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Warped Manifold Ordeal

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Old 08-10-2017, 04:53 PM
Lance990 Lance990 is offline
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Warped Manifold Ordeal

Jesus H. Christ on a popsicle stick! I have had an unbelievable experience with my new-to-me 2007 F350 Lariat Supercab DRW V10. And, it ain't over yet!

Back story:

The F350 I bought back on 6/15 had 2 broken studs, one on each side, that I found after I brought it home. The good news is that the dealer I bought it from gave me 3,000 mile/3-month warranty that SPECIFICALLY covered manifolds among other parts. Within days of taking delivery, I found the issue and immediately contacted the dealer. He agreed to fix it at his shop and arranged for one of his guys to come pick it up and drive it back while leaving me a rental car. Great deal, right? I live in Louisville, KY and the dealership was in Michigan. That's a long haul! Even better, right?

Well, they kept it for 11 days and broke 11 studs trying to repair it. Prior to the dealership picking up the truck, I had a long talk with the owner about doing things right like checking to see if the manifold was warped and milling or replacing it, if necessary. He assured me that it would be done right.

11 days later I drove the rental car halfway to Michigan to meet his driver and take delivery of the newly repaired F350. Started it up cold the next day and guess what? Yep, manifold leak on the driver's side. Called the owner and said maybe they needed to be re-torqued? He agreed to pay for it if I took to a local shop near me. Took it it in and they re-torqued the studs and nuts and it still leaked. Talked to the owner again after he paid them to check the torque and he said he wanted me to let them take it off and see what the problem was. I told him I needed the truck for the weekend and would set up a time the following week to bring it in. I dropped it off on a Sunday but they did not even start on it until 9 days later.

I stopped by the shop today and inquired about the progress and the tech took me over to the truck to show me what he had found. They took the manifold off and found that it was, indeed, warped. However, he also found where they had drilled out studs, some at an angle with the manifold still on the truck. In other words, they never checked the manifold to see if it was warped. There was drill damage in the manifold stud holes where they wallowed out the holes trying to remove the studs. Also, they drilled a hole so large that the stud wouldn't even grab the threads on the hole nearest the firewall on the driver's side. There was RTV around the manifold where they had tried to seal the leak. No kidding.

The local tech said the owner wanted to see it but he just had back surgery so it might be a day or two before he gets in to the shop. I don't know if the thread holes can be repaired or if the head needs to be replaced. The tech said that one of their ace mechanics has been able to fill in the holes and tap them to the proper size on other vehicles but I am getting concerned about future problems with them. One of the holes that was drilled at an angle is really starting to bug me. I wonder if they may have drilled into a coolant passage and if there will be more problems down the road.

My question for you guys is "what would you do?" Since the dealer is paying for all of this, should I insist they replace the head or hope for the best with the repair?

At this point, the truck has been in the shop more than it has been in my garage. I expressed my frustration to the dealership owner and he said he didn't like unfounded accusations about his guy doing crappy work. I reminded him that the proof is on the manifold. He originally assured me they would not put a warped manifold back on the truck and I reminded him of that but evidence suggests they never removed it. I am having the tech take photos of the damage and text me proof that it is damaged and warped.

I am trying to be nice to the dealer until this is resolved. I don't want this to go south because I need him to make this right. I reminded him that he would be upset if he were me and that we should work the problem together to find a solution.
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:40 PM
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Get your money back and find another truck.
If the dealership owner is so confident in the workmanship of his employees that should be no problem.
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:54 PM
Lance990 Lance990 is offline
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That was the first thing I suggested to the dealer but he said that was never gonna happen. I wanted him to buy it back from me at the very beginning but that wasn't a possibility. I only agreed to let him do the repairs after he rejected my offer. I have decided to sell the truck once I get it repaired but I can't do that when it is always in the shop. I am going to take a huge loss on this truck if I sell but that is just unavoidable. I don't want to litigate this but I may have to.

