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500, 472, 425, 368 Discussion, Header gaskets... in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; If anyone needs pics of anything concerning the bolts just tell me. I really want to torque it right....
  1. #16
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    Re: Header gaskets...

    If anyone needs pics of anything concerning the bolts just tell me. I really want to torque it right.

  2. #17
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    Re: Header gaskets...

    I just wanted to say (HI) and that I found this thread very useful to me atm. I am experiencing the same exhaust leak from the drivers side, and while I had pretty much decided already to buy some shorty headers, this thread has got me re-thinking that and keeping it stock.

    Anyone: any recommendations on exh. manifold gaskets?

    TIA

  3. #18
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    Re: Header gaskets...

    The factory torque spec for those bolts is only good when using no exhaust gasket and a new set of whatever washer came with it. None of these engines had exhaust manifolds from the Cadillac dealer.

    It is very difficult to remove these bolts as any magic bolt spray will not reach the threads. The manifolds can be quite thick in places and spraying will never reach the threads which are inside the cylinder heads. The good part is that they must have been taken apart sometime in the past if you have gaskets.
    Use caution when trying to unscrew these beasties. Only work on them when the engine is stone cold. Use a tool that allows you to get an idea of just how much torque is being applied. A combination wrench will be fine for the experienced mechanic. If you feel any more than a little backlash from the bolt then forget it. Sometimes the things can be persuaded by applying heat to the cylinder head using an Oxy Acetyline torch. Extreme cases require cutting all the bolt heads off, removing the manifold and spraying brake fluid or your favorite magic spray onto the threads several times over a period of time. The stuff takes a while to work (like days). Sometimes this mess cannot be done in the engine bay so either the head has to come off or the engine out! I wish it were easier.

    I used to install the exhaust gaskets when putting these back together but stopped using them and have had good results. I'd use gaskets if installing anything other than factory manifolds though.

  4. #19
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    Re: Header gaskets...

    So you are saying that I don't need gaskets, or what?

    I've got 4 bolts left. 1 on one side, and 3 on another.

    I know that "backlash" you are talking about, I think. You can feel the top of the bolt flexing, but not bringing the threaded end with it. Right now I am using PB Blaster. Would brake cleaner do any good?

    I can't go as far as taking the engine out. I don't have the money to pay someone to do it, nor do I hvae the equipment to do it myself.

    When you say that sometimes you have to cut off the heads and take the manifolds off, then douse the bolts in brake cleaner or something, how do you remove them afterwords? I just really need some more of you guys' excellent input to get this thing done.


    I've done this project completly by myself so far, and I don't want to give up now. I don't have the money for it anyways. All help from you guys is much appreciated.

  5. #20
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    Re: Header gaskets...

    Not brake cleaner. Brake fluid. It's nasty stuff and will ruin paint. Really good for rusty parts that have been subjected to heat. I like WD-40 but brake fluid is king. Yup, I meant cutting the bolt heads off with a torch and removing the manifold with the bolts still sticking out of the cylinder head. This way you can soak the threads where it is needed. Of course this probably means the head or the engine will have to be located somewhere other than the engine bay. Some of these cars do have enough room to do this without removing the head. It sounds like you are doing OK and only have a few more of these bolts to get out so take your time and you might just end up with 8 threaded holes on each side instead of an uh-oh. You still can heat the cyl head where the bolt threads are.
    Nope, when using cast iron exhaust manifolds you don't need gaskets on these engines.

  6. #21
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    Re: Header gaskets...

    Ape Man,

    Firstly, thanks for all of your help.

    I will keep these things soaking another week, and after taht is they don't come out I think that I am going to cut the heads off. I have plenty of room because I have removed the hood, fenders, and wheel wells.

    These suckers have what remains of gaskets on them, and leak really bad. You can feel it when you pop the hood and look inside. So should I just not use gaskets and expect them not to leak?

    If It comes down to it, and I decide to cut the heads off, what do I do from there? Spray the brake fluid on there, and then what? How do I get them out?

