Go Back   Corvette Forum > C6 Corvette, 2005 - 2013 > C6 Tech/Performance
Sign in using an external account
Register Forgot Password?
Register Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read FAQ Vendor Directory
Search
C6 Tech/Performance
LS2, LS3, LS7, LS9 Corvette Technical Info, Internal Engine, External Engine, Tech Topics, Basic Tech, Maintenance, How to Remove & Replace Sponsored by
21st Century Muscle Cars

Welcome to Corvetteforum.com!
Welcome to Corvetteforum.com.

You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, at no cost, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, join Corvetteforum.com today!


Corvette Store
 
 
C7 Parts & Accessories
C6 Parts & Accessories
C5 Parts & Accessories
C4 Parts & Accessories
C3 Parts & Accessories
C2 Parts & Accessories
C1 Parts & Accessories
Wheels & Tires
Sponsored Ads
 
 
Vendor Directory
  
Reply
 
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-28-2013, 07:44 PM   #1
netmazk
Junior Member
 
Member Since: Mar 2013
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Default My DIY header experience, in need of a few suggestions

Several weeks ago I purchased a set of headers off of ebay (you know the brand...), packaged with hi-flow cats and an X-pipe. This was the next step for my silver 2007 MN6 after I put on a SLP Loudmouth II axle-back exhaust shortly after I purchased the car.

I spent about 10-12 hours on the install last week, spread across 3 nights working after work until it got dark, and some finish-up work this past Saturday. Overall, at first glance, the headers and X-pipe were good quality. Solid welds, clean, etc. I ran into a few problems:
  • Each cat attaches to the X-pipe with another 10" or so long tube which has a rear O2 sensor bung. One of the pipes would not fit into the cat side at all. It took me probably 45 minutes of working the edges of both sides to get them to fit together properly. OK... no big deal, problem solved.
  • While bolting up the headers, I managed to break off not one, but two of the header bolts. The first one is the terrible not-so-reachable bolt near the driver's side firewall. My heart sunk, but I figured it was just bad luck with these 5-year old 40kmi bolts. I continued on the next side and managed to do the same thing with one of the middle bolts. Looking back, my torque wrench is probably garbage. I had it set on 10 ft/lbs. the whole time, and never got any of the bolts to torque. I didn't doubt the wrench at first, since I had used it a few weeks ago to torque a few things to 40 ft/lbs. just fine. Both bolts appear to have enough thread hanging off of the heads that they seem to have broken flush with the heads. To cut to the chase, I finished the install and I can't find any leaks between the headers and the heads.
  • The cats have 4-bolt loose flanges that bolt up to the header collectors, and use a graphite donut gasket. What a pain in the ***. First off, another fitment issue. With everything else hooked up and loose, the cats were too close together, almost angled. The driver-side hooked right up to the header, but the passenger side really wasn't that close. I managed to hold them apart enough to get the bolts in and wrenched them together the rest of the way while holding them in the right position. However, I think they're pulling themselves together, and pulling the driver side cat off of the collector and breaking the seal at the gasket. To make matters worse, with the 4-bolt flanges, there isn't really enough clearance to tighten them equally. It's almost as if I have get them fairly equal all around, tighten a side of two, spin the flange, and then get the bottom set of bolts tight. Couple this with the terrible spring retainers, and I think they are probably just loosening themselves up.

I tightened everything up Saturday morning and drove around a good bit during the day. Everything sounds GREAT, but there's an obvious tick coming from the collector/cat area. It's very noticeable with the windows up, and to the side of the car, but doesn't sound like it's coming from the engine bay when the hood is up.

So, overall, I'm looking for some forum advice on what to do next. As far as I see it, I have two routes:
  1. Ignore the header bolts for now (might swap heads and cam in the future/next summer), get some lock washers & nuts for the cats, and re-tighten everything with extra emphasis on getting the cats lined up properly with the collectors in the first place. Maybe I can use something to bend them out and actually stay in the right position?
  2. Take it to a shop, have them extract the broken bolts, replace all of the header bolts, and have them look over the whole system for leaks. However, I have no idea what I'm looking at here in terms of cost or hours of labor, nor do I know of any reputable vette mechanics in my area (Pittsburgh).

