1997 Tauras 3.0 Camshaft Position Sensor


JohnT396
08-08-2006, 10:01 PM
My "check engine light" is on so I got a computer readout saying I need to change the sensor. I don't have the manual for the car and can't find the unit. I was told by the store I purchased the replacement part that it was on the distributor. But if it is, I can't find it. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Anything particular I should know about changing the sensor? Thanks!!

shorod
08-08-2006, 11:12 PM
Do you have the 12V engine (no "24V DOHC" badge on the front fenders)? If so, it appears the Camshaft Position (CMP) sensor is located in the front of the forward cylinder head on the driver's side (if in US).

If you'd like a copy of the procedure for changing it out, with photos, send me a private message with an e-mail address for you that can accept PDF attachments.

-Rod

shorod
08-08-2006, 11:18 PM
Oooh, on the 1997 that doesn't look like much fun. I was looking over the 1998 service manual for my SHO engine when I posted the previous message. When I pulled up the 1997 3.0L 12V, it is quite a bit different. The offer still stands to send you the procedure though.

-Rod

JohnT396
08-09-2006, 06:34 AM
Shorod, thanks for the offer. My car is not an SHO model and I think the engines are very different between the cars. My car is a standard L or LS model, 3.0 Fuel Injected.

way2old
08-09-2006, 07:41 AM
The sensor is located under the air intake hose that goes to the throttle body. It is also under a molded wiring harness. It is easily replaced once you get to it. Just a couple of small bolts that hold it in place. When you remove the sensor, look at the part the sensor bolts on. There is a small "C" shaped piece that spins with the engine that tells the PCM when number 1 cylinder comes up on compression. These are bad about breaking and causing the code to appear. If the syncronizer is bad, let us know and we will help in the replacement.

shorod
08-09-2006, 02:27 PM
Shorod, thanks for the offer. My car is not an SHO model and I think the engines are very different between the cars. My car is a standard L or LS model, 3.0 Fuel Injected.

The procedure should be in your inbox.

-Rod

JohnT396
08-09-2006, 05:19 PM
Thanks for your quick response. I was able to replace the unit with no issues. It was a bit difficult getting under the wiring harness but that's the fun of working on your own car. I figure I saved about $150 doing it myself, not bad!!

John

Colt Hero
08-11-2006, 10:05 PM
Way2Old:

I had this same problem with my Taurus (also '97 3.0) a couple of years ago. I was able to change the sensor (2 5.5mm bolts, but VERY tight ... used a tiny ignition wrench turning a teensy bit each time), but the sychro was history underneath. I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to get that stupid synchro out without destroying the wiring tray (full of wires) tightly clamped down on top of the sensor. The tray snaked around and through the molded aluminum head and couldn't be raised but 1/4 inch or so. The synchro is long - about 12 inches. It looked to be physically impossible - the synchro had to be pulled straight up, but the stupid wiring tray could not be moved. I finally took it to a mechanic who finished the job for $60 (I had bought the synchro already for ~$120). When I picked the car up I asked him how he got the thing out, but he didn't respond. When I checked the tray later on, it didn't look like it was broken. How the heck did he get the synchro out? People had told me to just break the tray, but I didn't believe that. Is there a trick to this????

way2old
08-13-2006, 02:42 PM
the tray will flex enough to remove and install the syncronizer. Look around and remove any attaching bolts or holders. Tight, but it can be done.

bud01z
08-19-2006, 01:46 PM
Can you send me the procedure for replacing the camshaft sensor on a 1996 Ford Taurus? Thanks for the help!

shorod
08-19-2006, 11:57 PM
Can you send me the procedure for replacing the camshaft sensor on a 1996 Ford Taurus? Thanks for the help!

Yep, if you can send me a private message with an e-mail address for you that can accept PDF attachments.

-Rod

LouNaTech
09-30-2006, 01:37 AM
I'm having the same problem...97 GL 3.0L 12V Vulcan that failed smog cert due to an error code P0340 (Camshaft Position Sensor CKT Malfunction).

The smog tech at that place where I got it done told me that all I needed to do was buy a sensor at an Autoparts store & swap it out.

He didn't bother to mention that the job wasn't that simple.

