North American Turbocoupe Organization



Removing the manifold/turbo with questions
John B Offline
Member
#1
I know there's some tech articles and previous threads on the subject but I wanted to add my experience with removing the manifold and turbo from my 88.

First, I sprayed all bolts that I was going to loosen with WD-40 Specialist penetrating oil several times for several days before the task. I don't know if anyone has used this penetrating oil before but it's the best one I've ever used. Not only does it break up the rust but it also causes a chemical reaction that literally heats up the bolt/nut connection being sprayed. My plan was to take out all manifold bolts, oil and coolant flare fittings and the two nuts on the slip joint connection on the downpipe. Previous owner removed the turbo support bracket so I didn't have to worry about that.

First, I drained some coolant from radiator. I didn't see the point in draining the entire thing so I siphoned about half out of the radiator. It worked; didn't spill any coolant from the turbo flare connections. I loosened the flare fittings for the oil supply and coolant return connections. The oil return has two 8mm bolts holding the flange to the turbo. The coolant supply has a flexible hose that can be slipped off with some persuasion.

The slip joint on the downpipe was next with two 15mm(??) nuts. This required a lot of extensions and ratchet knuckles. I also removed the turbo intake connection and several intercooling pipes to make some room. Lastly I removed all the manifold bolts. I used a half inch ratchet and 17 mm sockets with a pipe as a breaker bar to gently loosen the bolts.

I know from the factory, there wasn't a gasket between the manifold and cylinder head but the previous owner used one. When I got the manifold out, the gasket fell apart into two pieces so there's one problem. The turbo gasket actually didn't look too bad but it's getting replaced as well. I broke the turbo loose from the manifold on a bench; lots of penetrating oil and the two wrench trick to create more leverage. That's my uneventful experience with removing the turbo and manifold.

I have two questions; should I reuse the oil return flange gasket or make a new one? And second question is, how can I check to see if the downpipe to turbo connection is leaking or not? Thanks everyone!
88 Turbo Coupe: Front mount intercooler, remote mount TFI, MGW short throw shifter... murdered out
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Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#2
I would make or source a new turbo to oil drain gasket.

I always put the turbo to DP connection together with a thin layer of ultra high temp RTV and never see any leaks. I let it dry for a day before firing the engine up.
Jeff Korn

88 Turbo Coupe: Intake and exhaust mods, T3 turbo at 24 psi, forced air IC, water injection, BPV, Ranger cam, subframes, etc., etc.
86 Tbird 5.0 (original owner): intake, exhaust, valvetrain mods, 100 HP N2O, ignition, gears, suspension, etc., etc.
05 Taurus SEL Duratec daily driver
04 Taurus Duratec (wifes car)
02 Pontiac Grand Prix GT
95 Taurus GL Vulcan winter beater
67 Honda 450 Super Sport - completely customized
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John B Offline
Member
#3
Jeff K Wrote:I would make or source a new turbo to oil drain gasket.

I always put the turbo to DP connection together with a thin layer of ultra high temp RTV and never see any leaks. I let it dry for a day before firing the engine up.

As always, thank you for the reply and info. Do you use a copper based RTV or something like permatex high temp red?
88 Turbo Coupe: Front mount intercooler, remote mount TFI, MGW short throw shifter... murdered out
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Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#4
I typically use the "Ultra Copper".
Jeff Korn

88 Turbo Coupe: Intake and exhaust mods, T3 turbo at 24 psi, forced air IC, water injection, BPV, Ranger cam, subframes, etc., etc.
86 Tbird 5.0 (original owner): intake, exhaust, valvetrain mods, 100 HP N2O, ignition, gears, suspension, etc., etc.
05 Taurus SEL Duratec daily driver
04 Taurus Duratec (wifes car)
02 Pontiac Grand Prix GT
95 Taurus GL Vulcan winter beater
67 Honda 450 Super Sport - completely customized
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John B Offline
Member
#5
Jeff K Wrote:I typically use the "Ultra Copper".

That's what I just bought :thumbup:

I ran into a new issue. The first three bolts came off the downpipe pretty easy but fourth one got stuck and I ended up snapping the bolt head off. From everyone's experience, what's the best way to remove the bolt? I tried using a dremel to cut a slit for a flat head on an impact driver but that didn't work, even with a torch. I'm getting ready to just drill the thing out and if the threads in the exhaust housing get marred, I'll use a bolt and nut. Thoughts?
88 Turbo Coupe: Front mount intercooler, remote mount TFI, MGW short throw shifter... murdered out
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anasazi4st Offline
Senior Member
#6
There's no part of the bolt sticking up past the surface?

I broke a cylinder head bolt off and tried everything I could think of (there was still some sticking out)...eventually after my attempts there was nothing left above the head surface. I carefully drilled a slightly smaller diameter hole in the bolt and used an extractor to pull it out. I think that's a safer alternative and less likely to mess up the threads that trying to drill the bolt out directly.

Before I did any work on removing it I cut a hole that was slightly larger than the bolt in a piece of stiff cardboard, and secured that to the head. That way I wasn't likely to scratch or mar the surface of the head by accident.
Another proud dues-paying member.

1987 Turbo Coupe w/T5OD, 8.8 axle, grey smoke; most options. Got it in 1991 with 41K miles: 3 turbos, 2 heater cores, 1 T5OD full rebuild, 5 clutches, 1 head gasket, 2 Teves II ABS units, etc. later....
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John B Offline
Member
#7
anasazi4st Wrote:There's no part of the bolt sticking up past the surface?

I broke a cylinder head bolt off and tried everything I could think of (there was still some sticking out)...eventually after my attempts there was nothing left above the head surface. I carefully drilled a slightly smaller diameter hole in the bolt and used an extractor to pull it out. I think that's a safer alternative and less likely to mess up the threads that trying to drill the bolt out directly.

Before I did any work on removing it I cut a hole that was slightly larger than the bolt in a piece of stiff cardboard, and secured that to the head. That way I wasn't likely to scratch or mar the surface of the head by accident.

That's a good idea; I did get the bolt out. Used a torch on the turbine housing and was able to get some grips on it. If that didn't work, my next step was to have my buddy weld a nut on the end to get a wrench back onto it. Welder's swear by that trick and it seems to work
88 Turbo Coupe: Front mount intercooler, remote mount TFI, MGW short throw shifter... murdered out
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Cliff.C Offline
Member
#8
I find welding a washer(hole slightly smaller than bolt) on broken bolt than the nut to washer works great. Easier to get solid weld and extra heat helps.
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