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Discussion Starter #1
I've been doing a lot of work on the car recently, and have been coming up with all sorts of little problems. The latest is a crack in the exhaust manifold. It's a very fine crack just by the top stud on the rear most element. Can I run the car for a while, or should I just replace the manifold immediately? Is it best to buy a new manifold, used manifold or try to weld the crack to repair this manifold? If I go for placement, should I just replace the whole system or is it okay to replace the outermost alone.
I can't say how much exhaust is leaking through the crack, since the car isnt running at present. However, I don't think the crack is new, and I don't recall there being an exhaust leak before the engine gasket blew.
Thanks for any suggestions
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Just to close this one down, I picked up a new manifold from the Alfa parts exchange. They are always a pleasure to do business with, and ship the parts quickly.
 

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In case anyone picks up on this message, one tip I can give is that the rear most exhaust manifold nut can be accessed from under the car more easily than trying to struggle with it from the top of the engine. Just use a loooong extension with a swivel tip. An S shaped wrench is really handy for the other nuts, especially if you grind it down a little bit to make it a thinner profile so it fits in against the manifold.
 

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Hold on to your old manifolds. They can be repaired, so don't chuck them away. Get the crack repaired, sandblast them, then coat them or powdercoat them for the future.
 

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I had a very similar issue on #4 cylinder drove it like that for couple of years and no problems...I recently replaced it.

Stefano how much do you think it will cost to repair it? Around here don't think anyone will touch it less than $100 I bought mine for $60 including shipping.

Giorgio
 

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At first I thought $100 was a bit high but after thinking it over it is probably reasonable.

I repaired one myself. I bolted it to a spare head and tacked it in a couple places. Removed it and ground out a wide V cut all the way around at the fracture line. I then bolted it back to the head and filled the V with a high nickel brazing rod. About $10 each. A fair amount of preheat and slow cooling so some real time is required to get it done. Once cool I filed it smooth to blend in.
 

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I think I spent $80 to do the repair. Yes, replacing with a good used set is cheaper. My point is not to throw them away if you can stash them for later. If someone can't keep them around and needs the space, so be it; they get chucked. But just to inform that they have not been reduced to junk just because of the crack.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I finally got around to fitting the replacement outer manifold today. Took about three hours; needing to undo all the manifold nuts and the down pipe bolts to the outer section, as well as the transmission mount exhaust attachment. There's always one or two struggle points, and simply placing the washer and nut on the rearmost exhaust stud was a trial. In the end I reached up from under the car and managed to start the nut, then tighten it with a long extension and wobble end. Used the elastic band trick to hold the copper gaskets in place on the studs. New gaskets all round of course.

Tightened everything up pretty tight and then started the engine. Don't hear any leaks. For years there has been a strong exhaust smell in the engine compartment leaking into the passenger compartment, especially when the heater is on. I think its better. Will find out as I drive it around, weather permitting.

I love that old car smell, minus the CO.

Also replaced the fuel filter, which was leaking gas from the return banjo bolt (weber conversion from SPICA so no gas lines connected to this, just plugged off). I put in a filter unit for a weber euro fuel system, new from centerline. So I have also cleaned up some of the fuel smell. It's really beginning to be a civilized car now. The family usually complain that I stink of exhaust after driving the car. Maybe less so in future?

Mike
 
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