Question for you guys & gals

Can you remove the exhaust manifolds with the engine in the car? 69 351w.

When The engine was rebuilt in 1999, my old school racer brother in law painted them white. Now they are rust & white. Im trying to figure the least painful method to make them look better.


Mike M.

Sure no issues. It’s a lot harder on a 390 / 427 / 428 but those can be done too.

They’re even easier than pulling your cast iron OEM manifold, too - you don’t have to lean over as far. Pad the fender to protect it, and try to have a helper to hand things to.


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Any tips/tricks to save knuckle meat. Time etc…

Just take the bolts out. It’s that easy.

Don’t forget the bolts to the intermediate exhaust pipe; sometimes those are the worse to loosen.

Remember to work from the inside (inner ones) outward

you may strike trouble with the first two bolts on the passenger side if its still got the heat riser to the air intake.
I found they didn’t, quite come out, so i had to loosen the engine mounts bolts and lever the engine over a wee bit to let the bolts come out clearing the shock tower plates.

Sounds like my old air force manuals, remove access cover to remove sweep generator… there were 52 phillips screws in that access cover. Thank god for the speed handle. :rofl:

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Not easy, project abandoned. It would be easier to pull the engine than remove everything in the way to get the manifolds out of the car. I got the passenger side unbolted, but there is no way to get it out without removing the starter. Looking at the Drivers side, It looks like I would have to drop the all the steering gear.

Nope, not going there. And Midlife, yes, the 2 NUTS attaching the Manifold the the Pipe, pure hell…

Mike m.

The 351W manifolds ought to come out easily. The driver side header the easiest way may be to support the engine and lift it a couple inches then install the header from underneath. That means removing the radiator, shroud and fan, which means draining the coolant.

All this means supporting the car so you can work underneath while installing an engine hoist.

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I pulled the manifolds on the 69 351W in my 68. Passenger side pretty simple- did remove starter (only two bolts) then everything was open. Drivers side I think I dropped some of the steering linkage and lifted the engine a bit. I didn’t remove radiator might have unbolted shroud so it was loose. I was putting mid length headers on and it went smoother than I thought it might have gone. I pulled passenger side manifold first then did drivers side manifold removal. Put drivers side header on first while engine jacked up then finished passenger side header. Had one header bolt that was a bugger to tighten. Other than that pretty straight forward.

I appreciate the input guys, however its a bit too much for my plans. The idea is to repaint them, with all the twiating & manipulation. It would just scratch them up removing and reinstalling. If I was doing a header swap, it would be worth the effort. Thanks for chiming in everyone, lessons learned.

Mike M

Well. I thought about it. And dropped the starter. Now i have the passenger side off. Ill clean and re-hab that manifold and make the starter look nice also. Put it back togther and go for the drivers side.

Slow and deliberate.

Mike M.

Treat yourself to a Nascar race at COTA if ya got cable.

If you wanna look on the bright side…. :grinning:

You could have the starter motor, brake master, vacuum assist, power steering box & hoses, main loom all down the one side of the car….

Sure, other side is a synch but….

Part of my problem is I’m a clean and paint kind of guy. So now that the starter is off, I’ve cleaned and prepped it for new paint, extending the project even more! :slight_smile:

Today i -finally- got the drivers side manifold out of the car. I was able to avoid jacking up the engine. I did have to disconnect the power steering ram from the chassis, and disconnect the pittman arm to get clearance. It finally dropped out.

I’ve been working on the drivers side off and on while stripping the old paint off the passengers side and doing rust removal. Side note, brother in law that painted them originally must have used the stuff they painted the Space Shuttle with. He worked for Lockheed At the Skunk Works. Ive killed a wire weel on the one manifold getting the paint off.
No busted studs or bolts, i did twist one of the studs out of the manifold, nut is rusted in place PB Blaster had no effect. The starter got cleaned and painted along the way also. So maybe next week it will get wrapped up.

Well, on the drivers side,the 2 lower manifold studs have been replaced, however, the passenger side is a different story. One broke off with the 2 nut method, the other. Just, Will not budge. Talk about scope creep… jeez…

Drivers side manifold is in, power steering ram & pittman arm back in place. Passenger side is still at the shop getting the busted stub removed. When i called, the said they have not thrown it yet, but they are very close, been a day & 1/2. They have welded nuts to the top 3 times, broke them off, tried drilling it, broke the drill bit. The saga continues…