Also, "dealer" is a bit of a misnomer. He owns a used car dealership, not a Ford dealership. I just wanted to be clear about that.
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Old 08-10-2017, 08:13 PM
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I think you're too hot about it. That's understandable.
Let the new shop fix it, keep the truck and then move on with life.
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Old 08-11-2017, 06:59 AM
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Get them to replace the head. But do it at a shop YOU trust.
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Old 08-11-2017, 07:47 AM
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If they drilled into a coolant passage the stud won't seal the hole, to confirm that have them remove all the studs and do a pressure test on the system and see if you get coolant. Just how much is the one stud on a angle, if it's not to bad they may be able to use a tapping block ( a thick piece of steel with a tight clearance hole for the tap) over the hole and tap the hole straight to a little bigger tap size, someone on FTE said he went to a 5/16 stud. If you have to open the holes up some to get the manifold to slide over the studs just use stainless washers over the holes. I also wouldn't use a Ford gasket because they aren't very forgiving when it comes to any warping on the manifold, I like a Fel Pro gasket on old motors that have been through a lot of heat cycles. I'm not a big fan of tearing into the internals of a motor unless it's needed for a internal problem.

Denny
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Old 08-11-2017, 08:02 AM
Lance990 Lance990 is offline
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Originally Posted by Im50fast View Post
I think you're too hot about it. That's understandable.
Let the new shop fix it, keep the truck and then move on with life.
You are probably right about this but I'm justifiably angry. It's not helpful to be angry but I think it is understandable. To get what I want out of this, I have to be like Fonzie. And what's Fonzie like? Cool. That's right, honey bun.
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Old 08-11-2017, 08:10 AM
Lance990 Lance990 is offline
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Originally Posted by rvpuller View Post
If they drilled into a coolant passage the stud won't seal the hole, to confirm that have them remove all the studs and do a pressure test on the system and see if you get coolant. Just how much is the one stud on a angle, if it's not to bad they may be able to use a tapping block ( a thick piece of steel with a tight clearance hole for the tap) over the hole and tap the hole straight to a little bigger tap size, someone on FTE said he went to a 5/16 stud. If you have to open the holes up some to get the manifold to slide over the studs just use stainless washers over the holes. I also wouldn't use a Ford gasket because they aren't very forgiving when it comes to any warping on the manifold, I like a Fel Pro gasket on old motors that have been through a lot of heat cycles. I'm not a big fan of tearing into the internals of a motor unless it's needed for a internal problem.

Denny
Great advice and much appreciated! I expressed my concern about tapping into a water jacket as well. Common sense dictates that if you have broken studs then you likely have a warped manifold. It's clear they never removed it to check for flatness even though he promised me he would. The tech at the local muffler shop where it is being worked on told me they often try to repair studs without removing the manifold. This just seems counter-intuitive to me especially if a warped manifold is suspected.

The pressure test seems like the absolutely imperative thing to do. I have a kit at home they can borrow, if needed. I bought it and tested the pressure on my '06 Land Cruiser to make sure I wasn't leaking coolant into the exhaust because the cats are bad but not clogged. I even did a leak-down test overnight and it was fine.


I had not thought of the test and I'm glad you mentioned it.
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Old 08-11-2017, 10:08 AM
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When I did my 4.6 studs my manifold was warped but not to bad, I just used a file on it first carefully hitting to ports at a time and finished it off with a piece of sandpaper on a flat surface by draging the manifold over the paper. My thinking is it already warped so you have a better chance of it not doing it again.

This is the style of gasket I use because it's more forgiving, this is a 4.6 one so the V10 will look different but the material will be the same.

Denny
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Old 08-11-2017, 12:52 PM
Lance990 Lance990 is offline
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I just talked to the shop and the owner said the best they can do is install helicoils in all of the stud holes and replace the manifold with a new one. He is not guaranteeing that will fix the leaks and said if it doesn't, then the head might have to come off and they don't do that kind of work. He said he would pressure test the system without the studs to see if any water jackets were damaged first before anything else. He said the dealer's tech must have drilled out the holes in the manifold because the studs holes were drilled at an angle (which means the studs were angled) and the manifold wouldn't line up with the studs. ****ty work, I tell you.

