Yesterday I decided to tackle that exhaust manifold gasket leak I have, and here’s the rundown:

  • Obtain new gasket via mail order
  • Need to remove exhaust manifold to replace gasket
  • Need to remove upper heat shield to access manifold
  • need to remove airbox to remove upper heat shield
  • need to remove cruise control vacuum servo to remove airbox

Yay, woo! now I can unbolt the manifold. I do this.

Next, I give it a yank, and it doesn’t give, so:

  • Need to remove downpipe flange bolts to remove manifold
  • Notice mickey-mouse hose clamp “repairs” from previous owner to settle down rattling heat shield.
  • Bolts are off, manifold still won’t budge
  • Maybe need to remove midpipe to allow flex at the flange?
  • Downpipe is bolted to the crankcase

So I start working the nut I can see on the downpipe bracket, and after realizing I just rounded it, I see that it’s welded to the bracket.

  • Also notice broken welds on joints between downpipe heat shield and pipe itself
  • Assume previous owner had tried welding the rattling heat shield in addtion to hose clamping it
  • Start cursing him for amateurish repairs
  • Contemplate removing other side of bracket, the part that is bolted to the crankcase
  • Realize this will open the engine/transmission gasket
  • I’m not ready for this
  • I need to drive to work tomorrow

And therefore, for only the second time in my shadetree mechanic career, I gave up and reassembled everything.


So, then I went to bed, and took the workshop manual with me for some light reading.

  • Notice the nut I was trying to take off is merely a captive nut (welded at the factory, duh) and the bolt which is intended to be removed is accessible on the other side of the downpipe.