Exhaust manifold damage

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StratosSpawn
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Exhaust manifold damage

Post by StratosSpawn »

Well, of course after having gotten my XR back from the shop after being there for an extended period of time, I managed to drive it for about a week or so and then while driving in to work tonight, the exhaust got quiet, but the motor became very loud! Got in to the parking lot at work and parked it. Popped the hood open and had a quick look around and find this:

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Would anyone happen to have any suggestions on how to resolve this? I'm guessing that I'll have to remove the turbo from above the manifold, and then remove the manifold itself to take it in to a shop and have a new one made, or possibly just get this patched? My concern is that this is a modified engine where one of the previous owners moved the turbo up to the top of the manifold, right beside the spark plug wires and valve cover (which has created a few problems spark plug wire wise).

Just thought to add photos of the overall engine bay for reference. I purchased the vehicle this way, so please forgive the technicolor!

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Last edited by StratosSpawn on Fri Sep 10, 2021 3:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
zxr250cc
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Re: Exhaust manifold damage

Post by zxr250cc »

Hi all,

If you contact one of the folks in here who sell parts or look on sites for turbo tbird or SVO mustang the manifold should be available. The stock ones are preferred to the stainless steel ones on ebay as those fail soon from what i have read. The original ones are cast iron and probably not something you can fix, just replace.

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StratosSpawn
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Re: Exhaust manifold damage

Post by StratosSpawn »

Hi zxr250cc,

Thanks for the reply. My concern is that with the engine being modified, it almost seems like this portion of the manifold is custom (based off of the welds on it. I don't have a stock XR to compare the part against, or see if a stock unit can just be flipped over and fit. That's why I'm hoping that some people on here who are much more knowledgeable and experienced with the XR than I am can provide some input. If more information or pictures might help to determine things, please let me know and I will do my best to provide!
zxr250cc wrote: Thu Sep 09, 2021 11:40 pm Hi all,

If you contact one of the folks in here who sell parts or look on sites for turbo tbird or SVO mustang the manifold should be available. The stock ones are preferred to the stainless steel ones on ebay as those fail soon from what i have read. The original ones are cast iron and probably not something you can fix, just replace.

Cheers
zxr250cc
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Re: Exhaust manifold damage

Post by zxr250cc »

Hi all,

That is a modified design to be sure. The stock design has the turbo down to the rear as you probably know. An aftermarket item might be the actual fix with one of the center mount turbo designs.

Cheers
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andyofcolumbusmerkur
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Re: Exhaust manifold damage

Post by andyofcolumbusmerkur »

It looks like the exhaust manifold from a ranger truck, made into a turbo manifold. Seems like it couldn't take the heat. I would just weld it up for now, and then set up the car for the type of driving you plan to do. A stock E6 (87.5-89) manifold with some porting will work very well, a tubular style turbo manifold purchased online will probably not last.

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https://www.oemfordpart.com/oem-parts/f ... NC1nYXM%3D
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john keefe
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Re: Exhaust manifold damage

Post by john keefe »

Dunno... those mandrel bends look OK, so I'm wondering if its not a modified SVO Tubular header (or knock-off). But you can see where the builder tried some reinforcement extending from the vacated "dome" weld on the flange, to the rectangular tear out in the tube under the collector. The tubes aren't thick enough to support a stressed bracket, hence the tear-out. Kinda' looks like similar attempts on the opposite side of the collector. Maybe had previous issue there, or an attempt to prevent flexing/fatigue of the manifold under the leveraged weight of the top-mounted turbo assembly.

Based on how good the tube ends look inside the collector, they're pretty good stuff, but that collector needed to be thicker, better hi-temp steel, with a much more robust bracket or brackets from the flange to exhaust bolt(s) at the head, and maybe the block. I'm sure a good hi-perf shop that makes tubular headers will find you a thicker (4-into-1) collector to match the composition of the tubes and flange. Though, you might be chasing the issue further down the line from next weakest point on (like fixing one plumbing problem in a house, then the next weakest one gets over-stressed).

Putting the turbo mass up high like that creates a high CG, and a very long lever arm (esp. in comparison to the stock manifold location), and the stress created isn't helped by the long exhaust turn-down. I'm guessing it's a "solid" exhaust system all the way back under the car, so if it doesn't already have one, I would definitely install a longer, Volvo-style 3" mesh exhaust connector aft of the turbo. That'll take some of the stress off by reducing the shaking mass, but I'd find a way to get a bracket(s) from the flange to attachment to at least 2 cylinder/exhaust bolts locations at the head (pref. # 2 & 4), and a tie-in to the block.

