Exhaust manifold damage

XR4Ti / Sierra / Sierra Cosworth Discussions - Questions, problem resolution, general talk, technical tips and modifications.
Merkur Club web site
User avatar
andyofcolumbusmerkur
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1266
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:58 pm
Location: NE Ohio

Re: Exhaust manifold damage

Post by andyofcolumbusmerkur »

Looks like that wastegate is almost 500 bucks. Another option would be to bolt up something like this "ultimate internal" unit.
https://www.atpturbo.com/mm5/merchant.m ... y_Code=WGT
Image
Image
You do not pick Merkur, Merkur picks you.
StratosSpawn
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2016 4:36 pm
Location: Wilton, NY

Re: Exhaust manifold damage

Post by StratosSpawn »

Thanks everyone so far for the great replies and ideas! Over the weekend I managed to get things started as far as tearing things apart to get a better idea of what needs to be done.
I contacted both Stinger Performance and TiAL Sport, and while Stinger does not believe that the tubular manifold is theirs (which I'm not 100% sure that it is either, but have no way of knowing for certain apart from the bit of information that I'm getting from the person emailing me), the TiAL Sport guys didn't have the serial number from the valve in their database but after reviewing some photos the rep believes that it is indeed an authentic TiAL Sport wastegate. The downside with the wastegate, however, is that the center support seems to have gotten bent after falling down and getting stuck under the car. I was unable to push open the discharge port before noticing that it was not perfectly aligned. TiAL Sport is willing to actually RMA the unit, and when they get it back they will disassemble it to evaluate the actual damage and then provide an estimate to fix it. The rep did say that the F46 model is one of the older models that runs over $500, so if the repair were to approach that level they would just recommend replacing it with a new unit, either the same model, or a newer style that fits in a smaller area, flows better, opens faster and uses V band exhaust connections (which would obviously require a bit of rework) for even less than the F46 model.
While tearing things apart, I did discover that the exhaust side of the turbo is only a 4 bolt flange, and the downpipe does appear to have been cut and reworked to have a slightly smaller diameter pipe and flange that mates to the 4 bolt connection of the turbo.
Part of me is thinking that it would be smarter just to rework the system by getting a different exhaust manifold that allows the turbo to sit lower down in the engine bay, closer to stock position, which would allow me to not worry about the spark plug wires getting overheated and failing as they have since I've owned the car.
So I've just got to remove the oil drain line from the bottom side of the turbo, and then I can remove the whole turbo and get the exhaust manifold off. I know you guys all love pictures as you are able to get a much better idea of what's going on and what's being talked about, so here are some more:

The nice bend in the wastegate:
Image
Image

The flange that was coming off of the exhaust manifold (looks like it may have been repaired once or twice :wink:) :
Image
Image

And the exhaust side of the turbo showing the 4 bolt mounting flange:
Image

Almost forgot to mention that the TiAL Sport rep recommends that the discharge from the wastegate actually feeds back in to the exhaust rather than just discharging out completely, however, he did state that if a recirculating discharge tube can't be made (due to space, bends, etc) that they recommend that the discharge tube be as short as possible and to provide support to the tube to reduce vibrations. I'm pretty sure the 12-18" long tube hanging down without any support except for what was at the wastegate probably didn't help in any way to alleviate stress on the welds (probably the original ones and the ones that were repaired after the originals probably failed).
john keefe
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 947
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 1:13 pm
Location: Campbell, CA

Re: Exhaust manifold damage

Post by john keefe »

Some of those mig welds look, ah, basic. Probably DIY repairs to the original damage... hard to tell if they just couldn't get penetration, poor prep, or figured it was enough to glob a ton on to hold it together. Shame about the wastegate.

I still don't think it's a Stinger, because of the angle of the blow-off tube, though the entire setup probably ran great when new until weaknesses started showing up. Needed better bracing and damping.

Does anyone know if Bob's Log-style headers are still available? IIRC the stock E6's weak point was cracking between 2-3 webbing, but I'm not sure if welding worked for long with that iron mix. Pretty sure the cracking issue was that it wasn't originally designed to hang a lot of weight under those kind of oscillations/vibrations, though it would seem to be more than adequate if you ran a strong buttress under the flange to the low block on the block. Did anyone remedy that by adding more webbing/bracing between the pipes?

