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  #1  
Old 03-22-2014, 12:29 AM
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Default Heads and manifolds

Have an exhaust leak on my replacement engine on my Tbird.

Long story short - I found a rebuilt engine cheaper than I could rebuild my original so decided to run it.

Used original 1960 / 352 Tbird manifolds on the new engine because they have the flat exhaust connections - didn't need a new exhaust and for those not familiar with the Tbird specific manifolds they have an indention on the driver side rear to add more clearance to the steering box.

The replacement engine has C4AE-G heads.

My question is - do all FE heads have the same size exhaust ports and are they the same distance apart? Specifically will the '60 manifolds fit the '64 heads without leaking?

I realize that originally the Tbird did not have exhaust gaskets and I was tempted not to put them back but every other car I've worked on had gaskets - MG's to Model A's and I've never had problems.

It's leaking at the back of the manifold closest to the firewall. Take a look at the pic below - it almost looks as if the manifold is not long enough to cover the rear exhaust port. Caught it rather quick so not much exhaust residue to show the leak. The passenger side however is working fine.

Plan to remove the manifold and have it surfaced then re-install with gaskets. I did not have the manifold surfaced the first time but checked it with a steel straight edge and it "looked" fine.

Info, ideas and opinions appreciated.....

Eric

Sure is easy to pull the fan and water pump with the hood gone.

Ok - the manifold....
Oh - new bolts and washers - just took the pic after I had bent the tabs up to start the removal process. Also used permatex copper coat when installing the new gaskets and used manifolds. This is after about 1000 miles.
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  #2  
Old 03-22-2014, 11:06 AM
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When I originally put the engine together in my '59 I used the gaskets just because they came with the kit. After a short time I had exhaust leaks on both sides. Since the car didn't have gaskets from the factory I removed them and went metal to metal with Permatex and so far so good. I noticed on mine that the passenger side exhaust manifold is very thin at the back and just barely covers the port. As far as the exhaust ports on the C4AE heads I'm pretty sure they are the same size.

John
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  #3  
Old 03-22-2014, 12:10 PM
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Thanks John.

Still unsure about not using gaskets but when I cleaned up the used manifolds (wire wheel) there were a few slight nicks and imperfections in the surface so I thought the gaskets would be best. The original torq spec is 22-28 ft lbs without gaskets - went with 35 ft lbs on the bolts when re-assembling following a recommendation I had found on another engine that uses gaskets (Torino? can't remember).

Since I plan on surfacing the manifold maybe I'll consider going without the gasket.

Pulled the engine yesterday evening and will be measuring things today and of course I had to rely on the guy that sold me the rebuilt engine when he said the heads had been completely done. Could be that it is warped but it also checks good with the straight edge.

Eric
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Old 03-22-2014, 01:38 PM
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Default Exhaust Manifold Leaks

Eric , believe it or not but I have heard from many other owners that installing the original style metal gaskets work far better . Of coarse that is after running the engine with the locking tabs still open and then torquing after two or tree runs then bending up the locking tabs . Ian (REMEMBER NOT ALL BIRDS FLY SOUTH)
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  #5  
Old 03-22-2014, 05:47 PM
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FWIW, I 'machined' my exhaust manifolds with a body file. They are absolutely flat and it only took me fifteen minutes per side because cast iron manifolds machine very easily.

I put them on my seasoned, but newly machined heads without any gaskets but I used stainless bolts. There are no leaks.

Heat/cool cycles anneal carbon bolts and eventually the bolt-heads erode to a smaller size. The threads inside the head never change which tells me the head draws heat away from the bolt. Stainless cannot erode because it has no carbon. Even if the bolts tarnish over a long time, they still look as good as the stainless ware in your kitchen.

Use a high temp anti-seize on the threads and torque them up. FE manifold ports use twice as many bolts as modern engines so they should never leak.

In my opinion, gaskets only serve to compensate for warped or misaligned manifolds. They are soft and cannot possibly be as hearty as two mating surfaces made of metal. The exhaust stroke is about as violent as a shotgun blast every time a piston fires. - Dave
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Old 03-23-2014, 07:29 PM
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Thanks for the help guys. Plan is to have the manifolds machined and go back without gaskets. Went ahead and removed the pass side after seeing the drivers side (and while it's easy to get to with the engine out).

The "blown out" area is where the manifold is thinnest - may have the shop add a bit of metal to the narrow area but that will probably just make it crack.

The top bolt hole is at the bottom in this pic


Look at this big old crack in the head!

At least that's what it looks like. I scribed the head to see where the manifold bolted to the head. The leak and gasket failure was where the thinnest part of the manifold bolts to the head. Hopefully that will be enough area for the manifold not to leak when it's bolted back on with no gasket.


Eric
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:12 PM
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Eric, I don't see any part that is too thin. I 'pushed' your head picture to see more but it's still too hard to tell if this is really a crack. I would need to dig into the 'crack' with a scriber to see how deep it is:


Eric you know I love you, but I don't see a problem with the metal thickness so far and I certainly would not add more. Wire brush the surfaces to show how smooth they really are. If you have deep machining grooves that would be the only cause for concern. I cannot tell with that gasket material in the way.

It looks like this gasket did a good job of shading your exhaust flow, which is another good reason not to use an exhaust manifold gasket.
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:18 AM
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I don't think it is cracked.

If it is, it may extend to the machined surface under the gasket and be more visible. Clean the area and take it to a machine shop to have it checked for sure. They have "crack checker in a can" than can be sprayed on and a crack will be evident as the material dries.

Good luck and let us know what you find out.
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Old 03-28-2014, 06:42 PM
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No no no - that scratch on the head just looks like a crack - I was just kidding - it's just where I scribed the head to see where the manifold mated to the head.

So - here's how they turned out. Had an agreement with the machine shop to shave them as much as possible without adding any metal by welding as that would probably just make them crack.

Passenger side turned out fine.

Drivers side that was giving problems I'm still not sure about. A lot better than it was. Guy at the shop said the areas that didn't get shaved were deep enough that he would have to take a bunch more metal off to get down to those areas. Said he thought it would be fine as is. Hate to get it back in there and then still leak.

What do you guys think? Find another manifold , have them add metal and re-machine or just go with it?



Drivers side "crunched together" to save room on the pic




Eric
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Old 03-28-2014, 10:04 PM
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Why add metal? Take it down another .020" and let that surface widen by itself. I don't see a problem. Also, before you bolt it down, take some of those tooling marks down. You can use a wide flat file for that.

Even if you decide to put it on the way it is, that will work. I mean, as long as it is flat, there is enough iron all the way around. I can't see any scant portions. - Dave
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