Broken exhaust manifold studs, need advice

I found out the other day that I was leaking exhaust gas out the exhaust manifold. I took the heat shield off today to find one of the studs broken off at the self locking nut and the stud on the far left is broken off halfway in the head.

Money is tight and I dont want to have to pull the head to fix this. if I can remove the stud broken at the nut i could put in a new one and have the exhaust leak mostly fixed. Oil is getting down into the manifold from the cam seal leak and is burning off a nasty white smell.

I need to know the best way to fix this without removing the head.
How is it that the stud broke by itself without touching it.
When I removed the heat shield the broken off stud with the nut fell on the ground.

I picked up a cheap stainless steel exhaust manifold from tuningpros dot com a few years ago (about $30 + shipping) and it’s been fine so far.

It looks like once the manifold is removed you will be able to remove the bolt.

Just a suggestion.


The manifold itself is not leaking gas.
The leak is coming from the gasket seal, because there is
nothing holding it down since the studs are busted.
If I can remove that stud broken on top i might be able to get it sealed enough to stop leaking.

what could I use to grip that broken stud to take it out? Is it better to do when engine warm or cold?

Id say remove the manifold, heat that stud up as with some MAP gas and spray with PB Blaster once super hot, then heat it up red hot again. Now your gonna need to get the biggest and best set of vice grips you can find (do not use no name vice grips most of them are useless) clamp them down as tight as humanly possible and try and crank that puppy offa there.

the secret here is getting that bolt as hot as you can and spraying the PB Blaster (or WD40 if that’s all you have) on it while its hot. It will draw the PB back into the threads and hopefully loosen it enough for you to get it out with the vice grips.

If that fialed, maybe you could take off the rad to give yourself enough clearance to get a small drill in there to drill most of the bolt out and use a “bolt extractor” using the same heating and PB Blaster technique. (If you can’t get clearance for a drill maybe use one with a 90 degree angle attachment and you can get a bolt extractor kit at any good hardware store)

If nothing works then maybe try a good, new, copper gasket and tighten it down best you can to see if it still leaks.

Good luck

my only concern about using heat is warping the head or damaging the head gasket.

heat is probably your only option here. however, i would try and get a pair of thin locking nuts on that stud. thread them both on and snug them against eachother. the inner one will lock against the outer and turn the stud

i have a great way to remove broken studs, but you need a welder… find a nut that fits the thread., tack weld it at a couple of spots, then use a socket that fit the nut to remove it out from the block. do this as soon as you tack weld it, the stud will be warm enough then. hope that helps.

oh yeah, this is after you remove your exhaust manifold.

locking the 2 nuts together is also an great alternative if you dont have a welder.

Love the idea with locking the two nuts together. Maybe you could even put some heavy duty thread locker on there and THEN lock the two nuts together on there…You should have no problem getting that bolt out then. If you had a welder then yeah, that would be your best bet.

As for warping, considering you are just heating a bolt that is normally many hundreds of degrees that is in a aluminium head that is normally many hundreds of degrees…I would say you would have no problems. In order to heat the head enough to warp it I’d say you would have to heat that bolt for about a week :stuck_out_tongue: However I am no expert so try the locking nut method first…i think it’s a better idea anyway.

Im sorta glad you had this problem :stuck_out_tongue: Lots of good ideas coming from it.

just fyi, engine temps aren’t that hot. usually only about 100 degrees.
aluminum is a much softer metal than the stud you’re trying to extract.
if you are going to heat, i’d say heat the stud, and only the stud, red hot. and i mean completely red hot. let it cool to the touch. then get a good bite on it with a pair of vice grips. the contraction of the stud inside the head may be enough to free it up. also, by doing this, you are tempering the stud (hardening the metal), which will make it less susceptible to twisting. you do have to be careful around aluminum with heat.
the ideal method is to weld a nut on the tip. work it back and forth. if it starts getting tight, you’re picking up a thread.
when taking anything out of an aluminum head, always do it with the engine cool.

good to know!

I need to know the best way to remove the exhaust manifold without removing it from the exhaust system. In the manual there is a couple of bolts holding up the exhaust manifold from under the lower heat shield. If I remove these, can I just separate the manifold from the head and just lower it down with everything attached?

I think if I am going to do this I might just replace all those studs holding the manifold on. I dont want to have to replace any more busted studs.

Oh yeah, back to my other question, can these studs break on their own?
I think the previous person who worked on this overtightened them.

I sheared a few off too not long ago… you need a stud puller like this:

Looks like the chuck of a drill and it tightens down on the stud as you remove the stud… works great and it pretty cheap… like $30 at Northern Tool… well worth saving me $30 worth of headaches after breaking off 3 of my studs.

And to get enough room on the manifold to do this, you are going to need to remove the exhaust bolts at the cat and the two nuts on the bracket behind the oil pan… header isn’t going to like being moved much with those in tact.

there are two many ways to take it off, crafsman make a stud puller kit for 25 bucks at sears this seems to be the easiest way

its easy

overtighten or the whole exhaust systerm was hit hard

i thought those botls are meant to broke, mine was broke too, most hondas from junk yard have one or two broken in the head

[QUOTE=dfwblackls;2134872]I sheared a few off too not long ago… you need a stud puller like this:

Looks like the chuck of a drill and it tightens down on the stud as you remove the stud… works great and it pretty cheap… like $30 at Northern Tool… well worth saving me $30 worth of headaches after breaking off 3 of my studs.[/QUOTE]

a pretty nifty tool, but the only thing i’d be worried about with this is it twisting what’s left of the stud off. gotta take extra care if you use this.
usually it’s the far left and far right stud that stay in the head. luckily, it’s not one of those.

you guys make this seem very complicated. take the manifold off and take the stud out with a pair of vice grips. i’ve done many before and never had to use heat or anything.

lol. yeah, that might work too.

i just had to help someone with a similar problem. unbolt the manifold and just pull it away from the head and you can drop it to the ground if you remove one or two hangers on the exhaust, second grar the stud with vicegrips as hard as you can and it will twist out easy dont worry, lastly if one is broken off in the head u can either try “easy outs” which are like revers drill bits or just drill the stud out and heli-coil it

i recently just drilled and heli-coiled an intire head for someone because all the holes were stripped or had broken studs. just had to remove the radiator and condensor