OT- Ford Triton exhaust manifold stud removal questions

Discussion in 'Wrenchin' Secrets' started by buick64203, Aug 1, 2018.

  1. buick64203

    buick64203 Just plum crazy Staff Member

    Jen's 6.8 V-10 Triton "Buick puller" is missing a few exhaust manifold studs. The nuts have basically rotted off leaving rotted studs in their place. Im not touching this excrement show until I absolutely have to, but I'd like to gear up for the inevitable. Gear up mentally as well! Truck is a 2000 with 90k on it

    So my question is, are these studs actually frozen in the head? Or do they back out relatively easily once you insert the screw extractor? Its a steel stud in an aluminum head. So if any of you guys have tackled this in the past, what was your experience? Tips, tricks, etc. Any special tools that come in handy?

    And I have to do the ball joints on it as well. They're getting wobbly.....sigh
    70skylark350 likes this.
  2. JoeBlog

    JoeBlog Platinum Level Contributor

    Steel studs in an aluminum head? Oh yeah, that’s gonna be “let’s learn new swear words” 101. Dissimilar metals NEVER work out like you want them to. I had to do something similar in a pressure washer engine. Ended up having to go up a bolt size. To this day, it still makes my hair (just the one I have left) stand on end.
    70skylark350 likes this.
  3. woody1640

    woody1640 Well-Known Member

    We have a customer with a 99 triton that he bought new and takes meticulously good care of. About 1 1/2 years ago he brought it in for a complete new exhaust, and the manifold studs were 1/2 gone. To make a long story short he opted for an entire new rebuilt engine which we figured cost him only several hundred dollars more.

  4. 436'd Skylark

    436'd Skylark Sweet Fancy Moses!!!!!

    Your talking about the manifold to head bolts or the flange?

    If your talking the manifold to head bolts the easiest thing to do is burn all the heads off with the torch and pull the exhaust manifold off the head exposing all the studs. Soak them with your mix of choice and weld nuts to the studs. Be ready to immediately turn the nuts after welding. Its not an impossible job.
    70skylark350 likes this.
  5. buick64203

    buick64203 Just plum crazy Staff Member

    Manifold to head bolts Joe. They seem to rot away and fall off on these trucks. No need to torch the remaining studs, I wouldn't be surprised if I could twist off what remains with my fingers.
  6. htrdbuick

    htrdbuick Gold Level Contributor

    Those bolts rotting away is very common around here on all the ford mod motors. Every ford around here has had the studs changed or will eventually, it’s a dis similar metals thing, aluminum head, steel studs, cast iron manifolds generate galvanic action that eats the studs. The salt on the roads in the winter just accelerates it so maybe that’s why it’s so common here. With that said I didn’t want anything to do with that cluster ...... so I had a friend do it at his shop. With all the folks I know who have had the manifold studs go I’ve never heard of anyone who couldn’t get them out. Heat and penetrating oil and profanity are the key to success.... and a new pair of drawers when you go to buy the new exhaust manifold gaskets..... I remember 85 clams a side when I did my ‘97 in the very early 2000’s.
  7. 70skylark350

    70skylark350 Well-Known Member

    done it many time on my sons 2002. the first time sucks, all day affair, need torches, welder, drill, hammer, punching bag, etc. once you do it the first time it is easy, I seem to do it about every other year. driver side or passenger? if driver side better get a new manifold and thet EGR tube as well, rock auto. they will not come apart in one piece.

    just bite the bullet and cut all the remaining nuts off with a torch and pull the manifold. you will at least have something to grab with pliers, because they are all going to break, and they will break flush with the head. drill and tap time..... if you cut the nuts and pull the manifold, heat the studs cherry red with a torch, let cool for a second and give a smack with a hammer. now attach your vise grips and start working back and fourth very easily. once it starts to wiggle you got it! be patient, it will move a little more with each wiggle, they will come out.

    as for the broken ones you will be drilling and tapping those. they make a jig you can bolt on to get the holes drilled in the proper location. Good Luck....
  8. steve covington

    steve covington Well-Known Member

    X2 on the jig to align the drill bit to the exhaust side studs...I had to make my own jig . I was not aware of their existence at the time, but saw a similar set-up in a magazine or online somewhere. Then I saw it on here for a water pump broken stud repair using a roll pin welded to a template. Similar setup. Yes, you will be using a few of your least favorite but commonly used words on THIS project... It may be easier to pull the engine to do the work. Good luck.
    Oh yeah, Ford had a better idea on that one... Almost as good as the spark plugs on those Triton motors... But that is another story for another day...
    BUICKRAT likes this.
  9. buick64203

    buick64203 Just plum crazy Staff Member

    Thankfully, it doesn't have the extended electrode plugs!
    BUICKRAT likes this.
  10. Bens99gtp

