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64 galaxie 390 exhaust manifold gaskets

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Tommyk74, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. Tommyk74
    Joined: Jun 30, 2013
    Posts: 60

    from Nashville

    Bout to do exhaust manifold gaskets on a 390 in a 64 galaxie . Any tips or tricks for this job? I have been soaking all the bolts every day with penetrating oil for about a week. I have no lift looks like this is going to be very tight. Sugestions on hardware and gaskes wouldbe great. Any feedback will be much appreciated .

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    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013
  2. richie rebel
    Joined: Oct 8, 2007
    Posts: 1,184

    richie rebel

    no gaskets on my 63, metal to metal.............
  3. supervert
    Joined: Mar 8, 2009
    Posts: 433


    i ran remflex gaskets and stainless bolts on mine. works great
  4. 62rebel
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,804


    yeah, when they were brand new they didn't have gaskets on them. I personally would use some today, some 50 years later. unless you can have the mating surfaces honed.

  5. BigChief
    Joined: Jan 14, 2003
    Posts: 2,081


    You may need a torch to warm up the top bolts regardless of the amount of penetrating oil used. Once the bolts are out check the threads in the holes carefully, especially the top ones as they are prone to corrosion and degradation due to the amount of heat they see vs the amount of material around them.

    Check the head and manifold mating surfaces for pits and warping. Have the surfaces fly-cut or ground flat by a machine shop to make sure they are dead straight. Use fresh factory type Ramp-Loc bolts available from many restoration houses and properly torque the bolts.

    Using a gasket on exhaust manifolds, especially FEs, is asking for more headaches down the road and is not recommended. If you absolutely have to try out a gasket experiment with one of the dead-soft aluminum or thin/embossed copper gaskets....the thicker composite paper and/or graphite gaskets should be re-purposed into something else.
  6. PackardV8
    Joined: Jun 7, 2007
    Posts: 890


    Things you don't want to hear.

    1. All FE exhaust manifolds warp. Plan on having them milled.

    2. It will be a miracle if you don't break off one or two bolts. That will mean pulling the heads.

    3. Don't use gaskets.

    jack vines
  7. I have found this to be pretty much true.
  8. 57Custom300
    Joined: Aug 21, 2009
    Posts: 1,329

    from Arizona

    PackardV8 & BigChief pretty much hit the nail on the head. Soaking those top bolts is pretty much a waste of time. You'll be lucky if heating them gets them out.
    Joined: Jun 28, 2011
    Posts: 388

    from Dinuba

    Use a flat section of the cement garage floor to "surface" the exhaust manifolds. Clean mating surfaces real well and use hi-temp silicone for gasket.
    Worked for me and a lot of other people, too.
  10. burnout2614
    Joined: Sep 21, 2009
    Posts: 612


    Top bolts usually break, Bottom ones usually come out. Packardv8 is correct...... peace
  11. Tommyk74
    Joined: Jun 30, 2013
    Posts: 60

    from Nashville

    Good info guys thanks

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 103


    Soaking them and getting them hot and soaking them again and again will surely help. Sounds like he doesn't want to pull the heads, just put in new gaskets which will help seal things up because they do warp. Warm up the tops of where the bolts go in and be patient.
    Good luck !!!
  13. TooManyFords
    Joined: May 21, 2008
    Posts: 553

    from Peotone IL

    No gaskets. Mill the manifolds and sand the heads surfaces as smooth as possible. Smear axle grease on both surfaces and install new quality bolts. Gaskets will leak eventually.
  14. greybeard360
    Joined: Feb 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,543


    Yup... they didn't come from the factory with gaskets and the reason you are "replacing" the gaskets is they don't need to be there. The only Ford that I know came from the factory is anything with an aluminum head..... late model that is.
  15. Be ready to pull the heads..... the last time I did this 12 of 16 manifold bolts broke.

    And some did come with gaskets, but you'll rarely be able to tell. Ford used steel shim-type gaskets on a lot of them, but whatever stuck out generally will have rusted completely away by now. If you want to try the 'no gaskets' method, it'll be best to have both the manifold and heads milled or you'll be doing it again soon. Otherwise, I've had good luck by cutting the exhaust gaskets into individual flanges and using high-temp silicon (a PITA to do in the car). Swapping to grade 8 bolts will help with bolt breakage. Dipping the bolt threads in Pepto-bismol before installing will also help.

    Good luck!
  16. greybeard360
    Joined: Feb 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,543


    That was a steel heat shield.... not really a gasket.
  17. Rory428
    Joined: Mar 30, 2011
    Posts: 73

    from BC Canada

    I have been playing with FE Fords for over 35 years, and although I have never had a lower exhaust bolt break, since they are blind holes, the upper bolts break off quite often when attempts are made to remove them, especially after 45 or 50 years! Since the upper exh. bolt holes are open, moisture and debris can get in there. One trick that I have found to work most times on the upper bolts is to heat the "ear" of the exhaust flange of the head with an oxy/acetalyne torch until it gets red, and then place a wax candle on the backside of the bolt. The candle will quickly melt, and hopefully wick wax along the bolts threads. Several years ago, I had to remove the Hedman headers from my F350s 390. The headers had been on for over 15 years, and 1 bolt was totally seized. Since the upperbolt holes are open, I could see that although the bolts head was moving, the threaded section was not, even after heating the head flange. I then tries the candle trick, and it came right out. That said, this was on a truck that had the heads rebuilt about 22 years before, if the bolts had never been touched in 50 years, it may or may not work. Also, often the head of the bolts can errode to the point where a 9/16s socket is a very sloppy fit, and will want to round off. Good luck.
  18. mikeey rat
    Joined: Aug 10, 2010
    Posts: 169

    mikeey rat
    from Australia

    Sounds like a horror show. I was thinking that i'd have to do mine before getting my gal back on the road.My 64 was converted to right hand drive about 10 years ago and has 2 left hand exhaust manifolds the one on the right is a LH manifold turned upside down ...I think ....Oh god I don't know what to think .Lucky I saw this post before I embarked on this mission or yet another simple task would probably have [and still might] turned into a nightmare.Thanks for the tips and thank whoever is in charge up there for the HAMB
  19. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 5,028


    For one that has been leaking try permatex High temp metal repair. Put it on the gasket like sealer and bolt her up.
  20. Tommyk74
    Joined: Jun 30, 2013
    Posts: 60

    from Nashville

    I have gaskets currently if I can get them off going to try to run without .

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  21. 61 Sunliner
    Joined: Oct 24, 2012
    Posts: 48

    61 Sunliner

    I used solid copper gaskets from Summit after the composition gaskets that came with the gasket set blew out in under 1000 miles. The copper gaskets have lasted 3 years and over 10,000 miles.
  22. SquireDon
    Joined: Aug 8, 2010
    Posts: 600

    from Oregon

    If your heads are fresh and surfaced, and the manifolds are new or surfaced with a lot of meat left, just use heat shields with no gasket.

    Fel Pro # MS95000

    If your using an older head, and the manifold has been surfaced, use a gasket. I like the remflex gaskets. They are very forgiving for warped, misshapen mounting surfaces.

    As for the top 4 manifold bolts, I like the wax idea mentioned earlier in the thread. I have also squirted with threads with a very good penetrating oil, then get that motor hot and hit it with oil again. You're still probably going to break atleast 1 bolt.

    Good Luck.

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