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Old 03-15-2004, 12:58 PM
Posts: n/a
Exhaust Leak at point of mainfold

Hi--my 450 SEL is running BETTER, but in no way perfect. There is an exhaust leak on the passenger side right down from the manifold. You can hear it easily and if you carefully put your hand down there--you can feel the air pulsing.

It appears to be right where the manifold is connected to the exhaust system. I need to get the car up on ramps and have someone hold it with a socket while I try to tighten the bolts from the top--it all appears very loose.

My question is, is there any type of gasket there I need to replace?


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Old 03-15-2004, 06:13 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Nashville
Posts: 145

There are gaskets - but not like in the old american cars -
these are steel o-rings, not like header flange gaskets....

It could be the exhaust bolts are just loose, or exhaust manifold gaskets, or timing.

If it's the exhaust manifold gaskets (one per cylinder),
you can usually tell by crawling under when the car is on ramps.
Look for soot/black stuff on/near the spark plug wire boot.

Exhaust Bolts - pretty easy
Each down pipe is connected to the manifold via two bolts.
My 280SE has three down pipes, thus six nuts.
These bolts (about 9/16") tend to get a little rusty.
Get you some PB Blaster, soak them and tighten them up.
On the pass side, you might have to get creative to position
your backup to hold..

Good Tool to help find the source -
2ft of 3/4" tubing - put one end to your ear, and move the other around in the area you suspect - works GREAT !
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Old 03-15-2004, 06:55 PM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: sunnyvale ca
Posts: 338
mine leaks there too, if it make you feel any better
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Old 03-15-2004, 09:05 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 8,150
Yeah, I can't tighten OR remove one bolt on the driver's side, but you can't hear it anyway over the noise from the cracked manfold....

I've gotten some muffler cement to more or less hold there by embedding screenwire in it until I can get the new manifold on -- but that may wait until I get the money for a new exhaust system complete -- most of the rest is perforated.

1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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Old 03-16-2004, 12:19 PM
Posts: n/a
Gotcha-thanks for the info. My leak is only on the passenger side where all the exhaust is routed downward to the exhaust system. As I said, you can literally feel the pulsing of air if you carefully put your hand down there...
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Old 03-16-2004, 05:43 PM
cth350's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 4,096
You can get up in there from the bottom, when you start back a bit by the point where the down pipes bend. It's a royal pain, but you can do it. You can even get a dremel up there to cut the exhaust bolts, if you are a very patient person.


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