I know guys here are/were running some serious HP with their improvements, and probably a lot of early discussions about what does and doesn't work as a turbo exhaust manifold. Definitely can find that kind of discussion at TurboFord.org, if you can put up with the arguing and paper-racers vs. doers...

Personally, I like the looks of the center-mount, high turbo better than the stock rearward position (probably inspired by the Cosworth setups), but its in the way of basic servicing, and generates a lot of heat up high on the motor. OTOH, in the stock XR's I've had, the low-back position always played havoc on the stock battery and wiring; the heat cause fumes to wick from the battery, which wicks into the main harness wiring. I eventually learned that was one of the first things I checked for "mysterious" symptoms.

As I mentioned before, Ford/Cosworth abandoned the tubular exhaust idea for a pretty robust, durable, 2-piece cast iron to make it work for production and racing, and even then added bracing/reinforcement through the years (albeit detuning it by inserting baffling). I remember reading some quotes about RS/RS500's in 12/24hr. races where cast exhaust manifold was so hot that at night they didn't need extra lighting to service the engine in the pits... not that we get our systems that hot in normal use, but a couple hundred repeated on/off hot/cold cycling can't be good for thin tube headers with inadequate bracing.
MarkM
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 920
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 11:59 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: Exhaust manifold damage

Post by MarkM »

I don't think Bob is making his log header anymore. They turn up used occasionally, and now and then you see someone that's made their own.

RE: the cracking factory manifold, I think you're thinking of the E3 and not the E6. I don't recall hearing anything about E6s having cracking issues. XRs came with the E3 originally and I don't know when they switched to the E6. Based on the part number, you'd think 1986, but I'm not sure that's right in the XR's case.

http://forums.merkurclub.net/forum/view ... hp?t=31175
Mark
my8950
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1250
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 11:07 pm
Location: Detroit

Re: Exhaust manifold damage

Post by my8950 »

MarkM wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 1:10 am I don't think Bob is making his log header anymore. They turn up used occasionally, and now and then you see someone that's made their own.

RE: the cracking factory manifold, I think you're thinking of the E3 and not the E6. I don't recall hearing anything about E6s having cracking issues. XRs came with the E3 originally and I don't know when they switched to the E6. Based on the part number, you'd think 1986, but I'm not sure that's right in the XR's case.

http://forums.merkurclub.net/forum/view ... hp?t=31175
E6's crack too, I've got a pile of about 10 of them. I'd still recommend the original poster go with one, or the Gnari as I mentioned early on. The Gnari may be the better way to go, maybe they've improved on the design of the original. I guess if it was me, I would go with one to try it out. They're out there, and I haven't seen/heard any bad about them, also available with external WG access.
thesameguy
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 2589
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 5:06 pm
Location: Sacramento
Contact:

Re: Exhaust manifold damage

Post by thesameguy »

IMO a lot depends on the actual targets for this car. I feel like a lot of people get carried away with the credit card and bolt-ons etc. rather than following a good plan. In my mind, crazy manifolds and external waste gates are kinda Nth degree stuff. How much boost does this car make? How much power?
my8950
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1250
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 11:07 pm
Location: Detroit

Re: Exhaust manifold damage

Post by my8950 »

thesameguy wrote: Mon Sep 20, 2021 4:50 pm IMO a lot depends on the actual targets for this car. I feel like a lot of people get carried away with the credit card and bolt-ons etc. rather than following a good plan. In my mind, crazy manifolds and external waste gates are kinda Nth degree stuff. How much boost does this car make? How much power?
Hey, it's an XR4ti, don't let logical thinking get in the way. :)
john keefe
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 947
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 1:13 pm
Location: Campbell, CA

Re: Exhaust manifold damage

Post by john keefe »

my8950 wrote: Tue Sep 21, 2021 9:22 am
thesameguy wrote: Mon Sep 20, 2021 4:50 pm IMO a lot depends on the actual targets for this car. I feel like a lot of people get carried away with the credit card and bolt-ons etc. rather than following a good plan. In my mind, crazy manifolds and external waste gates are kinda Nth degree stuff. How much boost does this car make? How much power?
Hey, it's an XR4ti, don't let logical thinking get in the way. :)
:)

I know I'm not really saying anything new with this, but looking at all the goodies that came with this car reminds me that investing in pre- and post-combustion chamber won't result in "advertised" or even satisfactory improvements until/unless the air pump itself (i.e., the block and head) and ignition-control system are improved to the point it can demand the level of flow the add-ons can provide. IOW, a big-valve, properly ported head, improved cam and valve train components, lighter rotating assembly, even bore-and-stroke; peak PCM tuning and components (or, stand-alone).

