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Discussion Starter #1
I've had a coolant leak for a while, and it was pretty minor. I figured the O ring on the t-stat was fubar or something of that sort, so I replaced it and stuck some Permatex around the part where the elbow bolts down on top of the t-stat. It's gotten worse recently, so today I opened it up and there is a huge crack going from the top of the plastic all the way down to where it meets metal.

I did some searches on how to change out the plastic intake manifold, but I didn't get enough to make me feel confident about doing it myself yet. It looks like I'll have to take off quite a bit off the top to get it out, so I didn't want to just start pulling things off.

Is there anything specific I should know about when replacing this? Proper procedure?

Also, would the junk yard be the best place to find a replacement? OEM? I've seen things about aluminum manifolds, would one of those replace the plastic one exactly without any major changes to the motor? Where can I get one of those?

Sorry for all of the questions, this is my first experience like this with my 97.

Thanks in advance.
 

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just swap a PI intake manifold on there. RTV the gaskets and be on your way. iirc the PI intake from ford is actually cheaper than a stock replacement with aluminum crossover. Plus the PI breaths better up high and can add 15HP. Go for the PI.
 

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My first intake was reeplaced under warranty with another all-plastic manifold. Later, before PI intakes were known performers, I replaced mine again (pre-emptive strike) with a junkyard takeoff bought from Tydlwavs for $100.

Lonnie at BOC sells a complete PI intake kit for use on non-PI engines.

http://www.blueovalchips.com/index.php?action=item&id=87&prevaction=category&previd=5&prevstart=12
Thats a good price, and you get to change the under the intake coolant line to all metal.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'd like to stick with whatever is cheapest and easiest. I'm selling the car before I ship out, so spending extra for a performance enhancement doesn't interest me with this car. On the other hand, I don't want to sell someone a leaky car, so I'd like to fix it right.

That BOC kit looks good, but I'd save that for a car I was keeping.

Thanks for the instruction link tbirdguy, I'm sure that will be very helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
wtf why sell it? Just put it in storage ****. That's what I did. I would never sell my Tbird.
I've done nothing to this car and am not really emotionally attached to it. It wouldn't really be cost effective for me to pay storage for that long on a cheap car. It's not like these are hard to come by. :D
 

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fast, easy, leak free, brainless, go for the stock ford replacement with the aluminum cross over, if you want a few extra ponys go for the PI replacement.
 

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fast, easy, leak free, brainless, go for the stock ford replacement with the aluminum cross over, if you want a few extra ponys go for the PI replacement.
Umm... the PI is fast, easy, leak free, and brainless. it bolts on just like a NPI one with the exception of some RTV in 2 spots... and if you get leaks you definitely didn't do it right. It lasted about 15k miles on mine with no leaks. I tboned someone trying to cut across traffic and totalled it. But I'm sure it would have lasted forever without leaks.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Umm... the PI is fast, easy, leak free, and brainless. it bolts on just like a NPI one with the exception of some RTV in 2 spots... and if you get leaks you definitely didn't do it right. It lasted about 15k miles on mine with no leaks. I tboned someone trying to cut across traffic and totalled it. But I'm sure it would have lasted forever without leaks.
I'm getting the NPI one cheap from master486, so now I really can't justify getting a PI one. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well, got this thing in tonight. The only major hiccup was dropping my 10mm socket somewhere behind the engine never to be found.

Since this was my deepest venture into my engine, I documented it in photo. Almost nothing on this car ever breaks, so I haven't really been forced to learn.

I invited a few friends over who were kind enough to bring In-N-Out and beer. It doesn't hurt so bad when you stab yourself with a screw driver after you've been drinking.



Getting started



What are friends for?


Finally out



Look at all that yummy coolant!


Getting the new one in



All buttoned up and running!


My friend's thought on plastic Ford parts :D


Extra special thanks to Master486 for hooking me up with the manifold, gaskets, and alternator bracket! Thanks again man.

I like the new alternator bracket, it cleans the wires up nicely (well nicer than they were before... Thank God for zip ties).

On a side note, don't you love it when you accidentally fix something you didn't even plan to? My radio went out and I hadn't bothered to find out why. Turns out the negative wire for it to the battery was loose, and disconnecting the battery and tightening it back on again fixed that problem. Cool stuff.

And yes, I really did stab myself with a screw driver doing this. However, my motto for car maintenance is, "If you didn't bleed, you didn't do a good job." :cool:
 

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Leak Part II

My GF's 96 already has the alum crossover intake. It had a small leak that just got bigger! It is coming from the brass fitting in the rear of the manifold for the heater hose. I replaced the heater hoses with no luck. BTW, coolant is leaking down into #3 & #4 spark plugs, causing misfires. :mad:

Any chance on putting epoxy around the brass fitting to seal it? Or should I save aggrevation and just get a new manifold?

Her car is stock. The idea of 15 extra HP with the PI manifold sounds good, but can you feel it down low at all, or are all the gains up high? Will it work fine with the stock tune, w/o pinging?

Thanks!
Al
 

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Discussion Starter #17
My GF's 96 already has the alum crossover intake. It had a small leak that just got bigger! It is coming from the brass fitting in the rear of the manifold for the heater hose. I replaced the heater hoses with no luck. BTW, coolant is leaking down into #3 & #4 spark plugs, causing misfires. :mad:

Any chance on putting epoxy around the brass fitting to seal it? Or should I save aggrevation and just get a new manifold?

Her car is stock. The idea of 15 extra HP with the PI manifold sounds good, but can you feel it down low at all, or are all the gains up high? Will it work fine with the stock tune, w/o pinging?

Thanks!
Al
I tried sealing the crack on mine, but it kept opening up. Considering how cheap you can get a replacement used, you're probably better off doing that and just changing out the whole thing.
 

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I tried sealing the crack on mine, but it kept opening up. Considering how cheap you can get a replacement used, you're probably better off doing that and just changing out the whole thing.
I am talking about the brass fitting at the rear of the manifold, not the typical spot at the front, it already has the alum crossover. I dont see a crack, but there might be.

Thanks again,
Al
 

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I am talking about the brass fitting at the rear of the manifold, not the typical spot at the front, it already has the alum crossover. I dont see a crack, but there might be.

Thanks again,
Al
You need to change out your intake and do it soon! Mine was leaking there slightly and one day just completely let loose, I lost my engine do to it.
 
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