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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought my oldest son a 2009 JK 2-door with a 3.8 in it. The Jeep has a factory Mopar 3.5 inch lift and 35 inch tires. I bought the Jeep in September of 2020 and the driver side exhaust manifold was cracked. He wasn’t driving the Jeep yet since he was only 15 years old so I waited until December of 2020 to replace the manifolds. I decided to “upgrade” the manifolds to the Rugged Ridge Short tube headers and what a mistake that was!!!!! I was burning spark plug wires like I was changing my underwear. In September of 2021 (9 months later), the passenger side shorty header separated at the weld for cylinder 3 where it meets the collector. I called Rugged Ridge and they agreed to warranty them for me but said the headers are on “galactic” back order (still waiting for them to arrive). I had my buddy re-weld the separated joint until the warranty replacements would arrive. That only lasted 90 days before that passenger side came apart again. Last month, December 2021, I decided to order the Dorman manifolds and I installed them. They arrived soon after and I installed them without issue. Less than 3 weeks later, the driver side manifold is cracked again. I called them and they are sending me a new manifold. The Jeep was bought at a used car lot with next to no service records. I did some reading about this so I decided to replace the ENTIRE exhaust system (new aftermarket y-pipe with Catalytics, new Mopar O2 sensors, new Mopar intermediate pipe, new Gibson muffler) to make sure It wasn’t clogged cats causing the manifolds to overheat and crack since it was all OEM. Again, not knowing the service record, I installed OEM spark plugs, wires, ignition coil. I did more reading and installed 2 flex pipes in the downpipe to hopefully relieve sone of the rigidity in the exhaust system (read about rigidity on a post also). I have just ordered all new engine and transmission mounts since they look dry rotted and saggy.

I have tried everything under the sun I think. Any help with this issue would be greatly appreciated. Am I missing something here???
 

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I bought my oldest son a 2009 JK 2-door with a 3.8 in it. The Jeep has a factory Mopar 3.5 inch lift and 35 inch tires. I bought the Jeep in September of 2020 and the driver side exhaust manifold was cracked. He wasn’t driving the Jeep yet since he was only 15 years old so I waited until December of 2020 to replace the manifolds. I decided to “upgrade” the manifolds to the Rugged Ridge Short tube headers and what a mistake that was!!!!! I was burning spark plug wires like I was changing my underwear. In September of 2021 (9 months later), the passenger side shorty header separated at the weld for cylinder 3 where it meets the collector. I called Rugged Ridge and they agreed to warranty them for me but said the headers are on “galactic” back order (still waiting for them to arrive). I had my buddy re-weld the separated joint until the warranty replacements would arrive. That only lasted 90 days before that passenger side came apart again. Last month, December 2021, I decided to order the Dorman manifolds and I installed them. They arrived soon after and I installed them without issue. Less than 3 weeks later, the driver side manifold is cracked again. I called them and they are sending me a new manifold. The Jeep was bought at a used car lot with next to no service records. I did some reading about this so I decided to replace the ENTIRE exhaust system (new aftermarket y-pipe with Catalytics, new Mopar O2 sensors, new Mopar intermediate pipe, new Gibson muffler) to make sure It wasn’t clogged cats causing the manifolds to overheat and crack since it was all OEM. Again, not knowing the service record, I installed OEM spark plugs, wires, ignition coil. I did more reading and installed 2 flex pipes in the downpipe to hopefully relieve sone of the rigidity in the exhaust system (read about rigidity on a post also). I have just ordered all new engine and transmission mounts since they look dry rotted and saggy.

I have tried everything under the sun I think. Any help with this issue would be greatly appreciated. Am I missing something here???
What are you trying to gain with short tube headers?
 

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I bought my oldest son a 2009 JK 2-door with a 3.8 in it. The Jeep has a factory Mopar 3.5 inch lift and 35 inch tires. I bought the Jeep in September of 2020 and the driver side exhaust manifold was cracked. He wasn’t driving the Jeep yet since he was only 15 years old so I waited until December of 2020 to replace the manifolds. I decided to “upgrade” the manifolds to the Rugged Ridge Short tube headers and what a mistake that was!!!!! I was burning spark plug wires like I was changing my underwear. In September of 2021 (9 months later), the passenger side shorty header separated at the weld for cylinder 3 where it meets the collector. I called Rugged Ridge and they agreed to warranty them for me but said the headers are on “galactic” back order (still waiting for them to arrive). I had my buddy re-weld the separated joint until the warranty replacements would arrive. That only lasted 90 days before that passenger side came apart again. Last month, December 2021, I decided to order the Dorman manifolds and I installed them. They arrived soon after and I installed them without issue. Less than 3 weeks later, the driver side manifold is cracked again. I called them and they are sending me a new manifold. The Jeep was bought at a used car lot with next to no service records. I did some reading about this so I decided to replace the ENTIRE exhaust system (new aftermarket y-pipe with Catalytics, new Mopar O2 sensors, new Mopar intermediate pipe, new Gibson muffler) to make sure It wasn’t clogged cats causing the manifolds to overheat and crack since it was all OEM. Again, not knowing the service record, I installed OEM spark plugs, wires, ignition coil. I did more reading and installed 2 flex pipes in the downpipe to hopefully relieve sone of the rigidity in the exhaust system (read about rigidity on a post also). I have just ordered all new engine and transmission mounts since they look dry rotted and saggy.

