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Old 10-29-2020, 06:07 PM   #1
pr0dy
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Default How to align exhaust manifold

Need advice - I have a 2016 Subaru Impreza.

Trying to put back my exhaust manifold - can't seem to align the holes back into the bolts. Been trying to for the past couple hours. See for reference https://imgur.com/a/OH6L119

Any tips or tricks? I managed to fit the left side but the right side doesn't budge, I even tried with a flathead screwdriver and hammer to try to jam it in. Or maybe I should try drilling a bigger hole? Would that mess it up?

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 10-30-2020, 09:01 AM   #2
Elbert Bass
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They can be a pain - worse than EJ manifolds. I have had to use a prybay 24" - 48" but I am guessing you are on the ground and not a lift so that won't work for you. I wouldn't drill out the holes.
Maybe put a box end wrench on the shaft of a hefty screwdriver will get you the extra leverage you need.
BTW: Looks like you are re-using the old gaskets. Do yourself a favor - put new gaskets on or you will be doing this again to fix an exhaust leak and possible P0171
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Old 10-30-2020, 09:28 AM   #3
Zak6182
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I've use something similar to this on SBC but they only have 2 studs per cylinder, so not sure how good it works on 3. I would imagine it would help just not sure as effective. It goes between the studs and you use it like a turnbuckle

https://www.amazon.com/Performance-T.../dp/B0076EX4S8
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Old 10-30-2020, 11:27 AM   #4
Samurai Jack
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Just for clarity, are you saying you can get the left side of the header on but the right side of the header you can't align to install the bolts?

Just want to make sure we are talking about the same thing.

As Elbert said, a crowbar is what you need to spread the header open enough to align it up correctly. Even on your back on the ground, you should be able to do this.

How is the car supported?
- Up on car ramps?
- Up on blocks?
- Up on jack stands?
- Sitting on the ground?

Rhino Ramps give a fair amount of clearance underneath.
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Old 10-30-2020, 07:37 PM   #5
Vancouver98STi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai Jack View Post

How is the car supported?
Good question when it comes to using pry bars while under a car!
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Old 10-30-2020, 08:39 PM   #6
Powderhunter
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Instead of putting one side on and trying the other you might need to try and get both sides on at the same time, probably takes another set of hands. You said you got the left side on and the right doesn't budge, if you do the right side does it look the same on the left as before?
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Old 10-30-2020, 09:32 PM   #7
Elbert Bass
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Powderhunter View Post
Instead of putting one side on and trying the other you might need to try and get both sides on at the same time, probably takes another set of hands. You said you got the left side on and the right doesn't budge, if you do the right side does it look the same on the left as before?
Very rarely works on FB engines due to heat stress on the manifold. Best way is get one side on and pry the other.
I've tried all sorts of tricks. After 200-300 times I've tried everything and putting one end on/pry the other to spread is the easiest, best, and safest way to do it. The main problem is the flange twists some too (you can see that in the photo).
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Old 10-30-2020, 09:41 PM   #8
MortonCharbo
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One possible solution is to remove the studs from one side and snug up the other side slightly. Line up the side without the studs, then put the studs back in.

Unfortunately, this opens up the possibility of stripping the holes. If it happens, it's not hard to fix, just a pain.
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Old 10-31-2020, 11:19 AM   #9
Elbert Bass
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MortonCharbo View Post
One possible solution is to remove the studs from one side and snug up the other side slightly. Line up the side without the studs, then put the studs back in.

Unfortunately, this opens up the possibility of stripping the holes. If it happens, it's not hard to fix, just a pain.
You are correct, you most likely will strip the threads in the head trying this. I thought this way 40 years and several cylinder head removed and sent to machine shop repairs ago.

Most stripped thread "repairs" in aluminum are not very successful unless you have the luxury and expense of a Time-Sert set to perform a proper thread repair (newer modern tech). Just pry it - the manifold will flex, no damaged threads, and you will be on the road in no time.
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Old 10-31-2020, 09:15 PM   #10
pr0dy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elbert Bass View Post
Very rarely works on FB engines due to heat stress on the manifold. Best way is get one side on and pry the other.
I've tried all sorts of tricks. After 200-300 times I've tried everything and putting one end on/pry the other to spread is the easiest, best, and safest way to do it. The main problem is the flange twists some too (you can see that in the photo).
Thanks for this idea. I'm on jack stands so I don't have the greatest clearance. I'm planning to buy this pry bar, https://www.amazon.com/Estwing-Handy.../dp/B00433SBWO

Might be a stupid question, how exactly do I use the pry bar to spread the other side? What's my point of contact on the pry bar? I'm sure I don't put one end of the pry bar on the bolt to spread the header? (as this would probably break the bolt)
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Old 11-01-2020, 02:33 PM   #11
Samurai Jack
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You should buy yourself a set of Rhino Ramps. They are ~ $50 and well worth the investment if you are going to work on your car.

One end of the pry bar goes against the header itself, just under the flange.

The other end is some place solid, like the engine block or something.
You have to pick what works for you and you get the right amount of leverage as well as being able to push the header onto the bolt.

That bar may not be strong enough.
You may want something more like a Gooseneck Wrecking bar. That's what I use.
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Old 11-06-2020, 02:19 AM   #12
pr0dy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai Jack View Post
You should buy yourself a set of Rhino Ramps. They are ~ $50 and well worth the investment if you are going to work on your car.

One end of the pry bar goes against the header itself, just under the flange.

The other end is some place solid, like the engine block or something.
You have to pick what works for you and you get the right amount of leverage as well as being able to push the header onto the bolt.

That bar may not be strong enough.
You may want something more like a Gooseneck Wrecking bar. That's what I use.
Gooseneck Wrecking bar really helped. Thank you.

I have another question, the bolt stud to the catalytic broke in half - there's 3 total so I have 2 connected properly. Here's an image for reference, https://imgur.com/a/CDwzTxs. I tried to use an impact to force the flange nut on there but it won't bite, there's not enough thread. So now I have no choice but to replace the stud - do you know if this is like one of the studs to the header where you can just unscrew it or would I have to open up the whole exhaust manifold to replace this stud? Here's a picture of the stud that I would need to replace the one that's broken in half - https://parts.subaru.com/images/uplo...1223280594.png

Thanks
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Old 11-06-2020, 10:59 AM   #13
Samurai Jack
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I'm pretty sure it is just a stud that can be screwed out.

Get yourself a bolt extractor set.
Soak the stud in PB Blaster and give it some time to work.
Remove the old stud and install new stud.
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Old 11-06-2020, 10:21 PM   #14
Elbert Bass
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pr0dy View Post
Gooseneck Wrecking bar really helped. Thank you.

I have another question, the bolt stud to the catalytic broke in half - there's 3 total so I have 2 connected properly. Here's an image for reference, https://imgur.com/a/CDwzTxs. I tried to use an impact to force the flange nut on there but it won't bite, there's not enough thread. So now I have no choice but to replace the stud - do you know if this is like one of the studs to the header where you can just unscrew it or would I have to open up the whole exhaust manifold to replace this stud? Here's a picture of the stud that I would need to replace the one that's broken in half - https://parts.subaru.com/images/uplo...1223280594.png

Thanks
Yup it's a stud. Threads into the flange - the hole goes right through and out the other side. Doesn't want to come out too easily - gets baked in being so close to the cat. As mentioned - lots of PB Blaster. Worst case grind the end flat, center punch, and start drilling with progressively larger bits. You will either get to the point where the threads from the stud will come out or make the hole big enough to chase the threads or re-thread.
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