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Old 06-05-2011, 12:22 PM
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Cracked Exhaust Manifold

How long can i go with a cracked exhaust manifold before damaging anything in the motor? Hoping to get a Banks Header in the next couple weeks, but need to drive as is until then. Thanks for any advice.

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Old 06-05-2011, 12:42 PM   #2
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you should be fine driving it till you get it replaced

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Old 06-05-2011, 12:45 PM   #3
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First, the crack can allow cold air to be sucked into the valve area which can damage the valve seats. I wouldn't go too long without replacing the exhaust header.

Next, I would avoid installing a Banks or Borla header. They are not only way more expensive than needed without a real boost in performance, they are just as prone to cracking as your OE header was. So you say but they come with a lifetime warranty. True, but that is still a PITA to have to change the header and Banks/Borla headers even if you get a replacement under warranty. Especially since both Banks and Borla's headers are very well known to crack because they still base their product on the same crack-prone design the factory used until mid-1999 when they fixed the cracking problem.

What did the factory do in mid-1999 that neither Borla nor Banks did to pretty much solve the cracking issue caused by engine torque that flexes the header tubes until they crack? Jeep added flexible steel "accordian" joints that flex instead of crack.

Your dealer has the new improved design, like shown below, and you can even find headers on eBay with the new improved crack-resistant design. What is the very last header I would install on a TJ? A Banks or Borla... their "lifetime" warranty is a joke when you can install a much less expensive header that won't crack again as the Banks/Borla design will.

The accordian joints you want on your next set of headers are highlighted in red, below.
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Old 06-05-2011, 01:00 PM   #4
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just picked up that exact same header jerry linked from autozone, seems to be the only auto store that sells them, its $188, a few bucks more than the $150 on on ebay, but you dont have to pay shipping and it is a lot easier to return it to autozone then having to mail it in IMO, if your PO was as retarded as mine and welded the header to the downpipe, autozone also sells a downpipe for $72, i also had to pick one up, GL

P.S - advanced auto sells stuff called thermosteel, and it works pretty well for small cracks on the header, i tested it and it lasted about 450 miles, its $8 dollars and really easy to put on



here is the autozone header- Dorman/Exhaust Manifold (674-196) | 1999 Jeep Wrangler 4WD 6 Cylinders S 4.0L MFI | AutoZone.com_

and here is the downpipe- Walker/Exhaust Pipe (53458) | 1999 Jeep Wrangler 4WD 6 Cylinders S 4.0L MFI | AutoZone.com_
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Old 06-05-2011, 02:15 PM   #5
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Most people ride around for many miles and never realize their factory headers are cracked. I have installed dozens of Banks Torqe tube headers since they came out at SEMA about 10 years ago. I never seen or heard of Banks 409 Stainless ever cracking or warping. The Torque gain is impressive at 16 lbs and combined with a set of E-3 plugs and a better than stock air induction you will see on average of 18 ft lbs (for Torqe Tubes alone) and 9 to 11 hp. The big thing is the increase in gas economy when you don't have your foot mashed to the floor. Saver money and buy on a Holiday sale or an over stock reduction. I pay about $238 for a set with gasket and are easier than stock to install (use a swivel 14 mm socket for the 4th nut). I cannot speak for Borla as I only ever installed one set on a 94 Firebird and no net gain without cpu adjustments.
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:34 PM   #6
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Most people ride around for many miles and never realize their factory headers are cracked. I have installed dozens of Banks Torqe tube headers since they came out at SEMA about 10 years ago. I never seen or heard of Banks 409 Stainless ever cracking or warping. The Torque gain is impressive at 16 lbs and combined with a set of E-3 plugs and a better than stock air induction you will see on average of 18 ft lbs (for Torqe Tubes alone) and 9 to 11 hp. The big thing is the increase in gas economy when you don't have your foot mashed to the floor. Saver money and buy on a Holiday sale or an over stock reduction. I pay about $238 for a set with gasket and are easier than stock to install (use a swivel 14 mm socket for the 4th nut). I cannot speak for Borla as I only ever installed one set on a 94 Firebird and no net gain without cpu adjustments.
ive seen quite a few threads on here with people having to replace their borla / banks headers after right around 1 year, altho i have had one myself so im only going off what ive read on here
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:38 PM   #7
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I never seen or heard of Banks 409 Stainless ever cracking or warping.
You apparently haven't been following the issues for as many years as I have then. It's common and I can only say that you have now heard of the problem. Borla and Banks are both well known for cracking on Jeep 4.0L engines which is the reason I advised against the purchase. I don't make stuff like this up.
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Old 06-05-2011, 06:14 PM   #8
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I got mine from one of the vendors on this site called 1aauto.com for $99.95 shipped. And it came with both gaskets for installation. It was the accordian type.... Installed for a month now... and no problems.
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Old 06-05-2011, 08:40 PM
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Thanks for all the great advice. Will the accordian joint header give me the same performance as the Banks or Borla.
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Old 06-05-2011, 08:44 PM   #10
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I have been looking at the same exhaust from 1aauto and want to know does it match up to the factory 97 I 6?
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Old 06-05-2011, 08:48 PM   #11
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I have been looking at the same exhaust from 1aauto and want to know does it match up to the factory 97 I 6?
If it didn't fit perfectly, it couldn't be sold as being made for the 4.0L engine.
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:30 PM   #12
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would a cracked exhaust manifold cause an engine knocking sound? it goes away when the engine is warm. ive ehard these go bad all the time on jeeps
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:33 PM   #13
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Never heard of a cracked header/exhaust manifold (4.0L engines have a header) causing an engine knock.
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Old 06-05-2011, 11:40 PM   #14
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I just installed a Dorman header for customer that I purchased on E-bay from autopartsdirecttoyou.com for $110 plus $18 shipping. Other members here recommended shopping E-bay. I thought it was a nice piece. It took about 4 days to get here from FL. I could have spent more for quicker delivery. The only complaint was the gasket. It was a Fel-Pro for '97 and earlier while I ordered for a '99. It probably would have worked out just fine but I got a Fel-Pro for '98 and later. It had a sealant on the gasket. As far as performance difference, for the use it sees vs the additional cost and and potential cracking problems, I don't think an after market header is justified.
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:22 AM   #15
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I have been looking at the same exhaust from 1aauto and want to know does it match up to the factory 97 I 6?
It fit perfectly.... now the jeep sounds smooth... not all sputtery.
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:42 AM
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Ok, so i did some investigating yesterday and discovered i already have the header with the accordian joints. Does this mean this header can crack too or do i have a problem somewhere else?
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:57 AM   #17
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Ok, so i did some investigating yesterday and discovered i already have the header with the accordian joints. Does this mean this header can crack too or do i have a problem somewhere else?
same here. I have that style but I can hear a small leak somewhere but can't find it... Anyone have any experience with the accordian joint header having an issue?
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Old 06-06-2011, 02:16 PM   #18
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same here. I have that style but I can hear a small leak somewhere but can't find it... Anyone have any experience with the accordian joint header having an issue?
if you dont mind changing your oil, seafoam your engine and watch the exhaust it will leak smoke out of any cracks, should be failry easy to spot
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Old 07-21-2011, 04:14 PM   #19
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If you guys ever have any questions about our manifolds don't be afraid to PM or buzz me here in the office. I'm here to help out.

