Long tube header installation. Tips? - Mustang Evolution

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Old 10-16-2014, 01:18 PM   #1
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Long tube header installation. Tips?

Hey guys, after almost pulling the trigger on some gears I found a killer deal on some BBK ceramic coated long tube headers and catted x pipe. I got my packages yesterday and plan on installing them in the next week or two if I can make enough time. I've heard the install is pretty time consuming and I would like to save as much time as I can while making sure the job is done correctly. For those of you who have installed LT's on your 3.7l, do you have any information to give me that you wish you had know prior to tackling this install, or any tips that might help me out?
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Old 10-16-2014, 01:42 PM   #2
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Mark where your OAP lines up with your mid pipes. I know you'll be replacing the mid pipe with the LT headers, but theres really nothing holding the OAP in place other than the muffler mounts, so they can get all cocked and skewed and your mufflers will be out of whack (or worse, rattling). That will basically just give you some sense of where "level" is when you put them back on.

When installing the o2 sensors when you're done, twist them backwards a lot (imagine unscrewing them) to wind the wires the opposite way, that way when you screw them in the wires will unwind and end up normal (not twisted or stretched).

PB blaster is your friend. Use it liberally on the exhaust bolts to break rust / grime.

A warm exhaust makes it easier to get O2 sensors out and other things loose since the metal expands a tad. Have some good gloves and try to get in there early.

Really, the rest just comes down to your tools and experience i think.
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Old 10-16-2014, 01:57 PM   #3
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Voltwings, that you very much! I never would have thought about marking the OAP or straightening out the O2 wires. Again, thank you I really appreciate it.


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Old 10-16-2014, 02:00 PM   #4
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Volt gave some sound advice. If you have access to a lift, use it. It will be very difficult jacked up on your back.

If the bolts are anythingnlike mine, you'll need all the leverage you can get.

It will come with O2 extensions, but you shouldn't need them if you route the cables properly. It's best to avoid them if possible.

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Old 10-16-2014, 02:00 PM   #5
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Voltwings, that you very much! I never would have thought about marking the OAP or straightening out the O2 wires. Again, thank you I really appreciate it.


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Old 10-16-2014, 02:01 PM   #6
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I've found it easiest to unplug the O2's then switch them over to your new midpipe with them off the car. You'll need some deep sockets and extensions to reach all of the bolts so make sure you have some on hand.
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Old 10-16-2014, 02:05 PM   #7
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We wont be tackling headers on my GFs v6 for a few months still, but on other cars i've done headers on a good set of ratcheting wrenches has come in handy. Can anyone see a use for those on this car? I've yet to really get under there and "study" the layout so to speak.

Stuff like this? Got my set from autozone for like $30 i think, so far so good... knock on wood lol
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Old 10-16-2014, 02:07 PM   #8
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Have a friend helping you, LOTS of patience, and lots of free time. If you don't have a lift or experience doing headers before, expect 8+ hour install.
I had a PITA time installing my shorty headers this weekend, and this will be much harder.
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Old 10-16-2014, 02:07 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Voltwings View Post
We wont be tackling headers on my GFs v6 for a few months still, but on other cars i've done headers on a good set of ratcheting wrenches has come in handy. Can anyone see a use for those on this car? I've yet to really get under there and "study" the layout so to speak.

Stuff like this? Got my set from autozone for like $30 i think, so far so good... knock on wood lol
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God yes. Those bottom header bolts were a PIA. The tubes block access from the top so you have to worm your way up from under the car or just barely get it in between them and make tiny turns with a box end.

Thankfully the guy helping me had a lift and a good selection of tools.

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Old 10-16-2014, 02:07 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Voltwings View Post
We wont be tackling headers on my GFs v6 for a few months still, but on other cars i've done headers on a good set of ratcheting wrenches has come in handy. Can anyone see a use for those on this car? I've yet to really get under there and "study" the layout so to speak.

Stuff like this? Got my set from autozone for like $30 i think, so far so good... knock on wood lol
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I had to get set for mine. Grabbed some Huskys, really helped out.
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Old 10-16-2014, 03:23 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Voltwings View Post
We wont be tackling headers on my GFs v6 for a few months still, but on other cars i've done headers on a good set of ratcheting wrenches has come in handy. Can anyone see a use for those on this car? I've yet to really get under there and "study" the layout so to speak.

