[UPDATE: If you're arriving here via a search engine, please check out this newer post for additional information]
Ford agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit for those with defective plastic intake manifolds on their 1996-2001 Crown Vics, Town Cars, and Grand Marquis (hopefully I got the plural form correct on that last one). The out-of-court agreement involves no admission of guilt on Ford's behalf, to no one's surprise. Ford does hope, however, that the settlement "will provide additional value to our customers". Probably not as much value as a manifold that doesn't leak, I'm guessing.
Owners who were smart enough to keep their receipts after paying for repairs out of their own pocket will be reimbursed by Ford; those without receipts may receive $735 if a Ford dealership verifies that the work was actually performed on the vehicle. According to claims, approximately 450,000-500,000 vehicles have been affected by a failed manifold, meaning that Ford might have to pay out as much as $370 million in damages. It?d be interesting to know what the lawyers made from this case - was it the ?standard? 33%? If so, wow.
Hopefully automakers have learned their lesson about trying to pass coolant through plastic manifolds. GM 3800 V6s are also known for coolant leaks related to the routing of hot EGR gases through the plastic upper portion, and there?s been problems with other plastic components that are exposed to hot coolant (such as the restrictors in LT1 heater hoses). Now, as far as ?dry? manifolds (those with no coolant flowing through them) are concerned, plastic?s probably just fine. Are there other manufacturers who have attempted to run coolant through plastic manifolds, and if so, how well did it work for them?