Ford Taurus SHO - Engine
For more on the SHO engine, see Performance
ThermostatAn SHO that is running too cold is usually because of a thermostat that is either corroded or stuck . Ford makes a revised 'B' thermostat that solves this problem. Remember to put in a new gasket. It's also a smart idea to replace the temperature sender and add a bottle of RedLine Water Wetter anti-corrosion agent.
RadiatorLike many Fords, the Ford Taurus SHO uses an aluminum core with plastic tanks for its radiators. This design saves weight. Unfortunately, the crimp connection between the plastic tanks and the aluminum core has a tendency to leak. Since as re-crimping of the tanks does not last, the only way to fix this design problem is to replace the radiator. For warm climates and high performance SHOs, a double core radiator is strongly recommended. Double core radiators offer twice the thickness of the factory radiator (requires slight modifications to fit)
The heater core is a defect in some SHOs. That's because the heater core is connected by rubber hoses and insulated from the car body. When a hot fluid moves through a metal tube it develops a static charge. This static charge gradually degrades the heater core until leaks begin to develop. That's why some, but not all, SHOs have a grounding strap from one of the metal heater core tubes to car body ground. If your SHO does not have a grounding strap you better install one before you begin to develop leaks. Leaks in the heater core become evident by fogging of the car windows, followed by slowly lowering coolant levels. Replacing the heater core is a bear of a job that is more painful and costly than a root canal. Luckily, the good people at Bar's Products have an excellent line of products that if used in time can take care of that leak quickly and cost-effectively (except in cases of a complete core failure). Bars anti-leak products are safe, and provide excellent leak protection for your cooling system with none of the problems of the anti-leak products of 20 years ago. Bar's Leaks Radiator Stop Leak provides excellent protection against most heater core or radiator leaks. And my own experience is that Bar's Leak's Liquid Copper Block and Radiator Sealer will seal larger leaks - and I can thank the help of Fred Mannix at Bar's for his help and support in recommending that product to fix the leaky heater core in my SHO. You only need to use Bar's once, and NEVER MORE THAN ONE BOTTLE. After using Bar's check and clean your radiator cap and cap housing of any Bar's products. After 500 miles of your heater core working, do a complete cooling system flush without the Bar's and replace your thermostat (use the Failsafe brand) as radiator anti-clog products can sometimes attach themselves to the thermostat.
Coolant HosesCoolant hoses should be replaced every 100K miles or every three years. This is especially true for SHOs kept in storage, as rubber parts can begin to degrade over time. Sudden loss of coolant will cause the engine to overheat with catastrophic consequences. If your upper-hose collapses when the engine cools then you probably have a bad radiator cap that is not venting pressure. 3.0L SHOs use a 16lb radiator cap.
Ford Water PumpThe average life of a water pump for the SHO is about 120K miles. When the water pump begins to fail there will be a slow leak at the bottom of the pump Below the pump is a Crankshaft Position Sensor (CPS). When hot coolant drips onto this sensor, it will shut off, stopping the engine until the sensor cools down. If your Taurus SHO is suddenly stalling for no apparent reason, check your coolant pump for leaks. It's strongly recommended that you replace the CPS when replacing the water pump.
Fuel PumpYou'll know your fuel pump is going when you hear a loud whining sound from the back of the car. Ford put a high capacity 112 LPH fuel pump in the 5-speed SHO, which is strong enough for a 330 horsepower engine. Unfortunately, while the Automatic SHO was supposed to have the same pump, for some reason some Automatic SHOs received the standard 65 LPH pump You can't tell unless you pull the pump. If you have an Automatic SHO and you've got a few extra dollars, you might want to check your fuel pump and replace it if it's one of the smaller ones.
Fuel InjectorsWhile fuel injector failure is very rare, varnish can build up on the injectors. It's a good idea to replace the injectors when you do your valve lash service. Aside from that, you should clean your fuel system every 50K miles.
Fuel FilterReplace it every 15K miles. It's cheap and easy to do, and will do wonders for keeping your engine healthy.
Camshaft Position SensorWhile standing at front of the car looking at the engine, the camshaft sensor is on the left hand side, at the rearmost camshaft, next to the shock tower. It is about 2-1/2" in diameter and about 1/2" thick. If the car stalls unexpectedly, or has an unusually rough idle, you should run the EEC-IV diagnostic codes to see if you have a bad camshaft sensor. Right next to the camshaft position sensor is the spout connector.
Spark PlugsUse only the Motorcraft Double Platinum Plug and never use anything else. 'nuff said.
Spark Plug WiresOften overlooked, regular replacement of spark plug wires will keep your SHO flying like a bat out of hell. Because of the high voltages shooting through these wires, they need to be replaced every 80K miles. You'll be amazed at the difference!
Ignition ModuleThe Distributor Ignition System module (DIS) rarely fails. When it does, it is almost always caused by overheating because of a warm environment. It sits on the side of that beautiful intake manifold and is remarkably easy to replace.
Also see http://www.fordfuelinjection.com/