Stuff like this? Got my set from autozone for like $30 i think, so far so good... knock on wood lol
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Flex head ratcheting wrenches made the header bolts on my Borla LTs a walk in the park. I feel like they paid for themselves in that one use haha.

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Old 10-16-2014, 06:20 PM   #12
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Flex head ratcheting wrenches made the header bolts on my Borla LTs a walk in the park. I feel like they paid for themselves in that one use haha.

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Will a Flex head ratcheting wrench really make things go smoother? I do not see why a normal ratchet won't work? Is it because the flex heads fit where the ratchets cannot?
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Old 10-16-2014, 06:21 PM   #13
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Will a Flex head ratcheting wrench really make things go smoother? I do not see why a normal ratchet won't work? Is it because the flex heads fit where the ratchets cannot?
You'll see very quickly why when you're trying to fasten the new header on
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Old 10-16-2014, 06:35 PM   #14
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You'll see very quickly why when you're trying to fasten the new header on
Lol after this statement ill be buying a flex ratchet. Will i only need a flex ratchet for bolting the headers in place( will I only need one size)?
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Old 10-16-2014, 06:38 PM   #15
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Lol after this statement ill be buying a flex ratchet. Will i only need a flex ratchet for bolting the headers in place( will I only need one size)?
Technically, yes. But I'd go ahead and get at least a small set of them. Useful little buggers to have.
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Old 10-16-2014, 06:47 PM   #16
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13mm for the header bolts
15mm for the cat bolts if I remember correctly.

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Old 10-16-2014, 06:51 PM   #17
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Since you're doing LTs, you won't really have to mess with the cat bolts, if you're careful. You'll have to change the midpipe anyway, so unbolt the manifolds from the block, unplug the O2 sensors and unbolt the midpipe from the catback, then slowly and carefully wiggle that whole assembly out. It'll save you time and frustration.

Just be aware that sh*t is heavy, so two people is a good idea.
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Old 10-16-2014, 07:13 PM   #18
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Since you're doing LTs, you won't really have to mess with the cat bolts, if you're careful. You'll have to change the midpipe anyway, so unbolt the manifolds from the block, unplug the O2 sensors and unbolt the midpipe from the catback, then slowly and carefully wiggle that whole assembly out. It'll save you time and frustration.

Just be aware that sh*t is heavy, so two people is a good idea.
Thanks for the heads up. I'll definitely take all of this info and use it when I'm doing the install
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Old 10-16-2014, 07:27 PM   #19
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Have a friend helping you, LOTS of patience, and lots of free time. If you don't have a lift or experience doing headers before, expect 8+ hour install.
I had a PITA time installing my shorty headers this weekend, and this will be much harder.

8+ hours really? That's was the time I took to change a clutch on my integra lol and we wrapped it up into like 6 hours
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Old 10-16-2014, 08:49 PM   #20
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8+ hours really? That's was the time I took to change a clutch on my integra lol and we wrapped it up into like 6 hours
Well we had literally no experience.
That's including time going to the store to get the tools we realized we needed, lunch break, a few breaks for the rain to stop, trying to figure everything out. We also really took our time to be safe and do it right since it was our first time doing headers ever.
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Old 10-16-2014, 09:08 PM   #21
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Ahh lol bet that was a fun day
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Old 10-16-2014, 09:23 PM   #22
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Well we had literally no experience.
That's including time going to the store to get the tools we realized we needed, lunch break, a few breaks for the rain to stop, trying to figure everything out. We also really took our time to be safe and do it right since it was our first time doing headers ever.
I am in the same boat you once were in. Looks like ill have to set aside about 8 hours haha
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Old 10-16-2014, 09:34 PM   #23
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I am in the same boat you once were in. Looks like ill have to set aside about 8 hours haha
I was lucky enough to get them put in by BBK. They state it took them 3 hours with lift and used 2 hours to heat cycle the motor to make sure there is no exhaust leaks.

Which you may want to do once you get them put on fully. Something I would of never thought about.

