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HELP! Missing head on couple bolts on stock exhaust manifold

This is a discussion on HELP! Missing head on couple bolts on stock exhaust manifold within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Greetings and happy 4th of July weekend! I've been doing some work on my 2000 Formula, and finally think I ...

  1. #1
    Junior Member chuckstop00's Avatar
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    HELP! Missing head on couple bolts on stock exhaust manifold

    Greetings and happy 4th of July weekend!
    I've been doing some work on my 2000 Formula, and finally think I have it down to the last issue to get inspection - driver side cat.
    I broke all 3 studs holding the cat to the manifold, and I was expecting this, car has 277,xxx miles. I bought a set of exhaust manifold
    gaskets when I bought the new cat. So I went to take off the manifold (header) and found bolts on either side of cyl 1 and 3, but only
    1 bolt on the forward side of cyl 5. When I took off the bolts that were there, I found what looks like the remainder of 2 bolts with no
    heads between 5 and 7 and outside of 7. This don't sound right to me. Only possible time that the header would have been off is when
    the dealer replaced the cat under warranty, and car was under 100,xxx. I just need someone to confirm I haven't inhaled too much PB
    fumes . . . Thanks!
    Gotta get this running by Monday so I can tee ta to work!

    2000 Formula - 6spd & t-tops
    300,000 + smiles

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    Ouch. There are supposed to be six (6) bolts securing the manifold to the head. Looks like that head will be coming off to remove the broken off bolts.

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    Junior Member chuckstop00's Avatar
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    Thanks Jeff.
    Still have about 1/4 inch or so sticking out, will have to try some vice grips on em.
    I updated my sig pic
    Last edited by chuckstop00; 07-06-2013 at 07:52 PM.

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    Ouch, is there some of the bolts sticking out to get the bolts off?

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    Member DaddySS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckstop00 View Post
    Thanks Jeff.
    Still have about 1/4 inch or so sticking out, will have to try some vice grips on em.
    I updated my sig pic
    I assume they broke when someone tried to take them off so doubtful you'll get lucky with visegrips. Do you have a torch to head them up? Sometimes if you heat them cherry red, and let them cool down, the expansion and contraction breaks the bind between the steel and aluminum.

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    You have a chance then at removing them. Unfortunately, the fact that they are already broken off probably means that the threads have bound up. Steel and aluminum do not play well together and can cause some real headaches. I would hesitate to go at them with a large torch... but something like a Henrob that has an ultrafine flame could conceivably be enough to break them free. I have had luck with simply a propane torch and an old candlestick. It's not really hot enough to damage the heads, so you can heat the surrounding area and then touch the candle to the broken bolt. The wax will melt and wick into the threads providing lubrication. Go easy and excersise lots of patience. Good luck!

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    Junior Member chuckstop00's Avatar
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    I got them out! YAY!
    Vice grips (pun intended, if you need them somethings BAD) pb blaster and lots of patients.
    Trick was to get the vice grips cranked down hard enough that they didn't just slip. Then tap tap tap till it moved just a little, then repeat . . . .
    for something like 2 hours!
    Thanks for the advice all!

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    Congrats! You saved yourself quite a bit more work. If you can, clean the holes out good with a threadchaser and be sure to utilize anti-sieze on the new bolts just in case you have to go there again in the future.

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    Former Mopar Man 2002ssslp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckstop00 View Post
    I got them out! YAY!
    Vice grips (pun intended, if you need them somethings BAD) pb blaster and lots of patients.
    Trick was to get the vice grips cranked down hard enough that they didn't just slip. Then tap tap tap till it moved just a little, then repeat . . . .
    for something like 2 hours!
    Thanks for the advice all!
    Congratulations on going 277k to date and going for more. It just goes to show that if you take care of your vehicle it will last a long time like a Honda or Toyota. Also, please use quality manifold bolts like OEM or ARP.

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    ^^ Exactly. I went with stainless Stage 8 locking fasteners on our car when the headers were installed. You also can't beat the stock GM exhaust manifold gasket.

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