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SHO Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What brand and weight of engine oil should I use? Should I use synthetic oil? How often should I change it?
A. This is a subject for endless depate. Rather than attempt to go into the infinite reasonings behind what oil you should use, here are some recommendations that are mostly agreed upon in the SHO community. Most highly recommended is Castrol GTX, change your oil 3000 miles or less, and use 10w-30 in the summer or 5w-30 in the winter. If you have a high mileage SHO (above 100,000 miles) you can also use Castrol GTX High Mileage. Redline and Motorcraft are also up there, with mixed feelings about Mobil 1. Penzoil is not recommended.

What about synthetic oil? Consider this: Whether or not you use synthetic oil, a certain about of contaminants get into your oil, and they are too small to be filtered out. These contaminants stay in your engine until the oil is replaced. If you are going to use synthetic oil and only change your oil every 5000 miles or so, you are going to have that contamination in there for that much longer. Now, if you're going to use synthetic oil and still change it every 3000 miles or less, that is your call, but I hope you have deep pockets. :)

At any rate, the choice is up to you, but remember that more important than the brand or kind of oil you use is how often you change it.

If you are looking for an in-depth discussion of oil and oil filters, visit

Q. What brand and size of oil filter should I use?
A. Again there are many differing opinions on this. The stock Motorcraft works well and you can stick to this. Another option is the Motorcraft FL-1A, which is larger and widely available. Even the Walmart Supertech filters work very well. Least recommended of all is Fram. Again, more important than what kind or size filter is how often you change it. Always use a new filter every time you change the oil.

Q. What is the "60K"? What parts do I need to replace? Why does it need to be done?
A. For the answer, please read this article

Q. When doing the valve shim adjustment (60K), how do I know if my shims need to be replaced?
A. Take a look at the Valve Shim Comparison Page

Q. My SHO won't start! It cranks and cranks, but it won't start up. It isn't getting any spark. What could it be?
A. A big possibility is your crankshaft position sensor (CPS). This sensor may have been damaged by a leaky waterpump or a bad cam seal. See how to change it in the front 60K guide.

Q. I think my power steering pump is bad. There is oil all over it and oil is leaking onto one of my catalytic converters.
A. Before you go and try to replace the pump, there is a good chance that the problem is your cam seals. The rear cam seal can leak all over your power steering pump, making it look like it is going bad. See how to change them in the front 60K guide.

Q. Which swaybars should I use? What about springs and struts?
A. Please look at Alex Winbow's Suspension FAQ Page.

Q. My power steering fluid is dark grey or black.What can I do?
A. This seems to be a common problem with the SHO. There are several methods of  flushing the power steering fluid which will be covered in a guide coming to the maintenance section.

Q. I get a puff of smoke when I first start my car, I think it's burning oil. What's the problem?
A. You may have to replace your valve stem seals. Please have a look at Jason Zuress' step by step guide.

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