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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I replaced the passenger side exhaust manifold bolts and gasket last year when the infamous loose/broken bolt created the exhaust leak. With the remaining driver’s side gasket on the shelf, and a new leak on that side, it was time to get to work. I have found a lot of good write ups on the matter, so I wanted to use what I learned to write up my own job, along with some pics, for those visual learners like myself.

Some things I did were not the best, and I may have left off some steps, but I will try and do the best I can to cover the bulk of the process. I apologize if I incorrectly attribute a component size (10mm, 15mm, etc.). Working off of memory from the past few days, so I may miss a couple details. I may do multiple posts for this thread since I am not sure how many pics I can attach per post, and Photobucket is being a pain right now.

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PHOTO #A1 I started off by loosening up the lugs, jacking up the driver’s side front and removing the tire. Follow safety protocols (ie. Emergency brake, tire chocks, extra jack stands).

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PHOTO #A2 I removed the fender liner by drilling out the economical and efficient plastic rivets Jeep insisted on using. Note two reusable clips/pins on the back side of the liner, connected to the motor compartment wall (red dots). Also, there are two way high in the top, deep in the wells that also need to be drilled out (yellow
dots).

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PHOTO #A3 Remove any pine straw that may be in the way of your project (green dot).

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PHOTO #A4 The yellow circle shows the area of concern, where the leak appeared to be coming from. The red dots show the manifold to exhaust system connector, where the nuts on top are different sizes. PHOTO #A4.1 shows the sizes, 17mm front and 15mm rear. The bolt heads on bottom are both 15mm.

***see Part 3 for this photo

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PHOTO #A4.2 shows a valuable tool – a 15mm universal joint socket, which makes it much easier the remove the exhaust to manifold connector from the bottom of the vehicle (underneath).

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PHOTO #A5 Started to address the engine compartment now. Battery removed…

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PHOTO #A6 Removed the resonator, and don’t forget to unplug and plug back in (on reassembly) the sensor (yellow dot). You will get a CEL if you don’t, and spend hours retracing your steps, as I did last year on the passenger side gasket replacement.

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PHOTO #A7 Removed the battery tray by removing the 10mm or 8mm bolts (yellow dots) and partially unscrew the 10mm or 8mm nut (red dot). You can leave the nut on and slide the tray off through the slot, as It is hard to replace the nut once the tray is on. Also, the green dot is where you loosen the bolt for the battery bracket, that slides up and over in a channel but stays on the tray.

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PHOTO #A8 Next, I removed the front fuse box lid and unscrewed the nut to release the connector inside the box (red dots).

End of Part 1
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Part 2:

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PHOTO #A9 Unhooked the purge pump from the rear fuse box (red dots).

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PHOTO #A10 Remove the fuse box tray with these two nuts (yellow dots), I believe 10mm.

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PHOTO #A11 The third nut was missing from the previous owner, but you may have to remove it as well. It is underneath the rear fuse box (yellow dot).

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PHOTO #A12 Remove the rear fuse box by releasing the four tabs (green dots) Be careful as these may be fragile and brittle, like most things under this 14-year-old hood. I broke one on the front fuse box.

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PHOTO #A13 Remove the electrical wiring harnesses on the bottom of the front fuse boxes. Push the tab (yellow dot) and swing the locking bar forward to release the harness connector.

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PHOTO #A14 Remove the other wiring harnesses on the side of the front fuse box by releasing the red tabs (green dots) and unclipping the harness.

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PHOTO #A15 A little more room to work with now.

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PHOTO #A16 JohnC did a post on here back in 2018, and recommended removing the steering wheel brace, so I did it. Def cleared some more room (yellow dots are 2 10mm bolts and 2 10mm nuts on the yoke).

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PHOTO #A17 the bracket removed.

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PHOTO #A18 Removed the plastic skid plate for a little more clearance underneath as well. 15mm bolts. Loosen the front ones (green dots) and remove the 15mm rear bolts (yellow dots). Then you can slide the plate off by using the slots and pull the plate forward, then down. Easier to put back on that way as well.

End of part 2
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Part 3

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PHOTO #A19 Removed the wiring harness tray and connector with two 10mm or 8mm nuts (yellow dots) between the strut tower and engine (mine, once again, missing one nut). Also disconnect the harness by depressing the tab and sliding the bar forward as before.

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PHOTO #A20 Tray removed with a little more room.

