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Old 06-16-2011, 12:19 PM   #1
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Replacing exhaust manifold

I've got the dreaded cracks in mine at the collector, and I'm contemplating tackling the job on my own. I've got the Haynes manual, a decent selection of tools, some buddies that do all their own repair work, and I'm pretty good at mechanical type stuff. The biggest thing I've done is replace the radiator and thermostat in my TJ.

Is this something that can resonably be done at home, or am I going to run into a bunch of trouble and wish I had just paid someone to do it? (not really an option right now) I'm not afraid to put a wrench on it, I just don't want to end up needing a bunch of specialized tools or breaking a stud off or something and ending up having to have it towed to a garage anyway.

My question is, I suppose: How tough a job is this, really?

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Old 06-16-2011, 03:51 PM   #2
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Its not too bad; I did mine for the first time a few months ago, it was easier than I thought it would be. Its just time consuming because of everything that needs to get removed.

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Old 06-16-2011, 03:52 PM   #3
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Plan on about 6 hours if you haven't done it before.
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Old 06-16-2011, 08:15 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. It seems to be a pretty straight-forward job, any thing to watch out for? I'm confident I can do it, I just don't want to get everything all tore apart and then find out I need a flux capacitor or something...
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Old 06-16-2011, 10:06 PM   #5
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It's pretty simple to do... the hardest part is getting the lower manifold bolts back in.... this is easier with an extra set of hands and eyes. I had to cut my exhaust flange bolts off because they were rusted to crap. I used a dremel tool and a fiber cut-off wheel. Then I bought a universal flange from advance auto.
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Old 06-16-2011, 10:09 PM   #6
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Only thing I'd worry about is that the bolts can sometimes be hard to get off due to heat and corrosion, you'll want good tools maybe a breaker bar, something like liquid wrench might help. Don't forget gaskets.
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Old 03-31-2014, 01:15 AM   #7
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Finally did the deed, or mostly watched a mechanic friend do it.

I feel like I could do it now, after having seen it done.

97 4.0L Sport

1st, buy a decent exhaust manifold, I wanted to do the $90.00 Ebay special, but my buddy talked me out of it, I bought the part from NAPA, $190.00. It fit perfectly.

We did it in his shop, it would be a pain in a driveway, but with a decent set of tools, it's not a terrible job.

All bolts came off easily, thanks to a valve cover gasket leak that kept everything nice and oiled.

Quick tips:

You're going to need a long (12" or more) swivel extension for your socket wrench.

Take off the evap canister, the windshield washer fluid reservoir, and whatever that rod is that goes from the firewall to the radiator area. It's worth the extra trouble to have the access.

Buy, beg, borrow, or steal the tool to disconnect the fuel fuel line from the fuel rail and leave that and your injectors in place.

The worst part of the job is as mentioned above, you are working blind on the bottom bolts on the intake manifold.

We ended up replacing a freeze plug that had corroded and was leaking, that was a job.

Other than the freeze plug and the fact that we were just kind of messing around, it would have been probably a 3 hour job.

By myself with hand tools, yep, the six hour estimate above is correct or maybe even longer.

For those that might find this post while researching, as I was, it's a doable DIY project, I consider myself fairly handy, but it would have been on the ragged edge of my skill set and comfort level. Having a good friend who knew what they were doing made all the difference in the world.
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Old 03-31-2014, 11:56 AM   #8
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Did you also clean the intake runners & intake ports on the head?
When I did my ex manifold ,I saw my intake ports were gummed up big time from our crappy fuel. I cleaned it all with scotch brite & some carb cleaner. All 6 ports & runners & injectors were cleaned to perfection. Now My Jeep runs way better( It actually ran fine b4 this) & gets better gas mileage! Anyway It some thing everyone should consider when your intake is off anyway. just my 2c!
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Old 03-31-2014, 10:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkhead View Post
Did you also clean the intake runners & intake ports on the head?
When I did my ex manifold ,I saw my intake ports were gummed up big time from our crappy fuel. I cleaned it all with scotch brite & some carb cleaner. All 6 ports & runners & injectors were cleaned to perfection. Now My Jeep runs way better( It actually ran fine b4 this) & gets better gas mileage! Anyway It some thing everyone should consider when your intake is off anyway. just my 2c!
Nope, as my professional mechanic buddy did this as a "friend" job, along with replacing a freeze plug, which ended up taking as long as the manifold, I let well enough alone. The intake wasn't bad, he was against cleaning it up as he said that unless you can get all the way through and remove everything, then you can get particles that can cause problems. He actually only works on Japanese cars and did this as favor to me, so I was happy to get what I got.

I do agree that it's not bad idea to do while you have everything apart, I just didn't want to press my luck.
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Old 04-01-2014, 05:38 AM   #10
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Hey Doc, Thanks for the info
I need to do the same thing to my 97 4.0L Sport - (replacing exhaust header and replacing some weeping freeze plugs while it's off.)
I thought the freeze plugs would be the easy part do you have any tips?
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Old 04-05-2014, 12:12 AM   #11
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Hey Doc, Thanks for the info
I need to do the same thing to my 97 4.0L Sport - (replacing exhaust header and replacing some weeping freeze plugs while it's off.)
I thought the freeze plugs would be the easy part do you have any tips?
Probably every one will be different, but mine was the one right behind the engine mount, so it is close to impossible to remove with the intake and exhaust manifold in place.

So, while we had both manifolds out, we started with a cold chisel and a heavy ball peen hammer, it moved a little bit but refused to come out. We ended up drilling a hole through the center of the freeze plug, screwing in a heavy self-tapping metal screw, and applying quite a bit of ass to it with a 4-foot pry-bar.
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Old 04-07-2014, 06:35 AM   #12
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Thanks Doc
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Old 04-18-2014, 08:13 AM   #13
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I'm in the middle of replacing my exhaust manifolds with a header I bought on ebay. The header bolts up nice, but the intake wont fit. Anyone else have this problem?
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Old 04-19-2014, 08:12 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Dr_Strangelove View Post
Nope, as my professional mechanic buddy did this as a "friend" job, along with replacing a freeze plug, which ended up taking as long as the manifold, I let well enough alone. The intake wasn't bad, he was against cleaning it up as he said that unless you can get all the way through and remove everything, then you can get particles that can cause problems. He actually only works on Japanese cars and did this as favor to me, so I was happy to get what I got.

I do agree that it's not bad idea to do while you have everything apart, I just didn't want to press my luck.
Doc, I fully understand on pushing your luck. I`m always helping out friends on their car /truck stuff & yes sometimes I feel they are pushing their luck! Now I hold off on helping that person for a while ,unless of coarse he`s buying!

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