WARNING - Ford has a problem with the 3.7L Motor

Discussion in '2005 - 2014 S-197 Mustang -General/Talk-' started by tr6nut, Oct 15, 2010.


  1. jaybertx

    jaybertx Member

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    I don't quite follow what the actual problem is. Other than the fact that there is a problem that needs to be fixed, is it a huge deal problem? I don't mean a huge deal to the OP, I mean from a mechanical perspective.
    #21
  2. STANGmole

    STANGmole Member

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    That's a bummer tr6nut! Hopefully they'll come up with a fix soon and you'll be in a decent loaner car in the meantime.

    If all else fails just sell it to MakotoS13. He's been in the market for a V6 forever...and is constantly singing the praises of its reliability and performance(compared to the lowly 4.6L) :rlaugh:
    #22
  3. Benny

    Benny Founding Member

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    I'm surprised at Ford! I had an problem when I bought my 96 Cobra, after one month the engine stated ticking. Well after a week in the shop they replace all the valve train on the affected side and it still ticked. Ford called and told me SVT wanted the Engine returned to them and they would send a brand new motor. I said Hell know I want a new car!!! they gave me one! Have you spoke to Ford directly or through the dealer??
    #23
  4. MakotoS13

    MakotoS13 Member

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    no thanks, im ordering mine.
    #24
  5. tr6nut

    tr6nut New Member

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    We eventually were able to talk to the Ford Zone manager. He confirmed that there was a run of engines with a problem (he would not elaborate on the specifics). He gave us the option of fixing it with the vehicle warranty extended to 5 years / 75K miles or trading it for another Ford (minus mileage charges). We chose "fix" and zone manager said that if in the end they could not fix the car, the trade was still an option. On Tuesday, two engineers from Ford flew out to work on the car. Yesterday, they did some work on it. This morning, they started it up to listen to see if the noise was still present. It was. They have ordered a new engine and have specified to Ford that it come from the "current production run" (this is according to the Ford zone manager). They will be shipping the original engine back to Ford for further analysis. Also the service manager told us they received a letter on Friday from Ford telling dealers to be on the lookout for 3.7 engines exhibiting noise.
    #25
  6. SpartaPerformance

    SpartaPerformance Site Sponsor

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    Sounds like an issue affecting only certain engines. Did they tell you if it was certain months built? I'd like to be able to have some kind of answer in case it comes up with any of my customers.
    #26
  7. RatStang

    RatStang New Member

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    It also sounds like they're bending over backwards to resolve the issue.
    #27
  8. tr6nut

    tr6nut New Member

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    The Zone manager would not tell us specifics, just that Ford was aware of the problem and that he was going to make sure that we were taken care of. The funny thing was, he already knew that the problem started to appear at about 5K miles and that while always present, the tapping noise is loudest when starting the engine after several hours of downtime (like in the morning)
    #28
  9. tr6nut

    tr6nut New Member

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    Ford is doing a great job on this. Our dealer was another story. The dealer woud not give us any contact info to go to Ford - we got in touch with the Zone Manager by going on Facebook and asking the Ford Facebook page admin for help. Now that Ford is running the show on the repair, the dealer can't bend over far enough to kiss our ass.
    #29
  10. SpartaPerformance

    SpartaPerformance Site Sponsor

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    I kind of had a feeling it would be some kind of oiling issue. Thanks for info.
    #30
  11. Ltngdrvr

    Ltngdrvr Member

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    I question the use of the term "cam follower", this is what Ford calls the part that the cam lobes ride against in the V8's but the 3.7 V6 does not use anything like it. On the 3.7 the cam rides directly on the bucket that fits over the top of the valve spring and retainer assembly, Ford's terminology for this part is a Direct Acting Metal Bucket (DAMB). On this setup there is no hydraulics to take up any slack in the valetrain like there is on the V8's. When the 3.7 is assembled the DAMB is precision ground to the exact clearance necessary. The thing about this is that it is similar to a solid lifter cam in an old style motor and if any of you have any experience with a motor with a solid lifter cam you know that they make noise and they make more noise when cold than when hot. The reason for this is thermal expansion of the block and heads making the clearances tighter as they expand. Since the cams in the 3.7 are directly on top of the valves in the head the amount of thermal expansion has less affect than a motor with the cam in block. The other thing I see about this setup in the 3.7 is that just like a old style cam and lifter setup, with the cam lobes acting directly on the buckets is that there has to be break-in wear patterns that have to be astablished on the cam lobes and the buckets. And I would imagine that this initial break-in period for the cams is similar to old style cams and lifters and may benefit from some sort of break-in lube to promote proper wear pattern establishment. I know when you build an old style motors now adays that you have to use break-in oil that has the Zinc sulphates in it that current regular oils don't have any more. You either have to use a zinc additive or use oil that is diesel rated since it still has the zinc in it.

