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Headers

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by 1TUFF89, Apr 17, 2000.

  1. 1TUFF89

    1TUFF89 1/2 ton status

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    I have found a hole in one of my manifolds and have the option of paying $180 dollars for one (1) manifold from the dealer or putting a set of headers on. I have heard several negative comments about the headers leaking, etc. Any suggestions or comments will be helpful. I am considering Hedman headers. I've heard the headers should be welded to the "y-pipe". Is that true? What about putting on "shorty" headers? Thanks for the info.

    Chevy's RULE!
     
  2. Boss

    Boss 1/2 ton status Author

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    When installing headers, instead of using the cheap paper gaskets it comes with, you should get better gaskets, like FelPro or something of that nature. That should help the leak. Often you may have to retorque the bolts b/c they tend to come loose in time. But I have heard some people saying that theirs never came loose. Good luck.
    Boss
     
  3. 1TUFF89

    1TUFF89 1/2 ton status

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    I have read some articles on making your own gaskets for headers. The thicker and more durable the gasket material, the better. I also have some info. on "stage 8" bolts which are guaranteed not to come loose until you want them to come off. They have a small "bracket" which goes over the head of them with a small snap ring over that. Sounds like it should work well. Any comments about welding the headers to the "y-pipe"?

    Chevy's RULE!
     
  4. Jason73K5

    Jason73K5 1/2 ton status

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    You should be able to get some solid copper header gaskets, they will probably be your best bet. I believe MR Gasket makes them. As far as weldint up to the Y-pipe, I'd just ask around for a competent muffler shop and see what they can do.
     
  5. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

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    I have been fighting header leaks for some time now and I have the copper ones in right now and still have a leak.
    I think my 5yr old headers are warped! I don't have the funds to get a new set so my next try at gaskets will be the thicker dead soft aluminum type. I am hopeing that the thickness of the alum. kind will make up for the warping!
    Good luck

    Rock ON![​IMG] 72 K5 [​IMG]
     
  6. 1TUFF89

    1TUFF89 1/2 ton status

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    Is the problem actually the gasket or are your header bolts vibrating loose?

    Chevy's RULE!
     
  7. BurbinOR

    BurbinOR 3/4 ton status

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    I've always heard the key to good sealing headers is the flange thickness.........cheapie headers will always leak at some point. Plus the guys mentioned above the quality of the gaskets, pay the money and get the best.

    By the way, bet you could get a "used" manifold from a boneyard for way cheap........paid $25 for one (installed) by a local shop a couple of years ago when mine cracked.

    Guess it depends if you want to go with headers or not. Good luck.

    '79 - 406 w/IROC TPI - K5#5 - a <font color=orange>sickness[​IMG] <font color=blue>you never get enough of!! [​IMG]
     
  8. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

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    For me? the bolts are tight cuz it leaks right away after i swaped in the new gaskets, paper or copper! Any one ever try doubling up the gaskets?? I thinking of tring this?


    Rock ON![​IMG] 72 K5 [​IMG]
     
  9. Truckfan2

    Truckfan2 1/2 ton status

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    I have an '89 with the hedman headers. they are great but they rust when water is present. I bought the O2 fitting from jegs and had it welded in to retain the O2 sensor. About the y-pipe, I don't know... I built custom duals out the back. The headers help the power (noticable) but as every one here has said, the bolts do work free.

    NEVER been stuck... *yet*
     
  10. K5Junkie

    K5Junkie 1/2 ton status

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    I have always found that putting to gaskets on each header helps. It worked for me on my old truck that i used to race. I was always blowing the gaskets out then someone told me about this trick and it worked! Just make sure you get a good gasket like Felpro or something like that.
     
  11. Toad

    Toad 1/2 ton status

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    If you get a good header they should last a long time. I have never had a leak. In fact mine just cracked today where it bolts onto the tailpipe. For 23 yrs of service that's not bad. I'm going to see if I can get it re-welded.

    I know someone out there makes a header guarenteed for a million miles.
     
  12. jarheadk5

    jarheadk5 1/2 ton status

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    I believe Borla is the "million mile" exhaust company. Their stuff is outstanding quality and workmanship, but...
    YOU WILL PAY FOR IT!!!
    I think Borla is the most expensive out there. A buddy at work paid almost $500 for a cat-back system for his Heep, and that was supposedly a good price! Of course, if you've got the money and they make what you need/want, they're probably the best bet.

    [​IMG] Semper Maintenance!
    [​IMG] So many ideas, so little money...
     
  13. Bigd

    Bigd 1/2 ton status

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    I had heard once that if you cut the flange between each cylinder it helps seal.Don't know if it makes them any weaker.I don't think it would because it's bolted on with 2 bolts too each cylinder.Any comments? Anybody try this?
     
  14. 1bad2

    1bad2 Registered Member

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    Fix those header leaks

    Header leaks can be a pain in the arse. When building my 64 Nova I thought I would sove the problen once and forall by purchasing a set of the Copper Mr. Gasket gaskets and guess what, they leaked worse than the old Fel Pro's. I then called everyone and asked the question and a few people recomended a gasket made by Flow Tech that is multiple layers of aluminum with a special coating (dead soft aluminum), these gaskets solved all my leaks.
    Curtis
     
  15. coopertwpk

    coopertwpk 1/2 ton status

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    federal smog laws mandate you buy headers with a matched Y crossover like stock they also have to have air injection spots for smog they sell for 700$ through jeg's catalog
     
  16. coopertwpk

    coopertwpk 1/2 ton status

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    Oh by the way Napa carries the manifolds matched to stock numbers on yours 98$ a side.
     
  17. rich

    rich 1/2 ton status

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    I have also heard about cutting the flanges to make the headers seal better. This makes sense to me, because it allows an individual alignment to each machined exhaust port pad on the head. It would only require 2 cuts per header (since the 2 center exhaust ports on a small block are paired). If the whole long flange gets warped or is a little out of alignment, or if the machined pads on the head are out of alignment, then it's hard to seal to each machined pad. I think cutting the flanges and using good gaskets is a good idea.

    I also used copper RTV on my header gaskets. I had read about this in a magazine, and it worked! In fact, one header was leaking, and I just gobbed the copper RTV on the outside where I could hear the leak, let it dry, and it never leaked again.

    Richard
    '76 K-5 Blazer
    '90 K-5 Blazer
     
  18. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

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    I have cut flanges on my Headmans!
    I did this when they were brand new (5yrs ago)
    Only just resently have I not been able to seal them!
    I realy never had problems with the bolts commin loose or stuff like that! I think I will add a set of FelPro paper gaskets to the copper ones on there now and see if that works! Oh ya how about that copper spray stuff any one ever use it?? Thin headers seem to only last a decade if your lucky so the next set I get will be thicker and coated!
    I hate buyin stuff twice even if it has been several yrs!


    Rock ON![​IMG] 72 K5 [​IMG]
     
  19. 1TUFF89

    1TUFF89 1/2 ton status

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    I checked with the local NAPA store and they couldn't even find a part number for it much less a price!!

    Chevy's RULE!
     
  20. mudfanatic

    mudfanatic 1/2 ton status

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    Burt, DON"T double the gaskets! I bought a rig a few years ago that had doubled gaskets on the headers and couldn't figure out why they leaked all the time, when I pulled them off, the gaskets they were doubled and burned through the center of the two gaskets. I replaced them with Fel-Pro single gaskets and the whole leak went away.
    '77 K5

    <font color=red>mudfanatic</font color=red>[​IMG]
     

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