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88 Ford exhaust manifolds

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by CMerLand, Dec 20, 2002.

  1. CMerLand

    CMerLand Senior Member
    Messages: 173

    Looking for some other thoughts basically to confirm my own decisions.

    I have an 88 F-250 with 351M and 5 speed trans. and have major leaks from the exhaust manifolds. The truck has been worked hard in the past but not too severely over the past couple of years, and carries a Fisher 8 foot plow on it.

    Because of the condition of the doors and bed (rough and tumbled thanks to employees) and the experience of having been down the new engine road twice before on another truck, replacing the motor really isnt my best option. The truck still runs strong but I know these trucks can quickly become a money pit over the next few years.

    I need to address the exhaust manifolds immediately because the heat is hitting the starter and causing it to overheat when stalled, which can be reallllll inconveinant since u have to wait 20 minutes to re-start it.

    Not being a mechanic but mechanically intelligent and with the support (guidance) of the local gas station mechanic whom we service, my thoughts are to do the following.

    1> Pull the engine to address the exhaust manifolds rather then trying to work through the firewalls. Pretty certain that the studs will break and will then have to EZ out them anyhow. Engine also needs new motor mounts anyhow so will also help with this. Do I buy FORD manifolds or some of the aftermarket ones. I dont want to worry about this again and Fords manifolds are notorious for cracking/ leaking.

    2> While the engines out, pull the oil pan, replace the oil pump and screen, possibly replace the pan (depending on rust that Ive read about on this site) and the oil pressure sending unit to make that damn engine light go out on my dash board.

    3> Replace the rear Main seal? I think that has to be or should be done if the pans off right??? Dont want to have to go back in again later.

    4> New clutch? Had one put in october of 2001 and have maybe 6 or 7,000 miles on it. Going to have to move the transmission back into its proper position because, at the moment the transmission and engine are shifted forward of where they are supposed to be due to the shot motor mounts. This may also explain why the transfer case shifter wont move when trying to engage 4WD.

    5> What else? While Im in there what else might I want to do, fix or look at???

    Please respond with helpful suggestion, rather then the junk it or "buy a chevy" useless banal comments. Timing is of the essence as Id like to tackle the project between Christmas and New Years provided no snow is in the forecast.

    Thank you in advance

  2. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Are you sure it's not a 351 Windsor ? Either way,the exhaust manifolds are a pain,but not that bad.Easiest way is to torch or cut off all the heads,slide the manifolds off,and then back out the rermaining bolts with vise grips.If they are siezed in the head you can now get at them with some heat,and wind them out.If you really don't want to pull the motor it's not to bad doing it this way in the truck.You will need new manifolds,all hardware (get stainless steel) to bolt the new ones on,and new y-pipe studs and nuts.

    I have no experience with aftermarket manifolds,but Ford has updated the design,and they are way better now.Look around a local scrap yards as we see quite a few scrapped trucks sitting with new manifolds on them.

    The oil pans are famous for rotting out and are a real pain to do in the truck,so if you are going to pull it get a new pan.Rear main seal goes in from the rear,not from inside the pan,but you might as well do it too.

    Do the mounts while it is out.

    Take a look at the clutch,only replace it if it is near worn out,which it shouldn't be with such little mileage.

    Do you have the air injection pipes in the manifolds ? If you do,get the manifolds without them,and remove the associated tubes.No one will ever know the difference.

    Also look at the air tube that runs between the back of each head,so easy to replace if the motor is out,but a bear to do in the truck.

    I would also replace the EGR tube (if equipped),and the upper plenum gasket.These are also prone to failure and much easier to do with the motor out.

    Good luck
  3. bwamx

    bwamx Member
    Messages: 30

    exhaust manifolds ect.

    Been there one that!! All. The stock 88 manifolds stunk, I
    cracked both of mine years ago on my 88 5.8. I replaced
    them with shorty headers from JBA nickle coated. they have been on the truck since 95.
    At the time they cost less than the stock manifolds.
    They also hold less heat, and flow better, when towing ect.

    Also have removed all of the air pump system after the cat broke and pluged the system and almost
    burned the truck. How many miles on the motor? It might need
    bearings if the light is comming on . I had to replace my engine at 110k due to excessive wear allover and lack of oil pressure.

    This engine had oil changes at 3k it whole life and still only made it to 110k.

    I did the manifolds with the engine in , also replaced the rear main on the 1st engine a few years before replacement engine.
    No problems with rust on the oilpan tho.

    Good luck
  4. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    The 351M was discontinued in '82 or '83, you should have the 351W, a much better engine.

    Give Wyldman's method a try, but if the studs won't back out, you may have to pull the motor. I had to replace a head on one truck because it had rusted so bad. With the proper equipment, you can yank the motor in a few hours.

    Both the pan and the rear seal can be replaced with the engine in the truck, as well as the mounts, but you'll have to jack up the engine.

    To replace the pan, remove all the pan bolts and let the pan fall to the axle. Next you have to remove the oil pick-up bolts and let the tube fall in the pan. Now you can wiggle the pan out from under the engine.

    For the rear seal, remove the main bearing cap, push a portion of the old seal out so you can grab it with pliers and pull it the rest of the way out. Oil up the new seal real good and push it into place. Install the bearing cap half and then install the bearing cap and retorque to specs. Be very careful not to get dirt on the crank or bearing.

    Revers the removal procedure to install the pan; place pick-up tube in the pan, then wiggle into place and rest it on the axle. hook up the oil pump & pick-up tube, remember to install the pump shaft. Install pan.

    Your clutch should be OK if it hasn't been coated with oil if your rear man is leaking.

    Good luck!
  5. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Pelican - the oil pan can be done the way you describe,but it is a real b*tch.It's also very hard to hold the new gasket up in place and get it sealed correctly.

    The rear main is a one piece,comes out from the flywheel side,not under the rear main brg cap,requires trans removal to do it.

    I spent 8 years doing that stuff at a local ford dealer,and the oil pan and exhaust manifolds were dreaded by most technicians.I always pulled the motor for the pan,as it was much faster,you get a better seal,and no cursing and swearing to get the pan out.

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