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Old 07-21-2011, 04:42 PM   #20
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I can speak for the Banks personally. At least for the 2.5L. they do crack. I replaced 2 within 6 months on my one jeep. they cracked at the back side of the collector(where it bolts to exhaust pipe). you can't see this well while on jeep. I finally figured out why they were cracking there. It turned out being the connection between the cat and the muffler was loose and placing more pressure on the collector joint causing it to fail. Bad design on jeeps part. I placed a hanger off the bellhousing to the exhaust and never had the problem again. The 4.0's have the exact same design and failure point along with the 1-6 crack issue.
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Old 07-21-2011, 05:47 PM   #21
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Can anyone advise on what a reasonable price is for a new manifold installed. I need a new one and was quoted about $800, which seems crazy considering a new one should be less than $200 and a decent mechanic should be able to install it in about a few hours. And does it make sense to have the steering box (it is leaking) replaced at the same time?
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Old 07-22-2011, 03:56 PM
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I had a muffler shop take my existing header off, weld the cracks and replace it all for $150.
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Old 07-22-2011, 05:15 PM   #23
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I had a muffler shop take my existing header off, weld the cracks and replace it all for $150.
they are going to crack at the welds within a month or 2, i had that done on mine as well and it only lasted 3 weeks
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Old 07-22-2011, 07:37 PM   #24
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same here. I have that style but I can hear a small leak somewhere but can't find it... Anyone have any experience with the accordian joint header having an issue?
ive cracked one of those, but it cracked near the collector, not by the accordian joint, but the accordian joint header lasted a lot longer then the borla that was on it before.
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Old 07-23-2011, 03:19 PM
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that sucks!
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Old 07-23-2011, 05:52 PM   #26
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Can anyone advise on what a reasonable price is for a new manifold installed. I need a new one and was quoted about $800, which seems crazy considering a new one should be less than $200 and a decent mechanic should be able to install it in about a few hours. And does it make sense to have the steering box (it is leaking) replaced at the same time?
I just got a quote for about $800 for replacing mine also. They are charging almost $400 for the header. I think one difference between theirs and what you see on-line is theirs includes new hardware and gasket. It does have the expansions on the ends. Their books say a bit over 4 hours labor at $75/hour is $300+. Throw in tax and other incidentals, and it is pushing $800. I think $400 is a bit steep for the header/hardware/gasket but in Smallsville, I don't have a lot of choices. He pulled up a Chrysler quote for the header at about $525. Reading up on how to replace it myself, I decided it is more than I want to take on. I thought about the liquid weld or whatever you call it. I decided that will start a continuous battle of sealing every several months. May as well do it right and get it over with.
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Old 07-25-2011, 09:29 AM   #27
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I've had many problems with the Dorman manifolds for the 2.5l as well. I've been through three of them; they all ended up cracking somewhere, usually less than a month after putting it on. I finally was able to convince Advance Auto to just refund my money instead of giving me a new one under warranty, and I went with a different brand from 1aauto. I never realized they were a vendor on here until now. This manifold seems to be better quality; the face that bolts up to the head is much wider, so it seems to seal better (like the OEM one did) and overall it seems to be much heavier duty/thicker. So far after a month and a half it's still doing great. Not bad for $79 shipped from ebay.
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Old 07-25-2011, 06:44 PM   #28
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Just bought the "higher quality" manifold from 1AAuto (ebay store) for $141. Looks pretty good, but will know by end of week when I get it. Will have local Meineke shop install it, I think for around $150.
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Old 07-25-2011, 06:54 PM   #29
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Just bought the "higher quality" manifold from 1AAuto (ebay store) for $141. Looks pretty good, but will know by end of week when I get it. Will have local Meineke shop install it, I think for around $150.
not bad, the shop by my house wanted $400 just to replace it if i brought my own header lol, thats when i got the tool box and beer out
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Old 07-26-2011, 08:43 AM   #30
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Yep, $150 is a really good price for someone to install it. I've never paid to have it done, but almost everyone that posts about it says how they were quoted these outrageous prices over 400-500 dollars.

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