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95-97 1.3L cracked exhaust manifold; repair or replacement options
Topic Started: Mar 13 2018, 10:31 PM (847 Views)
scruffy
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Apparently I'm late to the party on this one, but they are known for cracking. I've got four of them and they are all cracked.

The standard go to the junkyard or wrecker doesn't really work well, since they are likely cracked as well. The wreckers local to me don't even have any at all.

New replacements aren't readily available either, since Dorman and Suzuki have both discontinued it. Suzuki might still have stock, but I haven't checked. The suzukicarparts website lists it as US$232.42, but doesn't indicate whether they actually have it available.

Suzukird lists their header, but it costs just as much with the O2 bung and bolt on flange, lacks the egr port (not that that is really much of a problem, we don't have emissions testing in Manitoba), and apparently is known for having crappy welds that crack as well.

Besides spending a good chunk of change as well as time trying to figure out who would be able to actually order in either of those options, that leaves trying to repair them. But welding cast iron isn't known for working very well.

I'm leaning more to the welding side now, since it is by far the cheapest, I can get a ~20 pack of 3/32" cast iron repair ez weld rods for ~CA$50 + tax at a local supply shop. Since I've got a welder and tools for the prep work, it seems at least a good option to try.

Does anyone have any suggests or opinions on the matter? I've seen a few mentions of this problem, but nothing about results from welding or recent availablity. If I do go through with welding I'm planning on photographing and documenting the process to upload.
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MR1 Kingsbury
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Exp. builder/rebuilder

I've had 2 of them welded with reasonable results... You must use an individual with knowledge and experience.... Or allow them to learn.. Cast can be welded well with special rods AND most importantly, preheat.... In fact at the machine shop where i had my head built there is a special oven that heats cast iron heads to over 300 C. with gloves and hand holes for welding in the oven.

your best plan would be to preheat them as hot as your house oven will go, and be prepared right away in a somewhat insulated space to lay bead as soon as they come out. Practice first before you go after the finished manifold.

Edit... After talking to my welder, it seems there are "certanium" rods that do not require preheat.
However, if you preheat, you must cool very slow...
Edited by MR1 Kingsbury, Mar 14 2018, 07:10 PM.
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evmetro


I kept a '97 1.3 exhaust manifold going for years. It was not cast, so I just mig welded the cracks. Every 6 months or so, I would have to go in and weld up another crack, but it kept me going.
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scruffy
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I've got a small charcoal grill that the manifold will just fit into. The charcoal burning down is supposed to be slow enough for cooling meaning you don't have to mess around trying to insulate it.
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JWSchuller
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I have a brand new one for your model. Pm me for details.
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scruffy
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How did you end up with a new manifold for an older model car then what you've got listed on your profile JWSchuller?

I might be interested depending on cost and shipping.

The USP estimator gives US$25.58 ground for 15lbs @ 15"x11"x5"
from:
UPS Drop Off
150 Sandusky Street, Monroeville, Ohio, 44847
to:
Menke's Parcel Service
539 East, 5th St.
Neche, ND, USA
58265
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JWSchuller
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Fully understand your concerns. My 1997 GeoMetro was shown briefly @the 2008 Geopalooza/YouTube. Johnny Mullet can verify, ask him about the Zombie Blood and Razor Savor i gave him. Have posted here over a decade ago because of many factors (corporate job loss one of them) it has been a wild ride.
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sphenicie


Having been a state and fed certified welder for over 30 years, i can give you some basics. I regularly weld on these manifolds because i like to relocate the O2 sensor to make it "easy access".

The correct procedure requires Nickle 55 rod to be used. Pre heat is required. Post heat is required. PEENING is required. Full penetration is required.

Weld preparation requires that ALL rust and dirt are removed. The crack MUST be ground out 100%. If you do not remove the crack it will return. Work from one side then grind the other side and complete. "Full penetration" means that the entire depth of the material has been welded.

You may only weld a short distance, 1/2" in this case is it, then you must peen the weld. Peening should continue for 15-30 seconds, in this case. It is determined by cooling time. After completing 1/2-3/4" weld and peening, check the piece with heat crayon. Minimum 300 deg F. at a point furthest from weld. Most likely you will have to return the piece to the oven to bring it back up to temp. Then proceed, 1/2" or so at a time.
weld, peen, heat. repeat.

