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Wrench holding on exhaust manifold

James Morse

1997 XLT 4.0L 4x4 1999 Mazda B3000 2wd
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There are two trucks. Both are sorted. Probably selling the '99.
When I got the truck, I didn't notice this at the time, and showed dealer after, he said he didn't know - I believe him - anyway - on driver side, one of the studs is broken or if it's a bolt - whatever - anyway - a pair of vise grips is holding this together there. It's probably been on there for years. Frankly I'm a little pissed because the truck was newly inspected when I got it so somebody passed it, but I suspect it was a dealer/inspector friendly arrangement where they just passed it. Like I used to do years ago where I knew the guys and they'd just ask me, is it good? and put on a sticker. Anyway, I have a bad feeling that when I take it, they'll flunk it - if you read the laws technically that wrench means it's not properly attached, as in 'if any bolts are missing' etc. No doubt if you take the wrench off it will leak exhaust there which would also fail it.

Anyway, I've been told it's not that hard to take off the intake then I can fix this. Is this true? Is it something I can do?

Both taillight lenses have small holes in the bottoms of them and those will fail - an easy fix, but, it's another cost - again - those passed, to get the sticker that was on it when I got it, but, you know darn well they will reject them. Just venting about that. I'm thinking of going down the street where I got it and asking him where he took it for inspection, unless he got it already inspected.

What I'm saying essentially is he sold me a truck that had a valid sticker but it shouldn't have had one because it would fail on at least two things. You can say, buyer beware, I should have seen these things, but, still seems like dealer ought to bear some responsibility which I doubt they would. Kinda sucks. I can talk to him. It kinda sucks because brakes and taillights and crap like that, no biggie, but fixing the exhaust sounds daunting.
IMG_2759.JPG
 


dvdswan

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It really depends on your abilities. Have you taken a mirror to see if there is a broken bolt in there? Drilling out a bolt in a tight area is a (insert Samuel L Jackson favorite adjective - MF) because you need to be a the correct angle and center of the bolt. It's also a very time consuming project. You could pay someone to fix it which could be a pricey cost depending on the tech. You could also pull the head and drill it out on the bench, which would be the "correct way" do repair.

In all honesty, I would try to work with the dealer, his tech missed it, you missed it, maybe you could split the cost. Who really knows how long its been there. Only the person who installed the vise grip. Heck, copywrite the photo and sell it to vise grip for a promotional cost.
 

James Morse

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My credo
There are two trucks. Both are sorted. Probably selling the '99.
It looks like what is supposed to be there is a perhaps 1/4" quite long stud that threads into the block. It would make sense for the studs to be long to make it easier to start the nuts on when replacing the manifold. That's all I see on the rear (good) manifold attachment, a long stud with a nut on it.

On the broken one, the pliers are covering the hole so I can't see if there is the rest of the stud in there or not. There is a washer under the jaws of the pliers on top of the manifold which makes me think maybe they spaced it out a little to clear the rest of a broken stud. It would make sense that if you broke off a stud that's where it would break. But that's just conjecture at this point.

I wouldn't doubt that you could break other studs when removing the manifold to fix this problem - maybe I'm overly pessimistic about that.

I can take off the vise grips then I would be able to see or to poke something in the hole and see is the rest of the stud there. I guess what you are saying is if it is there, I might be able to get away with not drilling it out? As opposed to, if it's broken flush to the head then yeah it would have to be drilled out then what a thread insert? I'm a bit hesitant to take off the vise grips because what if I can't get them on tight like they are now I would be in a world of hurt. I guess I'm going to have to take them off to know what's going on but I'd just like to sort of have a possible plan. If in fact some of the stud is still there, what's the success rate in getting them out?

Let me know what you think. Thanks.
 

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You have several other bolts holding the exhaust manifold on.. worst case you have a small exhaust leak there if you remove it and leave it off.

IMO you are better off trying to drill out the broken bolt (if there actually is one) with the manifold on the truck. Maybe you will get lucky and someone just lost the bolt and that was their fix? Either way if you remove the rest of the bolts to get the manifold off, you are almost guaranteed to snap off at least one or two more as well as the two bit bolts that hold the Y pipe onto the manifold... it sucks to drill and tap in a tight place like that but doing one is way better than doing several.
 

don4331

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I can take off the vise grips then I would be able to see or to poke something in the hole and see is the rest of the stud there. I guess what you are saying is if it is there, I might be able to get away with not drilling it out? As opposed to, if it's broken flush to the head then yeah it would have to be drilled out then what a thread insert? I'm a bit hesitant to take off the vise grips because what if I can't get them on tight like they are now I would be in a world of hurt. I guess I'm going to have to take them off to know what's going on but I'd just like to sort of have a possible plan. If in fact some of the stud is still there, what's the success rate in getting them out?
I have a 100% success rate of getting the bolt/stud out when head is removed from engine and put on my buddy's new EDM.
My success rate is 80% or better when head is bolted to the table on the mill table (I'm including broke drill bits & taps as well as cases where threads were damaged in failures).

My success rate is much closer to 0, when attempting to do it within the confines of the engine compartment.

