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SHO water pumps

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I bought our 2011 SHO new and have maintained it very well. I don't know if I should swap out the water pump in it, as it has 106,000 miles on it. I've read that when the water pump goes out, that the engine is toast in about 50 miles. My wife and I have taken several cross country trips in it,  and the idea of being stranded in the middle of nowhere is not what we want. Is the water pump problem overblown or is it a  prudent idea to change the pump out before we take another trip? For parts and labor my local mechanic says that the book time is 11 hours and by the time the bill is done, I'll be looking at about $1500.00 

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  • 1 month later...

What is the maintenance history on your SHO?  Have you been waiting till the Ford recommended initial service interval for the coolant?  How much longer do you anticipate keeping the SHO?

Due to the internal WP design, it is important to change out coolant frequently as a precautionary measure, as well as use a quality full synthetic low volatility engine oil to help prevent issues with the timing system (chain slack/rattle, VCT solenoid sticking, etc).  The engine in the SHO is a VCT system, not a Ti-VCT system, so it has only one set of teeth driving the WP.  I believe that also contributes to the wobble that then leads to bearing failure.  Seal failure is more of a "tired" coolant issue, as additives do wear down with time.

If you would like to keep the SHO for some time, as I certainly would, consider it preventive maintenance to replace the water pump, chains, tensioners, guides, maybe even the phasers, and definitely the solenoids.  Don't just have the WP done.  New belts of course, and belt tensioner too.  The oil pump rarely fails on these engines, but your mechanic can take a look.  The oil pump part is pretty cheap, as the WP, in the scheme of things.

At the very least, completely flush out the coolant, use OEM/motorcraft coolant (I think orange?) to replace.  Send old coolant out for testing at a lab like blackstone to confirm that the engine has no issues at this point.  You could choose to use the Heavy Duty coolants that are meant to be in place for up to a million miles, but I know of only 1 person doing this and it is on a naturally aspirated 3.5, not the GTDI version.

That's my 2 cents :)   HTH.

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Hi SHOdded! Just to be on the safe side I had the water pump and all the associated parts for the cams replaced as well as the water pump by my regular mechanic. He also replaced the engine coolant and oil and filter with new also. Mine takes a one or two year specific ($$$) green coolant that he got directly from the local Ford dealer. The engine has 106,000 miles on it and I'm on an oil change plan so the oil gets changed every 3 months with a synthetic blend oil regardless of the mileage. We bought the car new with 35 miles on it and it's been pretty darn reliable for us. I know what you are talking about with regard to the specific cam chains, gears, sprockets, VVT solenoids, guides, etc. as Rock auto sent me the wrong set up and then would not take them back because by the time that my mech got the timing cover off the block and found out that I had the wrong parts over 100 days had elapsed, and they said "Sorry Charlie" 30 days for a return and not one second more even if we screw up. I'm just plain out $350.00 but at least I'm not worried that I'll be along the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Thanks for your two cents worth. Hopefully, somebody will read this thread and see that there is more than one set of timing chains and not have the trouble that I went through. C-YA ! AV8R        

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  • 2 weeks later...

Looks like you have things well under control now.  The only change I would advise would be to go to full synthetic oil, ecoboost engines really do thrive on it.  Something like Pennzoil Platinum/Ultra Platinum, RP HPS, Redline would be top choices.  Pennzoil is relatively inexpensive for the protection it provides.

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