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Tough nuts to crack

Question : MY attempts to change the exhaust manifold gasket on my Mazda 323 have failed as I am unable to undo the nuts that secure the manifold to the cylinder head.

The nuts have rusted and I am afraid that I may break something if I apply too much force on them. It would be a simple job to carry out otherwise.

I'd appreciate your advice on how I can remove these stubborn nuts.

Answer : AS the manifold goes through heating and cooling cycles, the nuts will seize due to oxidation, making them almost impossible to remove over a period of time.

You are correct in saying that if too much force was applied, the nuts may "round off" or, worse, the manifold studs may snap off. In the latter case, the cylinder head may have to be removed, the remaining stud drilled out and replaced. A "rounded" nut will have to be ground off. Although not the perfect solution, you can attempt liberally spraying the offending nut with a commercially available lubricant, leaving to soak in overnight.

In most cases, this should sufficiently soften any rust allowing the nut to be undone with relative ease.

 
 

Metal head gasket

One hot problem

A hot affair

Tough nuts to crack

 

 

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