For your case, we start with the mirror to get picture to see it there is anything in the hole. Trying small wire into hole works too.
You might be lucky and individual just used the vice grips to hold the manifold on while re-assembling and got called away before installing last bolt and is wondering to this day what happened to his vice grips.​
If there is bolt/stud in the hole, where is it broken - at the interface between block and manifold or at/just below manifold surface?
Again, I have had better luck when bolt is broken at block and manifold interface as I can use the manifold to pilot a large bit to allow me to start the hole. With hole started, I can keep a smaller bit centered give me chance to use easy out, or heat wrench.​
You do have advantage in that your can get behind the stud. So, you can drill out the broken part completely including threads, then replace it with a bolt, lock washer and nut. Not exactly OEM, but functional.

Attempting to remove the manifold is asking for more broken bolts - If you want to do that, run her hard to get things hot, then get at it before it cools; use an impact if possible (keeps force rotational, not bending).
I go to muffler shop to have exhaust disconnected when I can - they have better tools and more experience. The cost is usually worth the time saved/frustration avoided.​
 

James Morse

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There are two trucks. Both are sorted. Probably selling the '99.
Thanks for info. It sounds like what I should do is take off the vise grips then be able to see, what if anything is in the hole.
I would indeed be lucky if in fact it was a bolt that didn't get put in. The thing is the other ones are studs so I would tend to think this is/was also a stud, but who knows.
If I take the grips off and it doesn't seem like a noticeable leak, but the stud is broken off, I might get away with it in inspection. I'm just afraid that if they are poking around in engine compartment and see the grips they will fail it.
I'm going to ask the guy where I got it where he did inspection, if in fact it was him that did it, and go there - if they passed it before they should pass it again. But that's all conjecture plus I want to fix it anyway because when I go to sell it I'd either morally have to tell the buyer or they would see it. Bottom line is it aint right, but if it weren't for inspection it probably would be fine for years.
Seems like probably no harm to take the grips off, that I should be able to get them back on, worst case. Main thing is I don't know what I'm dealing with yet and like you say depending what it is maybe at that point I take it to a shop and get a price.
You confirmed what I suspected that if I try to take other bolts/studs out they will break. Seems like a not-perfect design if this always happens.
Also that was a good idea I might be able to get the dealer to go in half on it or something... maybe.
Will update once I've looked at it better and know what I'm dealing with.
 

stmitch

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The vice grips have to be squeezing something, so there's likely some amount of the stud protruding through the manifold.
There are 6 fasteners holding the manifold in place. IF the only broken, damaged one is the one with vice grips then I'd probably just pull them off and drive it. I'd be surprised if that leaked enough to even be noticeable, let alone fail inspection. Especially if inspection places aren't catching stuff like that to begin with.
 

James Morse

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There are two trucks. Both are sorted. Probably selling the '99.
Took off the vise grips, and turns out I can stick a wire right through there so, there's no stud in there.
The stud doesn't go into the block per se there is a flange sticking out (part of the block). it's the front driver side stud so that's the one that the stud holds the oil dipstick holder.
Don't know if lineup is good or if threads are any good. I assume the manifold itself has no threads?
Have to find out thread size for studs. Would probably be a good idea to try to chase the threads if I had the tool which I don't.
I was thinking alternatively if the stud is 1/4, couldn't you take a 3/16 nut and bolt and get on there? It would at least hold the dipstick thing on.
With vise grip off it sounds no different. Looks like the manifold gasket is pretty new, it's still shiny on the edge.
With pliers off it is 100% better as to inspection-wise. As long as it's not leaking exhaust, which I don't see, plus when warmed up it would probably not be worse, as far as a missing stud you would have to be specifically looking for that to see it.
I guess I have the option to just leave as-is, or try putting an under-size bolt through, but seeing as I'm not looking at a drill-out situation, seems like it would be good to just make it right if I can.
Anyway that seemed like good news so far.
Thanks.
 

Deiimos

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Manifold itself should not be threaded, or at least the one’s I’ve dealt with weren’t. Just a hole for a bolt or stud to go through.


Kind of funny seeing the vice grips there. I’ll say years ago an oil pan bolt broke on an old car when me and my dad were trying to remove it for a new filter, and it got a small C-clamp in its place until we had a chance to drill it out and re-tap threads, which we never got around to, and it didn't leak. :whistle:
 

James Morse

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There are two trucks. Both are sorted. Probably selling the '99.
I believe threads both sides of stud are M8-1.25 x 40mm total length
 

Shran

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Nice, I'd buy a good quality tap and chase the threads and throw a bolt in there. That is a super good surprise that there is not a broken off bolt in there!
 

James Morse

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There are two trucks. Both are sorted. Probably selling the '99.
Bolt vs stud? I always wondered why would you want studs, but I suppose it helps in getting the manifold lined up?

Yeah hopefully dodged a bullet so far.
 

Shran

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Doesn't matter. I'd run a bolt there. That is more than likely what was there anyway - most RBV engines just have bolts BUT some have a bolt with a threaded nub on it - the purpose of that is to hold something else in place, usually a dipstick or something like that.
 

James Morse

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There are two trucks. Both are sorted. Probably selling the '99.
Do you think I need to get this special bolt with nub? Seems like I could just run the bolt through the dipstick holder. Seems like there wouldn't be lots of times where I have to take off the dipstick holder, and if I did the bolt should be free enough to just take the bolt out to get it off ? I was going to get probably a 40mm long bolt, I have some 25mm they aren't long enough to get more than a couple threads in the block. Haven't chased the threads yet, figure I'll put a little oil in there and try to get it started by feel, as long as I don't cross thread it, should be ok.
 

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You could try an extra long bolt with the shank fully threaded. Then tighten a first nut to hold the exhaust and a second nut to hold the dipstick.
 

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