If I made it this far, anyone can! The actual installation of the long tube headers (for me) was much easier than getting all those old rusty exhaust parts off. Now the only question, will it fit?
I remember reading online mixed opinions on where to start. Should I start with the headers and work my way back, or start from the back? I decided to put the headers on first (only hand tight) and work my way back. I knew the last piece was going to be hard, and had no idea how to handle it, but I just dove in. By the way, having an assistant with you for the install not only makes it easier, but helps to save your sanity!
After fumbling through it for a short while (I left the clips in the video for your entertainment)
we figured out how to get the new Y pipe on the headers. The trick is to put the 90 degree turn on the cross pipe first, and then slip the Y pipe on both headers simultaneously. Don’t forget to put the brackets into place first!
Then there was only one more connection. The Y pipe to the tail (flange) connection. Of course, we were off by about 4 inches and tried pushing, pulling, and banging stuff into place. After scratching our heads for a while, we decided to pull apart one of the hangers from the muffler pipe and that bought us a bunch of room – enough to slip in the last Y pipe piece and bolt it all together. I plan to take the whole thing to the exhaust shop and have them give it a once over and weld it together in a couple of places as soon as I decide on a final plan.
If you decide to take this on, remember not to weld the Y pipe to the headers and not to weld at the flange. There will be a time when the pipe must come down to remove the transmission pan and do a transmission service. That big new pretty cross pipe makes getting to the transmission pan bolts nearly, if not completely impossible.
I talked with a transmission pro and he said if only the cross pipe was an inch lower than it actually is, it would not need to be removed for trans service. Oh, … the stuff you have to think about when modding your car! I’m still not sure which route to go. Apparently, it will be hard to find an exhaust shop that will do mandrel bends and weld 304 stainless steel to create the “ideal” cross pipe. Perhaps someone who knows will comment.
Back to the install. The transmission crossmember went back in, but with one big hiccup. One of those massive bolts (on the driver’s side) needed to go in backwards because the new stainless pipe was in the way. I don’t see this as a major issue as the bracket being held on [previously] by the 2 nuts (drivers side) is still being held on by one huge nut. The 4 nuts holding the cross member on are all still doing their jobs. If that’s a little unclear, check out the video (below).
So, what about fitment? Under the hood, the driver’s side header pipes clear the steering shaft without issue. Underneath, the driver’s side header comes VERY close to my front drive shaft (4wd). I have driven about 50 miles since the install, and no issues so far, even in Auto 4wd or 4 Hi. Seems to be ok.
Other than that, the damn thing seems to be flawless. Oh, and the sound? Wholly crap, the sound! It is EXACTLY what I was hoping for. Not too loud, not too quiet. I can fire it up in the driveway and not wake the neighbors at idle, but if I get in the gas at 4:00 in the morning, it might piss off the closest neighbors.
I’m running mine with a mild cam and a Flowmaster Delta Series 50 muffler and I love it. I do a before and after sound comparison in the video. Check it out!
So, check out the video, and be sure to check out my other videos, subscribe to my YouTube channel, and like and comment. Thanks!