Cam position sensor

Rodeo Joe

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1997 Thunderbird LX 3.8L/4.2 Wannabe
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Car has a pending code for the sensor and it looks like factory doesn't exist anymore. Checked RockAuto and I don't really see the big brands for these as say the O2 sensors. Any brand I should go with? The have Standard, NTK, Cardone and a bunch of others.

Joe
 
Negative!!😆

Joe
 
Car has a pending code for the sensor and it looks like factory doesn't exist anymore. Checked RockAuto and I don't really see the big brands for these as say the O2 sensors. Any brand I should go with? The have Standard, NTK, Cardone and a bunch of others.

Joe
Standard or NTK should be fine. just don't use the Standard "T Series" for anything ever.
 
Standard or NTK should be fine. just don't use the Standard "T Series" for anything ever.
My daughters 98 explorer 5.0 uses the same basic sensor setup. I had to replace it in the spring. One thing you may have to check is to see if the shaft inside the housing is worn out. As you know that thing is basically half of a distributor. The housing, bushings and shaft can wear out over time. For my daughter I needed to replace the whole thing because the shaft was wobbling.
 
The stock 3.8 n/a is fairly slow its like 145 or so hp in a 3700 lb car but like any engine the right upgrades make a big difference. Now when I say slow don't take that as if I'm ragging on the car or design. The 5.0 was only in the 170s or 180s something like that. None of the are "fast" out of the box but can be easily made to preform rather well in my opinion.
 
I might need one of these also. My 94 SC gets a random cam sensor code. The CEL sometimes goes on for a second and then turns off so it's never been a real issue. 🤔
 
@Rodeo Joe
I just got this today:

Screenshot_20231009_144817.jpg

Symptoms as follows:

  • 1st drive of day normal
  • 2nd drive has symptoms
  • Starting difficult and odd sound
  • Starts immediately on second attempt
  • Standing in gear for a minute or so, no symptoms
  • Pulling into road, 2-3 bursts off odd hesitation, doesn't feel like a misfire, feels longer
  • Driving on, normal, highway speed, normal
  • Then on deceleration, on two occasions, RPM drop to zero for a second; check engine light comes on simultaneously but extinguishes as soon as RPM go back to normal
I have a longer drive planned tomorrow. Ugh!

Where do I start? If sensor related, can I start by cleaning connector pins? Should I disconnect the battery to reset stuff? Battery voltage is normal, all fluids and temperatures normal.
 
I'd be inclined to look at the crank sensor and connection first. All the cam sensor does is help the engine figure out which stroke the cylinders are on to line up the injector pulse - once the engine is going it doesn't do anything and certainly wouldn't cause the issues you're describing. A flaky CKPS on the other hand, sure would!
 
That's the crank sensor. You can see the reluctor wheel behind the harmonic balancer. FWIW on the 4.6s that's inside the timing cover.

Before replacing the sensor or messing with the wiring you could start by making sure there's no debris stuck to the end of the CKPS or damage to the reluctor wheel.
 
Just started the engine. Wiggled the sensor wire a little. Runs normal.

Then got back in the car, revved engine up to about 2,500 rpm twice. Rpm drops to zero briefly. Then engine slowly dies.

Check engine light is now on solid.
 
CKP would give a P0335 or higher number code .. P0320 points to Cam sensor.

The CKP can be tested during engine cranking. If the CKP stays on during cranking, the sensor is not reading (probably won't start either) .. if the light goes out it's OK. 🤔
 
P0320 is a cam sensor code, not a crank sensor. The newer style 3.8 crank sensors rarely fail unless due to physical damage, however the cam sensor can and does fail without warning. If you look on top of the timing cover, in front of the lower intake manifold, you’ll see the cam sensor, and it is 2 5.5mm bolts holding it down. Pop that off and as long as there is no physical damage to it, it is easy to replace. Sometimes the bearing goes bad in the synchronizer part that goes down into the timing cover, so if there is damage to the sensor, you’ll have to replace the whole assembly, which is a little more involved.
 
If you're looking for the cam sensor, it's under the coil pack.

Busy weekend so I never had time to change mine out.

BTW, my code is P0340 and it finally threw the SES light.

Joe
 
Getting too late here.
I briefly read about the cam sensor. Apparently that requires some specialty tool to reinstall it (?).

About to test drive now to see if cleaning the crankshaft sensor did anything. Will report back shortly.
 
...didn't even go for a drive.

Started car. Starts fine. Idles fine. Rev engine to about 2,500 rpm twice. Revs settle down. Then two brief bursts of rpms dropping to 500. Code P0320 is also back as pending.

Ugh.
 
Time for a new one brother. 😬

Joe
 
I might need one of these also. My 94 SC gets a random cam sensor code. The CEL sometimes goes on for a second and then turns off so it's never been a real issue. 🤔

Is this accompanied by hesitation or a momentary drop to zero of the tach needle even though the engine is running?
 

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