Manifold leak without broken studs? Replacement headers?

Disclaimer: Links on this page pointing to Amazon, eBay and other sites may include affiliate code. If you click them and make a purchase, we may earn a small commission.

rickwenham

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2023
Posts
9
Reaction score
2
Location
San Diego
Ram Year
2019 Ram 1500 Classic
Engine
5.7 Hemi
So, I think I have an exhaust leak at the driver side manifold, there is a pretty strong tick when cold, then gets quieter. I also smell exhaust in the cab when I open it up after letting it warm up for a few minutes.
But my heat shield is intact as far as I can tell by trying to move it around with a long screwdriver.
There is no similar noise from the passenger side. 3 questions...
1) Do you guys agree that sounds like a manifold leak?
2) If I replace them with headers, will they be less likely to have future issues?
3) Recommendations on good quality CA legal headers? I'm not necessarily looking for the highest performance... just quality and good fitment.

Thank you.
 

Dodge trucker

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2021
Posts
312
Reaction score
188
Location
Kankakee il
Ram Year
1985
Engine
225
My 4.7 in my Durango das a couple of busted studs, don't sound as bad as the other one I was considering when I got this one 10000 miles ago. I did go buy a drill guide for that head just in case. I've dealt with this problem on Ford's and Chevy's at work as well.
 

Dodge trucker

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2021
Posts
312
Reaction score
188
Location
Kankakee il
Ram Year
1985
Engine
225
I looked at headers, definitely out of the budget unless I get lucky at a swap meet or some such
 

EdGs

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2020
Posts
2,686
Reaction score
4,141
Location
FL
Ram Year
2015
Engine
Hemi 5.7L
You dont need a screwdriver to try to move the heat shields. When the engine is cold (and not running, of course), reach in through the wheel wells and grab the heat shields near the corners. There are the four corner manifold bolts/studs that hold the shields on. These are the most likely to break, but somtimes even the other ones can break.
 
OP
OP
rickwenham

rickwenham

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2023
Posts
9
Reaction score
2
Location
San Diego
Ram Year
2019 Ram 1500 Classic
Engine
5.7 Hemi
I don’t think any studs are broken, just have a leak for another reason.
So, what good CA legal headers will bolt up to the stock dual exhaust system?
 

crackerjack1957

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2015
Posts
2,083
Reaction score
2,525
Ram Year
2014 Sport 1500 CC 4x4
Engine
Hemi 5.7...65RFE...4.56
Don't think there are any headers approved for CA......not even shorties

 
OP
OP
rickwenham

rickwenham

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2023
Posts
9
Reaction score
2
Location
San Diego
Ram Year
2019 Ram 1500 Classic
Engine
5.7 Hemi
Don't think there are any headers approved for CA......not even shorties

Unfortunately I think you are correct...
 

Ken226

Senior Member
Military
Joined
Mar 12, 2017
Posts
626
Reaction score
631
Location
Washington State
Ram Year
2013
Engine
Hemi
So, I think I have an exhaust leak at the driver side manifold, there is a pretty strong tick when cold, then gets quieter. I also smell exhaust in the cab when I open it up after letting it warm up for a few minutes.
But my heat shield is intact as far as I can tell by trying to move it around with a long screwdriver.
There is no similar noise from the passenger side. 3 questions...
1) Do you guys agree that sounds like a manifold leak?
2) If I replace them with headers, will they be less likely to have future issues?
3) Recommendations on good quality CA legal headers? I'm not necessarily looking for the highest performance... just quality and good fitment.

Thank you.

The heat shield is held on by 4 studs. If the only broken stud or studs are the ones NOT holding the shield, it will tick but the heat should will still be tight.

Also, even if only one of the studs holding the shield in place break, it will still be held tightly by the other three. Wiggling the shield CAN, but not always, be a good indicator.

My last stud replacement, only 1 was broken. The passenger side, upper rearmost stud, and the heat shield was still rock solid.
 
OP
OP
rickwenham

rickwenham

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2023
Posts
9
Reaction score
2
Location
San Diego
Ram Year
2019 Ram 1500 Classic
Engine
5.7 Hemi
The heat shield is held on by 4 studs. If the only broken stud or studs are the ones NOT holding the shield, it will tick but the heat should will still be tight.

Also, even if only one of the studs holding the shield in place break, it will still be held tightly by the other three. Wiggling the shield CAN, but not always, be a good indicator.

My last stud replacement, only 1 was broken. The passenger side, upper rearmost stud, and the heat shield was still rock solid.
If any studs are broken I can’t tell…
Either way I’m taking it to the mechanic for a replacement in a week or so.

I’m being told that the replacement is somehow improved…hopefully that’s true.
 

Ken226

Senior Member
Military
Joined
Mar 12, 2017
Posts
626
Reaction score
631
Location
Washington State
Ram Year
2013
Engine
Hemi
If any studs are broken I can’t tell…
Either way I’m taking it to the mechanic for a replacement in a week or so.

I’m being told that the replacement is somehow improved…hopefully that’s true.

The best replacement is to resurface the old ones.

From what I hear, new manifolds are susceptible to warping and the broken stud issue reappearing. But old manifold that have been heat cycled many, many times have almost Zero chance of warping after being resurfaced.

Here is a good post by @Fast69Mopar that describes the issue, and the solution (if you are keeping manifolds):

Quoting the 2nd paragraph in his post:
"If you install a new set of exhaust manifolds you will end up in the same place down the road. It is inevitable. It will happen. For all of the pairs of exhaust manifolds I have repaired by milling them or running them on the belt sander I have yet to have a single truck come back with an exhaust leak due to a warped manifold. Of course gaskets get old and fail and start leaking."



Here is a good video on this. Mine were exactly like the one in the video, the middle were prouder than the ends, by about 1/8". It took about an hour to sand mine flat. I have a knee mill, but I decided the belt sander would be faster than coming up with a fixture for the mill:




I'm not a Ram Technician like @Fast69Mopar, but I have done the job 4 times. Once on a Durango Citadel, once on my previous 2010 Ram 1500 and twice on my current 2013 Ram. The issue always came back.

The most recent was a week ago, and it was the first time I belt sanded the manifolds flat. I was shocked at how badly warped they were, but hopefully this time the issue won't return.
 
Last edited:
Top