Driver side exhaust manifold removal notes, getting clearance
First off, to people who got a welder into the manifold area - you deserve a medal.
After reading all the posts on this, I decided to attempt manifold removal.
I pulled the fender liner (marveled at the mindset that thought permanent fasteners were a good idea in this area). All that got was a very small "window" to the exhaust flange area.
The front approach from the battery area was just as bad.
It made me crazy, I was pissed. I got creative:
In the area of the exhaust flange is a steering column support. It's removable, out it came. The "window" got way bigger.
Pulled the battery, and tray to get forward access. Tray has wiring connectors along the rear edge.
That was a little better, but there still had to be a way for more access.
The front fuse pack is removable-held on to a plastic mount by lock tabs. A power cable is connected inside the box with a nut, and below the box are 2 gang connectors.
Loosened up the rear fuse box, pulled a gang connector, and moved that out of the way.
The plastic mount for the fuse boxes was pulled next. There were various hold down clips for the wiring looms as well.
Once I moved the loose wiring harness over, there it was; the evil manifold. Mine for the taking.
All the bolts were accessible. The steering shaft has a universal connection, and could be flexed out of the way for bolt access, another reason to pull that column support .
I was lucky on 3 broken studs (1 on the front, and 2 on the back cyl.). They twisted out with vise grips after heat with a mapp gas torch.
The manifold came out towards the front with no problems.
I was on a roll, I thought.
I discovered the back runner was out of alignment. Looks to be over .030 too "short". With a straight edge along all four runners, a gasket slides easily through the gap. Either chryco quality control is abysmal ( real possibility ) or the manifold warped once the bolts let go.
So today, I have to find someone to mill out the runner differences. That's what I get for trying this on a saturday.