Next step should be solid (or high-durometer) motor and transmission mounts to reduce shaking of the engine.

There's a reason FMC required the stock Cosworth exhaust to be 2-piece cast iron exhaust manifolds, rather than the original tubular header design to postition the turbo assembly up high. Even then, they ultimately needed to add/reinforce brackets for stock and racing. I don't know about drag racing variants, but IIRC the only successful tubular header/high-turbo-position setups for these 2.3L were Jack Roush's TransAm/IMSA XR4Ti/Mustang/Capris, but then he had the budget and tech to make a few every year out of titanium. Even then, the pics I've seen show a lot of bracing to the block and head.
StratosSpawn
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Re: Exhaust manifold damage

Post by StratosSpawn »

Ok. A little more information and discovery from this morning when going home after work. I got a better photo of the exhaust manifold setup to try and help determine if it's totally custom, or possibly a bought piece for something. From what I can tell it looks like a fairly uniform length (possibly equal lengths) for all of the tubes going into the collector where the turbo flange is.:

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This is the culprit/cause of the large hole in the exhaust:

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And a better look at the manifold hole/damage itself:

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This is the portion that used to be welded to the manifold (definitely not the best welds by whoever did them):

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This is the entire setup that came off of the manifold:

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Another view of it where you can see a small piece of red silicone hose that was connected:

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And this is what the red silicone hose was going to before the hose finally gave up trying to hold all of that weight up:

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It just dawned on me that when I purchase the car I got a list of what upgrades had been done on it. I just looked, and apparently they list the following items for the exhaust:
Stinger Performance Tubular Header
TiAL 46mm wastegate
TiAL 50mm Blow off valve
Turbosmart Boost Controller

So it looks like maybe I can just replace the header by going to Stinger Performance?
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Re: Exhaust manifold damage

Post by StratosSpawn »

Alright, I went to Stinger Performance to see if I could find the tubular header. I didn't see any available header options to purchase like mine, so I emailed them and will hopefully hear back soon. After submitting the email, I browsed around a bit more and actually spotted the header, but only in a small 240x240 thumbnail image for their page advertising center mounter header accessories here:
https://www.stinger-performance.com/sto ... ccessories

This is the thumbnail image
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From what I can tell, it looks almost identical to what mine probably was before it was damaged and repaired before I bought it. Hopefully Stinger Performance will respond and can help me out, otherwise it looks like I'm gonna have to try and repair or replace.

Replacement would at least maybe give me the chance to move the turbo away from the plug wires and position it in a better location, but with it being a "Large T3T4 Turbo (60 trim/.48 a/r)" as listed from when I bought it, I don't know what options I could consider for positioning. Additionally, I've got to try and take care of all of this in small chunks, as my wife does not want me to dump any more money into the car as it is. :( :oops:
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Re: Exhaust manifold damage

Post by my8950 »

You are right in my opinion, that is one of the Stinger exhaust manifolds, aka eBay special.
If you purchase another, it should fail in a few weeks to a month or so depending on how often you drive the car.

You'd be better off getting a stock manifold, issue I see, it looks like a lot of the engine was built around the current exhaust manifold so you'll have to do some tweaking. The oil drain resting on the exhaust is a recipe for disaster!
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Re: Exhaust manifold damage

Post by StratosSpawn »

So it looks like Stinger Performance has stopped making their tubular headers for about a decade according to them, due to so many eBay knockoffs popping up. It's still very hard to determine if mine is a knock off or the real deal, as it was installed on the car back in 2012 or earlier, which may still have been when they were selling them.

From what the Stinger rep was indicating, they said that it may be better to go back to a more "stock" setup using an E6 manifold and redo the oil feed lines and obviously a good portion of the exhaust.

I did happen to come across their webpage that shows a much better photo of the header: https://www.stinger-performance.com/sto ... essory-kit

From what I can tell off of this page, everything looks the same, however, there are some things that make me wonder, such as the built up blocks on top of the turbo mounting flange (I assume to get clearance for the larger turbo possibly), and the fact that the flange for the wastegate was a square four bolt pattern rather than the two bolt style shown on their site. This isn't to say that they didn't offer that option, but neither does it eliminate the possibility that the header was modified to accommodate the TiAL four bolt connection. The downpipe now even appears to be one of theirs, but again there are some possible modifications done that I see in the photo, so maybe it's a knockoff. So frustrating to try and piece together this puzzle.

