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I have a '97 bird with a few bolt ons ( cat-back,open inlet w/ cotton filter & a c&l maf body that works well for me).Because I have an all plastic npi intake, I was thinking of a pre-emptive PI mani swap w/alum crossover sometime this spring. I am thinking that rags stuffed into the intakes may allow a slight port match up to cut turbulence. I am leaning towards the pi gaskets for best port match (with head blend). What do you guys think/know about this? Are all PI manifolds w/ alum crossover created equal? It seems that there are maybe three different makers. Are they all exact Ford copies, or could one have more port volumn than the rest? Also, my daughter's '96 has a hidden crossover crack that leaks sometimes and sometimes not. What plastic glue matches the mani chemistry? And, has anyone safely created a vertual permanent repair using glues and putties? She's on the poor side, and I'm not willing to do two manifolds this spring. Thanks , edman
 

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edman said:
...I'm not willing to do two manifolds this spring...
Not sure about your questions, but why are you hesitant to do two manifold swaps in one season? They are so easy on our 4.6's.
 

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For PI intakes, get the ford one. For NPI with the gaskets and less than 400 bucks, get the Dorman or the other aftermarket ones. You can get the FRP PI intake for 149 bucks everywhere (but there are additional items you will need). The NPI kits come with various things that will need (some have a new thermostat housing, others have bushings, etc). The Ford NPI kit comes with things like radiator hose and depending on vehicle, a new engine cover.

I am pretty sure I went with PI gaskets and used RTV around the coolant ports. At the time that seemed to be the way to go, and I have stuck by that. It wasn't much RTV that was needed, and I have seen any coolant weeping or outright leaks. The only down side is that the locator pins need cut off, and there is no way to hold them in place (PI heads the locator holes are in different places) well and if you don't take off the EGR tube, it is a little tough to do.

I could never see where mine was cracked, but the pattern of the spewed out liquid (and not so liquid, thats a long story) pointed to the crossover. I don't think I would try to patch mine, more so if my wife was driving it. I think I had 4 hours into doing mine, and that was 2 hours of me driving around trying to figure out what to do with the sensor in the heater line for the fan blockout, then doing that, cleaning up stuff that didn't need it, taking pictures, etc.

gooey stuff spewed out



after and sorta clean:

 
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