I purchased 98 4x4 5spd Tacoma two weeks ago. It has the 2.7L 4 cyl and like many others I have a cracked exhaust manifold. I have read a lot threads about my replacement options and I still find myself having trouble making a decision. My original plan was to just replace it with a factory manifold, however, after reading I am concerned it will just crack and I will be back in the same boat. Does anyone know if they have resolved this issue yet? Did the 01-04 3RZ manifolds have the same problem, and if not will they bolt up to a 98? I'm guessing the answer is no in both cases.
This leads me to aftermarket options which I was trying to avoid. Apparently LCE no longer makes headers for the first gen trucks. I read to many issues with the Doug Thorley headers to feel comfortable purchasing those; their site is lame and doesn't even have a picture of the headers. I like the looks of the northwest off-road headers, but read that a brake line has to bent to make them fit. Is this true? Also, are they loud? Really don't want care to have a loud 4 cylinder truck. My last option are the pacesetter headers. I always considered pacesetter to be low/mid quality manufacturer and so I am skeptical about using their products. The flanges look thin, but I like the fact they are a two piece header. I recently had my catalytic converter stolen and the thief hacked the y-pipe; might be able to just replace the lower section of the pacesetter header if a thief comes for my cat again. It would suck to have to replace a nice header like the northwest off-road product due to cat theft.
Opinions/input appreciated, thanks.