM
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Default Purchased my First SHO, a V8

Hi guys. Been on Taurus Club since late 2003 and on Taurus/Sable Owner's Club since it started. Have a 2000 24V DOHC Taurus SEL as my daily. Have an 1987 Taurus GL Vulcan station wagon I'm using as a learning tool on how to work on cars (and to fix back up).

Searching Craigslist, I stumbled on a 1997 Ford Taurus SHO in Greenville, SC. Toreador Red/Medium Graphite cloth. Picking it up tomorrow, got it cheap. Seller claims it has a "cracked head gasket". No mix of coolant/oil, no coolant loss issue.

First task after having it towed back to my place and taking the intakes and valve covers off to check for cam welds, and to get that done if needed. Getting anything cleaned/replaced/welded while it's all apart as PM, like rotating the ignition coils. Will be reading through here and V8 SHO to see what I need to do.

Here are some pictures I received from the seller (click for larger):


Only spot of bad paint. Just clearcoat failing, no big deal.
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Last edited by Bull Geek; 04-01-2012 at 11:37 PM.
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:43 PM
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Yes check the cams first, hopefully they didnt slip. Coils you can get them off ebay for around $110 or so for all 8. Plugs, Ive been using FORD Motorcraft Finewire in all mine here. Intake prob could prob use a good cleaning. Check the tranny fluid too, fluid/filter prob would be a good idea. Other than that your normal Taurus maintance.


Brian Michael
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Old 04-02-2012, 04:38 AM
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Welcome aboard Bull Geek!
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:57 AM
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I didn't know the 96-98 came with anything but leather seats....maybe I missed something along the way...must be a less of them made that way
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:13 AM
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Thanks guys!

A friend of mine checked the car out for me that I consider competent around cars. He took the car for a ride and said the car drove great, good power no odd noises or anything. I'm not risking a drive though until I have proof.

Yea the cloth is not a common find. I think they did away with it in 98, but 97s have had it. Not sure about 96s.
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:02 AM
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"Cracked head gasket"???
That sounds fishy to me. There would either be a cracked head or leaking head gasket. A description like that on one of these engines would immedately have me fearing cam issues, but it drove well, so that's definitely a plus.

That's beside the point anyway...

When I found my '99 I discovered an engine miss at idle that showed up on the road too. From my limited research it sounded like a bad coil or two. I brought it up to the seller and his mechanic mentioned possible head gasket. That was fine with me because I didn't think that's what it was, and it gave me some bargaining power.
In the end I knocked $900 off the asking price and it WAS just the coils.

If you tear into it I would suggest removing the runners and cleaning the carbon/oil build up that you're bound to have. I spent a good hour on mine, using some potent solvents and various brushes, plus another couple hours on the horns and surge tank.
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newshofan View Post
I didn't know the 96-98 came with anything but leather seats....maybe I missed something along the way...must be a less of them made that way
Yep, my 97 was a cloth interior also. Had every option except leather.
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:36 AM
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Yep, my 97 was a cloth interior also. Had every option except leather.
And the post was correct further up also, it went to leather only in '98.

Congrats on your new toy, and wishing you the best in the Gen III SHO community.

pax, smn
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:44 AM
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Nice find, Nick! I actually like the cloth interior better than leather. Seems like it would last longer.

Hopefully it's nothing major, and you've got yourself a nice project/fun car!
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Old 04-02-2012, 12:01 PM
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Congrats from a former tcca'r (24vsable). I hope the sho life treats you well.



Edit: Worst case, Zach has a g3 parts car if he hasn't set the other one on fire yet
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Old 04-02-2012, 12:06 PM
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Welcome to the Forum's Bull Geek, have seen and talked with you over on TCCA before.
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:46 PM
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Nick! Nice car
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:13 PM
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nice find! Welcome to the forum and the SHO owners club. Keep us posted on your cams. I hope they are already welded.
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Old 04-03-2012, 12:05 AM
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Yea. Something sounds odd. I got some of the maintenance records from the prior owner that show the diagnostics done. I'll type them up and post here in the next few days. I can tell you it has a ton of new radiator hoses, a new cap on the expansion tank, and a new Ford expansion tank.

When I take it apart, everything is getting cleaned up, definitely.

Cloth interior is NICE. Wish my sedan had cloth instead of leather.

Wow haven't spoken to some of you (former) TCCA'ers all in awhile, good to see you around!

I did a close inspection of the body. Everything really looks great for an almost 15 year old car. Found one small quarter size of clearcoat failing on the sail panel window. An assortment of paint transfers on the doors, fenders and 1/4 panels that can easily be compounded out.

I'll start taking the car apart in the next few days after I finish working on the station wagon, getting the dashboard back in that car.