What do you guys think? Does anyone have any recommendations for mechanics within Pittsburgh or less than two hours away? Do you think a shop is going to be able to give me an accurate estimate?
netmazk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2013, 10:18 PM   #2
94ltz
CF Senior Member
 
Member Since: May 2013
Location: Evans Colorado
Default

You can get stage 8 locking header bolts for $35, if they broke flush with the header flange a good stud extractor tool can get them out or even vice grips. I would take it to an exhaust shop and have them possibly make a couple cuts and welds to make those cats go in the right direction.
94ltz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2013, 10:50 PM   #3
black.z51.c6
CF Senior Member
 
black.z51.c6's Avatar
 
Member Since: Feb 2012
Location: Cranston Rhode Island
Default

if its a stick shift make sure the slave cylinder hose is not touching the headers as it will melt and cost 1600 to replace. it only has to be a 1/4 inch away.
black.z51.c6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2013, 10:51 PM   #4
black.z51.c6
CF Senior Member
 
black.z51.c6's Avatar
 
Member Since: Feb 2012
Location: Cranston Rhode Island
Default

the torque wrench probably is fine but with the bolts heating up and cooling down thousands of times it burns the carbon out of the steel and anneals the bolts so they are soft.
black.z51.c6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2013, 11:26 PM   #5
netmazk
Junior Member
 
Member Since: Mar 2013
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Default

It's a stick and I've made sure everything is clear of the headers. I routed the O2 wires as far as I could as well.

Unfortunately, the bolts seem to have broken off flush with the heads, not the header flanges (I haven't taken the headers back off to check), so I don't think vice grips, etc. are going to be an option for me. I could maybe get a drill and extractor on the passenger side bolt, but I don't see any way for me to get near the driver's side firewall bolt easily.
netmazk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2013, 09:01 PM   #6
truckplay
CF Senior Member
 
truckplay's Avatar
 
Member Since: Oct 2010
Location: Sugarhill Ga
Send a message via AIM to truckplay
Default

you will probably have to pull the brake master and booster. you got yourself in a pickle . don't drive it with an exhaust leak at the head, you will damage the exhaust valve.
__________________


Tom
truckplay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2013, 09:37 PM   #7
VET4LES
CF Senior Member
 
VET4LES's Avatar
 
Member Since: Oct 2004
Location: San Clemente CA
Default

I think you should let the pro's take care of all the issues. There's an old saying that the "cheap comes out expensive".
VET4LES is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2013, 08:34 PM   #8
SUB VETTE
CF Senior Member
Support Corvetteforum!
 
SUB VETTE's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jul 2006
Location: San Diego CA
Default

I'd take it to a muffler shop and get those broken bolts out. Ask around to find a good shop. The ticking you are hearing is probably an exhaust leak at the header gasket. When I did my headers I didn't chance using the old bolts but bought some ARP studs instead. The shop can also get things lined up properly using torch heat if needed. Get some new ARP bolts or studs for the shop to use, and replace them all.
SUB VETTE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2013, 10:11 PM   #9
Purple92
CF Senior Member
 
Member Since: Jul 2005
Default

I really wouldn't recommend driving the car around with a bolt on each side missing, eventually - the gasket will start leaking, then the leak will get worse, and worse.... Worst case is that the sealing surface on the head can get damaged...

If you were going to try to get the bolt out yourself, I would STRONGLY suggest getting a couple of left hand drill bits (no - I'm not kidding - these things do exist). You drill in reverse - so instead of trying to twist the broken bolt further in - the drilling tends to help remove the bolt. I've never had much luck with E-Z outs, so if you try one, don't put enough torque on it that it snaps - the E-Z Outs are as hard or harder than the drill bits, so if you break the E-Z out off - it moves from a PITA job to a nightmare.

The good news is that once the head of the bolt is no longer there - the bolt itself isn't in tension, so the amount of torque required to remove it is substantially reduced.

Once you get a decent hole in the old bolt - you can try one of the broken bolt remover tools - or you can just keep going, and drill the bolt out entirely - then use a Heli-Coil to repair the thread - a decent auto machine shop will have these - or you can order them.

If you choose to take it to a pro - they will probably need to remove the header before they drill the bolt out, and the kind of shop you want to do the work will do the drilling very carefully - making sure they drill straight into the bolt. It's probably not going to be inexpensive...

GOOD LUCK !!!
Purple92 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2013, 12:18 PM   #10
irok
CF Senior Member
 
Member Since: May 2011
Location: OSHAWA ONTARIO
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by netmazk View Post
Several weeks ago I purchased a set of headers off of ebay (you know the brand...), packaged with hi-flow cats and an X-pipe. This was the next step for my silver 2007 MN6 after I put on a SLP Loudmouth II axle-back exhaust shortly after I purchased the car.