Here's one of many links that concerned me enough to do some more research:
http://www.lasvegasmercury.com/2004/MERC-Aug-12-Thu-2004/24500875.html

I've contacted shorod via this forum and he's going to forward the .pdf instructions to me...

I passed the smog check well under the bar so hopefully replacing the CMP sensor will get rid of the error on my dash & allow me to pass the smog!

shorod
09-30-2006, 02:41 PM
Hmmm, ignore the first response I gave you to your private message. For some reason, the service manual I was looking at erroneously gave me a different definition for the P0340 code. I've just resent you the procedure for replacing the CMP.

Definition:
P0340 - Camshaft Position (CMP) Sensor Circuit Malfunction
The test fails when the PCM can no longer detect the signal from the CMP sensor.

Possible Causes:
CMP circuit open
CMP circuit short to GND
CMP circuit short to PWR
SIG RTN open (VR sensor)
CMP GND open (Hall effect sensor)
CMP misinstalled (Hall effect sensor)
Damaged CMP sensor shielding
Damaged CMP sensor
Damaged PCMDiagnostic Aides:
Harness routing, harness alterations, improper shielding, or electrical interference from other improperly functioning systems may have intermittent impact on the CMP signal.

There are numerous postings in this forum regarding changing the CMP sensor. Search the forum for camshaft or CMP and you'll likely find the details you need.

-Rod

LouNaTech
09-30-2006, 07:39 PM
Hmmm, ignore the first response I gave you to your private message. For some reason, the service manual I was looking at erroneously gave me a different definition for the P0340 code. I've just resent you the procedure for replacing the CMP.

Definition:
P0340 - Camshaft Position (CMP) Sensor Circuit Malfunction
The test fails when the PCM can no longer detect the signal from the CMP sensor.

Possible Causes:

CMP circuit open
CMP circuit short to GND
CMP circuit short to PWR
SIG RTN open (VR sensor)
CMP GND open (Hall effect sensor)
CMP misinstalled (Hall effect sensor)
Damaged CMP sensor shielding
Damaged CMP sensor
Damaged PCMDiagnostic Aides:
Harness routing, harness alterations, improper shielding, or electrical interference from other improperly functioning systems may have intermittent impact on the CMP signal.

There are numerous postings in this forum regarding changing the CMP sensor. Search the forum for camshaft or CMP and you'll likely find the details you need.

-Rod

Thanks a bunch Rod!

I don't know what the deal with the service codes are either. I originally had a buddy check out the Taurus with an OBDII device (a pretty nice one too) last year when the check engine soon (CES) light came on for the first time.

He tried to reset the error with the tool, but the CES light came right back on immediately. When he ran several tests, the error code kept coming back with P0340 but we could never figure out what the specific code meant. I googled until my fingers fell off, but I could never track down the code's meaning for my "1997 Taurus GL" (only for other cars...each car had a little different meaning). The code meant different things for different years of the Taurus too...so I was stumped! I just kept driving the thing with the light on since it was running OK. Then came the smog test...

The smog test machine (with dyno & computer) is what finally let me know what the code meant...it's right on my failed smog check report. The funny thing is that I actually passed the emissions testing well under the bar...go figure. It seems any error code that starts with a "P" will cause you to flunk the smog test. Basically, don't bother going to get a smog test if any idiot lite is lit on your dash!

I'm not totally clear as of yet if I need to worry about purchasing the special tool to ensure the alignment of the camshaft or if all I need to do is note the position of the sensor doo-hickey when I pull it off and make sure that the one I put back on is in the same position? If the sensor is the only thing that's bad...I shouldn't have to worry about the the Camshaft synchro assembly or it's position...right?

I'm still searching for more information...:dunno:

Thanks so much for the instructions! The last page is what I'm looking at (but the procedure is for replacing the CMP and resetting the Synchro assembly...I may just need to to replace the sensor only...)

- Lou

mwt878991
09-30-2006, 08:03 PM
I will admit it.

I broke the tray when I did my kids 99 Vulcan.

I was lucky and it was just the top part that was bad. The syncronizer was still good on mine.

Mike
:smokin:

LouNaTech
09-30-2006, 09:41 PM
I will admit it.

I broke the tray when I did my kids 99 Vulcan.