    Bens99gtp Well-Known Member

    I would imagine the only worse than having to do the 4.6/5.4 motor would be to have another cylinder per side to do
  11. Dr. Roger

    Dr. Roger Stock enthusiast

    I always replace exhaust manifold bolts with stainless (after the initial 2-week job of getting them out...usually in pieces). They aren't that much more costly then the originals and you never have to do the drill/grind/machine shop thing again. I also grease the heck out of them with anti-seize. I may never have to take them out again, but the next guy will sure appreciate it.
  12. 70skylark350

    70skylark350 Well-Known Member

    only way I would pull the engine is if I had to pull the heads. you can access the studs easily thru the inner fender.

    I seem to keep repeating this project because I do the studs, then two years later the manifold cracks, then the other side, same deal. then the cheapo Chinese manifold from rock auto cracks, and so on. so I am on my third time on the passenger side, second on driver side. I cant wait till he gets out of college and can afford a newer truck. no need for the stainless studs when you replace them every two years. lol.

    Its a shame, they are great trucks, I mean its 16 years old with 200,000 miles on it. runs great, original drivetrain, drives like it did when I bought it, but the damn body it rotting away. Maybe the new aluminum bodies are the answer.????
  13. TORQUED455

    TORQUED455 Well-Known Member

    I think everything you need to know has been posted. Pull the inner fenders, and go in through there. As mentioned, if there is an EGR pipe, plan on replacing it too. Dorman makes manifolds, but sometimes the fitting for the EGR pipe is not part of the manifold kit nor the EGR pipe, and is harder to source. The old one (fitting) may not be reusable. Heat is your friend. Burn the remaining nuts off - this helps heat-cycle the stud. I use a 7mm or 8mm stud extractor depending on how much of the 8mm stud is left. Clean and weld nuts on the studs broken off flush. No need for the jig. If you think a 6.8L is hard, try a 4.6L in an IFS Explorer. Never again w/o pulling the engine.
  14. TORQUED455

    TORQUED455 Well-Known Member

    Keep in mind too if you don’t have torches or a welder, or aren’t proficient at using them, you can drill the broken ones out using a left-handed bit. Sometimes if you’re lucky they’ll spin right out. You’ll need either a 90 degree air drill, a 90 degree adapter, or a short drill, or all. The trouble with drilling is it’s easy to “get off the road” and end up in the soft aluminum head, and you’ll regret that lol. I don’t recommend extractors for the studs broken-off flush. The studs are too small. Be prepared to expand your vocabulary if you break-off an extractor or a drill bit...

    BUICKRAT Torque Rules!

    Weld nuts on them. We've done plenty of those jobs at my shop. If there's a good amount of stud showing, you can put a stud remover on it and heat the head some around the stud, it should come right out. For the flush/below head surface, welding a nut on is a cinch, and they come right out.. I sometime shock them with cold water after welding the nut on.
    Lucy Fair likes this.

    BUICKRAT Torque Rules!

    I have the kit to remove those when they break. Funny, I have 4 different kits for removing broken/stripped spark plugs, and they are all for Fords. One of them cost a grand from snappy. Seems no other manufacturer has this issue.

    BUICKRAT Torque Rules!

    Been there! Made my own jig out of 3/4 marine ply, drilled and measured to use a "centering sleeve", and got them out without damage to the cyl head.

    What I have always noticed, though, is when the (broken or not) stud is removed, a fair amount of corroded aluminum comes out with it, and decreases thread engagement with the stud in the head. This causes the stud to weaken more with heat cycles, as it is in effect longer, with less thread engagement than originally designed. I don't have pics, but I have repeatedly seen enough aluminum come out of the heads around the base of the stud to loose 3 threads. One a fords better ideas...

    As far a Triton spark plugs goes, Yah just Gotta love a two piece spark plug crimped together. WTF????

    Reminds me of the "caged nuts" ford used on their rear axle shafts.

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