    I don't know, it will be interesting to see what Ford comes up with.
    #31
  12. SpartaPerformance

    SpartaPerformance Site Sponsor

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    DAMB that's a crazy explanation! :rlaugh:
    #32
  13. Ltngdrvr

    Ltngdrvr Member

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    You think so huh? What's yours?
    #33
  14. tr6nut

    tr6nut New Member

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    Not exactly true. The DAMBs are available at the factory in different "sizes". The optimum size required for each valve is selected via computer. You cannot just "grind" them to size because each DAMB needs to be surface hardened after machining (grinding). Also, your scenario would mean that no engine could ever be serviced at the dealer (since the dealer would not have the necessary machining equipment)


    True. Except in this case it was not the sound of 24 valves uniformly louder at cold.

    Most cam damage in a new engine occurs within 20 minutes of initial start up.

    Zinc plays havoc with catalytic converters. That's why the newer formulations of oils have way less zinc content. Ford specifies the same 5W20 spec oil for the 3.7L V-6 that they spec for the 5.0L V-8.

    I would like to think that the Ford engineers know a wee bit more about this than you and me, but like you said, we'll see. Hopefully the new engine lasts longer than the original one.
    #34
  15. billfisher

    billfisher Active Member

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    direct acting followers are one of the oldest OHC designs out there. its stone cold reliable. QC let some bad cams, or followers through. its that simple. it could be 50 engines or 5000. i have an engineer here at the plant who has no noise and loves his 3.7 v6.
    #35
  16. tr6nut

    tr6nut New Member

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    Update: There is now a Special Service Message on Oasis about this problem:

    497000- Engine Noise Concerns

    Special Service Messages

    21550 3.7 Cold Tick From Cylinder Head

    Some 2011 mustang 3.7L vehicles with an engine build date of June 10th, 2010 or earlier may have an intermittent tick noise from the left hand cam cover area on a cold start. Engineering has identified the cause and is developing an appropriate repair procedure. This issue will not damage the engine nor cause long term durability concerns. It is recommended that no repairs be attempted at this time. Monitor oasis for updates.
    #36
  17. Az Pete

    Az Pete Member

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    Glad to hear things are good. Guess you will be a Ford customer for a while longer now huh. Funny how things change.
    #37
  18. tr6nut

    tr6nut New Member

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    Actually I've been a loyal Ford customer for almost 30 years. The above service note at least recognizes that there is a problem (unlike my dealer, who was in denial for most of my adventure). In the end, Ford came through for me, although not before I went through several hoops that the average Joe probably would not go through. However, if you read the service note, they are essentially telling folks to just suck it up and drive their new clattering Mustang around for some indeterminate time period until they (Ford) figures out a cheap fix for this mess. They thought they had a fix, but when they tried it out on our car, the fix didn't work and in the end they replaced the engine.

    So I guess you could most accurately say that I'm still a Ford loyalist, although somewhat scarred and wary from the experience. However, I will never buy another car from that particular dealer as they did not stand up for their customer.
    #38
  19. Az Pete

    Az Pete Member

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    My comment was based on this from your initial post on the problem. I have been buying Fords for a long time. I always find that biting my tongue a bit when a problem shows itself will help in the overall outcome and how others view my situation. Every manufacturer has issues.....it is how they handle it that counts. And yes, I have left dealers because of the type of customer service you got initially. Hope it all ends up good for you.
    #39
  20. mjk

    mjk Member

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    Sorry to hear of your troubles and I'm glad you gotten taken care of. The dealer you went to obviously deserves whatever bad press you give it and should be taken off your future shopping lists...
    On the other hand, I have personally learned not to buy first year cars. Whether its MB, BMW, Ford, Asian brands, they all had first MY issues at one point or another.
    #40

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