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97 XLT, Loose Camshaft Chain = BOOM

Discussion in 'Under the Hood' started by JasonD, March 26, 2004.

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  1. JasonD

    JasonD New Member

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    City, State:
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    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    1997 XLT
    My wife's beloved truck only has 60,000 miles on it and it quit running on her about 3 hours from home. She initially had it towed to the closest mechanic which was a Firestone Garage. They checked it out and determined it was the camshaft chain. They also told her about the numerous problems Ford was having with the camshaft chain guide and tensioner. They advised her to have it taken to the Ford dealer to be taken care of. Well, the local Ford dealer is telling me that I'm basically out of luck and I will have to pay for a new engine. This just dosen't sound right to me with the numerous TSP's for this issue. I called Ford's Customer Service Line and they told me the same thing. Should I let this die or pursue it further down some different avenue?

    I currently own 3 Fords (2 Mustangs and this truck), I feel like selling them all right now. I never thought I would feel that way about Ford, but I guess that's how the imports are taking a hold in this country.

    By the way, the chain didn't break, it just slipped off. (4.0 SOHC)

    Thanks in advance for any advice,

    Jason
     
    Last edited: March 26, 2004
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  3. Blee1099

    Blee1099 Evil Asian EF Vendor Moderator Emeritus

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    The following recall could be useful information for you..
    00M12 - Camshaft Chain Tensioner & Intake Gasket
    01M01 - Front Cam Chain Guide Extended Coverage

    Hopefully it'll help out, if not try contacting another dealer or a Lincoln/Mercury dealer.. If all else fails, contact Ford Motor Company.
    A rebuilt Jasper motor is $$$.
     
  4. JasonD

    JasonD New Member

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    I specifically mentioned those and they said they were expired. I believe one had an expiration date of 6 years and the other was 7. They said my truck was put in service on 10/96. It's upsetting that a Ford motor would die after 60,000 miles with religous oil changes. I have a 5.0 with 167,000 on it.
     
  5. Robert

    Robert Well-Known Member

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    ONP 00M12 is for the tensioners, it extended the coverage to 6 years, 72K miles. According to Ford, when the tensioners fail no harm will occur (if you can believe that) but the noise will be annoying. ONP 01M01 is for the front, left chain guide. When it fails, catastrophic engine failure can occur. I would find out which chain slipped off and if it was the front, left one (only one that you will get any sympathy from Ford) then I would definately pursue this further. If it were one of the other two chains, then you probably aren't going to get anywhere with Ford. Good luck. I bought my '94 Ranger from Findlay Ford and was very impressed with the dealership (didn't use the service department though). I also bought my '97 Explorer from Mathew's Ford in Oregon, OH and was fully impressed with the service department. Maybe try them if you haven't.
     
  6. JasonD

    JasonD New Member

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    I just found out that is was the front left chain. They still refuse to pay for any of it. A new engine is $4500. I've gone as far as I can go with Ford. Does anyone else think this is a Better Business Bureau complaint? I've read countless of accounts of this happenning on the internet and the service manager has also witnessessed it several times.
     
  7. Robert

    Robert Well-Known Member

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    I guess the next thing to find out is why the chain came off. If the chain guide failed which in turn caused the chain to come off then it should be a warranty issue. You are way under the mileage limits and about 6 months under the time limit. You can try the BBB but all they will do is send a letter to the dealer expressing your concerns. If they subscribe to the BBB they "might" be inclined to help. If they don't, then they will probably just blow it off. You might have better luck taking it to an independant shop that can document exactly what happened to the engine that caused the chain to fail. That and copies of the TSBs regarding the known problem with the chain guides would probably be enough to convince a court that you are getting screwed wrongfully by Ford. Unfortunately I have a feeling that it could cost you a lot of money to get it resolved. If you pursue it all the way to a lawsuit and you win then you would get it all back (minus whatever the attorney would keep). In any event you have a lot of work cut out for you. Ford is big. Do you have one of those consumer help groups like they show on the news a lot? Just the bad publicity being shown on the news is often enough to get them to change their stance.

    As a minimum I would pay an independant, reputable mechanic to inspect the engine and write up an official diagnosis before I committed to doing anything else. You need to find out where you stand and why Ford feels the failure had nothing to do with the chain guide. Contact me via PM with your e-mail address and I'll send you my PDF of Ford's letter to the dealer and the actual letter regarding ONP 01M01.
     
  8. JasonD

    JasonD New Member

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    The other shop I took it to is saying it's either the guide or the tensioner. They haven't taken the engine apart yet. They said they can see it through the oil fill hole. Ford is telling me even if that is the problem they aren't paying because it's expired. They said I missed the time deadline due to the truck being put in service in Oct of 96. I went to another dealer to get a second opinion and they said they could possibly take care of it but, the first dealer put in the computer that it wasn't the problem. It sucks because the truck has a blown engine in a city 200 miles away from where I live. Now I don't know if I should have it towed back home for the second opinion. Either way I'm out big bucks on this one.
     
  9. Robert

    Robert Well-Known Member

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    I would be talking to a local dealer then to see if they would be willing to offer any asistance (they have that option) due to the low mileage. If the guides failed, then you are only 5 months over the time limit but way under on miles. That should be worth something. Unfortunately, Ford doesn't have to legally do anything to help. This is where the good dealership will be separated from the bad ones. Unfortnately, if you can't find a dealer that is willing to work with you then probably the only way you will get any recourse is by suing them. You probably wouldn't get anywhere by suing them either (I'm not a lawyer though) even if you proved that the chain guides are notoriously problematic (which is easy enough to prove) and should not have failed at only 60,000 miles.
     
  10. IgotTwo

    IgotTwo Active Member

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    Did you tall to a dealer or ask for a Ford Rep. There is a PO7 customer service plan..... I think 7 years may be the limit. That is what I used when my SOHC blew 2 years ago... Ford paid 80%?
     
  11. Fred Garvin

    Fred Garvin Active Member

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    I think 7 years may be the limit

    That's what I thought: 7 years or 70,000 (75,000?)--whatever comes first.
     

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