Manifold Gasket Help | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Manifold Gasket Help


December 30, 2002
Reaction score
City, State
Charlotte, NC
Year, Model & Trim Level
'98 5.0 V8 Eddie Bauer
Manifold Gasket Help!!!!!!!!!Car is apart!!!

Like so many others have done, I am replacing my passenger side exhaust manifold gasket. I need help with removing the manifold-to-exhaust pipe flange bolts. There are two bolts that attach the pipe to the manifold. There is a bolt in the back, closer to the engine, that I cannot access. There must be a way....How do I access this bolt? Is a special socket needed or something? I have already removed the bolts attaching the manifold to the engine.

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why do you need to take it off? i havent done mine yet, but when i do i plan on pulling the manifold back with a ratchet strap just enough to slide the gasket in and tighten it back down. i really hope you dont have to pull the manifold off...

James, you are scaring me. I thought you were the one that posted the info on the Pearcy's Dead Soft Gasket. You haven't done it yet? Anyways, what is a wrachet strap? I just thought I would need to remove the manifold in order to properly clean it and check the alignment of the gasket in case trimming is needed. I'll give a wratched stap a try if you think it will work. Just let me know what one is....

Any body out there is cyperspace that can lend a suggestion on this?

a ratchet strap is, well... uh a ratchet strap. :D most are used for tie downs for ATV's, etc. you can get them at walmart, autozone, or just about anywere else. its just a tie down strap with a ratcheting mechanism on it that tightens it.


Thanks. Now I am really embarressed. I sell the polyester technical filament yarn to the leading producer of tie-down straps. Guess I didn't think that one through too much!!

Originally posted by TAS98xlt
I just did this! You'll need really long extentions and a swivel neck to get to the bolt from the bottom.

What Ted said! I think I used (from the socket back) a short extension, then the swivel, then a long extension. It's best to attack it from down where the passengers feet would go. Good luck!


you can in fact change the header/manifold gasket and bolts without even touching the collector bolts. take all the bolts out at the head and pull the header back. i held it back with a ratchet strap. no need at all to remove collector bolts or remove the header itself. i used a long flathead screwdriver to get the old gasket up, and once pulled up a few inches i pulled the rest off by hand. new one just slides right in- then you can line it back up and bolt it up. it took MANY re-torqueings on the Percy gaskets. i would say at least 25-30 times before they finally form-set in.

and it sure is nice not having that lame ticking noise. :)


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I tried to do this without success. How/where did you attach the strap? I could only get a gap of like 5mm. How long did this job take you? I'm tempted to take this POS into the shop and have them replace both sides. I live in an apartment and may just bite the bullet and pay, or try totally removing the manifolds.

My Explorer also has those spark plug cylinder covers that make sliding in a new gasket even tougher. In fact, I still haven't been able to replace #3 plug b/c of those covers. For some reason the socket will not set inside the damn covers.

i dont really know about the covers... mine is a 96 with GT-40 heads and yours has GT-40p's. i just wrapped it around one of the tubes of the header and pulled it back. it came back about 2". i then pried the stuck gasket off the head starting at the front and working my way back. had to remove the intake tubing to get to it from the top. it didnt take long at all, actually. i didnt do the driver's side because (a) its not leaking and (b) i didnt have time. ill do it later on.