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Old 04-08-2011, 05:23 PM
fusioncom fusioncom is offline
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Shop says I got a leaking/cracked intake manifold on the 5.4

So I have been having this recent overheating problem, and lots of air in the coolant system that just keeps coming back. They did a test and found a possible crack in the intake manifold and also a leak up at the front right passenger side of the motor. After some research I hear this is a common location for the intake to fail.

The shop quoted me 1100 dollars to replace the intake manifold. I'm sure its a labor intensive job. Looks like a dorman unit is 200 bucks to the door. I am just curious if I can handle the job myself.

The motor has 183k on it and the wife says what if we drop 1100 into a intake manifold swap and then it actually also has a headgasket problem.

What would you do?
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:47 PM
totalrecall totalrecall is offline
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For what's its worth on another post, I have a 2001 4.6 4X4 with 87,000 miles and with the cost of the new Fuel Pump, labor, the short tow, the hotel room for the night, ran all total about $1000. I know it's not quite the same issue, I didn't need a new manifold and I didn't have any worries about the head gaskets and I have lower miles. But this type of issue where factory parts and labor eat up about 10% or more of the vehicle value is frustrating at best.

So what I seem to toss out there on other posts as I just like to and I know it's the Expedition forum - but are you in a position to get another Expedition with lower miles or maybe even if you love the truck and how it's lasted - is this an excuse to go smaller - Explorer size - I mean used of course or go really big on a used Excursion! I am sure you have thought all this, do you need tires, brakes and/or anything else?

When I have said this before others do rightly offer that at least you know this truck best, as it's yours. And if you do fix it one way or the other, seems like folks go 250000 miles on a regular basis, so for 1100 dollars you could go another couple of years. When you say it like that, not bad.

To sound really corny - you could ask yourself what would it take for you to trade or sell of the Expeidtion. Can the shop rule out any head issues with further tests - at least you would know then even if, let's say you know were at $1200?

Mike
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Old 04-08-2011, 09:19 PM
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Moto Mel Moto Mel is offline
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Most shops oversell the work needed and often will try to sell a complete engine job or just a top end if there is overheating involved.
Did the shop do a leak down test and give you the results? Did they show you ny evidence of a coolant leak other than that at the intake manifold?
If the Dorman replacement is $200.00 a Ford unit is likely over $600.00. Are they charging for a Ford or Dorman manifold?
The job is not complex or difficult and if you can change your oil or sparkplugs you can change your intake manifold. A used manifold will cost $25.00 to $75.00 at most J/Ys. You will need a gasket set and thermostat and that is about all. If your original gaskets are good you won't even need the new ones. They are made to bwe re-used. Just buy them and don't open the package unless yours are bad. You should be able to do the job in an afternoon. Just be certain to use a good torque wrench during the assembly.
Do the job yourself and gain the experience and self confidence that goes with the accomplishment as well as keeping a thousand bucks in your bank account. Just put a number I.D. on each vacuum hose so they go in the right place when finishing up.
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Old 04-09-2011, 08:18 AM
fusioncom fusioncom is offline
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I don't know if they did a leak down or not. I am comfortable with doing the job if thats the case. I can handle just about anything, just a brand new guy to ford motors.

Right now I am trying to figure out why they think this is causing my overheating issue. I don't have a lack of fluid currently. She mentioned it looks like the system is sucking air into the coolant system via this crack/leak area causing the problems. I am wondering if this is why the fluid in the overflow tank is running over but isn't hot at all. I would assume if it was exhaust gases, it'd be fairly hot. Also when I turn the truck off you can hear it bubbling into the upper hose, and across the coolant cross member. So maybe after the truck is off its sucking even more air, cause that overflow tank pops and air bubbles alot after I turn the truck off.

The wife has been complaining of performance issues.
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Old 04-09-2011, 09:13 AM
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How long has your truck been doing this? Can you see any leaks? If a head gasket is bad you should be able to smell exhaust fumes in the reservoir and if not you can get a test kit from a parts store to check for contamination.
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Old 04-09-2011, 09:39 AM
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Well for a while now the overflow tank has had a small crack along the molded line. The other day on the way home it finally split and sprayed fluid all inside the motor bay.
The truck limped into the coolant safe mode and I limped it home at about 40MPH for approx 7 miles.

The wife has been complaining of poorer performance for a couple of months now, and I noticed it the other day. The truck almost refuses to rev past 4k and feels somewhat week even when it does.

I replace the overflow tank, and thermostat and refilled with fluid. The truck still overheats...buts its hit and miss I can drive it for 10 minutes with no problems, and then other times I can drive it for 5 and it overheats.
I noticed the leak at the front of the intake manifold the other day, but didnt suspect it was enough to cause the truck to overheat.

I don't smell exhaust fumes in the overflow tank, but I did notice when the wrecker guy drove the truck onto the bed it was blowing some white smoke from the tail pipe, but someone else said its possible the intake is leaking some fluid into the combustion chamber. It cleared up after about 5 seconds.
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Old 04-09-2011, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fusioncom View Post
Well for a while now the overflow tank has had a small crack along the molded line. The other day on the way home it finally split and sprayed fluid all inside the motor bay.
Quote:
Originally Posted by fusioncom View Post
The truck limped into the coolant safe mode and I limped it home at about 40MPH for approx 7 miles.

This could have damaged the head gasket.

The wife has been complaining of poorer performance for a couple of months now, and I noticed it the other day. The truck almost refuses to rev past 4k and feels somewhat week even when it does.

The computer and sensors might be finding problem and is restricting the performance.

I replace the overflow tank, and thermostat and refilled with fluid. The truck still overheats...buts its hit and miss I can drive it for 10 minutes with no problems, and then other times I can drive it for 5 and it overheats.

Did you bleed all of the air from the system? You may have an air pocket in the system that won't just go away. These trucks have the front and rear heaters which can hold a lot of air by themselves.

I noticed the leak at the front of the intake manifold the other day, but didnt suspect it was enough to cause the truck to overheat.

Any leak will cause an overheating problem if it is not contantly looked after by refilling the system and bleeding the air out. when the engine is at operating temp there is a pretty substantial pressure in the sytem that will force the coolent out at any weak point and as the pressure inside goes to zero it will allow air to enter the system.


I don't smell exhaust fumes in the overflow tank, but I did notice when the wrecker guy drove the truck onto the bed it was blowing some white smoke from the tail pipe, but someone else said its possible the intake is leaking some fluid into the combustion chamber. It cleared up after about 5 seconds.
A little condensation or steam is normal on cold starts and on cold days, do the sniff test at the tailpipe and see if you smell anti-freeze. If you do there is a definate problem and it is most likely a head gasket or possibly coolant getting into the intake system.
At this point I have to suggest that you do a compression test and a leak down test You might be able to get the testing equipment at a parts store using the loaner program they have. For the leak down test you will need an air compressor to put air into each cylinder at 125 to 150 psi pressure. Don't forget to do the test for exhaust gasses in the reservoir first as that might save some time by condemning the engine head gaskets without all the other tests. A shop or person with experience on your engine should be the only one to do a head gasket job on your truck as it is pretty complex, especially for a novice. Also if you have to have 1 side done, get both sides replaced as the head bolts are probably stretched and the gaskets stressed from the overheating. The head bolts are a 1 time use only so they will have to be replaced in the job.
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Old 04-09-2011, 10:35 AM
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01, 2002, 2004, 2005, 54, cracked, expedition, f150, f250, ford, intake, leak, manifold, sequence, torque

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