I spent about 10-12 hours on the install last week, spread across 3 nights working after work until it got dark, and some finish-up work this past Saturday. Overall, at first glance, the headers and X-pipe were good quality. Solid welds, clean, etc. I ran into a few problems:
  • Each cat attaches to the X-pipe with another 10" or so long tube which has a rear O2 sensor bung. One of the pipes would not fit into the cat side at all. It took me probably 45 minutes of working the edges of both sides to get them to fit together properly. OK... no big deal, problem solved.
  • While bolting up the headers, I managed to break off not one, but two of the header bolts. The first one is the terrible not-so-reachable bolt near the driver's side firewall. My heart sunk, but I figured it was just bad luck with these 5-year old 40kmi bolts. I continued on the next side and managed to do the same thing with one of the middle bolts. Looking back, my torque wrench is probably garbage. I had it set on 10 ft/lbs. the whole time, and never got any of the bolts to torque. I didn't doubt the wrench at first, since I had used it a few weeks ago to torque a few things to 40 ft/lbs. just fine. Both bolts appear to have enough thread hanging off of the heads that they seem to have broken flush with the heads. To cut to the chase, I finished the install and I can't find any leaks between the headers and the heads.
  • The cats have 4-bolt loose flanges that bolt up to the header collectors, and use a graphite donut gasket. What a pain in the ***. First off, another fitment issue. With everything else hooked up and loose, the cats were too close together, almost angled. The driver-side hooked right up to the header, but the passenger side really wasn't that close. I managed to hold them apart enough to get the bolts in and wrenched them together the rest of the way while holding them in the right position. However, I think they're pulling themselves together, and pulling the driver side cat off of the collector and breaking the seal at the gasket. To make matters worse, with the 4-bolt flanges, there isn't really enough clearance to tighten them equally. It's almost as if I have get them fairly equal all around, tighten a side of two, spin the flange, and then get the bottom set of bolts tight. Couple this with the terrible spring retainers, and I think they are probably just loosening themselves up.

I tightened everything up Saturday morning and drove around a good bit during the day. Everything sounds GREAT, but there's an obvious tick coming from the collector/cat area. It's very noticeable with the windows up, and to the side of the car, but doesn't sound like it's coming from the engine bay when the hood is up.

So, overall, I'm looking for some forum advice on what to do next. As far as I see it, I have two routes:
  1. Ignore the header bolts for now (might swap heads and cam in the future/next summer), get some lock washers & nuts for the cats, and re-tighten everything with extra emphasis on getting the cats lined up properly with the collectors in the first place. Maybe I can use something to bend them out and actually stay in the right position?
  2. Take it to a shop, have them extract the broken bolts, replace all of the header bolts, and have them look over the whole system for leaks. However, I have no idea what I'm looking at here in terms of cost or hours of labor, nor do I know of any reputable vette mechanics in my area (Pittsburgh).

What do you guys think? Does anyone have any recommendations for mechanics within Pittsburgh or less than two hours away? Do you think a shop is going to be able to give me an accurate estimate?
sounds like many operator errors to me.the donuts and spring retainers work great and can be easily reached with an extension from between the collectors.the spring tensioners only need to be a little better than hand tight. go to any muffler shop in your area . they will be able to install properly for you.
irok is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2013, 07:34 PM   #11
erikszr1
CF Senior Member
 
erikszr1's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jun 2004
Send a message via AIM to erikszr1
Default

erikszr1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2013, 07:34 PM
 
Go Back   Corvette Forum > C6 Corvette, 2005 - 2013 > C6 Tech/Performance
Reload this Page My DIY header experience, in need of a few suggestions
 
 
 
Reply

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
XSPower C5 Longtube Headers Superman09 C5 Parts for Sale/Wanted 2106 11-21-2014 12:07 AM
My DIY LS7 Headswap jeffreystar C6 Z06 Discussion 139 10-30-2014 09:05 AM
XSPower C5 Longtube Header LABOR DAY Special $45 off + Free Ship! Superman09 C5 Parts for Sale/Wanted 40 10-04-2013 03:48 PM
Texas-Speed Header and OR X-pipe install and review Quil C5 Tech 23 04-02-2013 12:02 PM
XSPower C5 Longtube Header Systems! Superman09 C5 Parts for Sale/Wanted 125 02-24-2013 02:22 PM



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Click for Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:06 PM.


Emails & Password Backup