We treat automobiles as though they were live beings. Intake air is brought in, while exhaust air is exhaled. An air intake and an air exhalation occur simultaneously. Adding headers to an exhaust manifold is a crucial performance enhancement since the stock valves are typically limited.
While keeping a modular approach to construction, tube headers are an essential part of an engine’s overall performance and reliability. There is no need to be concerned about how they will be installed. You’re only one among many.
The installation process is a simple yet complicated process. If they aren’t put in the right way, they could do a lot of damage to the engine and even break the engine. So being careful while installing is a must.
To make your job easier, we’ve tried to offer a thorough installation process of long tube headers on a vehicle in this article.
What is a long tube header?
Long tube headers are used to transfer exhaust gas from the engine to the mid-pipe. Exceptional performance gains, an aggressive sound, and the ability to accommodate future power upgrades are all possible with this design.
Negative pressures are created in the pipe as a result of the long tube design, which draws more exhaust gas out of the cylinder and minimizes backflow pressure.
The less limited exhaust gases are then channeled through a Collector into a single pipe, which is connected to a high-flow catalytic converter that is integrated into the vehicle.
As with many changes, making this adjustment alone will provide a marginal performance bump, but when combined with the proper intake, camshaft, and other components, you will notice and feel the difference in power.
Why add long tube headers?
Long tube headers and short tube headers are the two most common kinds of headers. Each of the headers performs the same function, which is to exhaust gas from the engine to the surroundings.
Long tube headers are believed to be the most effective for lowering back pressure to the greatest extent feasible and hence the most effective for scavenging, though they theoretically have less flow than short headers.
Furthermore, long-tube headers not only produce strong peak power numbers but also assist in increasing horsepower and torque in the low and mid ranges of the RPM band, resulting in more usable power down where it is most needed.
How to install long tube headers?
To install long tube headers requires an above-average mechanical ability, a decent selection of tools, and access to a two-post lift. You need to carefully follow the steps given below:
Disconnect the negative battery cable and the cold air assembly. And while you are still in the engine compartment, unscrew and remove the top nut securing the OEM manifold to the catalytic converter pipe.
You should also loosen and remove the passenger side motor mount nut and the driver side motor mount nut.
Support the car via a lift or get it as high and as safe as you can if you are going to be working off of a jack stand. Then, remove the Catback exhaust. This may require additional help.
Then, loosen four nuts on the sleeves securing catback to the mid-pipe. Loosen and remove the two 13mm bolts securing the IRS cradle hangers; loosen and remove the four 13 mm bolts securing the muffler hanger to the frame rail.
There are two bolts per side. After that, dislodge the muffler hangers from the rear frame rail.
Then dislodge the IRS cradle hangers from the IRS subframe and take assistance from someone to slide the cat back out of the sleeves towards the reality of the car. Now, you can set the catback aside.
Before removing the passenger side, the catalytic converter assembly disconnects the oxygen sensor.
Loosen and remove the lower catalytic converter piping to the manifold nut and support the catalytic converter pipe so it doesn’t come crashing down and then can be set aside.
To remove the starter, loosen and remove the 13mm nut securing the large wire with a deep socket. They remove the wire and then reinstall the nut for a few turns.
Do the same for the other wire, except it’s held in place with a 10 mm nut. There is a deep socket for this nut as well, so remove the wire and then install a few turns.
Next, loosen and remove the upper 13mm retaining valve. While supporting the starter with a freehand, loosen and remove the lower 13mm stud. Now, the starter can easily be removed.
Support the engine and transmission from the bell housing. Go ahead and lift the assembly just a tad.
To remove the motor mount bracket, loosen and remove the lower rearward 15mm nut. Then loosen and remove the upper rearward 13mm bolt and stud.
The lower frontward hardware is also a bolt and a stud. Loosen and remove the 15mm nut and remove the wire, and position it out of the way.
Lift the engine as needed and remove the mount bracket and disconnect the upper oxygen connection. Now, you can remove all eight of the manifold to the cylinder head, retaining 15mm nuts.
Install an oxygen sensor extension into the factory connection at the back of the cylinder head and route the extension alongside the transmission and temporarily out of the way.
Make sure the gasket is in place, and then install the header. Depending on the hardware, you may just be able to let the header sit in position. If not, loosely tight some of the hardware.
Then snug down the hardware in an even manner because the working area is too limited to use a torque wrench. But, be careful as the cylinder head is aluminum, and it can be damaged if the hardware is overtightened.
Once the hardware is tightened, you can reinstall the motor mount if you have removed it before. Then, reinstall the motor mount bracket.
Then tighten all the hardware and lower the engine back onto the motor mount.
Reinstall the front wire in front of the bracket and retighten the associated hardwires.
Reinstall the starter and two wires.
Moving towards the driver’s side, separate the steering shaft from the steering rack and remove the motor mount bracket, followed by eight 15mm nuts.
Before removing the factory manifold, make sure to disconnect the oxygen sensor connections. Like the passenger’s side, determine which studs can be reused and test-fit the header first.
Tighten the gasket in the same manner as the passenger’s side and reinstall the motor mount bracket and hardware.
Reconnect the steering shaft carefully.
Lower the engine and retighten the transmission mount to the cross member nuts.
Remove each oxygen sensor from the factory piping and apply anti-seize to them. Then, reinstall them again.
Install an extension on the driver’s side and connect each sensor. You can zip tie them to ensure the harnesses are as far away as you can get them from the exhaust piping.
Depending on the brand of the header, install the extension pipes and use the appropriate clamps to secure them to the header collector.
Reinstall the rear sensors and zip tie them away from the exhaust piping as well.
Reinstall the catback and tighten all the hardwires associated with it.
Back on the engine bay, reinstall and tighten the motor mount nuts, cold air intake assembly, and reconnect the negative battery cable.
Finally, start the car and check for any exhaust leaks, and you are good to go.
In this article, you have tried to cover everything you need to know and provided the best method to install long tube headers. We hope you follow all the steps carefully and cautiously and enjoy the fruit of your labor. Have a safe driving!
Hi, my name is Gabrielle. I have been into Automotive Industry for over 15 years. If you’re anything like me, then building, maintaining and improving your Automotive Industry/Projects is all part of the Automotive experience.
My goal with this blog is to share my experience with and help you discover new and exciting things about Automotive.