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Discussion Starter #1
Hey fellas,
My brother has his '99 Frontier 3.3 (over 200,000 miles on it) that has a cracked exhaust manifold on the drivers side. The Mechanic JUST replaced the passenger side less than 6 months ago and now the drivers side is cracked. AWESOME. :thatswck:

How big of a job is it to do this? I have tools and some mechanical skills. I installed the lift on it and have done all my own maintenance on it. (oil changes, spark plugs, differential....etc.)

What do you guys think? It seems pretty straight forward...just unbolt the stock one and bolt on the new one. Looks like I can get in there from the wheel well...no? I have tried looking for a write up and cant find one. Any opinions help. Thanks
 

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I did it years ago on my 95 Pathfinder, I think its a similar layout. I replaced both with a set of DT headers since they were cheaper than just one manifold. It sucked and took a long time, but it wasnt too difficult.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
hmm this is encouraging. Anyone else?
 

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I did the driver's side on my '01 sc about 6 months ago. It's pretty straight forward. I'd go for it.
The only problem I had was getting the rear heat shield bolt out. I solved this by using a hole saw, big enough to go around the bolt, mounted on a 12" shaft, with no mandrel. Go thru the wheelwell (all work is done thru the wheelwell) and simply cut around the bolt, leaving it in the manifold. Use a new bolt and oversized washer when reinstalling. Or buy a new heatshield.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
nice. this is what i want to hear. no engine lifting or anything? just bolt off and bolt on?
 

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I did the driver's side on my '01 sc about 6 months ago. It's pretty straight forward. I'd go for it.
The only problem I had was getting the rear heat shield bolt out. I solved this by using a hole saw, big enough to go around the bolt, mounted on a 12" shaft, with no mandrel. Go thru the wheelwell (all work is done thru the wheelwell) and simply cut around the bolt, leaving it in the manifold. Use a new bolt and oversized washer when reinstalling. Or buy a new heatshield.
I planned to do the maifold replacement next week but I am little skeptical about doing the removal myself. My mechanic wants $250-$300 to replace them. Although It does not sound like a bad price, I wonder if I can do it and how long will it take to complete the job.

I got few question for you,
Can you outline the basic the steps to remove the manifolds?
Did you have to remove the rest of the exhaust (cats, and catback exhaust)to get to the manifolds?
Did you remove the wheelwell cover and gave you access to the eight manifold bolts? Did you spray the bolts for a couple days with penetrating oil or did you use heat to loosen them? Were the bolts hard to remove or did they feel like they were about ready to break (any advise on that)?

I am doing most of the maintenance myself other than big things like timing belts, transmission repairs, etc.

Anything that can help is appreciatted.
Thanks.
 

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It's pretty easy, really. I left my new manifold on the bench for 3 or 4 months, dreading the job, until state inspection forced me to do it. Easier than spark plugs.
The only problem I had was the above mentioned heat shield bolt. That's step one. Get that sucker out. You don't have to remove the wheelwell cover, just peel it back enough for access.
The rest of the exhaust stays intact. No heat/no penetrating oil, but I think I used a cheater bar on my 1/2" drive ratchet. Well, maybe a little lube on the down pipe nuts, but I don't think you really need it.
Once they're cracked, the bolts come right out. Takes a little time. No more than three hours if you really go at it. A seat is handy. If you're truck's lifted that should make it even easier.
 
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