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I HATE these HEADERS!!!!

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by muddbogg89, Mar 18, 2003.

  1. muddbogg89

    muddbogg89 Registered Member

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    When people talk about headers they never seen to mention what a pain in arse they are! /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif I put some flow-tech headers on about 6 months ago and they are leaking from the collector and from the head. Got some allen head bolts and thought that would help,it did yery little. /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif
    Not to mention that I've gotta do an oil filter relocation because of a 1/16in clearance.And it makes your spark plugs a lot harder to get to.
    And I dont notice much if any performance of milage increases (and I went to duals and no cats)
    I wish I would have stuck with the stock manifolds!
    O.K. all that being said,
    I do have a couple of questions,
    what kind of gaskets and collectors should I get, What are you guys running?
    I rememdered seeing something in that show Trucks! about some collectors that were good for not leaking anyone remember that?
    /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif
     
  2. Redfrog

    Redfrog 1/2 ton status

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    I am using Earl's Aluminum gaskets on my new engine, I have not fired it yet but they seem like a good gasket
    the insert that can be replaced seems to be a soft material that would from to the header flange and the head,
    it is the same at the collector
     
  3. jc71355

    jc71355 1/2 ton status

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    Welcome to the wonderfull world of headers!

    For the head gaskets I have had Excellent results with the Copper gaskets by Mr. Gasket. I have these on two vehicles and Love them. On my 91 I used the Stage 8 Locking bolts and haven't had a problem with them.

    For Collectors I'm now using Mr. Gasket Ultraseal gaskets and Header Hush. I fought many rounds with the Aluminum gaskets and they have worked well on my passenger side but I never could get the drivers to seal, and It's the important one being the 02 sensor is on that side. I'm still running them on the passenger side w/ no problems.
     
  4. 70~K5

    70~K5 1/2 ton status

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    I hate headers on SBCs other engines that don't have that combined middle set of ports seem to work better. Well I'm glad I don't have any thing with a mouse motor anymore.
     
  5. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    A trick that works for me is to cut the flange between the front cyl and the middle cyl's and the back cyl. It lets everything seal better. I like copper gaskets at the flange, and a doanut style gasket at the collector.
     
  6. BigRed89

    BigRed89 1/2 ton status

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    I have a set of Doug Thorley Tri-Y coated headers and have not had one problem in the last 16,000 miles that I've used them. I used a Mr. Gasket header gasket, and regular header bolts. I did have to change to header style spark plugs. I have read posts here in the past, about it being very important to tighten the header bolts often when you first install them. After the engine has been run and cooled off, tighten up the header bolts, and go through this hot/cool cycle a number of times to make sure that the bolts are tight. I did that and it has worked for me. Other than that, very easy installation and definite seat of the pants increase in power.
     
  7. xnoahx

    xnoahx 1/2 ton status

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    If you want your headers to stop leaking at the collectors do like I did and replace the flat, 3-bolt ones with flowmaster ball flange collectors. You have to cut the old stuff off your headers and exhaust pipes and weld on the new parts but the results are amazing, you wont have any more problems. I did a little write up on them on my page, http://pages.sbcglobal.net/xnoahx/
     
  8. Swanson52

    Swanson52 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I put some flow-tech headers on about 6 months ago and they are leaking from the collector and from the head

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Right there is your problem. Flow-Tech headers leak like a sieve. Buy some Hooker or Doug Thorley headers and I bet your problem goes away. You get what you pay for in the world of headers; cheap headers are cheap for a reason.
     
  9. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    I *hate* headers too. The only headers I would run are the Thorley Tri-Y truck headers. They have exactly the characteristics needed by our trucks, and they don't have many of the problems other headers do due to heavy high quality construction. But, they are $$$... Other than that, some slight mods will let you run rams-horn manifolds which also work well and don’t generally leak…
     
  10. BowtieGuy3

    BowtieGuy3 Guest

    I use a little trick that I picked up from racing...It requires some machining, but works out really well. I grab a machinist's straight edge, and pretty much machine the flange until it's trued up, then (as stated in another reply) trim the flange so each set of ports is its own individual flange. It also seems to be easier to install since the 3 sections of the header flange have a wee bit more flexability then the one somplete flange. By doing all of that, and using the copper gaskets, I havent had a exh. gasket blow out in quite sometime, on the truck, or the racecar (that has 1-piece, over-the-top headers, Imagine that hell..lol).
     
  11. RATAH

    RATAH 1/2 ton status

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    i also have the flow-tech headers
    the guy at muffler brothers,
    said with cheap headers to weld the flanges up, so i had him weld the flanges,
    the only problen i have is the bolts work loose that hold em to the manifold,
    any idea's how to stop em from coming loose?
     
  12. k20

    k20 3/4 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I rememdered seeing something in that show Trucks! about some collectors that were good for not leaking anyone remember that?


    [/ QUOTE ]
    They were called "the header hush", but i did a search online and didnt find anything on em
     
  13. Swanson52

    Swanson52 1/2 ton status

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    Run em upside down out yer hood. You'll never hear your exhaust leaking again.
     
  14. twenty_below0

    twenty_below0 1/2 ton status

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    I have flowtech's and they SUCK would never BUY them again !
    I also use the stage 8 bolts which are a good design but suck none the less and percy's Aluminum Gaskets . Either Earl's or Percy's are the best gaskets you can get . A little expensive but good gaskets . So good luck
     
  15. Goober

    Goober 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Run em upside down out yer hood. You'll never hear your exhaust leaking again.

    [/ QUOTE ]


    Does that really work???

    I'll have to try it!


    /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif
    /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif
     
  16. BowtieGuy3

    BowtieGuy3 Guest

    I got 2 ideas how to keep those puppies from working loose....Red Loctite or Safety Wire. The Safety Wire thing works great, but its a lil' time consuming, but works like a charm. I recommend it for every bolt that could possibly work itself loose... /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  17. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I recommend it for every bolt that could possibly work itself loose

    [/ QUOTE ]
    In that case my rig would look like one big twisty-tie. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    Another thing that occurs to me is an old drag racing trick some of my friends used years ago to help with leaky header problems. Take a thick fiber gasket (some even used 2! per side) and soak them in water before bolting them down. Let dry, then heat 'er up. Apparently it allows the fiber gaskets to flow around the deformity due to welds or whatever and the leaks are gone. <shrug> YMMV...
     
  18. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Are you saying that you basically cut down the welds on the head side of the flange?

    I've always wondered why (at least on the headers I have seen) that the welds that hold the tubes to the head flange are on the mating surface. Seems like a real dumb idea to me. According to someone else I talked to, the welded section is *supposed* to fit inside the manifold gasket hole, but I've not used a set of headers yet.

    Is that a problem, or do most of the welds actually fit inside the gasket cutout? Seems to me that welding on the outside of the flange would be the "right" way to do it, even if more time consuming/expensive.
     
  19. BowtieRed

    BowtieRed 1/2 ton status Author

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Run em upside down out yer hood. You'll never hear your exhaust leaking again.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    that's true, i guaranten you'd never HEAR them leaking/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  20. caryhenry

    caryhenry Registered Member

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    you may also want to use permatex's copper-seal. I used this on my silverado cause I kept blowing out the rear port seal. It works just like rtv sealant but is high temp and oxygen sensor safe.
     

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