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Explorer, Sport Trac, Mountaineer & Aviator 1991-1994, 1995-2001, 2002-2005, 2006-2010 Ford Explorer

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  #1  
Old 08-08-2011, 10:36 AM
pjw73nh pjw73nh is offline
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Exhaust manifold leak? Sound?

Greetings,

I purchased my 2008 Explorer Ltd about 4 months ago with a 4.6L and 63k miles. I use it for towing a small travel trailer, so I don't put many miles on it. It's got about 66k on it now. According to OASIS, it has had all MFR maintenance performed up to the 60k mark.

In the past two months, it has developed a "sound" on startup. it goes away after about 75 seconds. To me it sounds like a typical exh manifold leak. That "3 cylinder, putt putt putt tractor" sound. There is no apparent affect on performance. It is definitely coming from the area of cyl #1. I have a recording here.

https://picasaweb.google.com/1039561...eat=directlink

It is the "higher" of the sounds. The lower pulsing/whooshing is just regular engine noise. You can hear the regular engine noise as the camera pans to the back of the car.

What puzzles me is that the exh manifold sound goes away after 75 seconds or so. Holding the tailpipe shut for a bit builds up lots of pressure quickly. Do you think it IS in fact an exh manifold leak, and it seals up with thermal expansion as the engine worms up (75 seconds)? Is this a typical issue with the 4.6L

Thoughts, comments suggestions?

Thanks.

Paul.../NH

Last edited by pjw73nh; 08-11-2011 at 10:06 AM. Reason: Corrected Link address
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  #2  
Old 08-08-2011, 02:47 PM
wickware wickware is offline
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Have you checked the torque on the manifold bolts? While it is cold I would think before it expands. You might also try an automotive stethoscope to listen up close and compare with other areas.

I missed something on being able to listen to the sound or my XP Pro s/w is not compatible w/o etc.. jow
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  #3  
Old 08-11-2011, 10:07 AM
pjw73nh pjw73nh is offline
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Sorry about that. I corrected the link,. It should work now. Thanks.

https://picasaweb.google.com/1039561...eat=directlink
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  #4  
Old 08-13-2011, 06:02 PM
wickware wickware is offline
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I was able to listen to your corrected file w/sound but I c/n hear the sound loud or clear enough to make a suggestion. Did you check the torque on the bolts or feel or listen close for a leak before the engine worms–up or noise goes away?

Have you considered you might have a sticking lifter and considered using an additive? Rislon was my additive of choice when I was active in the 70s-80s. Friends running a Auto Shop now recommends Lucas. Last, have you gotten the opinion of a reputable Auto Shop before any real damage is done (blown gasket, valve damage, etc). jow
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  #5  
Old 10-05-2011, 10:30 AM
pjw73nh pjw73nh is offline
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Greetings again Wickware et al, Yes I did get an opinion from a reputable place during my annual state inspection yesterday, while it was on the lift.

It turns out it is an exhaust leak of some kind in the area of the #1 cylinder. As mentioned above, my symptoms are:

1. When started from cold, there is a loud, very characteristic sound of a manifold leak from the front passenger side of the engine.

2. In warmer (summer) weather, it goes away completely within about 60-75 seconds. In cooler (fall) weather, it is taking 90 or so seconds to go away.

we really couldn't see anything tell-tale from the bottom or the top, so I am feeling I will need to at least get to a point where I can see the manifold clearly.

Looking for the best way to get a good view of it, so I can determine the next step.

Thanks.

P..../NH
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  #6  
Old 10-05-2011, 09:12 PM
wickware wickware is offline
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Get a good trusted mechanic’s opinion. I’m sure they will have a stethoscope etc to listen to the sound. The fact that the sound is going away with heat is indicating a possible leak that will only get worse. Good Luck! jow
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  #7  
Old 11-16-2011, 09:03 PM
pjw73nh pjw73nh is offline
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Well, I jacked up the Ex and removed the inner wheel well to get a good look-see at the #1 cylinder exhaust manifold area. Take a look at the picture here.

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink

No stud.

So now I am faced with going to the dealer to see if they will cover this under the 8/80 emissions performance warranty. I can't find any "detailed, specific, part by part" list of what the 8/80 covers. I really don't want to pay $600-$800+ for this to be fixed. ESPECIALLY since no one knows what the root cause is or whether it will happen again. Was it poor workmanship in assembly? Poor design using two metals that expand at VERY different rates with heat? Bad manifold? Bad stud? Who knows?