So if I do go about trying to revert back to a more OEM exhaust setup using an E6 manifold, how would that affect the performance of the car after all of the upgrades and modifications that were done to it? Here's a list of the engine, exhaust and drivetrain modifications that were listed for the vehicle back in 2012:

- 2.3 EFi turbo Bored out - Large Valve head with roller cam, roller rockers, dual valve springs bored, port matched and extrude honed - block bored out, larger performance pistons Copper head gasket ground and balance crank.
- 5 Speed T5 World Class transmission with Ripper Shifter
- Aluminum Flywheel
- CenterForce Clutch
- Large T3T4 Turbo (60 trim/.48 a/r)
- Stinger Performance Tubular Header
- 3” Stinger Performance Downpipe
- TiAL 46mm wastegate
- TiAL 50mm Blow off valve
- Turbosmart Boost Controller
- Turbo Joe large Fuel rail
- Aeromotive Fuel pressure regulator
- Delphi 75lb injectors
- Walbro 255 fuel pump
- Esslinger Complete Pulley Kit
- Esslinger water pump
- Cosworth RS500 Intercooler
- Gutted and rotated intake with 70mm throttle body
- Ported and knife edged lower intake
- Magnaflow exhaust
- Stinger Performance PIMP ECU - (I don't believe that this is installed anymore as there were two ECU's hooked up to the wiring harness, one that was piggy backed off of the other with only a few wires connecting it to the main ECU)
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andyofcolumbusmerkur
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Re: Exhaust manifold damage

Post by andyofcolumbusmerkur »

Ya it doesn't look like the ranger header in that last pic, guess it is a stinger part. You have got lots of good parts there. Seems like the previous owner threw a lot of money at the car. I would do a compression test and a leak down test. Then try and get the car running well on "stockish" boost levels.
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Re: Exhaust manifold damage

Post by my8950 »

The stock exhaust manifold compared to the whatever you have isn't going to make that big of a difference. Maybe some, but minimal. There are others making stainless headers & stuff that you could go with, but usually they end up cracking at some point as well.
Check out the Gnari exhaust manifold, if you so desire, port it a little and you'll be good to go.
By looking at the photos of your engine, appears to not be a stock turbo either, the turbine outlet pipe seems small in my opinion, something is going on there. The downpipe may be a 3", but the outlet is not, or my eyes aren't as good as they used to be, which I also admit.
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Re: Exhaust manifold damage

Post by john keefe »

OK, now I get it from the pics. Was wondering how a chunk like that could have torn off from the collector. Looks like a Stinger center-mount, but the bypass tube is more perpendicular to the collector than Stinger's look to be.

Same idea, though... that's a lot of relative weight to hang off one stubby tube; by the looks of the dent & scratches, that blow-off tube was either worked to fit in a very tight area, and/or banging on something the whole time. That's unsupported weight subject to the same engine vibration issues the rest of the exhaust sees, albeit with its own harmonics. And, not the same 2-bolt flange as Stinger's, so somebody made the 4-bolt mods and thought the little steel bar was going to be enough extra support. From the ratio of fresh torn vs. dull-dirty metal in the tears, it was either a poor welding job in the first place, or that's a lot of fatigue and cracking over extended time.

IMHO, better to go with the stock exhaust and make that work. But, it also looks you could make that modified system work again or "correctly" with a lot of clean-up, much better welding, and some better thought into how to brace/bracket that hanging BOV & pipe. Might even work to reroute that pipe all the way back to, and clamp or weld it alongside the 3" downturn pipe for more strength. At least that way, its only subject to the vibrations the 3" pipe sees, and not its own harmonics as a separate appendage. And, get a flex joint.
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Re: Exhaust manifold damage

Post by my8950 »

Actually, after reading again and continued thinking...
The car is currently setup with an external WG, that is what the blue Tial part is that fell off.
You can actually get the Gnari exhaust Manifold with a flange to put an external gate on the car, the stock exhaust mani does not have that.
To switch back, you're going to need a bit of parts, not saying it's not possible, but the wheel is already round, use it.

FYI, I don't have a Gnari, I don't work for them, in fact, never seen one in person.
But they seem to be a good piece, close to the stock exhaust mani, and have provisions to use internal or external gate versions.
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Re: Exhaust manifold damage

Post by andyofcolumbusmerkur »

I think you will need a new wastegate that one looks trashed. Check out silicone intakes dot com they have good prices on stuff like the previously mentioned exhaust pipe flex section. Also I'd use a hump hose off the intercooler. Maybe try to change the intercooler piping to eliminate sharp bends or any restrictions.
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