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Discussion Starter #1
In the thread about the intake class action, I noticed a lot of people chipped in their sometimes conflicting experiences with the cracking manifold.

I hope with this thread we can actually figure out what Ford did in response to the problem initially, that way we can be armed with all of the information when settlement time comes around.

From the Ford Technical Service Bulletin 01M02: "A fatigue crack may develop in the composite intake manifold used on the 4.6L SOHC engine installed in your vehicle. This condition may result in engine coolant leakage, which, if not serviced, may cause engine overheating. Complete loss of coolant may result in engine damage or engine failure."

From everything I have seen, it looks as if the 01M02 recall only applied to the fleet vehicles, like Crown Vic Interceptors and Taxis. I have no idea if they replaced the manifold with the same plastic crack-tastic junk, or if they got the aluminum crossover manifold.

There is also this TSB & recall listed when I search www.tsb.com for my 97 bird: 97M91 MAR 99 - It is my general understanding that under this recall, Ford would replace a cracked manifold with another composite manifold. That's apparently what happened with my wife's 97 LX under the first owner. Her crossover cracked in '02 with 68k miles. We took it to the dealer and they said the intake was previously replaced under recall (with another plastic one), and was ineligible for further free repair. They wanted to charge us nearly $800 to repair it, and I don't recall if that was for the manifold with the aluminum crossover or not. We took the car to an independent mechanic who replaced it with the aluminum crossover manifold (listed as "F6SZ-9424-AA Kit" on the receipt).

Did anybody get their intake replaced for free with the aluminum piece? If so, what year is your car?
Did anybody get their intake replaced for free more than once? If so, did you eventually get the aluminum one?
If you did either get more than one replacement or get the aluminum piece for free, is it your impression that the dealer was doing you a favor / making a mistake, or did it seem like that was Ford policy?

Here's a letter I found online from Ford detailing that recall:

Ford Motor Company
P.O. Box 1904
Dearborn, Michigan 48121


97m91 April, 1999

Your Vehicle Identification Number: 12345678901234567


Mr. John Sample
123 Main Street
Anywhere, USA 12345

Ford Motor Company is providing a no-charge Service Program Number 97M91, to owners of certain 1996 through 1998 Crown Victoria Taxi, Town Car Limo Prep & Livery Package, 1996 and 1997 Thunderbird, Cougar and Mustang vehicles equipped with 4.6L SOHC engines. This service program provides additional coverage for the intake manifold.

REASON FOR THIS PROGRAM

Fatigue cracks may develop in some of the composite intake manifolds used on the 4.6L SOHC engines installed in the affected cars. This condition may result in engine coolant leakage which, if not detected or ignored, will cause engine overheating. Complete loss of coolant may result in engine damage or engine failure.

WHAT WE WILL DO

If the engine of your car should develop a coolant leak at the intake manifold cross over coolant passage, located directly behind the alternator, your dealer will verify the condition. If the coolant leakage is from the location described above, your dealer will replace the engine intake manifold assembly free of charge.

This no charge coverage is available for 7 years from the vehicle's warranty start date (no mileage limitation) and is automatically transferred to subsequent owners.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO

PLEASE KEEP THIS LETTER. If your car's engine intake manifold should exhibit the above condition within the 7 year coverage described above, contact your dealer. Show the dealer this letter. The dealer will replace the intake manifold assembly after verification of this specific condition. If you should lose this letter the dealer will still honor the provisions of this program.

REFUNDS

If you paid to have the engine intake manifold replaced due to a leak at the cross over coolant passage before the date of this letter, Ford is offering a full refund. For the refund, please give your paid original receipt to your Ford or Lincoln Mercury dealer. To avoid delays, do not send receipts to Ford Motor Company.

CHANGED ADDRESS OR SOLD THE VEHICLE?

Please fill out the enclosed prepaid postcard and mail it to us if you have changed your address or sold the vehicle.

We are taking this action as part of our ongoing efforts to maintain owner confidence in our products. We hope this program will confirm your continued satisfaction in your Ford-built vehicle.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CPR © 1999 FORD MOTOR COMPANY
Published By: Recall/Service Programs Department
 

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All Plastic Replacement

This may be a bit off topic but I have heard that the all plastic replacement manifolds that Ford first used were actually made of thicker plastic than the original ones that so predictably fail. Does anyone have information on this?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
THat's not off topic at all, that's exactly the kind of information I'm looking to get straight. My wife had her manifold replaced under the 1999 recall when the previous owner had it. My wife bought the car in 2000 or early 2001. The manifold cracked again in 2002 with 68k miles on the car. That means the replacement manifold lasted at most only 3 years. At that time, we put the aluminum crossover manifold on, and haven't had any problems in the 40k miles since.

To sum it up, 2 plastic manifolds in 5 years and 68k miles. I'm doubting the replacement was any better than the original.
 

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With all due respect, sounds like your issue is moot. Did I read that right? You fixed your car with your own nickel. In talking to Ford customer service, even under the new settlement agreement for those T-Birds/Cougars with a build date after the middle of June 1997, they under no circumstances will reimburse someone for a non-Ford part installed at a non-Ford dealer. At least that is what they are saying right now.
The latest settlement agreement covering the Crown Vics and the rest of the 4.6 line is still gelling so nothing is completely known yet, but it would pay ANYONE to register your car with Ford Customer Service, so that if your VIN is picked up under this settlement, they will be able to contact you as the present owner.
If you wish to read the exact language as cited by the law firm that I contacted in regard to the latest settlement, do the search in regard to cracked intake manifolds-part deux.
Ralf
 

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AFAIK, the replacement plastic manifolds were the exact same part that was removed. Many of us have had to go through this more than once. also AFAIK, the 97m91 was the only tsb/recall notice that included our cars, as somehow the CVs/stangs were included up to the aluminum crossover versions but since our cars were theoretically covered by 97m91 we dont count. Whether or not you got the aluminum one depends on if it broke before mid-02 or not. Usually you only get reimbursed or repaired once.
 

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I got an aluminum piece first time for free.
 

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i got mine replaced 2 times. once under 3/36 warranty and once under tsb. both times the same all composite manifold was installed. the first time was before ford really had their stuff together on what was really happening with the manifolds and the second time the service manager seemed kinda resigned to the fact that it was just another manifold that had to be replaced under the tsb. kinda like the same way they were under the 3.8 head gasket tsb. service manager talking to technician: "ok we got another 3.8 in. dont even worry about looking it over for diagnosis. heres your head gaskets. have fun."
 

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im still using my second all composite but its on its last leg. it lasted about 6 years and 90k miles. its got a crack in the rear of the manifold where the metal nipple receives the heater hose.

right now i got that rigged with some jb weld. it works but looks like mung :zpuke:
 

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Had a 96 crown vic at work a couple of days ago with a cracked intake. The replacement manifold from ford came as a kit. It was a plastic intake but had an aluminum coolant cross over. It came with gaskets and a bracket for the alt.
 

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Mine was replaced at around 60,000 miles, back in 2001, with a plastic crossover intake.

Now, at 130,000 miles, I just swapped it for one with an aluminum crossover, but there was no visible damage on the one I took off. I just didn't want to take a chance, since I do a lot of long-distance driving.

The aluminum non-PI intakes are usually all over the parts for sale section. Mine came from a 98 Crown Vic, I believe. I think I paid $100 from a fellow TCCOA'er, and got the necessary gaskets, alternator bracket, etc from Dan Newman.
 
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