New Member
Sep 19, 2022
I am new to the forum and I have checked as many posts as I can stand looking for something similar to help. I can not find anything that satisfies an answer to my problem so here we go.
I bought a 2008 Mustang GT about a month ago... This was great but I have started to find several issues that were well disguised at the time of purchase and have now surfaced to be my problem. I won't waste your time and go into a list of all the issues because I have corrected a majority of them. I have come across an issue now that is not so easy to solve and so I am hoping that someone here with more Stang experience can help me out. I would like to continue improving on this car so that it is worth what I paid for it and try to correct the fact that I probably got taken on it by some a** holes.
So the problem in question is the passenger side Header bolt is snapped off this is very first one going from front of the engine back. All the other bolts are good and do not look like they were even touched leading me to believe that the owner before me started to take the stock headers off snapped this bolt and instead of fixing it or continuing the job they gave up and sold the car to the dealership that I bought it from. So now I have an exhaust leak between the header and head on the very front of the engine. I can hear it for the first 30 seconds to a min after the car starts depending on the temperature outside, and then when I am 4th or 5th gear around 1500rpm and start to accelerate I can hear it some too.
My question would be, is there anyway to remove that bolt without pulling the engine or taking the head off or anything major like that? And as a follow up I drive this car everyday, so will continuing to drive it cause damage that will be lasting to the life of the car? This leak is not excessive but enough that I can hear it and it bugs me. I have not noticed any power losses but it could be that I never had full power from the day I bought it?

Sorry if this post is long but I wanted to give a little background to give a better explanation. Thanks in advance to any answers!
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Left unattended, the hot exhaust gases will damage the cylinder head flange where the exhaust manifold bolts on.

Did the bolt share off flush with the block? If not, here is the first thing to try

The exhaust manifold needs to be removed, which may break off more bolts. Once the exhaust manifold is off, soak the bolt stub with PB Blaster and hammer on the head of the broken bolt. The more you repeat applying the PB blaster and give it an hour or more to penetrate, the better it works That may help loosen some of the corrosion on the bolt threads. Use Vise Grip style locking pliers and grip the bolt stub and try to turn it out. A cheater bar on the locking pliers may help provide some extra leverage.

I have several other methods that work well, but they require a lot of room to get the drill with drill bit into the area where the broken bolt is located. There Isn't a lot of room between the exhaust flange of the cylinder head and the inner fender well.

See for some other ideas.

It is not uncommon to end up with an enlarged hole where the broken bolt was removed from. Then you need a HeliCoil insert to repair the damaged threads
See for help with HeliCoil installation.

If you are unfortunate enough to break an Easy-Out (broken bolt remover) or tap off in the hole, I have a method to fix that problem too. PM me with the link to your post and I will give you the tech note on that process and tools you will need.

Use lots of antiseize on the bolts to protect them from corrosion and make them easier to remove next time. I use NAPA #BK 7651151 at $21.29 for 16 oz. It is good for all the bolt and nuts, especially water pump and exhaust bolts and nuts.
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If any part of the bolt is sticking out of the head then use one of these:
Amazon product ASIN B087P5GKFKView:

I use these all the time with good results
If the bolt is broken off flush with the head or into the head, then you are going to have to use a welder and weld a nut to the broken off stud and turn the broken bolt off that way. It may take several attempts.
If that does not work, then the head will have to come off.
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2 X ^ , post #3. I'd never use an easy out, really try'n avoid the drill.
Turn that nut in smal increments on/off enlargening the rotation distance.
A heat w/torch (aceletalene or if no tanks MAP gas) 1st (actually 2nd - after
attempts w/PBBlaster'n soaks (ATF/keroseen 50/50%).
Drill? o0O, very last step as broken bolt is hardened, any drill bit must B as well - a real fight.

Exh studs/bolts are usually this way. U earn ur wings w/them. They only get slightly easier w/the yrs.
(I don't like the permatex listed at NAPA above It seems to cake/dry up. Oddly enuff I've been using brake
caliper grease abt 10 yr now - CRC's. Useta use the stuff w/copper in it, no more).