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Old 06-04-2013, 01:06 PM   #1
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Exclamation Replace broken manifold bolts or go with Banks?

I am a new owner of an older Class A 1995 Southwind Storm. I picked her up in FL and drove her all the way to California. When I got here, I had her checked out with a mechanic. I had the radiator replaced, recharged the dash air, etc, etc, $1600.00 worth of whatever. Now they tell me the bolts on my exhaust manifold are broken and the exhaust is burning the spark pug wires? They said I should replace the bolts, maybe the manifold if it is warped? and it will cost around $2000.00. Is this reasonable? cough, cough. I feel as though I have purchased a money pit. I would love to hear your thoughts. I know nothing about engines, manifolds, bolts or exhausts. They also suggested a Banks system to improve performance. It runs fine to me.

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Old 06-04-2013, 01:37 PM   #2
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Manifold cracking on a 454 is not uncommon. The failure comes from them not getting too hot but rather cooling off too fast as in descending a long grade after just having pulled up it.

The Banks system replaces stock manifolds with headers and some other goodies. Folks have found them somewhat beneficial. IMO, $2K is way too much for the job. Remove the engine cover and take a look. What you can't get from the top is accessible from the bottom. The manifold should be removed decked or replaced if cracked and the bolts removed from the head. Sometime they come out easily if allowed to soak in liquid wrench or the like for a few days or they must be drilled and sometimes re tapped. Check around, call Banks for an authorized dealer/installer and make you decision.

'92 Gulf Stream Sun Voyager. Tweaked 5.9 Cummins, complete interior makeover (previous owner).
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Old 06-04-2013, 01:52 PM   #3
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A good set of stainless steel headers would be the ticket but there not cheap. Gm has made the newer exhaust manifolds with a higher nickle content to help the cracking problem but there not cheap eather. If you go with headers get a good set with at least 3/8" or 1/2" flanges and ceramic coated inside and out. If you get stainless steel they don't need coating.
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:26 PM   #4
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If you are satisfied with the power you have, I don't see the need for a Banks system. Start with replacing the bolts, but probably you'll find the headers are cracked or warped. Shop around for a good set of headers that will handle your engine.

Bob & Donna
'98 Gulf Stream Sun Voyager DP being pushed by a '00 Beetle TDI
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Old 06-04-2013, 03:09 PM   #5
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Replace broken manifold bolts or go with Banks?

Go woth Banks! As long as you are spending money to repair a problem, go all the way! Banks is all S/S and engineered for the specific engine it is to be installed on. Gives much increase in power and runs lots cooler! Do not expect better gas mileage, unless you jave been driving too fast, then slowing to 55 to 60 MPH will help that.

Happy Trails!

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Old 06-04-2013, 03:10 PM   #6
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I'd do headers also. They generally wake up big blocks and with the $2k that you're being quoted - they'll cost less and perhaps last longer..

Banks builds great stuff, but you are paying for the marketing and branding.

And alternative to full stainless headers is a set of ceramic coated steel headers.
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Old 06-04-2013, 05:09 PM   #7
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If you have to replace the headers anyway, I would choose a performance set, though not necessarily Banks. Good product form Banks, but there are others for less money too. And you don't need to sink top dollar into a 1995.

And yes, it is a money pit. Any 20 year old coach is going to be. Or even a 10-15 year old!
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Old 06-04-2013, 05:36 PM   #8
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I had a 96 Storm. Had the manifolds replaced at about 75,000.
You will only need to do it once.
How long are you going to keep it?
I had it done, kept the cost down without after-market stuff, and had fun camping.

Just sayin....
Dave and Nola, RVM1
The Journey is Our Destination!

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Old 06-04-2013, 06:09 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by geoknee View Post
......They said I should replace the bolts, maybe the manifold if it is warped? and it will cost around $2000.00. Is this reasonable? cough, cough. ...... I would love to hear your thoughts. .......
I think you are Coughing Because some has there finger on your privates!!

They are right The bolts need replaced and yes headers are a good idea as long as you get good ones.

I would find some one else with reasonable prices.
(RVM#26) THE U-RV 94 F-700/24 foot U-haul box home built RV
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Old 06-04-2013, 08:21 PM   #10
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You can put new stock manifolds in and replace all the studs, and still get more warping and leaking. I believe the 454 and 460 motors just have to work hard to pull 15k plus MHs. Yes, the Banks system will help and even totally eliminate these problems, but at great expense. All I can tell you is I installed the full Banks system on my '96 460 motor and all those problems disappeared, but it's not cheap. I believe Thorley Headers also make headers for the motors and less expensive; you might want to look into them.
--2005 F350 Superduty Crewcab, 6.0, 4wd, short bed, 3.73 gears
--2016 Montana 3711FL, 40'
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Old 06-04-2013, 08:37 PM   #11
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$2000 does seem high. I would expect that price if they were installing the banks system.

Check with some of your local muffler shops who specialize in that sort of repair for a fraction of that price. They may also be able fabricate headers and a better exhaust system. If your going to get repairs done may as well upgrade the system while they are in there
97 Fleetwood Bounder 36S on F53 chassis 460 with as many quads on the trailer that I can fit or get running!
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Old 06-04-2013, 08:48 PM   #12
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We had the leaky manifold problem on our previous rig, a 1985 Class C. Initally, I decided to go with Thorley headers, as they were significantly less expensive than Banks.

When they were delivered to the shop, we found they were the wrong parts. The exhaust-pipe hookup would have required 4" holes through the transmission cross-member. Thorley insisted they were the correct part, despite the shop sending photos, and refused to take them back.

In the end, the shop held the parts until someone with a Lincoln Town Car came looking for headers. They fitted his car just fine. Meantime, I had the manifolds resurfaced so they were flat (surface table and engineer's blue) and re-installed. The cost was around $1200.

Checking the receipts I got when I bought that POS, I discovered a previous owner (not the one I bought from) had had the same job done, costing him $2200, and only 4000 miles previously. His repair guys had put gaskets in.

The manager of the shop I used had been a Ford mechanic and insisted that no gaskets should be used. The only exception he would consider was a package sold by JC Whitney that was a fairly thick, soft-annealed solid copper gasket with a set of special bolts to hold it in place.

The job my shop did was still OK when we sold the rig at the end of that second season.
Frank Damp -Anacortes, WA,(DW- Eileen)
ex-pat Brits (1968) and ex-RVers.
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Old 06-04-2013, 11:28 PM   #13
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Go with the Banks system, you will be glad you did on your first trip.
Roy & Sabine Lyons
98 Itasca 35' Class A Gas with Banks Powerpack
98 Honda CRV Toad
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Old 06-04-2013, 11:40 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by cb1000rider View Post
Banks builds great stuff, but you are paying for the marketing and branding.
And the engineering and testing, that makes a huge difference. You're buying a whole setup, not something piecemealed by someone who doesn't understand how everything should work together.
On our ISC Banks worked with both Allison and Cummins to assure that the kit doesn't overstress any of the components and will back off the fuel feed if the EGT gets too high.

2009 45' Magna 630 w/Cummins ISX 650 HP/1950 Lbs Ft
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