I have a friend that works at a Ford dealer as a master tech. He said it is a bitch of a job. Not only is access difficult, but he said that the stud breaks off flush and has to be drilled out with increasing sized drill bits. All the while being VERY careful to not pierce the water jacket.

Anyone have any luck getting this covered under 8/80? I am at 67k right now.

Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions?

Thanks.
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  #8  
Old 11-17-2011, 07:34 PM
wickware wickware is offline
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Good Luck! It took me two years but Ford replaced a motor in my 1976 Monarch (a demo w/6,000 mi at purchase and 15,000 before it was replaced due to me taking it back the next day). The pan was eventually pulled and a piston skirt was in the pan broken off from pinging labor from the new un-leaded fuel, timing and etc. The piston was replaced but I found 5 ext bolts twisted off and requested a new engine. They agreed to a short block vs a complete engine. I traded @ 140,000 mi w/o a motor problem after 10 yrs.

The key was going directly to Ford’s CEO and Adm and a Zone Manager came to me and asked what did he need to do to satisfy me. I gave him less than 10 items with replacing the engine and a cracked Plastic Dash as majors and all were taken care of. It can be a time consuming process to get to the right person but it's possible (a Zone Manager might be the place to start). jow
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  #9  
Old 08-03-2012, 10:08 AM
pjw73nh pjw73nh is offline
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Update: I took my 08 LTD 67 Kmiles (see above) to the dealer a few weeks ago for a diagnosis on the noise. As we expected... Exhaust manifold. Approx $1100. I did not have them do the work at that time.

I asked about warranty and they said that all they do is plug the VIN into the computer and it says yes or no. Mine said no.

Then I found on page 29 of the 2008 warranty manual that there is a warranty called the "Long Term Defects Warranty.

See image here: https://picasaweb.google.com/1039561...eat=directlink

The exhaust manifold is listed. I called Ford customer service and after about 15 mins of research they told me it SHOULD be covered, they didn't know why it wasn't. The attendant was all set to make an appointment at my dealer for me and he said he had to run it by his supervisor. This is where we hit a wall.

They referred me to page 28 where it says (paraphrasing) If your car is registered in what Ford considers a "green" state, the defect is covered. If it is registered in what they consider a non-green state, it is NOT covered. Ford considers all of the states SURROUNDING New Hampshire (my state) green. Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York and many others. Therefore MY defect is not covered. Even though the car was registered in New York for the first 63k miles of its life.

I know. They are doing nothing illegal. They are adhering to the "LETTER" of their warranty.

My issue is that for a company with a reputation like they have, (best selling truck, Built Ford Tough etc). Should an exhaust manifold go at 4000 miles out of warranty? I have had vehicles run over 200k without needing an exhaust manifold.

I wrote to their customer service dept, and explained in very nice, accurate terms what the issue was. (That an item like this should not need to be replaced at 70k. That is was a very common issue etc.). That to have the warranty be "state of registration" dependent is ludicrous. This seems like a very easy way out of the repair for them. Ford is known for building a durable, quality vehicle. The bottom line is: Does Ford build a quality vehicle that they will stand behind or not?

My answer came in the mail last week. A very short, terse letter stating (and I quote)

"We uphold the decision of the customer service rep you spoke with on the phone. Unless you have further information, this matter is now closed"

Then the part about "Thank you for being a loyal Ford customer BLAH BLAH BLAH... "

They missed my point. I didn't disagree with the reps decision, I was disagreeing with their warranty policy. They just didn't get it.

I could understand if perhaps the manifold went at even 100k, but 4K above the std warranty?!?!?!? Still included under long term warranty (but excluded because of state of registration)?!?!?! Is there no "good will" on their part? Do they think this is going to make me want to buy another Ford product? (I've had 6, 3 brand new).

With dependability and customer service like this, Is it any wonder the imports are kicking the US *** when it comes to motor vehicle sales ???

Venting off. Sorry for the rant.

