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Old 09-14-2009, 09:26 AM   #1
AMC
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Hot exhaust manifold

This is an awesome site with tons of information. Thank you who ever hosts it. I have done some searching on my issue but have not had much success. I am wondering if anyone has any ideas on cooling my exhaust manifold down.

I have a 1987 33' fleetwood with a 454. I think I got a good deal from a guy who bought it pretty cheap but couldn't get it pass Ca smog.
When I got the MH it had two burnt wires; they looked deep fried. They where new and replaced less than 500 miles, but they where missing heat sheilds. I could not find the OEM tin heat shields any where so I purchased a set of soft ones. I then ran a can of sea foam through the tank, regassed and took it to smog the next day. It had lower hydrocarbons but still way to high and I could tell it had a miss. The problem was a melted wire.
Also failed for poor idle only 450 rpm and bad timing was like 20 BTDC.
I reset the idle and warm it up to check the timing. The dam thing is so hot you cant get your hands near the exhaust manifolds. Every thing is so cramped under the dog house the manifolds are cooking everything, including my timing light!
I pulled off the EGR valve and noticed that was clogged so I cleaned that out, that may help a bit, but I don't know how much.

The MH has two little electric fans on the radiator with what I am guessing is the tranny cooler in front of them.

In summary. I would love to know if anyone knows the Part # for original heat shields. What kind of wires and plugs are best to use to tolerate the heat. Is there an aftermarket fix to cool under the dog house?
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Old 09-14-2009, 10:35 AM   #2
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Workhorse Chassis Owner
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Location: La Quinta California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMC View Post
I am wondering if anyone has any ideas on cooling my exhaust manifold down.

I have a 1987 33' fleetwood with a 454. I think I got a good deal from a guy who bought it pretty cheap but couldn't get it pass Ca smog.
When I got the MH it had two burnt wires; they looked deep fried. They where new and replaced less than 500 miles, but they where missing heat sheilds. I could not find the OEM tin heat shields any where so I purchased a set of soft ones. I then ran a can of sea foam through the tank, regassed and took it to smog the next day. It had lower hydrocarbons but still way to high and I could tell it had a miss. The problem was a melted wire.
Also failed for poor idle only 450 rpm and bad timing was like 20 BTDC.
I reset the idle and warm it up to check the timing. The dam thing is so hot you cant get your hands near the exhaust manifolds. Every thing is so cramped under the dog house the manifolds are cooking everything, including my timing light!
The MH has two little electric fans on the radiator with what I am guessing is the tranny cooler in front of them.
In summary. I would love to know if anyone knows the Part # for original heat shields. What kind of wires and plugs are best to use to tolerate the heat. Is there an aftermarket fix to cool under the dog house?
First of all where and how did you measure the timing?..(What cylinder)
The metal shields that cover the plug wires are hard to find (not at the "Chebby dealor") so it's off to a salvage yard for you...
Is the original mechanical fan in place along with the shroud?....
Those 2 electrical fans plus the trannie cooler may be blocking the cool air but I would need a picture to confirm it......
My old 87 (now sold) had soooo much ~stuff~ blocking the air flow PLUS the open space (front & below) the radiator would NOT allow e'nuf air through the radiator for cooling and blowing the air over the engine & plug wires.....
If a "Straight boot" plug wire will (and should) fit straight in I use "Borg warner "Select" plug wires purchased from of all places "Pep boys" for around $50.00 and have plenty of miles & years on them......
Only 2 reasons for blistering cherry red manifolds to exist and they are (1) lean carb (extremely doubtfull) and (2) retarded timing.....So my first question (Timing measurement) is critical..

Jim
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Old 09-14-2009, 05:27 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response.
I hooked up my timing light to the battery and the #1 cylinder wire. I crawled under the RV and tried to get the my eyes perpendicular to the timing plate and set it best I could. That means getting the 0 on the pulley to match to the 4 on the timing plate.
Correct me if I am wrong, but the manifolds should get hot enough to melt the wires? The reason I ask is that I am thinking lack of air flow. I do not recall seeing a mechanical fan, just two little dinky electrical fans. I will re-check once I get home.

Thanks for letting me know on the wires, I was wondering if I had to get some sort high performance wire set to deal with the close proximity to the manifold. I am using same sort of plug, a short hour long drive turned my #8 into jelly.
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Old 09-14-2009, 06:18 PM   #4
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Thanks for the response.
I hooked up my timing light to the battery and the #1 cylinder wire. I crawled under the RV and tried to get the my eyes perpendicular to the timing plate and set it best I could. That means getting the 0 on the pulley to match to the 4 on the timing plate.
Correct me if I am wrong, but the manifolds should get hot enough to melt the wires? The reason I ask is that I am thinking lack of air flow. I do not recall seeing a mechanical fan, just two little dinky electrical fans. I will re-check once I get home.

Thanks for letting me know on the wires, I was wondering if I had to get some sort high performance wire set to deal with the close proximity to the manifold. I am using same sort of plug, a short hour long drive turned my #8 into jelly.
Jim can correct me if i`m wrong but on my 454 if ya use the timing plate on the bottom of the dampener you have to use number five spark plug wire. If you use number one the plate is about in the two o clock position on the top off to the drivers side a little.
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Old 09-14-2009, 06:49 PM   #5
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Jim can correct me if i`m wrong but on my 454 if ya use the timing plate on the bottom of the dampener you have to use number five spark plug wire. If you use number one the plate is about in the two o clock position on the top off to the drivers side a little.

Is there another plate that should be used?
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Old 09-14-2009, 07:08 PM   #6
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On my 85 -454 there is a plate on top, very hard to see and a plate on the bottom. The top plate you use number one wire and the bottom plate number five.
Make sure you disconnect the vacuum advance hose at the distributer and plug and the engine is at idle. There should be a tag on the air cleaner or else where with instructions.
That`s how mine is but double check yours before setting it.

No offence but if your not sure what your doing get a machanic to look at it, setting the timing incorrectly and running the engine could damage it.
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Old 09-14-2009, 08:00 PM   #7
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I use to own a 83 Pace with a 454. The 454 where noted for heat from the manifolds. GM had at one time posted a service change that incorporated a air shield in the wheel well to direct more cooling air over the right hand manifolds. As for the shields, the old corvettes used the same spark plug shields. Look at your wheel wells, you may find that the fix is simple installing a simple air diverter.
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Old 09-14-2009, 08:39 PM   #8
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So far everything is correct....Your in a heap of trouble at the moment so ignition is first so you can lock it down and forget it...

I know you dumped 1 can of sea-foam in the tank but how many gallons are in the tank when you started....

I use 1 can per 20 gallons and on a stubburn problem child engine it will be 1 can per 15 gallons....

One problem at a time and you will be up & running quickly..

Jim
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Old 09-14-2009, 10:08 PM   #9
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It had about a quarter tank, when I put in the sea foam.

Thanks for the heads up on the manifold cooling.


Edit:
It dies have a mechanical fan. For such a big vehicle everything so snug.
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