So this weekend I found that I had what seemed to be a exhaust leak. Searched around but couldn't find anything on the manifold that could be cracked or loose. Kept driving the Jeep and as I did it got worse as it drove. Last night after work I started the Jeep and i could hear a metal clanging like a valve went bad or something. I turned the engine off and searched under the hood some more. I found that where the EGR return goes there is a cap on the manifold.This cap had rattled loose and I lost a bolt on one side and the other bolt was barely hanging on. I recently replaced the manifold and on the old manifold there was no EGR return line on the previous manifold. So, last night I bought two new bolts with lock washers to replace the metal cap. What a terrible spot to put a cap. I couldn't for the life of me get any leverage on the bolts to tighten. I eventually got them as tight as I could and the cap replaced. After the installation it still sounds like I have a exhaust leak. I didn't have what sounds to be a leak before the cap came loose.
My question is, do I need the EGR return line back to the intake? or should I add a gasket to the cap to reduce the possibility of the leak being at the cap I re-tightened. I'm total lost on why some Jeeps have this return line to the intake and some are capped off. The engine is a 2.5L in a 1998 TJ as well.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!