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leaky headers

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by KILLERK5, Feb 4, 2003.

  1. KILLERK5

    KILLERK5 1/2 ton status

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    after only about 8 months or so my headers are leaking at the head. The bolts keep on getting loose, I have to tighten them about twice a month. When I get around to changing the gaskets, is there a certain type that I should get? Also, has anybody used locking header bolts? They're pretty expensive so I want to know if they're worth the money. The leaking is really annoying and embarassing so I want to get if fixed soon.
    Thanks!!! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  2. rcpilot

    rcpilot 1/2 ton status

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    I have not used the lockers yet, but I have heard nothing but good /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif about them.. when I get my headers I'm using them...
     
  3. BlazinRojo

    BlazinRojo 1/2 ton status

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    i've had my headers for about 10 months now, with no leakage problems. Nothing too special about the bolts, just ARP header bolts with lockwashers under them. Haven't had a single problem to date.
     
  4. 77k5bogger

    77k5bogger Registered Member

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    My dad has locking bolts on his mustang. They work great. As for gaskets I would reccomend percys deadsoft aluminum. They are like $35 but are reuseable. They work awesome. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  5. schmuck

    schmuck 1/2 ton status

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    headers leak thats all there is to it but i would not recomend the locking bolts they dont work i do second the aluminum gaskets there great plus i would check your motor mounts and tranny mounts if there leaking as fast as you say the engine is probably moving around too much. when you put on new gaskets tighten down the bolts as hard as you can then start the engine let it warm up then after it cools retighten the bolt this should work
     
  6. BlazinRojo

    BlazinRojo 1/2 ton status

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    Headers don't always leak. My truck is a perfect example of headers that don't leak (Edelbrock TES headers). Had them on since last April (except when the new engine got put in this january) and I have haven't had a single leakage problem. As far as my gaskets go, they are whatever material edelbrock uses. I have replaced these, but only with the new engine.....so they worked great for about 8 months with no leakage whatsoever. Normal bolts with lock washers stay nice and tight for me, although i did retighten after the headers' first heat cycle. after that, its been smooth sailing.
     
  7. Suffergauge

    Suffergauge 1/2 ton status

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    Lockers work, it is just a matter of getting them on. As far as gaskets... use stock gaskets at the head,they work killer, and dead soft aluminum at the collector.
     
  8. schmuck

    schmuck 1/2 ton status

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    the headers that you have that dont leak are they shortys or full length because if they are full length i want a set ive never seen full lenght headers that dont leak after use ive have several sets of differnt makers plus plenty of friends with them now i have seen shortys that hold up pretty good but they dont give as much power
     
  9. monte0172

    monte0172 1/2 ton status

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    I have always used stock manifold gaskets for my headers because they are already aluminum. They never wear out and you can pull your headers off and put them back on as often as you like. As far as the bolts backing out use some red locktite and it will salve all the problems and is still easy to break loose if need be. I have done this on all my race cars and daily drivers and have never had a problem. I have an 86 grand prix with a lt1 350 and hooker headers that have been on there for 3 years and have yet to have a leak. Oh and I use the copper collector caskets. Anyway i hope this helps.
     
  10. Sidepipes

    Sidepipes 1/2 ton status

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    I replace the gaskets on my vette every two years... it has full length hooker sidemounts. They never leak until the very end. I am religious about checking to see if they are tight. I just use mr gasket's mid grade gasket and have never had problems..... I don't need collector gaskets with my headers so I don't have experience with them.
     
  11. pismorat

    pismorat 1/2 ton status

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    Never had a problem with leaky gaskets. I have Doug Thorley headers with the thick 3/8" flanges. I am using Bison gaskets (really thick) and normal header bolts with lock washers. They work fine, so I wouldn't waste the money on locking bolts. /forums/images/graemlins/truck.gif
     
  12. R72K5

    R72K5 Banned

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    heres what i do with great luck:

    thread locker fluid on threads after wire brushing threads of bolts and use manifold gaskets and make sure flanges are smooth and flat and even, if not then modify accordingly and make sure one port isnt sunk further than any others on the same header ive never had issues with regular bolts loosening up or leaks or blown gaskets, only problems with collector rusting off or breaking

    good luck



    good luck
     
  13. loudnowlouder

    loudnowlouder 1/2 ton status

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    i wouldnt recommend lock tite...if you need to get those things off for some reason in the future, its only going to make things worse...
    those bolts are hard enough to get off without snapping them after they rust up a little and get heat set in..

    i had the exact same problem before...those "paper" gaskets suck....go spend 5 bucks on a tube of ultra-copper....put a good thick bead on the header, bolt it up, if you do it right that gasket will not fail...

    i didnt line mine up properly and the ultra-copper started setting before i could correct it, i let it dry overnight so it'd be easier to peel off, those headers (without bolts) were stuck to that block so tight i had to hit the collector with a mallet to free it...best header gasket i've ever seen, and 5 bucks will do several gaskets, i used half of a tube for 4 gaskets...
    try that before you buy the expensive bolts...
     

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