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If the rods to which the flaps are attached do not turn freely, the plastic connectors will eventually snap. Or vacuum rubber bellows will tear. To free up the rods, you pop off the links, remove vacuum pods with hoses attached, and detach the plastic arms connected to the rod ends. You then unscrew the metal bushings/mounts for the rods and carefully pry them off the rods. Then hone out the bushings with a Dremel. Don't go crazy and end up with a vacuum leak. The flap rods will probably move forward and come out of the rear mounting holes in the manifold. Don't worry fairly easy to fish them back in place. Whole job takes under two hours. Second time takes under an hour. I've done it twice on my 04 in 16yrs. Second time lubed the bushings with high temp anti-seize.
 
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