TCCoA Forums banner
1 - 20 of 44 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On my way to work on Friday, my serpentine belt broke on my '97 4.6. I thought - no problem, I've already got the spare at home. Turned around, and turned everything electrical off to save the battery. About 20 minutes later I pulled off the highway. 3 minutes later I noticed steam coming from under the hood. 2 minutes later I pulled into my apartment complex and the steam was really coming out. Heard a pop from under the hood. At this point enough steam was coming out I was sure the engine was on fire! 1 minute later I was at my apartment (where I have an extinguisher), but it turned out there was no fire, just steaming coolant. I had no idea that the water pump was driven with the serpentine belt - very dumb, I know now!

When I replaced the belt, I discovered that the "pop" was a heater line fitting blowing out of the back of the intake manifold. Both this fitting and the copper fitting it threads into look good, but I figure the one in the intake manifold must have at least a hairline crack.

I had the car towed to the dealer, where it's still waiting for them to look at it. Right now I'm driving a $45/day rental (ripoff, but they seem to be the only ones who will bring a car to the dealership).

I talked to another shop who figured it would cost $800 to swap out the intake manifold. If I haven't damaged the engine I'm thinking about just paying to have it fixed. However, I don't want to spend the money to find out the engine needs to be replaced. It's got 140K on it and is going strong.

I'm wondering:

-What are the chances that the engine is damaged?

-If I was to JB weld the fitting back into place into the manifold fitting, what are the chances it would hold?
-Would it hold well enough to start up the engine, listen for damage, and do a pressure check? -
-Could it hold for a week of driving until I got a replacement manifold & changed it out next weekend?

Any informed info would be great. Thanks!

Michael
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
767 Posts
i think at this point it would be best to just throw another intake on it,if you have tools and slight mechanical knowlage its a very easy task,also if you need i have an updated npi intake (same one as on your car now) with the alluminum cross over that i would swing your way cheap to help you out.Asumming the engine was not damaged from overheating it would be fine.

as for jb welding it i guess you could try that just as a band aid but if the engine is okay and the car will run it would be a good idea to trash the old intake and replace that bad boy anyways,good luck!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,725 Posts
There is no possible repair for that fitting once it comes out. None. That manifold is toast. The resin used in the manifold will not bond with any epoxy adhesives or cyanoacrylates. If you are lucky to have not done any damage from the last 'event' you will surely accomplish that by trying to fudge now. You should have no problem locating an intake quickly and cheaply. The intake change is a very easy thing to do and shouldn’t take more than a few hours to change (if it is your first time). By doing that your cost would be minimal compared to the damage you wallet would suffer if tended to by the fine folks at your nearby dealership.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
704 Posts
my serpentine belt broke on my '97 4.6. About 20 minutes later I pulled off the highway.

I had no idea that the water pump was driven with the serpentine belt - very dumb, I know now!

Michael
20 minutes + no water pump = insert coin
Sorry to say
 

·
It is nice
Joined
·
885 Posts
i think at this point it would be best to just throw another intake on it,if you have tools and slight mechanical knowlage its a very easy task,also if you need i have an updated npi intake (same one as on your car now) with the alluminum cross over that i would swing your way cheap to help you out.Asumming the engine was not damaged from overheating it would be fine.

as for jb welding it i guess you could try that just as a band aid but if the engine is okay and the car will run it would be a good idea to trash the old intake and replace that bad boy anyways,good luck!


:zwthstpd:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,180 Posts
My old serpentine belt is in my spare tire well, right next to the ~$15.00-on-sale 1/2" drive Harbor Freight torque wrench that I use to change my tires with. The length of it and the 1/2" drive fit the tensioner pulley perfectly so swapping out the belt on the side of the road is a non issue. The long torque wrench also makes removing even the most stubborn lug nuts a breeze and lets you torque them back on to the correct spec as well.

Yea it adds a couple of pounds to your trunk over the stock POS-stamped-steel-lug-wrench-from-hell that ford supplies... but try holding an angry hateful guy at bay with that stock lug wrench the next time your broke down on the side of the road in a bad part of town! lol

My half inch drive torque wrench on the other hand commands a little respect for the blunt force trauma it's capable of inflicting! :D

As for fixing your cooling system... Don't be niggardly about it and try to JB weld it back together. Just do it right, and do it once by installing another intake. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,180 Posts
I'll add that if you are at all mechanically inclined you should be able to swap the intake out yourself without to much guidance. The cost for the intake + the tools you'll need to do it will run alot less then $800 and you'll have the satisfaction of having fixed it yourself, you'll of saved some money and have some new tools to show for your effort as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,966 Posts
There is no possible repair for that fitting once it comes out. None. That manifold is toast. The resin used in the manifold will not bond with any epoxy adhesives or cyanoacrylates. If you are lucky to have not done any damage from the last 'event' you will surely accomplish that by trying to fudge now. You should have no problem locating an intake quickly and cheaply. The intake change is a very easy thing to do and shouldn’t take more than a few hours to change (if it is your first time). By doing that your cost would be minimal compared to the damage you wallet would suffer if tended to by the fine folks at your nearby dealership.

and he knows....my manifold was the guinea pig for the resin experiment.:D
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
14,392 Posts
20 minutes + no water pump = insert coin
Sorry to say
:bangwall: Sorry about your trouble. Hopefully a new intake and belt will make it good as new. Don't forget to change the oil, as it's probably cooked too.

