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Header cracked...

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by Mitchs07explorer, February 12, 2018.

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    1. Mitchs07explorer

      Mitchs07explorer Member

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      So Im pretty sure I have the common cracked header issue on my 97 5.0 XLT I just picked up. I'm looking at the Dorman replacements and am wondering if I should just replace the passanger side manifold which is the one that is leaking or if it's better to replace both at the same time? Any advice would be much appreciated, thanks in advance :)
       
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    3. crunchie_frog

      crunchie_frog Active Member

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      I would recommend you wait to make that decision after you do the passenger side. This can be a real PITA job. Having said that the driver side is twice as easy in my opinion. The inside manifold to exhaust bolt is a lot easier to access on the driver side (after removing the front drive shaft, if you have one) and you don't have to deal with the EGR line. There are several good threads on here of how to do both sides.
       
    4. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      I’d only replace the passenger.
       
    5. Mitchs07explorer

      Mitchs07explorer Member

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      IMG_1510.JPG IMG_1509.JPG
      Found my leak or at least one of them, this is the EGR tube right?
       
    6. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      Yeah. Manifold is still likely cracked in half as well
       
    7. 96eb96

      96eb96 Well-Known Member

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      That looks like the EGR tube.
       
    8. Mitchs07explorer

      Mitchs07explorer Member

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      Do they usually give out about the same time? Am I able to replace the egr tube from the top so I can test to see if there is an additional leak or am I going to have to pull the exhaust header anyway?
       
    9. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      It’s very difficult to get the EGR off the manifold. It’s the threads to the manifold that are tough. It can be replaced without pulling the manifold, but I’m betting it’s majorly cracked as well.
       
    10. RandomNerd2000

      RandomNerd2000 Active Member

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      Most people I've been told get the 1 1/16" wrench, remove the oil filler neck and air intake duct and can apparently somehow get the wrench on it, I'd bet on needing a "cheater pipe" though on the end of that wrench. I've got to do the manifold on mine, I have the manifold too, I'm dreading it.
       
    11. Mitchs07explorer

      Mitchs07explorer Member

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      Has anyone used the Dorman replacement? I'm typically not a fan of their products but it seems to be one of the more readily available and "better quality" as far as not buying something as nice as torque monsters.
       
    12. crunchie_frog

      crunchie_frog Active Member

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      Yes, I used the Dorman replacement for the passenger side, no fitment problems.
       
    13. SWIGIN

      SWIGIN Active Member

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      I thought you tubular header guys could upgrade to the better flowing cast iron manifolds?

      They are a lot cheaper and it is said they flow better.
       
    14. OSUChE

      OSUChE Elite Explorer

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      Boy, can I say something about this issue. I’ve towed three trailers up the AlCan with mine. The long tow generates a lot of heat in that corner of the engine compartment and seems to kill these. Each time I’ve ended up with a cracked exhaust manifold. Every time I replaced it, it was with a Dorman. The good news is; Autozone always honored the warranty. The bad news is; the Dorman isn’t any better than the OEM and needed to be replaced every time and it’s not fun.

      The third Dorman was leaking at the time I galled a piston at 195k. I lucked out and found a low miles 98 Merc engine for $600. It came with cast iron headers and runs great, even better IMHO. I truly believe the difference is in the cast iron headers. Just ran down the AlCan again this week with no issues. The cast are cheap, easy to find and worth it!

      Removing the EGR tube is a real PITA. Yours is definitely split. I used a sawzall to cut the tube in half then removed the old header. To reinstall I rigged up a tool using a crows-foot open-end socked attachment attached to a long bolt with jam nuts that I could turn from above the engine. A 1/16 turn open end wrench won’t turn enough down below to flip the wrench for another turn. The header R&R is a LOT easier if you pull the wheel off and remove the fenderwell liner.

      Be sure to use anti-seize on the header and exhaust flange bolts and EGR connection when you put them back in. Also use a high quality gasket. I’ve used Fel-Pro and Mr. Gasket with great results. Use emory cloth on a small flat board to remove any rust from the mating surface of the head beforehand. Snug and tighten the bolts sequentially working from the center of the header and work your way left and right towards the front and rear of the head as you go a step at a time like you would with wheel lugs. Can’t recall the torque setting exactly, believe it was 22-25 ft-lbs. I’m sure someone here can get you that number.

      Finally, be certain those plug wires have good heat shielding and don’t rest anywhere on the header when you’re done or you’ll have a new set of problems

      Good luck, hope this helps!
       
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