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About to replace exhaust manifolds + gaskets

johndough

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1988
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Ford Ranger XLT
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Hi, I’m about to replace the exhaust manifolds and the gaskets on my 1988 2.9L. What is some advice you guys can give me for this? Any tools I can buy to prepare/help make it a little easier or prepare for the worst? Thank you
 


RumPunch

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Vehicle Year
1988
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Ford Bronco II
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
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Total Lift
3"
Tire Size
31x10.50R15
Did mine got Dorma manifolds I used a sander disk to smooth out the insides from all the molding. Got studs I measured length and ordered off line so I didn’t have to worry about bolts hopefully in the future. Gaskets just used factory style came with rebuild kit. Torqued all to spec. As far as tools you name it you could need it if replacing on original heads… socket, ratchet, Seafoam Deep Creep is your friend, patience, rounded off sockets, EZ out, LH drill bits, taps, list goes on. I believe all M8 hardware. Back together, copper Anti-Seize is your friend.
 

rumblecloud

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1-1/2 inch front leveling
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Stock
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31/10.50/15
My credo
What's the worst that could happen?
Lots of penetrating fluid and patience.
My worst case was I had to grind off bolt heads and extract the threads.
Getting to the crossover bolts is not easy but do-able - if you have a crossover.

Best case would be pay someone else to do it:D
 

RumPunch

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Vehicle Year
1988
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Ford Bronco II
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
3"
Tire Size
31x10.50R15
Lots of penetrating fluid and patience.
My worst case was I had to grind off bolt heads and extract the threads.
Getting to the crossover bolts is not easy but do-able - if you have a crossover.

Best case would be pay someone else to do it:D
Hell a set of heads is $5-600 just buy new honestly or remove assembly and work on it on a bench have heads redone and roll on.
 

Cees Klumper

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When I installed a set of those new $500-600 heads (due to coolant loss thru old head) I had to also install a new manifold due to broken off 'ear'. The new heads made for a noticeable improvement in engine power. So x2 on installing hew heads.
 

gaz

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1987
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Ranger 6", BII 4"
Total Drop
Ranger 5sp, BII A4LD
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Ranger 32", BII 28.5"
@johndough ,

The 1st time I had ever pulled a set of manifold was an installed 2.9l, there isn't a ton room and it did not go well. If the 12 original Ford manifold bolts, 6 of them sheared of flush with the head.

In this case, it would have been faster and easier to pull the engine to finish the job.

The next set of original exhaust manifolds I removed were another 2.9, 13 years later. This time I soaked the fasters for a week prior to touching them. I had also learned a few more things and the first thing I did after a week in best penetrating oil I could afford was tighten each bolt just a little before trying to loosen them. All 12 came out without issue??? I chalk this up to the 7P's.

Ever since, I will not touch exhaust manifold fasteners untill they have been drenched for at least ½ a day/shift.

Even with the engine removed, I proceed with this task specific with extreme caution.

Have plenty of oil, be as patient as necessary.
 
Last edited:

lil_Blue_Ford

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Manual
I’ve had very mixed results pulling exhaust manifolds over the years. I want to say only two or three times I’ve gotten the bolts out without breaking anything in the head, the other like 20 times I’ve sheared multiple bolts. Impact seems to help with a little care, but there’s only room to do that with the engine out. Best way I think is to soak in lube after it’s been run a bit a few times. Have to be a little careful with that method that the lube doesn’t catch on fire, but that seems to work well. Arguably a hot engine should make removing the bolts easier, but it’s a bit harder on you and your hands. Of course, most of the time I’ve had to remove a manifold, I have not been able to use those methods.

It is possible to do heads/head gaskets with the engine in the truck, I’ve done that a few times. In that case, I’ll pull the manifold to Y pipe bolts and leave the manifold on the head and work on it out of the truck unless I’ve had it apart before or the bolts seem like they are willing to come free.
 

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