3.8L Splitport project Q: Leaks between heads and exhaust manifolds
It appears that my use of Exhaust manifold gaskets was a bad idea. I've just about finished my splitport upgrade and when I started up my tbird to warm it up to operating temp (needed to bleed air from the cooling system, set the idle/IACV, and set the throttle position sensor), I noticed some smoking from the exhaust manifolds that prevented me from warming up the engine completely.
I originally thought this was just oil burning off the manifolds but then I noticed that the amount of visible smoke varied with engine RPM (push on the TB, more smoke). I then resigned myself to the fact that yes, the leak is from where the manifolds mate to the heads.
The bolts are tight so therefore using exhaust manifold gaskets wasn't a good idea.
Q: Since I plan on unbolting the each manifold and pulling out the exhaust gaskets, is there anything else I should consider using before bolting the manifolds back on?
For example, a friend mentioned copper gasket spray. Is this a good idea? I'm not sure I'm going to get enough room to spray the heads/manifolds without unbolting the manifolds from my downpipes so unless you guys say this is a GREAT idea, I'd rather not create more work for myself here.
Thanks in advance for your response. once I have this licked, my splitport upgrade will be complete (at least until I decide to DIY the Windstar Intake manifold and/or swap in a 4.2).
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