Pic of it in the garage:
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:49 AM
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If looking for rust, the place to check is under the plastic at the bottom sides below the doors. That seems to be the place where things go first.

pax, smn
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Old 04-03-2012, 12:08 PM
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Ha! Nice find Nick, glad to see you're still around these cars.

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Old 04-03-2012, 10:17 PM
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Also pay close attention to the brake lines on the driver side near the rear tire. There is a plastic cover that holds mud, crud, water, etc and will erode the hard lines to nothing over time. And welcome aboard too. My first SHO was a V-8 also. And there's nothing like a V-8 sound.
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Old 04-04-2012, 01:31 AM
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Hey H!

This car is in dang good shape. No rust on the dog legs/wheel well arches like most 3rd and 4th gen Tauruses. Nor anything hiding behind the plastic rocker moldings. Underside looks great. AutoCheck says 1 year in Michigan as a Ford car. Otherwise Atlanta and Greenville, SC car all its life.

Can't wait to fix the issues it has and get to driving it to see if I keep it or sell it.
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Old 04-04-2012, 12:57 PM
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Good to hear on the rust and living locations. I suspect if you drive it for any length of time, you are going to want to keep it. The Gen III SHO remains a really fine, comfortable, and seriously capable high speed cruiser, even after all these years.

pax, smn
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:22 AM
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Good to hear on the rust and living locations. I suspect if you drive it for any length of time, you are going to want to keep it. The Gen III SHO remains a really fine, comfortable, and seriously capable high speed cruiser, even after all these years.

pax, smn

I really like the SHO on the highway or curvey road.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:46 AM
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I really like the SHO on the highway or curvey road.
Yes. Most of the mods I have done have been aimed at improving an already pretty good handling large car, and I have been very pleased at the results. The biggest results were from the solid sub frame bushings and the cross tower brace. These tighten up the front box hugely, and that is where most of the flex was happening. The other stuff produced incremental handling improvement, but those two made very large differences.

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Old 04-05-2012, 12:34 PM
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Cam weld and I personally recommend a xcal2 tuned by Paul Nimz(if he still does them) and turn your shift pressures up. That changed my old sable dramatically, and probably why the current owners still haven't killed the transmission at over 200k miles.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:09 PM
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I like the XCAL 3on my 2000. Firm shifts are good Too bad it handles and rides like junk right now. Junk QuickStruts.
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Old 04-06-2012, 01:42 AM
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I've been playing with saturns for the last 3 years, so I've not noticed an xcal3 existed.....my bad.... and quickstruts suck.
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:55 PM
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Update time.

Headgasket are not blown. Leaky valve cover and spark plug well gaskets. Two spark plug wells were filled up with oil. That's all that I can find that's wrong that was a major issue with the mechanicals. No cooling issues whatsoever.

So...
I had the camshafts TIG welded by a friend of a friend who does welding for the railroad in NC:



After getting car back home, I cleaned the visible parts with the cam covers off. Replaced the camshaft seal by the water pump. Replaced all plugs with new Motorcraft spark plugs properly gapped. I busted the ECT, so replaced with a new Ford one. I replaced the spark plug well gaskets and valve cover gaskets with new ones. I wrapped the harness that goes nearest the firewall with heat tape, good to 1000F (I don't believe it but it's better than nothing!).




I installed new wheels from the junkyard and put new tires on the car. Installed new Motorcraft ball joints (needed to make the LCA red hot to get the tapered seat out!). 400 miles later, minus an oil cooler that leaks a tiny bit and misc other stuff, the car is a safe, reliable car.



I guess that was my Christmas gift this year. A misdiagnosed, good condition, good running, V8SHO that had its mufflers removed

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!
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Old 12-26-2012, 01:01 PM
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Looks great. I love TR V8 SHOs.

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Old 12-26-2012, 01:10 PM
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Agreed, this is my favorite of the Gen III's looks great!
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:55 AM
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Looks/sounds nice.

My '99's not looking nearly that good.
I recently found a lot of rust under the rear passenger door.
I saw no sign until a nickel sized bubble showed up on the dog leg. Then I pulled the plastic trim below the doors and what I found was pretty depressing.

I thought it would be the trans that sends it to the JY, but rust might get there first.
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:28 AM
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I need my V-8 welded too. Where in NC is the guy who did yours?
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:47 PM
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Thanks guys! Transmission definitely needs either a valve body rebuild, or something. I am not satisfied with the way it shifts at all.

Water Temp did the same thing on way home from xmas..runs at 206F at 65mph with 50F ambient temp. Pulling the radiator next to check out what's happening. Cooling fan kicks on at 215/216 and brings temp back down to 209 without issue.

Re: person who did my welds...Guy that did my welds is a friend of a friend, he lives in Lancaster, SC (south of Charlotte). He does not do pulling of the valve covers, you gota bring it prepped to him. Just bring a battery to bump the starter. Cool guy. If you want his contact details, let me know!
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