I was lucky and it was just the top part that was bad. The syncronizer was still good on mine.

Mike
:smokin:

That sounds just like something that I'd do :grinno:

I've found several little tools that are 7/32...that's the ISO size that fits the two little bolts. I also read that someone used a 5.5mm wrench (7/32 is the same as 5.55mm)...they're basicly the same.

I had a really little set of open end wrenches from back when I was an Armorer in the Army...that should do the trick. It's really short, though, so I don't know if I'll be able to get enough torque on it to break the rear bolt loose (may need to use an improvised breaker bar on the end of the wrench for a little extra umpf...

I'll let you know if I end up breaking the wire conduit too :banghead:

I'm committed to getting this thing done myself, but just for the heck of it I'll call the dealer and see what they charge.

I'm a computer geek by day...not a mechanic. I've put in car stereos & alarms before (used to do that for extra cash) but I haven't played much with the mechanical stuff since my first two cars (69' Chevy Impala Wagon & 68 ChevyII/Nova back in High School). I could fix darn-near anything on those two vehicles with a hammer, plug wrench, set of screwdrivers, open-end wrench & bearing grease...ahh the good ole' days.

I pretty much gave up on working on anything with a computer attached once I finally had enough money to buy a "newer" car. I can perform all the routine maintenance & all, but this is the most involved project I've had on the Taurus...I just don't want to end up doing more harm then good.

Does anyone else have any words of wisdom or war stories? :1zhelp:

- Lou

LouNaTech
10-01-2006, 08:54 PM
Update:

I worked on the Taurus this afternoon and was able to reach the CMP sensor without much trouble. I loosened up the bolts on the plastic wire-housing and pushed it out of the way very carefully only to discover that the previous owner must have broken the tray...oh well...that made my job easier. I discovered that the tray was split in half and held together with an old zip-tie (which I snipped off). With the top of the tray off, it was easy to flex it and bend it out of the way.

With the wire harnes & tray pinned back out of the way with a couple of daisy-chained zip-ties, it was easy to get to both of the bolts.

I also removed the plastic housing on top of the accelerator linkage assembly to make even more room.

Once I removed the CMP sensor, I found that there was a little metal C-shaped circular rotating flange that spins around in circles at the top of the synchro aparatus.

This is that part that must be getting reduced to metal shavings, prompting the replacement of the entire camshaft synchro assembly. I got lucky...it wasn't broken, just badly bent up. When the CMP sensor failed, it must have disintegrated, crashing into the rotating C on the top of the synchro.

I blew out the top of the synchro area with a can of compressed air & cleaned out all of the tiny pieces of plastic and metal that came from the insides of the CMP sensor that was totally thrashed. Thank goodness that the CMP pieces didn't break the rotating metal "C" on the top of the synchro!!

Then I had to turn over the engine a few times to get the metal C into a good position to reach it so I could bend it back into shape (very carefully).

After I repeated that process several times using various things like needle-nose locking plyers, the back of a socket wrench, a big screwdriver, and a file that I placed behind the flange as a back-stop.

Long-story short, I managed to get the C flange back into shape after multiple bends, tweaks & taps. Then, I installed the new CMP sensor without a hitch.

I had to remove the battery cable from the positive side (not just the negitive side like the instructions indicated) to get the error to reset...but now the SES light that's been lit for over a year is off!!!

Looks like I did it!!!:ylsuper:

Thanks to all who helped out with instructions and recommendations, especially ShoRod!

- Lou

shorod
10-01-2006, 11:38 PM
Congratulations, and thank you for the detailed follow up. There is no doubt those will come in handy for someone in the future.

-Rod

TomV
10-02-2006, 11:42 AM
Do a search for 'Cam Sensor Taurus' on this forum. You will see a post answered by me to a post specifically titled 'Cam Sensor on 97 Taurus'. The specifics are in that response. Do not include the words 'on 97' or you will get an error message stating the words are shorter than 3 letters long.

I hope that your synchronizer vane is not too damaged or you will not be able to replace it as easily as this procedure describes. My procedure works if you can record the position of the rotating vane relative to various slots on the assembly. If it is just bent you should be able to determine and record the positions of the vane edges.

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