I have tried everything under the sun I think. Any help with this issue would be greatly appreciated. Am I missing something here???
I use all OEM parts
Manifolds, Y pipe, except I have a pypes cat back
No issues so far.
 

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Check the manifold flange and cylinder head exhaust ports with a strait edge to ensure they are flat next time you replace one. Follow the torque sequence and specs in the shop manual. Stick with stock style manifolds. Recheck the manifold bolts after a few heat cycles. I just did my driver side, it was cracked in 2 places. Good luck.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Check the manifold flange and cylinder head exhaust ports with a strait edge to ensure they are flat next time you replace one. Follow the torque sequence and specs in the shop manual. Stick with stock style manifolds. Recheck the manifold bolts after a few heat cycles. I just did my driver side, it was cracked in 2 places. Good luck.
Mikes62, I appreciate your reply. I thought the same thing about the exhaust ports and checked with a straight edge and all is good. I did all the torque sequence correctly. I had read another forum post and saw about the retorque and did that 1 week after install. Again, I have the Dorman aftermarket manifolds currently installed. I’m hoping with was just a manufacturing defect on this manifold. I have received the 2 new engine mounts, new transmission mount and new driver side manifold this week. I will be installing it all this weekend hoping I can get this issue behind me once and for all. I guess I refuse to believe that the stock manifolds are 5 times better than the Dorman ones.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What are you trying to gain with short tube headers?
coilrod, thanks for the reply. I wasn’t trying to gain any performance with the shorty headers. I had just heard that the factory and other aftermarket manifolds were trash so I wanted to try something different.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I use all OEM parts
Manifolds, Y pipe, except I have a pypes cat back
No issues so far.
BEWARE, thanks for your reply. If this situation doesn’t get fixed, I will have to pony up the cash for the OEM manifolds and Y-pipe. It just hurts to think that the aftermarket stuff is that much less of quality. Those factory manifolds and Y-pipe will run almost $2,500 in parts and easily another $300-$500 in labor.
 

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Mikes62, I appreciate your reply. I thought the same thing about the exhaust ports and checked with a straight edge and all is good. I did all the torque sequence correctly. I had read another forum post and saw about the retorque and did that 1 week after install. Again, I have the Dorman aftermarket manifolds currently installed. I’m hoping with was just a manufacturing defect on this manifold. I have received the 2 new engine mounts, new transmission mount and new driver side manifold this week. I will be installing it all this weekend hoping I can get this issue behind me once and for all. I guess I refuse to believe that the stock manifolds are 5 times better than the Dorman ones.
When I say stock I mean the factory style manifold instead of shorty headers. My replacement driver side manifold was $89 from rock auto. Probably made in the same foundry as the $300 one with a mopar stamp. So far so good!
 

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I had to replace both sides. Replaced the drivers side first thinking that was the problem. Once replaced, i realised the pass side was also cracked, I just never heard it over the racket from the drivers side.

Fast forward about 5,000 miles, the drivers side is ticking away again...To hell with it I'll replace before i sell it. I used Dorman if I recall correctly.

My driver side was a major PITA. Bolt head was broken off closest on to the firewall. I blindly die ground enough of a divet in the middle of the stump to get a drill going, then backed it out with an extractor. This was all done by blindly doing some work, then taking pics with my phone to make sure i was still in the middle. Did this 1,000 times until I got it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
When I say stock I mean the factory style manifold instead of shorty headers. My replacement driver side manifold was $89 from rock auto. Probably made in the same foundry as the $300 one with a mopar stamp. So far so good!
Mikes62, the Dorman manifolds are factory style cast iron units. I’m praying I don’t have to change anymore of these.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I had to replace both sides. Replaced the drivers side first thinking that was the problem. Once replaced, i realised the pass side was also cracked, I just never heard it over the racket from the drivers side.

Fast forward about 5,000 miles, the drivers side is ticking away again...To hell with it I'll replace before i sell it. I used Dorman if I recall correctly.

My driver side was a major PITA. Bolt head was broken off closest on to the firewall. I blindly die ground enough of a divet in the middle of the stump to get a drill going, then backed it out with an extractor. This was all done by blindly doing some work, then taking pics with my phone to make sure i was still in the middle. Did this 1,000 times until I got it.
Hullerman, I can literally replace these things with my eyes closed I’ve done it so many times. Hoping this is my last
 

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I am going to try the afe stock style manifolds/not their headers. This will be set #3 at 150k.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk
 

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Do they crack after driving in the rain? The factory’s tend to crack after being splashed with water, so check to make sure The inner fenders are there and if there are aftermarket’s there’s a good chance they are not stopping water from getting up there. This being said mine have been cracked for the past 8 years and I got use to it, it’s quiets up after a few seconds.
 
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