I developed the annoying little tick just before 100K miles.
Dealer quoted me $1100 – unless studs broke; then add $$ for each one.
I decide to tackle it myself.
You need to take off the inner fender well, the starter, unbolt the exhaust from the manifolds on both sides and unbolt the hangers all the way back. If you have a transmission skid plate; take it off to allow the entire exhaust to move back out of your way. Now I sprayed all the studs with Kroil and let it set. I took my time and was able to get all the nuts off and all the studs out without breaking even one!
I had to take out the studs to get the manifold out. Otherwise I think I would have had to unbolt the motor mount and lift the engine to get it out.
#4 cylinder was the culprit and manifold was warped.
I bought my new manifold at Napa and it came with gaskets and 4 studs. $90
The strange thing is – the studs are the wrong size. ??.
I decided to go ahead and buy new studs; so I got them from Ford dealer - $20 for all 8
But they don’t come with new nuts…
Putting the new manifold on went very well….until… I was torqueing the nuts and one let go (tight then loose) meaning I had a stripped hole.
No way to get a drill in there; so I filed the end of a drill bit into a hex and it fit in an 8mm socket. Drilling out the aluminum was easy with a ratchet and a few extensions – just went slow with light pressure and I backed out often. Now I tapped it out and put in a helicoil insert.
This time it tightened up OK.
Now back together and it sounds GREAT!
Definitely a time consuming job, just because of the amount of work to get there, but well worth it for me to save a thousand dollars!
I started on mine last weekend...same exact problem at same mileage. Its has been a pain in the a**! But im in the military and called the auto shop on post and they want $180.00 to change both sides! Im definitely taking it to them to do and its warrantied. The local exhaust shops wanted 800to to do it. I just hope the manifold is not warped.