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Exhaust manifold cleaning

Discussion in 'Technical Chat' started by AlexG123, Aug 12, 2020.

  1. Aug 12, 2020 at 4:36 PM
    #1
    AlexG123

    AlexG123 [OP] Member

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    Hello, I am doing a head gasket repair on my 2004 4Runner V6 (1GRFE).

    My problem is, in all of the videos and instructional posts I see, they never discuss cleanliness of the sealing surfaces other than on the heads and in some cases it looks like they don't even clean them at all.

    How clean do I need to get my exhaust manifold surface? I had the heads re-surfaced so they are perfectly clean. The exhaust manifolds have some rust and pitting but the areas around the sealing surface (i.e. the edge of the holes) are quite clean after some fine-grit sanding.

    Attached are some pics. I'm wondering if they are good to go or should I try to get all of the rust off in the non-sealing areas? These areas are still under the gasket, they are just not in the compressed area of the gasket.

    Thanks for any help!



     
  2. Aug 12, 2020 at 9:38 PM
    #2
    gotoman1969

    gotoman1969 Well-Known Member

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    Run a wiz wheel on there and your good to go.
     
  3. Aug 13, 2020 at 2:09 AM
    #3
    Wyoming09

    Wyoming09 Well-Known Member

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    It is your time make them look really good if you want .

    If you were paying would you want another hour of labor or more added to clean exhaust manifolds
     
    joeyv141 likes this.
  4. Aug 13, 2020 at 8:33 AM
    #4
    AlexG123

    AlexG123 [OP] Member

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    I have some roloc discs but they’re too coarse for my taste. Is a wiz wheel the one with paddles?
     
  5. Aug 13, 2020 at 9:48 AM
    #5
    AlexG123

    AlexG123 [OP] Member

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    Well, if they use an electric tool to do it then I'd say do it but all I have are some roloc discs of varying grit but when I tested I didn't like the scratches they left. I'm wondering if they use those 3M bristle discs which are hard to find and rather expensive.

    https://www.amazon.com/SATC-Sanding...dchild=1&keywords=roloc&qid=1597337178&sr=8-3

    I've just been hand sanding like crazy but you can see there are still some raised rust areas that I'm not sure what to do about.
     
  6. Aug 13, 2020 at 9:52 AM
    #6
    gotoman1969

    gotoman1969 Well-Known Member

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    Those are the discs I used when I was a Toyota mechanic. The red ones.
     
  7. Aug 13, 2020 at 9:53 AM
    #7
    gotoman1969

    gotoman1969 Well-Known Member

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    Use the blue if you like.
     
  8. Aug 13, 2020 at 9:56 AM
    #8
    AlexG123

    AlexG123 [OP] Member

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    You would hit the entire area with those discs or just the rusty areas? It seems you would have to hit it all evenly.
     
  9. Aug 13, 2020 at 9:58 AM
    #9
    Speedytech7

    Speedytech7 Toyota Cult Ombudsman

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    If it was me... and it has been, I'd use the green or red scotchbrite wheels on cast, either of them will be smooth enough for an exhaust gasket as long as you don't sit in an area too long and make a depression. Could also just hit em with a file too
     
  10. Aug 13, 2020 at 10:10 AM
    #10
    AlexG123

    AlexG123 [OP] Member

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    Thanks, this seems to be the consensus. I've just been too paranoid about it and in reality the manifold doesn't need to be as smooth as the block/head deck.
     
  11. Aug 13, 2020 at 10:13 AM
    #11
    Speedytech7

    Speedytech7 Toyota Cult Ombudsman

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    I've done a mod or two
    Yeah the Toyota and aftermarket exhaust gaskets have a good amount of give, they know you're working with a heat warped, possibly crusty, manifold flange haha
     
  12. Aug 13, 2020 at 10:53 AM
    #12
    gotoman1969

    gotoman1969 Well-Known Member

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    Yep. Just hit the entire surface.
     
  13. Aug 13, 2020 at 11:53 AM
    #13
    AlexG123

    AlexG123 [OP] Member

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    So like get all of the crusty rust off as well, probably using a file in conjunction with the discs? I just hit it with a red disc and they look fine, still quite smooth but the raised/crusty rust seems to just get polished - probably needs a file.
     
  14. Aug 13, 2020 at 12:07 PM
    #14
    Speedytech7

    Speedytech7 Toyota Cult Ombudsman

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    The gasket only makes hard contact around the holes, that's why there was even room for rust around the other areas. If those are clean you're more than good.
     
  15. Aug 13, 2020 at 12:19 PM
    #15
    AlexG123

    AlexG123 [OP] Member

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    Awesome, thanks everyone!

    LOL my friend (who has only ever installed new manifolds/headers) told me to treat the sealing surface the same way I would a head/block deck. Well, the block is aluminum and the manifolds are cast iron so obviously it can take way more of a beating, should have though more of this. Regardless, I've been super extra paranoid with this head gasket repair, probably unnecessarily so - but in the end we choose how much risk we are willing to take. I think that developing that intuition is what makes a good/efficient mechanic. Anyway, I went from 1000 to 800 to 600 to 400 grit sandpaper, then to the roloc discs, green then red, and finally in the end to just using a file in some spots. Completely unnecessary but I will never let a non-majorly rusted cast iron manifold slow me down again. Lesson learned, time get this sh!t done already!
     
  16. Aug 13, 2020 at 12:40 PM
    #16
    Wyoming09

    Wyoming09 Well-Known Member

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    Most of the time unless the rust and dirt build up is really bad seldom are the exhaust manifolds given any thought what so ever.

    Use permatex #2 great for exhaust gaskets
     

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