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Old 10-17-2014, 02:12 AM   #24
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Will a Flex head ratcheting wrench really make things go smoother? I do not see why a normal ratchet won't work? Is it because the flex heads fit where the ratchets cannot?
Yeah, it's biggest help is on the passenger side. A socket/ratchet set-up doesn't fit and a standard ratcheting wrench hits the line that runs above where the headers met the block, keeping it from ratcheting. The flexhead lets you angle it around the hardline. Not sure about BBKs but my Borlas replaced the header stud/nut set-up with regular header bolts, so that may have made things a bit harder for me haha. Either way, lot of good info in this thread that should help you out.
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Old 10-24-2014, 05:40 PM   #25
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I finished installing the headers and mid pipe today. Just want to say thanks you all for the advice you gave. The flex head ratchet wrench and taking the headers and mid pipe off in one piece saved me a lot of time. The car is insanely loud now. I am considering changing my Borla ATAK's because I can hardly drive the car without turning peoples heads lol. Apparently once I break the headers and x pipe in it will become slightly quieter, but I doubt that will happen. Hopefully I won't be getting pulled over haha..
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Old 10-24-2014, 05:45 PM   #26
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I finished installing the headers and mid pipe today. Just want to say thanks you all for the advice you gave. The flex head ratchet wrench and taking the headers and mid pipe off in one piece saved me a lot of time. The car is insanely loud now. I am considering changing my Borla ATAK's because I can hardly drive the car without turning peoples heads lol. Apparently once I break the headers and x pipe in it will become slightly quieter, but I doubt that will happen. Hopefully I won't be getting pulled over haha..
The headers do quiet down after maybe 200 miles or so

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Old 10-24-2014, 05:50 PM   #27
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The headers do quiet down after maybe 200 miles or so

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I am surprised, yet also grateful lol. Does it quite down just a little bit, or is it a pretty noticeable difference? I am considering installing resonators if it is still too loud.
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Old 10-24-2014, 05:52 PM   #28
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Not a whole lot. They'll quiet down maybe 25% or so. It's still going to be pretty loud.

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Old 10-24-2014, 05:59 PM   #29
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Not a whole lot. They'll quiet down maybe 25% or so. It's still going to be pretty loud.

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That might be what I am looking for.

I have also noticed that my cylinder head temp is hotter than it was before. Before it would always be at 199 degrees. Now it is always fluctuating anywhere from 203-210 degrees. Does anyone know why this is? I though ceramic headers where "cooler" than the stock cast iron ones.
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Old 10-24-2014, 06:04 PM   #30
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The ceramic coating only stops radiant heat in the engine bay. It's a much larger header, so the slight increase of temperature on the head is pretty normal.

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Old 10-24-2014, 06:10 PM   #31
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The ceramic coating only stops radiant heat in the engine bay. It's a much larger header, so the slight increase of temperature on the head is pretty normal.

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Awesome. Thank you!

Out of curiosity, what is your exhaust set up? What axle backs are you running?
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Old 10-24-2014, 06:12 PM   #32
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Normal temps. I hover around 204 with ceramics.

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Old 10-24-2014, 06:12 PM   #33
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At the moment I'm running the pypes mid muffler catback. Which amounts to straight pipes with a resonator in the middle.

But since my gear swap it's too much drone so I'm swapping to my original over axles and a set of Borla ATAKS I have sitting in my floor lol

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Old 10-24-2014, 06:17 PM   #34
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At the moment I'm running the pypes mid muffler catback. Which amounts to straight pipes with a resonator in the middle.

But since my gear swap it's too much drone so I'm swapping to my original over axles and a set of Borla ATAKS I have sitting in my floor lol

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Haha nice. I though my set up was loud, yours must be deafening My next plan is to get 3.73s. If you don't mind I would like to know if there is any drone once you get your ATAKs installed. By the way are you catted, or uncatted?
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Old 10-24-2014, 06:20 PM   #35
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Haha nice. I though my set up was loud, yours must be deafening My next plan is to get 3.73s. If you don't mind I would like to know if there is any drone once you get your ATAKs installed. By the way are you catted, or uncatted?
It wasn't bad until after 3k rpm. Until then it was just an aggressive rumble. Then it got very loud after that.

The ATAKS won't have any drone from what 90% of the owners say. I was Catted with a BBK pipe, I just recently switched to an O/R pipe. I really didn't feel like it was that much louder. Slight bump in power, but nothing crazy.

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