How to Remove Stuck Exhaust Manifold Studs: A Step-By-Step Guide
The simplest trick to loosen stuck exhaust manifold studs may be a firm tap with a hammer. Be careful to not hit too hard as you don’t want to bend or break the bolts. You can also try using a cheater bar (a length of iron pipe attached to your wrench or ratchet). This is for applying extra torque and comes in handy when dealing with especially stubborn bolts.
Industrial strength penetrating lubricant sprays may also come in handy, making sure to use a nozzle or straw to direct the lubricant in between the bolt and the engine block – being careful not to get any on the bolt head. Let the lubricant sit overnight for best results.
In cases where the bolts won’t give, you may need to try heating the engine block around the bolt. A handheld torch works great for this. Heat the engine block as hot as you can, working quickly before the heat transfers to the bolt itself, as it will shrink and be difficult to remove.
If the heat transfer method isn’t working quickly enough, you could also heat and cool the bolt directly. Use your torch to heat the bolt head and then swiftly cool it with a pair of tongs and an ice cube (making sure to switch to a fresh ice cube after the initial melting). The sudden change in temperature and size of the bolt can break the seal created by rust.
With the right approach, faith and patience, any DIYer can get those stubborn studs removed. Armed with these tips, you can tackle that project with confidence and make quick work of that stuck exhaust manifold bolt problem. Don’t let rust and age discourage you, you can do it!