Phenolic Intake Manifold Spacer

XR4Ti / Sierra / Sierra Cosworth Discussions - Questions, problem resolution, general talk, technical tips and modifications.
thesameguy
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1897
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 5:06 pm
Location: Sacramento
Contact:

Phenolic Intake Manifold Spacer

Post by thesameguy » Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:57 pm

A long time ago someone made some phenolic spacers for the intake manifold... I bought one and never got around to installing it.

I'm planning to do it this weekend, but was curious if anybody else has one, and how it's held up over time. I'd hate to install it and find out it's gonna cause a problem down the road. :)

lowered86
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 281
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 3:32 am
Location: Elko, NV

Re: Phenolic Intake Manifold Spacer

Post by lowered86 » Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:07 pm

If you're worried, you should just sell it to me.

Dan

User avatar
Esteban
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1963
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:07 am
Location: San Diego

Re: Phenolic Intake Manifold Spacer

Post by Esteban » Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:34 pm

Never heard any issues from anyone running them

thesameguy
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1897
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 5:06 pm
Location: Sacramento
Contact:

Re: Phenolic Intake Manifold Spacer

Post by thesameguy » Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:29 pm

Well, I hope to add to the list of people that have had no problems. :)

I planned to do the install this weekend but realized much too late that despite a HUGE collection of 2.3l gaskets, I have no lower intake manifold ones. :( Ordered a pair (I think it's appropriate to gasket both sides of the spacer) and will hopefully do the install next weekend.... unless the weather hoses me.

Edit: In case anyone cares, the motivation for finally installing this thing is Dorman. When I redid the cooling system on this car a few years ago, I used a Dorman tee to elegantly put the whole thing together... I'd removed the factory oil cooler and with it some hoses and tubes, but still had the return from the intake manifold. Dorman solved that for me -

Image

... for about 4,000 miles, after which it catastrophically failed in traffic, leaving me completely stranded and fearing for the engine.

Image

I contacted Dorman and they were very apologetic, assured me that it was rare for these tees to fail, and that they were fully intended for use with coolant in an engine bay. They sent me free replacements!

The replacement lasted about 1,200 miles and five months. Failed again in the exact same way. At night, after parking the car and turning it off. Real mad.

Dorman is inexplicably the only company that makes a 5/8x5/8x3/8 tee in this configuration. I don't want to use some giant kludgy brass NPT contraption up there. Worth noting is that I have a similar tee, but 5/8" all around, up front from Gates, positioned even closer to the manifold and it's *fine*. There is something utterly substandard about this Dorman tee. So, Dorman forced my hand - time for the spacer and blocking of coolant from the intake manifold entirely.

I'm not using the temp gauge sender (it's been dead for years) and relocated the fan switch a long, long time ago so the only thing holding me back is the EGR tube, but I think I'll be able to bend it to make up the 1/4" I need. I hope I can, anyway!

User avatar
Esteban
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1963
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:07 am
Location: San Diego

Re: Phenolic Intake Manifold Spacer

Post by Esteban » Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:35 pm

Why not use a 5/8 brass tee in that location, and a 5/8 to 3/8 reducer on the other side of the valve cover. No more plastic parts. -=o)

User avatar
Mike McCreight
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 3978
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2003 8:44 pm
Location: Ottawa! Well, Manotick, actually...

Re: Phenolic Intake Manifold Spacer

Post by Mike McCreight » Fri Apr 07, 2017 8:14 am

If you have the old plumbing, and a tubing cutter, the part is right there.
I used the T where the intake manifold hose plumbs into the oil cooler pipe.
I'd post a pic, but F'in photobucket is SO frustrating these days.
On that, is there a functional photo hosting site that works for people these days?
It's not a hobby, it's an obsession!

User avatar
John Brennan
Level 8
Posts: 11424
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2003 4:19 pm
Location: Scottsdale, AZ "Summer Is Coming"

Re: Phenolic Intake Manifold Spacer

Post by John Brennan » Fri Apr 07, 2017 8:36 am

Mike McCreight wrote:If you have the old plumbing, and a tubing cutter, the part is right there.
I used the T where the intake manifold hose plumbs into the oil cooler pipe.
I'd post a pic, but F'in photobucket is SO frustrating these days.
On that, is there a functional photo hosting site that works for people these days?
I thought you had a pic of this up at one point. I think it's an excellent idea. Would be great if you could dig it up...
This is my car, and these are my people!
1989 XR4Ti 5-Speed
2001 BMW Z3 3.0 5-Speed
2015 Fiesta ST 6-Speed
2015 Edge 3.5 V6 Auto/Paddles

Ed Lijewski
Level 8
Posts: 7022
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 5:53 pm
Location: The Belly of The Beast

Re: Phenolic Intake Manifold Spacer

Post by Ed Lijewski » Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:08 am

Re Photobucket if most if not all of many photos are dumped into your "Bucket" rather than into individual Albums in your Library the service will be verrry slow to load.

I've got maybe 30-35 albums plus the main bucket and Photobucket loads fine for me.

YMMV
Descartes: "Cogito Ergo Sum"
Lijewski: "Sum Ergo Drive-O. Mucho!

jkxr4ti
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 948
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2004 1:43 pm
Location: Rochester, NY

Re: Phenolic Intake Manifold Spacer

Post by jkxr4ti » Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:10 pm

I've found that the Photobucket app is much friendlier. The website is just ad central lately. It still works ok for forum posting with the img tag but forget about browsing an album. I've been thinking of going to google photos.
Merkur....Its German for Mutt....Mustang, Saab, Volvo, Lincoln, Contour, Cummins... and the list goes on.