I texted the dealer and told him to call the shop because they have a plan and told him to call me after he spoke with the muffler shop. According to the shop owner, it could be $2k or more to finish the work. The manifolds are almost $800, so that is nearly half of the cost.

We'll see what the dealer says now. He might want to reconsider my original offer of a buyback depending on how much of his profit this is going to eat up. He can take the truck back, button everything up and sell it to some other poor sap and make even more money if he chooses but that's not likely going to happen. He likely doesn't want this headache back on his lot.
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Old 08-11-2017, 02:21 PM
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Man, that's a bummer! I hope the new shop makes it right for you.
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Old 08-11-2017, 03:39 PM
Lance990 Lance990 is offline
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The dealer called my guy at the muffler shop and the owner told him that those studs looked like grass growing out of the ground since they were sticking in there in every direction. The dealer hasn't called me back yet so that's why I called the shop. I guess the dealer is going to go into hiding now and change his name. The owner of the shop said that the dealer said "My guy has never had any problems like this before" which the owner said was a dead giveaway that that his guy had never done this before. The owner told me that he never has to drill out the studs. He has a stick that will attach to the stud and not stick to the aluminum head. He said it might take 6 hours on one stud but he's batting 100 on getting them out without drilling. He said that if he can't get the helicoils to work that the head has to come off and that's where his part ends because he doesn't do that kind of work.

Before I bought this truck, I was looking at one in Minnesota at a Ford dealership. I told them I wanted to coem up there and see it and they said that they had it in the shop with the cab off of it replacing the manifold studs on it. Sometimes, that is the easy way to do this project. It's hard and that's why I let the dealer do it. But, he didn't fix it, he made it worse.

Who knows what the dealer is going to do next? I hate that I put my local muffler shop in this position, but it really wasn't my fault. It was the dealer's fault and his crappy mechanic.

Sorry guys. Sometimes I just need to bitch. I appreciate all of the responses.
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Old 08-11-2017, 07:18 PM
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Rock Auto has a manifold for $326.99 with gasket.

Denny
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Old 08-11-2017, 07:35 PM
300sflyer 300sflyer is offline
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I had the same thing happen to me and I feel your pain...

The shop replacing my studs on my 08 F350 V10 drilled into the head and caused a coolant leak.... They ending up removing both heads, having them welded, and then re-drilling and taping all the stud holes for 3/8 studs. I machined the surface of the manifolds flat again before they were reinstalled. I insisted on stainless studs and nuts, so they don't rot away again. Lucky for me the shop covered most of the extra labour.
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Old 08-11-2017, 09:13 PM
Lance990 Lance990 is offline
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Originally Posted by 300sflyer View Post
I had the same thing happen to me and I feel your pain...

The shop replacing my studs on my 08 F350 V10 drilled into the head and caused a coolant leak.... They ending up removing both heads, having them welded, and then re-drilling and taping all the stud holes for 3/8 studs. I machined the surface of the manifolds flat again before they were reinstalled. I insisted on stainless studs and nuts, so they don't rot away again. Lucky for me the shop covered most of the extra labour.
Has the repair held up? The dealer I bought the truck from is offering me a check for $1,750 to do whatever I want with it. In other words, he is trying buy me out of the warranty. At this point, the warranty no longer matters. His mechanic destroyed the heads on my truck and they are liable for it. I'm not going to let him off the hook. I have no idea what the passenger side looks like even though it does not appear to leak. He's got to be held accountable for the damage his mechanic has done. Either he buys it back or we take it to a Ford dealership and repair both heads, replace the manifolds and he pays for it all. He has ruined the value of the truck until it is made whole again.

Last edited by Lance990; 08-11-2017 at 10:54 PM. Reason: Whining moderator
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