97 Crown Vic 4.6 crack in plastic intake manifold at front water crossover
97 CV LX w/4.6L 95k. Water crossover at front of plastic manifold cracked and blew coolant. I replaced it with a junkyard part but it will likely happen again. I know there was a successful class action lawsuit against Ford with this problem but I bought the car after the end of the settlement date. This issue is around the threads.
I do have a theory. There is a spark plug wire bracket that bolts to the alternator AND to the front of the manifold, right on top of this crossover. This bracket does nothing but hold the wires. Period. It serves no other function. I am convinced that the vibration from the spinning alternator is transferred through this bracket to the manifold and it caused the plastic to fatigue, then crack. After replacing the manifold I simply did not put the bolts back in from the bracket to the manifold. I did bolt the bracket back to the alternator and it holds it fine. The vibrations no longer get transferred to the manifold. Fixed?? I have to wait and see since it is a long term failure.
Btw, the "replacement" manifolds, if you buy them, now come with an aluminum crossover. Imagine that!!
This was fixed in the 2002 (?) model year so I believe ALL 4.6 v8 engines could be at risk for this, from cars to trucks all built prior to 2002 (?).