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cracked intake manifold

dstalcupdstalcup Posts: 1
edited March 2014 in Ford
I recently began to loose coolant in my 1998 Mustang GT which has 30,000 miles. A check revealed the intake manifold was cracked on the right rear side. The cost to fix it was $445.00 which did not please me. Apparently this is a wide spread problem with the 4.6 motor, and Ford did send a recall due to the faulty design, but only on the police interceptor models. I contacted Ford and was told "too bad" even though it is the same part covered in the recall on the Crown Vics. Has anyone had any success with Ford to cover their design flaw? If so, how!


  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    The following cars have had the '96 & up models equipped with 4.6 motors recalled for the intake problem...

    Ford Thunderbird

    Mercury Cougar

    Ford Mustang

    Ford Crown Victoria, Police & fleet models only

    Lincoln Town Car, fleet models only.

    What Ford is doing is recalling only the cars that will see hard driving, such as taxi, police, and sports cars. All 4.6 models are affected by the problem, but not the recall. My father's '97 Thunderbird had the intake manifold crack, and his usual mechanic referred him to a Ford dealer, who fixed the car at no cost, other than the pain of having a broken down car. So yes, your Mustang IS COVERED! If you've already had it fixed, Ford owes you $445.00! Again, only some Crown Vics have the recall, but all '96 & up Mustang GT's do. If the local Ford reps aren't giving you any service, call the regional or national customern servie office. Remember, the squeaky wheel gets the oil, so don't quit complaining until you get your money back.


    Those are Mustang, Thunderbird, and Crown Victoria enthusiast sites respectively. Go search the archives of their message boards, as this problem has been covered in depth to no end. In short, every 4.6 motor model year 1996 and up will eventually have the same failure as yours, no exceptions. And until Ford goes back to aluminum manifolds, this problem won't go away. Ironically, GM is having the exact same problem with 1995 & up 3.8L motors, as they went to similar intakes in 1995.

  • vidtechvidtech Posts: 212
    Are the replacement manifolds the same construction as the originals?Could possibly crack again.Too bad there isn't a good engine being offered for these vehicles,the 3.8 has head gasket problems and the 4.6 has these manifold problems.
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    Ford's redesigned the intake manifold unpteen zillion times, always out of the same material. The most recent version has a aluminum coolant passage near the alternator, supposedly where the plastic keeps breaking on the earlier versions. However, the rest of the manifold is still plastic, so just expect it to break somewhere else before too much longer. The '95 and earlier 4.6 engines have an aluminum manifold, but I don't know if it will work with the new performance improved heads introduced in 1999. Also, I'm not 100% certain, but I think that the Bullett Mustangs have an aluminum manifold, which should also hold up.
  • Isn't there something that can be done under the factory warranty. With only 30K on the ticker I can't see a really big problem even thought you are out of the 3 year part of the warranty. It's worth a shot.
  • rocarrrocarr Posts: 1
    Today under steady acceleration the intake manifold cracked on my towncar, spewing coolant everywhere. Blue smoke plumed from the dual exhausts. I had the car towed to my local dealer and they called me with the diagnosis and estimate of $575. Question #1: Isn't there some way that I can get ford to pay for this obvious design defect? #2: If not, does this estimate sound reasonable coming from a ford dealer? Thanks for your input.
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    I would like to see someone take the old part to small claims court and sue the OEM for a latent defect in a plastic engine. You might get a sympathetic judge.
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 1,712
    #1 maybe.

    #2 yes.

    Recall Campaign - Intake Manifold Replacement



    Certain 1996-1998 Crown Victoria Taxi, Town Car Limo Prep & Livery Package, 1996-1997 Thunderbird, Cougar and Mustang Vehicles with 4.6L SOHC Engines - Intake Manifold Additional Coverage

    Print this out

    Take it to your dealer and ask why they aren't covering it under the recall.

  • The intake manifold in my '96 Mustang cracked while the dealer was performing routine maintenance - they covered it under recall. 100 Miles later, the engine "blew". The dealer found a stuck valve in #5 and told me that I had to either pay them $3250 for new heads or $5000 for a new engine! After consulting with some knowledgeable friends, I confronted the dealer and had them admit that I didn't need new heads or engine AND that they needed to check to see if debris from the failure & replacement of the manifold caused the engine failure. They pulled the head and found debris and I am getting a new head for free. I have read other sites where the manifold failure has lead to other engine problems - be careful AND don't let the dealer bully you into bogus repairs!
  • vidtechvidtech Posts: 212
    what year did ford change the material of the intake manifold on the 4.6 engine??i thought they started with aluminum.
  • I have two 4.6's made since late '97. One in a Crown Vic with nearly 81k w/o any problems and a '03 Mustang with 680 miles. My questions are: What percentage of these engines have this problem and is there any why to see a crack coming before the leak occurs. I plan to keep the '97 for a winter, honey do and errand running.
    It still runs and drive great.

    incawedge1 (former TR-7 owner!)
  • The intake manifold on my 96 GT blew at 65k miles. Reading these posts, the manifolds don't seem to fail at any particular mileage which is why Ford didn't issue a full recall. I looked though my records and found that Ford actually sent me notifcation 2-3 years ago about this potential problem.

    Since the repair, the car has misfired on occasion. I decided to sell it and last Sunday was on my way to Carmax to get an estimate. The car misfired on the way and the check engine light came on. I took it back to the dealer and also asked that they make me an offer, just for grins. They diagnosed the misfire as a wet plug wire and then gave me an estimate using the Kelley Blue Book site. I told them thanks but no thanks - then the kicker - as they were diagnosing my car, someone backed into it and damaged the hood, headlight assembly and quarter panel! The dealer increased their purchase offer and I took the money and ran!
This discussion has been closed.