Exhaust Manifold Stud Failure

August 2019, 39000 miles. (Yes, that’s 3000 miles past the end of the warrantee). This is a separate page because it’s a big issue, and after some internet research it’s a common problem.

The symptoms: It starts with a screech from under the hood while driving under load. Then a popping/exhaust leak sounding noise on cold startup, goes away after a few seconds. And that’s what it is, an exhaust leak, due to the failure of the most rearward exhaust manifold bolt on the passenger side.

Here’s a vid on the subject (including the noise)…. 

Here’s a picture of a manifold. The bolt in question is located on the far right. You can see where this bolt is taking up the load for a huge chunk of manifold, plus the weight of the turbo, and is subjected to massive temperature swings. Poor design in my eyes, but what do I know…..

Screen Shot 2019-08-20 at 10.18.13 PM.png

And here’s a picture of my broken bolt/stud. Looks like there’s some stud left in there unlike the one in the video above. Hopefully it can be extracted with some relative ease. Also note the carbon stains starting to come through between the manifold and the head. The star headed bolt in front is one of the three that hold on the turbo.

IMG_4995.jpg

So, in an interesting turn of events I went to the dealer to plead my case and lo and behold they said it was covered under the power train warrantee…..  So I tooled around in a brand new Ford Escape for a few days and we’re back in business.

That said, I fully expect this problem to resurface in the future, and at that point I will consider a performance aftermarket manifold, not because I need more horses, but because they are a little beefier. I will also consider beefing up the bolt. But, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.