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232 exhaust manifold gasket

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pacerman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pacerman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: 232 exhaust manifold gasket
    Posted: Sep/10/2018 at 10:45am
This weekend I developed a significant exhaust manifold leak on the 232 in my 76 Gremlin.  This is the second such leak in about 1500 miles.  I think the leak is just behind the center of the engine below the carburetor (and the intake/exhaust manifold connection flange).   I replaced the gaskets after rebuilding the engine about 3000 miles ago and then again after the first exhaust leak about 1500 miles ago.  I inspected the manifold using a straight edge before replacing the gaskets for the previous repair and it did not appear to be warped.

I am considering buying one of the Crown reproduction exhaust manifolds.  I will install it without a gasket assuming (after measuring) that the cylinder head surface is still flat.    

Has anyone used one of these repro manifold castings?  Feedback?  Other suggestions?  The gaskets were Felpro. 

Joe
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote farna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/10/2018 at 11:04am
If you do anything take the manifold to a machine shop and see what they charge to surface it. That will make it like new. Since it's a 76 you need to take the intake also. If they have to take more than 0.005 off the exhaust the intake will need to be surfaced as well. At 0.005" or less they should line back up, there should be that much play in the bolt holes. No need to replace unless it's cracked.

Once surfaced it should be good as new and you should be able to install without a gasket. It wouldn't hurt to put a skim coat of orange high heat RTV. I've used that on a manifold that had a groove in it from a long time leak and it was still on a couple years later -- on a farm truck that was used to haul hard for 3-4 days every 6-7 weeks (chicken farm manure spreader truck). You would probably be fine to use that and no gasket without surfacing (or with a skim coat on each side of the gasket).
Frank Swygert
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FSJunkie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/10/2018 at 4:35pm
I have been all over this with my 1977 232. I blew out three or four exhaust manifold gaskets in two years no matter what sealant I applied to the gasket or how frequently I retorqued the bolts. It's because the new gaskets like from Fel-Pro no longer contain Asbestos. They are practically cardboard. The hot exhaust burns them to ash and they fall apart. 

My old manifold had the tiniest warp, so I took it to a machine shop to have it surfaced. The jackwagon machinist removed 1/8" from my manifold...to correct a .005" warp. He also surfaced it at an angle so the manifold now bolted to the engine crooked and wasn't even close to meeting the intake. It was ruined. I paid him $75 to destroy my manifold.

Then I bought a new aftermarket manifold. Omix-Ada as I recall. It was brand new and totally flat, so I decided to bolt it to the head with no gasket just as AMC originally did. You heard me: AMC did not originally use exhaust manifold gaskets. That may have worked from the factory but it didn't work this time. It leaked. It didn't leak badly and unlike a gasket it didn't get worse over time, but it still leaked audibly. 

Then I bit the bullet and went to a Remflex gasket. I have to retorque it about once a year but other than that, it has been the only thing that has completely sealed. You must be careful about tightening the bolts with a Remflex gasket. It's only 20 foot-lbs and they must be tightened in the specified order or you'll crack the manifold. Remflex gaskets are made of graphite which is flame-proof to something ridiculous like 3000 degrees, so they WILL NOT burn out. I have since put Remflex exhaust manifold gaskets on my other engines that have problems blowing out exhaust manifold gaskets....which is most of them.

Go Remflex from the start. Save yourself the trouble. Also replace all your manifold studs and nuts with stainless steel. You will thank yourself later. 

Trust me on this. 

'66 Marlin: 327/T10/3.54 Twin Grip
'72 Wagoneer: 360/TH400/3.31
'73 Ambassador: 360/TF727/3.15
'77 Hornet: 232/TF904/2.73
'84 Eagle: 258/TF998/2.35
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pacerman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/10/2018 at 6:13pm
Thanks for the advice, both of you  Now that I think about it, the problem might be the rectangular gasket between the intake and exhaust manifold.  I found a piece of straight gasket blown out and lying on the manifold and remembered that there was at least one "hinky" stud that I struggled to tighten when I fastened the manifolds together last time.  A P.O. had stripped the stud and I don't remember if I tried to refresh the threads or what but I remember having problems with it.  I don't have work right now, but will  get the car soemwhere soon and tear into it.  Joe
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Leon Richard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/10/2018 at 8:34pm
When the engine is cold, start it up, and move your hands around the spot you suspect a leak. Sometimes you can feel where the warm air is coming out of.
Leon Richard
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FSJunkie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/10/2018 at 11:17pm
The gasket between the intake and exhaust manifold usually doesn't blow out as easily as the gasket to the head because the exhaust gasses have cooled a little by then, but it still can happen, especially if the studs or nuts are stripped and cannot be properly tightened. 

Remflex includes that gasket when you order the exhaust manifold to head gasket. 
'66 Marlin: 327/T10/3.54 Twin Grip
'72 Wagoneer: 360/TH400/3.31
'73 Ambassador: 360/TF727/3.15
'77 Hornet: 232/TF904/2.73
'84 Eagle: 258/TF998/2.35
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote graewolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/11/2018 at 1:43am
Remflex! Yes that was the name I've been trying to remember. Put one on my 232 two years ago, no problems since.....

Perk
Americans, 65 Convertible, 64-65 Wagons, 64 220 2Dr, 66 2Dr Hardtop..... They follow me home!!!
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