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Old 11-14-2006, 07:26 PM
scottson scottson is offline
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Camshaft Position Sensor/96 Ranger 3.0

The other day the check engine light came on. I used my obdII code reader and retreived the code: p0340 (camshaft Position Sensor). I read through several forums on this site and got a wealth of info.

My truck showed no obvious signs of a problem. It ran fine. The next day I bought a new camshaft position sensor at ford for $79.00. The ford dealer is just around the corner from me and it was convienient.

The sensor on my ranger is located toward the back of the engine near the firewall. the electrical connector is difficult to see so instead of disconnecting it first, I removed the two (7/32-socket) bolts that secure the sensor assy.
then with the sensor detatched I was able to move it in better a position to remove the electrical connector. I still managed to snap off the connector locking feature when I disconnected the connector (Darn!). Oh well, the connector still connects tight so I don't think it will work free.

With the camshaft sensor removed I was able to see that the magnet had fallen out, another metal piece, and some plastic bits had broken off the camshaft sensor. This was easy to determine because i compared it to the new sensor I just bought.

So Where did these pieces go? They were in the piece that was still attatched to the engine which is called the Synchronizer shaft. I was surprised that my truck was still running? Basically, the synchronizer shaft is similar to a distributor shaft in an older car but there is no distributor cap or rotor.

I was able to remove all the broken bits with a vacuum cleaner. then I was able to see if the "C" vane assy was bent or damaged. This "C" Vane assy rotates when the engine turns and is part of the magnetic induction pickup that interupts the magnetic field and sends this signal to the engine control module (computer) for ignition and fuel scheduling.

It is important that this "C" Vane is not bent or distorted because it continuiously rotates and passes through a small gap (about 1/8th. in.) in the camshaft position sensor. When my camshaft sensor magnet fell out it bound up with the rotating "C" vane and it bent the vane and then the bent vane caused more damage to the camshaft position sensor. I was fortunate that my "C" vane was only partially bent and for some reason kept running. Other folks as you may have read, have had the vane assy badly damaged and then required to replace the complete synchronizer Shaft assy.

I WAS ABLE TO BEND AND RESHAPE THE "C" VANE ASSY AND AVOIDED HAVING TO REPLACE THE SYNCHRONIZER SHAFT!

How did I do it? I was able to place a short socket of the correct diameter into the inside portion of the "C" Vane. Note: the "C"Vane is not actually in the shape of a "C", it is actually perfectly round but not a complete circle similar to a "C". I placed the socket inside the "C"Vane and then used some Needle Nose pliers and squeezed the vane to conform to the socket. Then You can use the socket to see how well your doing because you want the vane to be as round as possible next to the perfectly round socket. Note: I wound up using a metric socket (I don't remember the Size) because it fit nicely inside. Note: using a mirror may also help to view your progress.

Note: I also disconncted a double vacuum connection that is located near the sensor to gain better access.

Once I got the vane as straight as I could, I used compressed air to blow out any debris remaining in the synchronizer Shaft. I installed the electrical connector on the camshaft position sensor first, then I installed the two small retaining bolts (7/32 socket). Don't overtighten these small bolts! Just snug and then a sinch more.

I started my truck and it ran perfect. I cleared the Check Engine Light with my Code Tool. All is well. Hope This info Helps. Sincerely, Scott
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Old 11-16-2006, 09:10 AM
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Rockledge Rockledge is offline
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Nice job on the repair. Good creative thinking there. I believe this is the first time I've heard of someone actually attempting to fix the synchro shaft vane. Assuming the repair holds up over time, it's something that could save people a lot of time and money.
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Old 11-19-2006, 03:03 PM
scottson scottson is offline
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Thanks! Still Running Fine!

Thanks for the comment!

I was fortunate that my Vane assy wasn't bent badly - only about 1/8th in. With a mirror I checked the base of the Vane to see if it was cracked and it looked OK. After reading about the relative difficulty of replacing the synchronizer shaft I thought it was worth a try.

I should point out to others that it's very important that the C-Vane be bent as Round as possible or there's a chance the new camshaft position sensor will get damaged. Using The right size round socket or similar object can really help to check for proper "Roundness".

Good Luck! Scott
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Old 09-19-2009, 04:51 AM
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killit killit is offline
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I had the same situation. Only intended on replacing the sensor. At first glance i thought the vane on the shaft was in good shape and that i had just lucked out. the magnet had broken off and was right in the center of the vane but broken into a couple peices and plastic/metal "dust" was found. I removed the debris with compressed air. I could NOT get the new sensor to seat properly and then realized the C vane was intact but BENT. I did NOT want to spend the money nor the effort to replace the whole assembly b/c i'm already several hundred dollars into this truck simply as a "spare" truck for hunting etc. I was literally going to put the old sensor back on and just leave it unplugged (the truck still runs decent on PCM data)... and live with the CEL lit.

I figured what the heck, before doing that i may as well make an attempt to straighten it out. I took a pair of pliers gripped the vane and outside of shaft with plier from 2 different angles and squeezed almost as hard as i could. I really was surprised it wasn't breaking completely off! actually it bent back to "near-round", not perfect by any means but i thought there was a 30% chance i could get the new sensor to seat, and 10% chance it would work without breaking the new sensor upon the 1st revolution of the vane.

Hooked it all up, started, ran the same as it did before actually, but the code cleared and hasn't came back .. its been about 300 miles! yea!!
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Old 09-19-2009, 09:44 AM
scottson scottson is offline
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My Original Repair is Still Working!

I'm glad to hear another "C Vane" Bending and Straightening worked! I am the original poster of this Thread and I just wanted to inform others that I haven't had any problems since my original "C Vane" fix in Nov 2006! Good luck with your fix! Scott
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Old 09-19-2009, 09:44 AM
 
 
 
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