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PHOTO #A21 Removing the nuts on the four exhaust manifold studs, the front top being where the oil dipstick bracket is located (yellow dot). Some may remove the tube from the engine by removing the nut attaching it to the engine, but I left mine in. Probably better to remove it for more clearance.

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PHOTO #A22 My view from the front of the engine compartment. You basically are working both the top from the engine compartment and bottom from the tire well to get access to the bolts. Sometimes, you will reach around the strut tower through the tire well and blindly feel your way through the process. Eventually, you can do it (if I can, then anybody is capable).

Now, as you remove the 4 nuts from the studs (bolts with a long skinny head on them) you will be able to remove the heat shield. It is flimsy and pliable, so be careful. You’ll have to jigsaw it out of the channel between the engine and the strut tower.

Next, start removing the bolts. The studs are 13mm heads (4), and the bolts (4 regular) are 10mm. Mine were all loose, but none broken off so I was very lucky. The stud on the rear top where the leak was could be removed by hand (finger tight). Once removed, major jigsaw the manifold out of the channel as well, working back and forth, twisting and turning until it finds its way out. Remember how you got it out, because it will not work going back in. Find a new way. Just find a new way, man.

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PHOTO #A23 Disassembled and exploded view of the gasket (separated and porous where the leaks were) and the heat shield. The blue dots show where the nuts secure the shield to the 4 studs (stud locations shown by red dots). The regular bolts were marked by the yellow dots.

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PHOTO #A24 Shown leak area next to firewall, rear two ports.

The manifold was not warped. I checked and did not notice a discernible wobble. Besides, every shop I called in town stated they did not, or did not know, who could plane the manifold any way.

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PHOTO #A25 After cleaning the heads and manifold ports, I placed the new gasket on the head and held it in place with the stud and bolt in the corresponding holes where the manifold had the slots for reassembly (yellow dots). That way you can fit the manifold on by sliding into place and the gasket is already on.

When reassembly, you may need to leverage the exhaust connector down to gain clearance and get the manifold to sit in the connector properly. Once on, the manifold will hold the gasket in place, and begin to hand tighten the bolts and studs in the head.

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PHOTO #A26 This was the tightening pattern I found for the driver’s side manifold bolts. I believe they are to be torqued to 18 ft/lbs (or 216 in/lbs). Double check that though. I was not able to get my torque wrench on a majority of the bolts, so I had to tighten by feel.

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PHOTO #A26.1 shows the pattern for the passenger’s side.

Almost forgot, the nuts /bolts where the manifold meets the exhaust system are different sizes (at least on mine, referenced in Part 1). PHOTO #4.1 shows sizes.

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Once the bolts and studs are tightened, reattach the heat shield, then the oil dipstick tube bracket, and finally the 4 nuts on top of the studs (at the corners of the manifold, basically).

I know I hate to hear this as well, but reassemble everything in reverse order. I use the pictures I take as I go along to refresh my memory and assure I am not missing anything. Cranked her up, and she sounded great. Of course, while doing this I learned I have most likely a rear main seal leak, and valve cover leaks on both corners by the firewall. And now, the airbag light is on. I guess I am not out of the woods yet. Until the next batch of extra money and spare time comes around, be safe and enjoy. I’ll be lurking.

-G
 

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Nice write up. Mine was too impossible to loosen properly on the drivers side. I just removed my heads. Was a bigger job but found some shortened pushrods which needed replacing and really made a difference. It was causing ticking. Now no ticks and runs amazing. Removing the heads allowed me chase the threads and clean everything and torque the exhaust manifolds properly before installing the heads. It was so good in the end.

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Incidentally those pushrods which were worn both happened to be the most rearward exhaust pushrods. I'm thinking maybe over time they get less lubricated. I replaced them all with factory pushrods. Engine runs like new.
 

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Incidentally those pushrods which were worn both happened to be the most rearward exhaust pushrods. I'm thinking maybe over time they get less lubricated. I replaced them all with factory pushrods. Engine runs like new.
@ridinginstyle; That's great information; Thanks for sharing.
 

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Nice write up. Mine was too impossible to loosen properly on the drivers side. I just removed my heads. Was a bigger job but found some shortened pushrods which needed replacing and really made a difference. It was causing ticking. Now no ticks and runs amazing. Removing the heads allowed me chase the threads and clean everything and torque the exhaust manifolds properly before installing the heads. It was so good in the end.

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@ridinginstyle Good info. So you don't have the famous "HEMI tick" now at all?

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