When you have completed the weld procedure, the piece must be returned to the oven for post heat. Four hour GRADUAL cool down has worked well for me.

Heat crayons are available at any quality weld supplier, or on line.

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Bill CNC
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I have repaired (4) of the 4cyl Calif / NY legal manifolds. They weld up very easily, these are NOT cast Iron.

The biggest tip I can give you is to have a spare head junk head. Bolt the manifold up to the head and then do your welding. Don't try to completely weld up the cracks all in one shot, you will warp the hell out of the manifold. Do it 1" or less at a time and go from one crack to the farthest crack. You do not want to concentrate heat in only one location, spread it out.

I also have a workaround to replace the Cat Converters that are attached to these manifolds. One cannot legally by one for a 95-97 so ones need to be made from 98-2000 years. The mounting flange from the 98-2000's has to be carefully removed and new mounting flange has to be made and welded in place. the 95-97's are square ports and the 98-2000's have round ports.

Perhaps some day I'll do a "How To" tutorial guide for this if there is any interest in it. For us folks running these Cat combined manifolds, ... we are on borrowed time. 48 state cast iron manifolds can be used in California and NY, but you will have to jump through hoops every single time you need to get her a smog cert which is why I did the mod in the first place, well, ... that and I was bored.

Regards
Bill
Edited by Bill CNC, Mar 15 2018, 12:58 PM.
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scruffy
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In reply to JWSchuller:

I wasn't doubting you, I was just interested in how you had a new manifold that you hadn't used - I'd still like a picture if possible just to verify it is the right one.

I would be interested, but I'd probably lowball you on a price, so you have to give me what you're willing to sell it for. Right now I'm just working on one of the cars for my parents or siblings, so it's up to them to pay for it. If it was for myself and I had the cash on hand I'd have no problem as long as it wasn't something insane. If you happen to be going to the Minnesota Metro Meet in the fall or know someone who is, I'd probably still be interested then, even if welding them works.

In reply to sphenicie:

Thanks for the tips, it seems everyone has a different opinion on how to weld cast and it's not very helpful reading posts telling you to do contradicting things. I never heard about heat crayons before, but they sound like a good idea, I'll try to get some when I pickup the rods.

Do you think the charcoal grill will work? I don't really have an oven available to use. I can probably even weld it with it on the grill.

Grinding it out well and getting full penetration makes sense - for some stupid reason some other people have said not to crank it up high and to keep it shallow. I guess it helps keep the heat down to keep it from cracking when cooling, but it also doesn't actually fill it properly either.

The recommendation on peening and welding length is helpful, most of what I've read didn't say for how much/ how long to peen (probably depends on the what's being worked on) , what temps to try to keep it at, and didn't specify that short a weld distance.

Why would people want to mess around with the oxygen sensor though? It works fine as is and does so on almost every stock equiped vehicle... I've never actually seen or heard offline of failed o2 sensors, just "parts changers" replacing them when they read the symptoms of something else being wrong.
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evmetro


Seems kinda funny how the engineers screwed up on both the non cast AND the cast manifolds for the same years of this car.
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JWSchuller
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If you doubted it is understandable....as a Metrologist i dealt with engineers from Ford and CVG. Whew the stories I could tell. I'll get you a photo in 3or 4 days...
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JWSchuller
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Pm me with your email address. This site won't let my wife post photos with her smart phone. Says it's too big of file.
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scruffy
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Apparently you can get a new manifold shipped from Japan from megazip. That's a really dumb name for a parts distributer...

It's $260 Canadian with shipping, probably better then the Suzuki dealership would offer and wouldn't involve trying to deal with them and having to drive 2h+ to pick it up.
Edited by scruffy, Mar 16 2018, 07:44 PM.
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JWSchuller
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I want 82.00 & you pay shipping. Has a new gasket, plug for O2 sensor, and studs (I'd use low grade drop through bolts like Mopar did in the sixties) Again this is a new cast iron manifold albeit it Chinese made......sure like to fwd photos for both of our clarity.
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