Reminds me of all the 5.0L aftermarket component complaints I read when I first went that route... Lot's of "This ... is crap, doesn't increase HP like advertised," or, "The car ran awful after I installed XYZ," etc.). Almost always boiled down to throwing on some $$$ item and expecting magic results without improving the air pump, or matching to/improving the control system.

The HP/TQ dilemma is almost always that you ideally need to improve (and match) everything at the same time to get the results that make you grin, but who can afford to do that? This engine in this case could make for a nice set-up with (albeit repaired) components if the air pump is up to the task (roller cam is not enough, IMHO). AND then it needs the control/ignition system running well.
thesameguy
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 2589
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 5:06 pm
Location: Sacramento
Contact:

Re: Exhaust manifold damage

Post by thesameguy »

1000%.

I remember talking to a Saab tuner back in the day and he commented that he could get +50hp with nothing but software, not even touching actual boost levels. The stock ECM was tuned for the big fat middle of the road, but he could tweak fuel and ignition to unlock a ton of potential in the stock 13psi. It was clear was he was right, 'cause fast forward a few years and Saab themselves got +50hp from the motor with software. :P
john keefe
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 947
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 1:13 pm
Location: Campbell, CA

Re: Exhaust manifold damage

Post by john keefe »

Sameguy, that reminded me of "Superchip" from the 90's. Don't know if Banks and Edge put them out of business, but it was the same concept of tweaking the tune that was choked down for warranty purposes, smog, or as you put it, "middle of the road" performance. Just a plug-in unit that fit into the testing port behind the EEC (covered with the "Do not remove under penalty of law" tape). I don't recall if you could order a custom chip for mods, but they had chips for all sorts of stock engines that maximized performance without changing the stock tables.

Had an '89 SHO back then, and the only two things I could afford to do were swapping the stupid cable-link shift mechanism for a solid shifter, and installing a Superchip. Actually, those were the only two things that car really needed as the suspension was pretty beefy. Stock HP was listed maybe 220HP, and that chip made a big, kick-in-the-pants difference. When it was time for smog, you just unplugged it, and there was no "record" or trace of it in the PCM (unlike with OBDll).
my8950
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1250
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 11:07 pm
Location: Detroit

Re: Exhaust manifold damage

Post by my8950 »

john keefe wrote: Wed Sep 22, 2021 1:16 pm Sameguy, that reminded me of "Superchip" from the 90's. Don't know if Banks and Edge put them out of business, but it was the same concept of tweaking the tune that was choked down for warranty purposes, smog, or as you put it, "middle of the road" performance. Just a plug-in unit that fit into the testing port behind the EEC (covered with the "Do not remove under penalty of law" tape). I don't recall if you could order a custom chip for mods, but they had chips for all sorts of stock engines that maximized performance without changing the stock tables.

Had an '89 SHO back then, and the only two things I could afford to do were swapping the stupid cable-link shift mechanism for a solid shifter, and installing a Superchip. Actually, those were the only two things that car really needed as the suspension was pretty beefy. Stock HP was listed maybe 220HP, and that chip made a big, kick-in-the-pants difference. When it was time for smog, you just unplugged it, and there was no "record" or trace of it in the PCM (unlike with OBDll).
Really, you noticed more than just poor fuel economy?
Mainly what superchips did was increase timing just a touch.
Since it was a generic tweak, they couldn't change much, because if one guy has certain things done to the car, that could interfere with what the chip is doing and cause damage.
thesameguy
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 2589
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 5:06 pm
Location: Sacramento
Contact:

Re: Exhaust manifold damage

Post by thesameguy »

What those Superchips etc. could do really depended on the car. IIRC the ones for Mopar SMEC were pretty competent. For EEC, I agree, they often didn't do much. My recollection on the SHO was that it tweaked timing and moved the secondary runner opening point. I also had an '89 (no rev limiter, no sunroof, no leather) and the Superchip felt fast but the 1/4 mile said I was slower. I'm wasn't (and am not) that consistent of a driver, so who knows.