    Also, if I do snap a bolt, what kind of trouble will I have to go through to re-thread the hole, etc. Whatever I would have to do. How hard is it or how much does it cost?

    Thanks again

  7. #22
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    Re: Header gaskets...

    If you cut the bolt heads off then the soaking part becomes more effective but you will have to use a specialty stud socket or vice grips to turn the bolt remains out. That's why the manifold has to be out of the way. If you snap a bolt then you are S.O.L. it will have to be removed by someone with the proper tools, skills and experience. Don't try this at home for the first time.
    Leave the gaskets out. You don't need them. The aftermarket gasket companies probably include them to keep complaints down from those used to working on lesser engines.

  8. #23
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    Re: Header gaskets...

    If I can't get the remaining 4 bolts out after another week of penetrating fluid, do you suggest I should go ahead and cut off the heads?

    Can you explain to me this specialty stud socket or vice grips? Which would be better? Do you think that if I cut the heads off I could probably definitly remove the remainder of the bolts? I don't want to be stuck with threaded rods that I can't do anything with and have to pay someone lots of money to fix.

    If I don't need gaskets, why am I getting these major exhaust leaks from the manifold? Is it because someone put gaskets on there and now that those are gone the exhaust is getting out through the extra space?

  9. #24
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    Re: Header gaskets...

    Quote Originally Posted by terrible one
    If I can't get the remaining 4 bolts out after another week of penetrating fluid, do you suggest I should go ahead and cut off the heads?

    Can you explain to me this specialty stud socket or vice grips? Which would be better? Do you think that if I cut the heads off I could probably definitly remove the remainder of the bolts? I don't want to be stuck with threaded rods that I can't do anything with and have to pay someone lots of money to fix.

    If I don't need gaskets, why am I getting these major exhaust leaks from the manifold? Is it because someone put gaskets on there and now that those are gone the exhaust is getting out through the extra space?
    I can't tell how you are going to do with this stuff. Even if I could see it up close it's pretty hard to tell if a stud will turn out. If you still have 4 left then try getting a torch and apply heat to the cylinder head where the stud threads into. Pull the spark plug wires off first or they will be cooked. If that will not work then cut the bolt heads off and remove the manifold. The only time I'd use a gasket would be with an aftermarket exhaust or if a couple of bolts were broken off in the middle and I needed a temporary repair that I was willing to take a chance on. They designed it without gaskets. Carefully inspect the manifolds for cracks or any missing material at the mating flanges. Go look at an original stock Cadillac engine. It might make you feel better about leaving gaskets out.
    Vice grips are cheap and can be found everywhere. Some people refuse to use these in public but they probably use 'em all the time when nobodys looking. There are also stud removers which look like a tiny metal hockey puck with a hole through it. That gets driven with a socket wrench. It has teeth which bite into the stud as you turn. Not a common everyday tool.
    If you are not comfortable with this work then it might be time to put up the white flag and get some help. It would really be nasty to snap a stud. It happens to the best mechanics though. Sometimes it cannot be helped.
    Good luck.

  10. #25
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    Re: Header gaskets...

    Alright, sounds good.

    Where do I get an Oxy Acetyline torch?

  11. #26
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    Re: Header gaskets...

    bump

  12. #27
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    Re: Header gaskets...

    Er uh. If you are asking this then you really need to find an Oxy Acetyline setup that comes with an operator. Not a good idea to try this stuff out on your Cadillac for the first time. No substitute for experience here. Rots O rock.

  13. #28
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    Re: Header gaskets...

    Would a blow torch not work?

  14. #29
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    Re: Header gaskets...

    UPDATE!

    I've managed to get the drivers side manifold off. 3 more bolts on the passengers side, then I'm good to go.

    Went out and bought a blowtorch last night. Any idea on how long I should keep it on there? (Just because I need to know when it is time to throw in the towel and cut the heads)

    Thanks guys

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