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Old 09-24-2002   #1
GTA Member
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 71

Busted header gaskets and head bolts?

I was talking to two different mechanics today about header installation. The first guy said he was scared if he tried to remove the old manifolds and install new headers he may accidently break some old rusted bolts? I think he said the bolts were in the heads?? He said it would be like another 200-300 if that happened to remove the bolts etc. He suggested I try another guy who does exhaust only. I talked to that guy, who seemed pretty nuts. He said not to do headers, because unless you tighten the bolts once a month the header gaskets leak once a year and you have to redo them? I've never heard of any of this, is any of this true? What do head bolts have to do with headers?

*edit* i think he may have ment manifold bolts

Last edited by MrNova; 09-24-2002 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 09-24-2002   #2
I don't beat on cars...I drive them to their fullest potential!
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: iowa
Posts: 12

Headers have a tendency to work their mounting bolts loose over time and usually need frequent re tightening, but there are some special header bolts that use a special washer over the head and a c-clip to hold it in place so that if the bolt tries to work loose it will hit the washer against the header tubes and not alow it to loosen. They are called Stage-8 locking bolts and jegs sells a set for sbc for about $32.
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Old 09-25-2002   #3
Multi-Vehicle Member
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Near Tulsa, OK
Posts: 267

Never had a problem with mine. Ran headers for almost 5 years.

After the first installation (using new header bolts) you may have to tighten them a few times. After a couple of weeks they are good forever. It's all in the gaskets really. I had the best luck with the MR.Gaskets that come in a rebuild kit. I've tried the copper ones, they didn't ever seal. So I used the cheapies and viola'.
Has-been GTA Owner.Brent
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Old 09-25-2002   #4
GTA Member
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 71

After talking to the mechanic some more he said even the stage 8's stretch over time because of the heat, he seemed really insistant I not get headers.
How hard is it to tighten the bolts yourself? Isn't it a problem reaching them without removing stuff first?

Also, after talking to the mechanic some more he said he could do this:
Basically take out my entire 2.5in exhaust, and fabricate all the piping for a new 3in system. Including making and bending y pipe etc so its less restrictive. Then hooking it up to the cat and putting a new magnaflow muffler on it with dual 2.5in tips. The entire price, including pipes, bending, muffler, and installation he gave me $585. If I want a new cat. he said add 200 for the price of cat and labor. Is almost 600 worth it for just muffler and some fancy pipes? How much power is this worth? Keep in mind this is assuming I keep the stock exhaust manifolds.

Last edited by MrNova; 09-25-2002 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 09-26-2002   #5
GTA Member
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Long Island
Posts: 42


I installed edelbrock tes headers (they fit perfect by the way) old bolts came out easy after soaking them with liquid wrench beforehand. They took 3 days to install, will include pics soon. Never had to tighten them although I tried after a month the bolts would not move, also they have never leaked.
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