There was a whole interim period where there were OBDII plug-in devices that could do a lot. But CAN made it generally easy to just flash the whole ECM... which adds a level of smog hassle but does give complete control over the ECM. It's a trade-off.

But comparing what we can do now vs what we did 30 years ago is both the point and besides the point. In the '80s ECMs were slow, with tiny amounts of memory, and very hard-coded so they needed big safety margins to ensure it always worked. For the XR, Ford needed to code to the big fat lowest common denominator, so a lot ended up left on the table with stock hardware for people operating under optimal conditions.

These days, ECMs are very powerful and they can on-the-fly decide what the best thing to is and then adjust future behavior. These days you are not going to unlock 33% more performance from software. Everything is already maxed out because the computer can readily dial it back if it needs to. Yeah, you might be able to pump a few more psi through the turbo, but it's very nth degree. I remember the first Audi 2.7T and you could go from 250hp to nearly 400hp in software. My 1.8T was 150->200hp. +33%! The current 3.0 TFSI is like +50hp, or +16% and it's highly recommended to upgrade the intercooler (because the turbo is already maxed out stock!).

I'm happy with how my XR goes, but it's all yesteryear work. And, I suppose, smog-legal work. If I was starting over, Megasquirt or PIMP would be the first thing that I did. Why dick around with working around EEC and tricking it into doing what I want when I can have exactly what I want all the time? That's exactly where I got with my SPG... a bunch of workarounds so LH Jetronic and dumb ignition would keep running the motor. Switching over to a modern - but factory - ECM netted 40hp and I did nothing else.
my8950
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1250
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 11:07 pm
Location: Detroit

Re: Exhaust manifold damage

Post by my8950 »

I agree...My XR is stock. I have an LA3, LB3, 8UA and 3 large VAM's.
I ordered the ACT temp sensor, and I think I am going to install one just because I have them and I want to see what it changes.

Ideally, I want to go with a microsquirt, but, I also drive the car and I don't want it to be down to screw with trying to make it start or run well.
john keefe
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 947
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 1:13 pm
Location: Campbell, CA

Re: Exhaust manifold damage

Post by john keefe »

For me, the increase in performance was more than subjective feel. For my commute, I had to drive a climbing, twisty, fun 2-lane highway section out of town to get to the main freeway (all the road course motorcycle guys would practice up and down that road at all hours). The difference with and without the chip was, IMHO, marked. Maybe it was an earlier opening of the short runners, maybe advanced timing, but it worked for me. Stop and go, highway, not much of a difference. On that twisty hill, yes.
john keefe
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 947
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 1:13 pm
Location: Campbell, CA

Re: Exhaust manifold damage

Post by john keefe »

thesameguy wrote: Wed Sep 22, 2021 3:27 pm Switching over to a modern - but factory - ECM netted 40hp and I did nothing else.
You swapped in a later-year model ECM in your SPG? Was it just a much-improved version of the original using the feedback from the various older sensors? Too bad there wasn't a "transition" period of Ford EEC-IV ECM's from later years we could swap in (i.e., more than just plugging in a ECM from a TurboCoupe, or SVO after uprgrading the sensors).

IIRC, though stuck with programed hard and inflexible tables, the Ford thought the EEC-IV was good enough to use in the Beatrice/Mario Andretti F1 V6 (Alan Jones as driver). In testing, it did more than PDG on it's first trials... first day out it was within 0.5 sec. of the previous year's qualifying time at the track they were using, and that's without sorting out the suspension. Too bad Ferrari and Renault nixed the deal by threatening to pull out of F1 if they allowed it to enter... Supposedly, it was a bit more powerful than any other F1 engine on the dyno, in a 20% smaller package, and about 50lbs lighter.

Also, as I recall, there were programmables out there, like Tweecer, where you could overwrite all the tables from a laptop. You just had to keep the laptop plugged-in while driving. Anything similar/better than that out there, other than MegaSquirt et al?
Post Reply