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2004 Town Car - Best replacement intake manifold?

2004ult

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Hi all!

The intake manifold in my grandma owned 2004 Ultimate has cracked at Round 97,000 miles.


I've had good luck using the Dorman intake manifold on a family member's 2004 TC. No leaks for about a year now. Does anyone have any thoughts? Should I buy another Dorman, or go with something else? I know 1Aauto has one (probably the same part) with a lifetime warranty. Also, do the aftermarket intakes cause an HP loss? That's something I've heard, but haven't seen any evidence in support of that.


BTW for those of you who are dreading this job, I used the 1Aauto guide, and it really helped!:


Thanks.
 

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Town

Senior Member
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Ottawa Ontario Canada
The picture appears to show a crack in the manifold crossover at the bottom where it contacts the head. If this is the failure then I have not seen it before. I think it unusual for a failure there with the aluminium crossover.

I have seen a comparison of the Ford intake manifold and the Dorman. It is quite obvious that the Ford manifold is better built and would be an obvious choice if money is no object. I doubt that there would be a performance drop in an aftermarket manifold and I have not heard of any complaints.

Since you have good experience with the Dorman (like everyone else) it should be good. A lifetime warranty for the A1Auto manifold sounds good if the price is comparable to the Dorman. See what RockAuto carries and the prices.

Good luck.
 

2004ult

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The picture appears to show a crack in the manifold crossover at the bottom where it contacts the head. If this is the failure then I have not seen it before. I think it unusual for a failure there with the aluminium crossover.

I have seen a comparison of the Ford intake manifold and the Dorman. It is quite obvious that the Ford manifold is better built and would be an obvious choice if money is no object. I doubt that there would be a performance drop in an aftermarket manifold and I have not heard of any complaints.

Since you have good experience with the Dorman (like everyone else) it should be good. A lifetime warranty for the A1Auto manifold sounds good if the price is comparable to the Dorman. See what RockAuto carries and the prices.

Good luck.
Thanks, I'm honestly not sure where the crack is. I believe it to be near the back where the coolant flows through the manifold. That's what happened to family member with 2004 TC.
 

Town

Senior Member
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Ottawa Ontario Canada
If it is at back then watch for coolant in #4 or #3 cylinder well causing misfires. Sometimes the coolant will leak down to the valley between the heads under the intake and get out on either side of engine near trans bell housing. Not that noticeable there.

Another possibility is the heater hose itself leaking at the exit on the back of the intake. A popular place is the hose bib or intake holding the hose bib cracked and leaking. That part of intake had an improved design for 2003.

Good luck.
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2004ult

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If it is at back then watch for coolant in #4 or #3 cylinder well causing misfires. Sometimes the coolant will leak down to the valley between the heads under the intake and get out on either side of engine near trans bell housing. Not that noticeable there.

Another possibility is the heater hose itself leaking at the exit on the back of the intake. A popular place is the hose bib or intake holding the hose bib cracked and leaking. That part of intake had an improved design for 2003.

Good luck.
Thanks!

Is it possible to upgrade to a PI (Performance improved) intake manifold? I've heard of people doing it? What all is needed?

4.6L PI Intake Manifold OEM Ford Modular Mustang GT Power Improved Ford Racing | eBay
 

2004ult

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Update: I went with the 1Aauto intake (1AEIM00012), I believe it to be the same part as the Dorman.

Just about to put it in, when we noticed it had a slight gap below the thermostat housing. Is this normal? Will it close when I bolt it down, or does this look defective?

Sorry for poor lighting, you can see the slight gap on left side of image, also in second pic you can see light shining through the gap.

Thanks!
 

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I don't understand why the manifold is not uniform to the base where the gasket would go, like your original picture. The A1Auto image shows what appears to be a 2 part construction where the coolant passage for the thermostat is. The following image of a 1998 intake shows the same type of construction

Your new A1Auto manifold appears to be that older design and does not look right for a 2004 model. The light shining through the coolant part of intake in second picture looks to be a defective construction or casting. I cannot see how that could be closed without cracking another part of the casting. I would call A1 Auto to explain your findings and get an explanation if it is designed to work that way.
1998 intake manifold views.jpg
 
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I don't understand why the manifold is not uniform to the base where the gasket would go, like your original picture. The A1Auto image shows what appears to be a 2 part construction where the coolant passage for the thermostat is. The following image of a 1998 intake shows the same type of construction

Your new A1Auto manifold appears to be that older design and does not look right for a 2004 model. The light shining through the coolant part of intake in second picture looks to be a defective construction or casting. I cannot see how that could be closed without cracking another part of the casting. I would call A1 Auto to explain your findings and get an explanation if it is designed to work that way.
View attachment 5823
That's how mine is, picture doesn't show it well. I will call 1A Auto and figure out if the gap is intended.. My assumption is that it's a manufacturing defect. Unless the bolts are supposed to close the gap? Seems sketchy..
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That's how mine is, picture doesn't show it well. I will call 1A Auto and figure out if the gap is intended.. My assumption is that it's a manufacturing defect. Unless the bolts are supposed to close the gap? Seems sketchy..
So the part where the opening is sits down into the well and gets protected with the gasket. Sounds like not a problem at all.
 
$323 shipped for the OE ford/motorsports intake and upgraded felpro gaskets from Summit Racing.
I fully expect this setup on a clean cooling system car to last a good decade if not more.

The intake gaskets are really excellent and worth every penny, while I don't think the performance degradation
would be overly noticeable to most people in a big car, it's there and it would bother me. There are a number of things
cheaped out and less than ideal on the dorman. It works and it's cheap, but that's a goal of last resort imo.
 
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