(UPDATE 3) Besides not being a mechanic, but trying to be one anyway - What am I doing wrong?

As we last left our incompetent, wannabe shade tree mechanic:

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The Lisle heavy duty pulley remover/installer seemed to work. There was still some belt squeal, so I replaced the serpentine belt, idler pulley, and tensioner. Unfortunately, I have no idea if that resolved the belt squeal as I foolishly tried to replace the passenger exhaust manifold on this 2000 Mustang V6.

The EGR system made the failed attempt a nightmare. You could tell the Fox body chassis and Essex V6 weren’t designed with that system’s EGR system in mind, likely added after the fact to get a few more years out of the engine.

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There is virtually zero room. It’s modern BMW bad. Shallow sockets won’t work. Sometimes deep sockets put you right up against the metal EGR pipe or chassis metal. Wrenches don’t have enough angle or too much angle. It’s a brutal guessing game of trying to find a tool that will let you turn each nut an eighth of a turn, each turn requiring an excessive amount of torque due to twenty years of heat cycles. But hours later, I was able to remove all six nuts, the two nuts connecting the exhaust manifold to the exhaust pipe, and the EGR connector.

Pull the exhaust manifold back, and the manifold was completely broken into two pieces on the rear cylinder.

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Illustration for article titled (UPDATE 3) Besides not being a mechanic, but trying to be one anyway - What am I doing wrong?
Photo: JasonStern911

Definitely explains the exhaust leak. Go to pull the old exhaust manifold out of the car, not really seeing how I can route it, and...

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Damn it. There are TWO EGR connectors. Now, the driver side, with its abundance of space, only has one. But the super-tight fitting passenger side, for some reason I do not understand, has two. And these connectors require a metric ish ton of torque to get off, being made even more difficult by the fact that you can only use an open end wrench on it by design.

So now I’m stuck. Given what tools I have available, there’s no possible way to get a wrench on the EGR bolt and have enough clearance and/or torque on it to break it free. It’s a 24mm or 26mm connector, which means the wrench is far too large to fit anywhere. A crescent wrench definitely helps with regards to getting a more compact wrench on there, but since the connector is torqued to some ungodly value (again, because 20 years of heat cycles), you need that much leverage. I’ve PB Blasted it, torched it... it refuses to budge.

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Zero YouTube videos showing what to do. Every car post in the forums just says “lol yeah that’s a bitch” with no details on how they conquered said bitch.

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Maybe I could remove the entire EGR system? But that looks like so much work, and I don’t know if I could put it all back together...

Given the difficulty, it’s time to call it. Go to call my trusted mobile mechanic today only to find out that he unexpectedly died last May at 51. :(

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So I’m not really sure where to go from here. My options are pretty much:

* Try to find another mobile mechanic

* Pay for a tow, shop prices, fees for bringing in my own parts, etc.

* Hit up Facebook and see if some shade tree mechanic is foolish/desperate enough to do it on the cheap. It’s just one bolt, right?

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