Jeremy Kemp

1988 XR4Ti Chestnut Brown/Spice Leather
MC2 Coilovers and Bushings, Contour Rims and Rotors, Ported Motorsport Head, Cosworth 4x4 Intercooler, Holset HY35 Turbo, 80LB Injectors, Megasquirt2 EFI

thesameguy
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1897
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 5:06 pm
Location: Sacramento
Contact:

Re: Phenolic Intake Manifold Spacer

Post by thesameguy » Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:38 pm

The reason I don't want to use brass is space and weight. I know that sounds insane, but it's a very small amount of space and the right combo of brass fittings is quite large and I don't like that pointless space and weight, and I hate having my engine look like I paid a plumber to fix it. :( I bought the correct array of fittings in aluminum to make it at least look like I tried, but it's still a physically huge intersection. There's no reason you should not be able to use plastic here, zero. I have a Gates 5/8" tee on the other side connecting the water pump to the "head tube" to the coolant reservoir, just inches from the exhaust manifold and it's been fine for a very, long time. This problem is purely poor Dorman quality... it's actually pretty sad because the crap Dorman part cost more than the good Gates part.

But, it's okay, it's on the past. I paid good money for the spacer and it's going to get used!

Image

It was kind of an annoying fit - I could not get it placed without removing the valve cover - the Felpro Permadry gasket got in the way. Hopefully this activity does not result in a leak. ;)

I bought some Permatex "Permashield," which I've read is a clone of Hylomar Universal Blue with a cheaper solvent. It's $9 for vs $30 for 2oz, so I'll live with it! I used a foam brush to spread it all over the phenolic spacer, then "glued" one intake manifold gasket to each side. I hacked off the heads of a couple long M8 bolts to use as dowels to get everything lined up and install was pretty darned painless. The EGR tube required minor adjustment to fit properly, not a big deal.

My instrument cluster gauge hasn't worked in probably a decade (bad sensor, not gauge) - long ago I installed a VDO temp gauge with the sender in the DG/MC2 aluminum thermostat housing, so that was already taken care of. I still had to relocate the ECM CTS, so I used a Four Seasons 84540:

Image

I don't know what it's for. Rockauto says it's an AC fitting that fits no cars. ;) I placed it in the feed to the heater valve/core - it's where the CTS goes on dual-plug Mustangs, hopefully whatever slight differences in temperature it sees don't upset anything. I can't imagine +/- 10 degrees or so would... not on EEC-IV anyway. A Gates 28467 (5/8" L hose) got hacked up to go between the tube on the head, this fitting, and the heater control valve. A second 28467 plus a Gates 18701 (5/8" tight U hose) got hacked up to return the valve to the tubes. Looks very factory, I'll post a picture of it later.

One less hose, maybe a cooler intake, and hopefully no more coolant all over the place!

thesameguy
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1897
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 5:06 pm
Location: Sacramento
Contact:

Re: Phenolic Intake Manifold Spacer

Post by thesameguy » Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:02 pm

Heater hose final configuration:

Image

Guess I'll keep an eye on that Gates coupler, but it can't fair worse than the garbage Dorman one!

dunhamr1
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 296
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:00 pm
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Contact:

Re: Phenolic Intake Manifold Spacer

Post by dunhamr1 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:21 pm

Curious why you would need the spacer for the intake when you can get a gasket that doesn't have the hole for the water passages (if you were blocking the coolant from the lower intake)?

http://forum.turboford.org/cgi-bin/ulti ... 0;t=000100

"Made for a 1984 Ford LTD 2.3L LPG (propane).

Fel-Pro #-MS91806

Get one at rockauto for $6."
-Ryan Dunham
1989 Merkur XR4Ti - nickname: "SheaXR4"
Daily: 2016 VW Golf R
Old daily: 2003 VW Golf MkIV TDI, 200k+ mi

"Racing is Life. Anything else is just waiting." -Steve McQueen

User avatar
John Brennan
Level 8
Posts: 11424
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2003 4:19 pm
Location: Scottsdale, AZ "Summer Is Coming"

Re: Phenolic Intake Manifold Spacer

Post by John Brennan » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:24 pm

dunhamr1 wrote:Curious why you would need the spacer for the intake when you can get a gasket that doesn't have the hole for the water passages (if you were blocking the coolant from the lower intake)?

http://forum.turboford.org/cgi-bin/ulti ... 0;t=000100

"Made for a 1984 Ford LTD 2.3L LPG (propane).

Fel-Pro #-MS91806

Get one at rockauto for $6."
How long would just a gasket hold up to the heat and pressure unless you had something solid behind it?
This is my car, and these are my people!
1989 XR4Ti 5-Speed
2001 BMW Z3 3.0 5-Speed
2015 Fiesta ST 6-Speed
2015 Edge 3.5 V6 Auto/Paddles

thesameguy
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1897
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 5:06 pm
Location: Sacramento
Contact:

Re: Phenolic Intake Manifold Spacer

Post by thesameguy » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:36 pm

Yeah, I just wouldn't trust that. It's probably fine, but I don't want to replace one problem with another. If I was going to do something like that, I would place some thin stainless between the gasket and manifold as reinforcement. I've seen people do that on wet carb'd V8 manifolds. Used a similar technique to block the exhaust heated choke port on my Cadillac 429.

But, the point here was equally "phenolic spacer" and "block coolant," and I already owned the spacer. No point in buying more stuff.

lowered86
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 281
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 3:32 am
Location: Elko, NV

Re: Phenolic Intake Manifold Spacer

Post by lowered86 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:02 am

Have you guys seen the gasket?

Image

It's not a typical paper gasket if that's what you're thinking. The gasket measures .0480" thick and it has a steel core. I'm eliminating water from my lower intake and I'm using this gasket because I can't get my hands on a phenolic spacer. I'm planning a 4500 mile round trip to Carlisle and running this gasket doesn't worry me at all.

Dan

Post Reply