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Exhaust leak still help please

This is becoming really aggravating.

The exhaust manifold has a round end on the bottom where it meets the cat converter which has a piece that slides inside of the exhaust manifold. The flange on the cat converter has two bolts running through to connect the exhaust manifold and two nuts slide on it to tighten. I don’t understand what the problem could be.

The thing only goes on so far and it will not stop leaking. The nuts are tight. I don’t understand what is going on here.

2004 Ford Taurus 3.0 Vulcan engine. Everything else has been fixed and it is running fine except for this stinking exhaust issue.

You might be pleasantly surprised how quickly and inexpensively an exhaust shop can diagnose and fix this reliably.

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Are you using a flange gasket? Looking on rockauto, a new converter comes with manifold and flange gaskets…

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Okay. After a closer look it begins leaking from higher up near the spark plugs and also where the cylinder head meets the block.

It starts and idles fine and then about 2 minutes later the burning smell begins in the engine bay and the smoke comes out from those locations.

Also the entire time this is occurring the engine is making a click clock noise. You know when you turn your engine off and it is cooling down. But it’s doing it while the engine is running?

If oil got on the exhaust manifold while you were working on the engine it will smoke until the oil is burned off. Have you driven the car for a few miles yet?

I only let it idle. I was afraid if I drove it for too long like that perhaps the smoke could come inside the vehicle.

Also the car seems to sputter a little bit the longer this goes on.

The car was running terribly and I was planning on replacing some gaskets thinking it might be a vacuum leak. When I was doing that I found a valve spring that was busted. I didn’t know how to replace that but I had a used taurus so I swapped out that cylinder head.

Same thing happened so I thought that cylinder head was bad.

I then got the tool to replace the valve spring. So I now have the original cylinder head on the car with the replaced valve spring.

It runs but now the engine bay is really smoking in that section and that loud noise that sounds like the engine when you shut it off making the tick tock noise.

pipe/cat assy has bell flange.the left side of assy is for front manifold. no gasket. manifold has tapered flange. they go together. you did put on the gasket between the manifold and head? the pipe/cat assy is L shaped. the rear manifold attaches to the right side of the pipe in the pic. but your issue is the front manifold
you keep saying it is leaking up high near the sparkplugs. it is leaking between the manifold and head? uh, not to hard to mess that up. i unbolted my cat assy to drop it to lower oil pan. i did not remove the manifold from head the assy bolted right back up. no issues.
if you remove manifold from head you always use a new gasket.
pic shows 2 gasket styles. a large flat style and a simple “O” ring style


Exhaust leaks are usually caused either by rust eating a hole somewhere, or a gasket isn’t sealing. Metal on metal won’t create an air-tight seal, some sort of gasket material has to be in between. I may require taking the exhaust system partially apart to discover what exactly is leaking. But I expect the solution will turn out to be a new gasket somewhere.

The clicking you are hearing could be a problem remaining with the valves. Might not be that serious, just a valve adjustment is needed for example. I’d probably start w/a compression test on that one. First make sure one of the spark plugs hasn’t come loose.

Sounds to me like a cracked manifold that doesn’t make noise until the heat opens the crack.

An exhaust leak at the manifold will be noisy however it shouldn’t “smoke” any more than the output of the tail pipe. After the oil burns off there should be no smoke.

Hello everyone. Thanks for your feedback. I wish I could post a video showing whats happening and where the smoke is coming from. Can I upload a video to you tube and a put a link to it here for you guys to watch?

I didn’t remove the exhaust manifold. I left it attached to the cylinder head and just removed it from the cat converter. I never touched any of the bolts and I didn’t remove the gasket.

I don’t think the manifold is cracked. This is the second time I did this with the same results. The first time it was with a different cylinder head and exhaust manifold that were connected as well (never removed from each other) and it smoked as well. ( it was from a used Taurus I had with the same engine)

The clicking noise seems to be coming from the valve covers but I could be wrong. It’s hard to pinpoint where the noise is exactly.

exhaust is leaking from the sparkplug area? which is where the manifold attaches to head. but both manifolds/heads have not been touched? any way to get a 2nd set of eyes on this? any mechanical friends you can have look at it?
a dozen people can comment here. you need to have another person look at it. where the car is. kinda hard to get an answer from the internet

Sometimes it helps to listen through a long tube, like a 3 foot length of garden hose. I’m told vacuum hose works too.