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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2003 Mustang GT, and yesterday the heater core nipple (hose from the passenger side fire wall to manifold) on the Intake Manifold broke. I have been searching the forums using the search bar, and I haven't found anything that answers my questions or they were from 2012 or older.
Seeing how it is now 2014 I was wondering if any new technology came out since then.
Also how hard is it to do? (I do have a Haynes manual) My dad and I are very good at this stuff, but don't want to tear it down and have to tow her somewhere. I am a college student, which means broke, and I need my car running without having this issue come up again if possible. What else do I need besides the manifold? As in gaskets etc. I know everyone says to get the Ford Racing one with the aluminum cross over which is what I plan on doing, but how reliable are they? Will that nipple break again in a week, month, year? The car has 124,xxx miles on it and from the looks of the manifold it is all aluminum. It doesn't look like the black plastic ones online. I don't currently have the car and cannot post pics, it is at the mechanics shop where they quoted 500+ which is why I plan on doing it myself. If it is aluminum that means it was replaced before right? Sorry for being long winded just trying to get all of the information I can in one post so yall can help. Thanks in advanced for any help yall can give me.
 

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If it is aluminum then yes it has been replaced, also if it looks similar to the stock one but is all aluminum my guess is its a trick flow or a professional products.

If it were me I would just replace it with the ford one like you said you were going to do.

The kit might not come with with the manifold to head gasket, you may need to buy that separate. The only other gaskets that come to mind are the gaskets for the plenum to intake manifold, and thermostat gasket.

One thing to consider also looking at would be the tube that is directly below the intake manifold in the valley, because if that leaks in the future you would have to take the intake manifold back off again to get to it, so might as well replace it or at least check it while you are at it.

Ford Racing 4.6L Performance Improvement (PI) Mustang Intake Manifold M-9424-P46 (96-04 GT) - Free Shipping
 

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The part posted in the link above is what you want. Yes, it's plastic unfortunately. These are a bit of a crapshoot in terms of how permanent of a fix.... Kinda depends on how much longer you own your car. Because of it's plastic construction it is succeptable to heat related fatigue or degradation, as you have experienced. General consensus would say that you can expect a new one to last at least as long as 124K miles as your old one did.

Pretty sure the gasket set is sold separately. You can order that from AM along with the manifold or your local parts store should also carry them. Be sure to send a PM to one of the AmericanMuscle reps here for the discount code prior to ordering.

My '01 is still on the factory manifold (the "early" all plastic style, at that) so I really can't speak firsthand on R&R difficulty, but from looking through the Haynes manual and reading others experiences here I'd say it's not bad. Figure 2-4 hours of your time. Be sure to have a torque wrench around and follow the tightening sequence as mentioned in Haynes.

While you're in there, might as well put it back together with a new thermostat - stay with a factory spec 192° rating, as going with one with a lower rating such as 180° or 160°, although theoretically might be a good thing, can cause other driveability issues.
 

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Only other thing I would add to what has already been stated is to go ahead and buy new heater hoses. I put a new-to-me OEM PI intake with aluminum crossover and about two months later my heater hose broke...might as well replace them while it's easy to do.

It's definitely doable to do this in 2-4 hours. Be sure to have some carb cleaner and wire brush to clean the old gaskets off the head (I used an air-compressor wire brush so it was much easier).

I also replaced the water pump and thermostat at the same time as well. Might be a good idea but it sounds like money might be an issue. The water pump is easy enough to replace if it happens to go out at some point after the manifold install.

Good luck and let us know if you run into any issues.
 

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Edelbrock Victor JR intake manifold and the required parts to make it work but let me tell you, it is VERY WORTH IT!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Just wanted to give a quick update I haven't purchased the parts yet, but I called my local ford dealership and they said that they now have an all aluminum replacement that runs 700 plus dollars. They also want 133 dollars for both of the gaskets (66 and some change each). Needless to say I am going to stick with the ford racing plastic one seeing how it is 215.98 on AM. I am going to try felpro gaskets to see how they do. Autozone sells the "premium" dry gaskets along with the Water Outlet and Throttle Body Spacer for 88.99. Thanks for the replies they helped me know what I need to do. I will try to remember to update how it went.
 

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I used the Felpro gaskets you are referring to and they worked perfectly. No leaks as of yet and they are good quality.
 

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Yeah the Fel-Pro's should be good. Dunno how necessary the "water outlet and throttle body" spacers are; imo I would save your money for something else.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It was all a part of the kit they sold. Believe me I am trying to spend the least amount I can while at the same time not taking short cuts. I also got the car back home this past Saturday, and I noticed that it was plastic just like the one I am about to put on it this weekend. I don't know why I thought it was aluminum.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Update

Sorry for taking so long to update, but I am finally doing it. It took my dad and I about 4 hours to do. While we had it so far apart we went ahead and changed the plugs. It is fairly easy to do as long as you follow the haynes manual and use common sense. One thing that we didn't do that the manual said to do was take the egr valve off. We were able to slide the intake under it with no problems. The fel-pro gaskets that I used are still holding up thus far, and I am not having any issues that I know of. As in there aren't any leaks. Just make sure that when you put everything back together you don't forget to put any hoses on. We ended up missing one vacuum hose which wouldn't let it run right. I'm sure some of yall had that oh crap feeling after you've done a fairly big project and started the car and it didn't run right and then wondered how you messed it up. We found the hose in a few minutes, but still that feeling of thinking that you wasted all that time is easily avoidable if you just take your time and triple check to make sure that everything is put back together the way it should be. Lesson learned. Anyway thank you to all of you guys that responded to my original post. I greatly appreciate it.
 

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Thanks for the update! Glad you got it fixed!

I had one of those oh crap moments myself, it ended up being just an unplugged sensor that I forgot to plug in.
 

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I actually was able to install a PI intake with my strut tower brace and EGR valve still in. It was close but the STB was a great thing to lean on and not kill my lower back :)

Glad it went well OP! We all have 'oh crap' moments...live and learn!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Just the nipple on the passenger side near the firewall.
 

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You're going to need the new alternator bracket also from ford racing
 
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