I had a similar issue when one of the bolts on the thermostat bell house snapped, the coolant leaked out and I ran the motor dry. The computer shut it down saving the engine. I had it towed in and used an easy out to retrieve the rest of the bolt and replace it. New coolant, and an oil change and it ran fine.

No/minimal harm done to the engine. That was about 60K ago.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,966 Posts
I tried to patch my first PI intake leak w/ JB weld, did not end well :( .

'brain tried two different hi temp two part plastic epoxies and even plastic weld....and you cant use a conventional Help! brand nipple because the threads on the manifold are fine cut be machine and the threaded end is tapered.
 

·
Amateur Expert
Joined
·
1,662 Posts
Heck, for $799 I'll drive to Ann Arbor, bring the intake and swap it myself in an hour!:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks to everyone for their advice & info. I especially appreciate hearing from Trunk Monkey that someone else had a similar incident (possibly worse) and didn't have to replace the engine. My engine had started to run rough, but I shut it down before the computer did. Good point about the oil, too.

Meanwhile, I have yet to hear from the dealer. I'm starting to wonder if they're getting a kickback from the rental car agency! When they do call, I'm going to ask them to do a compression test (without starting the engine). I know that's not optimal, but hopefully it will check for any large damage.

If it's good and they also are looking for $800, I think I'll have it towed back to my place to change out the intake manifold.

Any recommendations on different manifolds? I see ones on Ebay with an aluminum crossover - are these any good? Are there any bolt-on ones that actually improve performance?

Thanks
Michael
 

·
Amateur Expert
Joined
·
1,662 Posts
Any recommendations on different manifolds? I see ones on Ebay with an aluminum crossover - are these any good? Are there any bolt-on ones that actually improve performance?

Thanks
Michael
You can get the PI intake and a few other parts for a boost in power and torque. There are a few aftermarket manifolds available and most of them seem to do the job. I definately recommend the aluminum crossover tube - it will save you a cracked one later.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The dealer told me that the intake manifold definitely needs to be replaced. At the same time, the plugs need to be changed because they're soaked in coolant (?) and the cooling system needs to be flushed (filled, more like it). All this for only $1600.:eek:

Too bad, I was really hoping this place wasn't like a lot of dealerships - they're only missing an eyepatch & cutlass...:mad:

The good news is that they tell me the engine never even threw an "overheat" code. So, I'm going have the car towed to my place and swap the manifold.

It looks like there's no reason not to go with a PI intake, apart from some extra time for RTV to cure.

Just want to make sure, though:

-The RTV plug & PI gaskets are the only extras needed?

-No clearance issues with the hood or other parts?

-How is the idle with the PI intake only?

-Any mileage change?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,966 Posts
The dealer told me that the intake manifold definitely needs to be replaced. At the same time, the plugs need to be changed because they're soaked in coolant (?) and the cooling system needs to be flushed (filled, more like it). All this for only $1600.:eek:

Too bad, I was really hoping this place wasn't like a lot of dealerships - they're only missing an eyepatch & cutlass...:mad:

The good news is that they tell me the engine never even threw an "overheat" code. So, I'm going have the car towed to my place and swap the manifold.

It looks like there's no reason not to go with a PI intake, apart from some extra time for RTV to cure.

Just want to make sure, though:

-The RTV plug & PI gaskets are the only extras needed?

-No clearance issues with the hood or other parts?

-How is the idle with the PI intake only?

-Any mileage change?

why do you think the dealership is a bunch of pirates? they are using a standardized labor hour book for work....on top of that, its about 700$ just in parts. The revised plat plugs are more money now, the manifold is a few hundred, you also need to factor in another 50$-ish for the gaskets and coolant and we havent even touched the car yet. The techs work on flat rate, if the book says 6 hours of labor at 80/hour thats what is billed. Thats how service depts work, thats how they make their money, they have families and bills also.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
704 Posts
not if you don't know the water pump is driven by the belt....
I agree, no offence to the orginal poster...

I only know of 1 engine that the water pump ISN'T driven by the serpentine belt.. the 95-96ish LT-1, which is driven by the camshaft.
 
1 - 20 of 44 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top