P.../NH
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  #10  
Old 08-03-2012, 10:11 AM
pjw73nh pjw73nh is offline
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And now, (Hopefully the last) update on this issue:

I took my 'splorer in to a local and very small exhaust chain this week. Lou's Custom Exhaust. They had come highly recommended from several people. I had spoken with the owner a couple of months ago, explained my issue, and he just nodded and said that he has done hundreds of these (Ford 3 valve V8's). He knew exactly what the deal was.

Anyway, I got my car back yesterday. Quiet as a mouse. Haven't driven it long enough to see if there are still fumes in the cab, but on the short ride home, there appeared to be none.

He found BOTH #1 cyl bolts broken. He pulled the manifold off, removed all the studs including the broken ones, put all new (higher quality) studs in, a new manifold gasket and nuts. Total was $450. That would have taken me the better part of a 3-day weekend a long-term elevation in blood pressure, and perhaps a few minor cuts, lacerations and burns. Well worth the money in my book.

Hopefully I am done with this debacle.

P.../NH
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  #11  
Old 08-03-2012, 11:09 AM
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KhanTyranitar KhanTyranitar is offline
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The 8 year/ 80,000 mile emissions warranty covers anything and everything that can cause an emissions failure. This is not per the manufacturer, this is per EPA mandate. this means that all manufacturers have to meet these guidelines. Any exhaust leak located in front of the catalytic converters is an emissions failure whether you have a CEL or not. This is because unprocessed exhaust contains toxic gases, including carbon monoxide. Even though it is only leaking for ~75 seconds, this will get worse over time, and carbon monoxide is toxic even in small amounts, and its toxicity is cumulative, which means that you don't have to be exposed for long or to much, repeated exposures build up toxicity in the blood, and it takes the body a long time to get rid of it. Do I think there is enough there to cause you any harm? No. But any exhaust leak ahead of the catalytic converter is considered by the EPA to be an emissions failure, and all emissions failures are covered under the 8 year/80,000 mile manufacturers emissions warranty.

Here is what the EPA has to say on the subject, and yes, exhaust manifolds are considered to be part of the emissions control system, and it clearly states that things like gaskets are covered, so if a leak exists, it needs to be corrected under the factory emissions warranty.

http://www.epa.gov/oms/consumer/warr95fs.txt

Even if they decide a leak that small is not grounds for an emissions failure currently, this leak will get worse, and will eventually cause an emissions failure, and the problem began within the warranty period.
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:37 AM
pjw73nh pjw73nh is offline
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KhanTyranitar

Not to disagree with you (Believe me, if I thought I could have this repaired under warranty, I would not have given up). I have tried everything. We're on the same page here.

The issue here is two fold. 1. The car does not fail inspection which is what the EPA mandate specifies. Thus the 8/80 is not applicable to my case. Within 60-90 seconds the noise is gone and if you plug the tailpipe, there is no hissing/leak. The car will not set the MIL. The OBDII tests that are required for inspection do not "test" for this. NH does not do "tailpipe" emission/smog tests (yet). The noise and fumes are only present in the first few minutes of operation. The inspector is NOT required to drive the vehicle.

The second issue is (according to page 29 in my warranty manual)

https://picasaweb.google.com/1039561...eat=directlink

the parts and repair ARE covered by a "long term defects warranty". However, Ford said that because the car is not registered in what they are calling a "green" state, they have no obligation under that warranty to repair the vehicle.

As an aside, yes, blood has 15x more affinity for CO than oxygen. Very difficult to detox. Takes a long time. That said, I drove around for 2-3 weeks with 2 CO detectors in the cab. Neither one budged off of "000" ppm. Under the tailpipe they both registered "999".

At this point, I have already had the repair done (Non-Ford dealer), so any hope of reimbursement is dashed. I took my lumps, it's fixed. Never again will I buy or recommend a Ford product to anyone.

Thanks I appreciate your reply and input.

P.../NH
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  #13  
Old 08-03-2012, 01:27 PM
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If you think either Chevy Dodge, Toyota, Honda, or anyone else is better, think again. This is what would be classified as an uncommon problem. I'm disappointed that they did not step up to the plate and take care of it, but no other brand would have either. Overall, your vehicle is still better built and higher quality than most other domestic makes.

Owning a vehicle is an expense, theres no way around this. If you own a car, you will have to spend money to keep it on the road, thats just the way it is.
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Old 08-03-2012, 01:27 PM
 
 
 
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