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Old 05-23-2010, 10:24 PM   #1
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Talking Exhaust manifold - header bolts

I'm advised that I should not attempt to fit headers myself as the exhaust manifold bolts tend to sieze and break off. Is this the normal case or just an isolated few incidents.
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Old 05-24-2010, 02:45 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by ryuujin
I'm advised that I should not attempt to fit headers myself as the exhaust manifold bolts tend to sieze and break off. Is this the normal case or just an isolated few incidents.
I suppose it depends if the car was a garage queen or not. Take a look underneath. If there is any rust on those bolts I would say there is a good chance you'll end up with broken bolts.

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Old 05-24-2010, 05:07 AM   #3
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If you are in a hot dry climate you should not have a problem. If you warm up the engine and get the exhaust hot, the bolts should become easier. Cars in snow country where the road gets salt in the winter is where I see most problems occur. But you never know until you try. Be sure to have a good set of sockets...not the cheap ones. On removing bolts like this I like to use an impact socket...
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Old 05-24-2010, 02:53 PM   #4
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IMO, the seizing of the head bolts can be an issue in any environment. I would soak them thoroughly with break free. In any case you may break one or more it happens, I was being insanely careful the bolts just give. If you do break one, there are solutions provided you stop when it happens and assess the situation after hours off the project.

I broke two, one on each side in the same spot, had to be heat related, anyhow, I had to put timeserts in the head, so far I have detected zero exhaust leaks. If they do break, don't try to drill with anything but the hardest of bits, I used titanium successfully. It was a journey on my back in February but the sound is so cool I have not played the stereo since.

Last edited by eightsandaces; 05-24-2010 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 05-24-2010, 07:02 PM   #5
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Heat them till they're red hot before trying to loosen them. And ditto on using an impact wrench.
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Old 05-24-2010, 07:40 PM   #6
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Heat them till they're red hot before trying to loosen them. And ditto on using an impact wrench.
Using an impact is a great way to ensure you break them off. Impact socket? Sure, or any other good socket, but no to an impact wrench. Penetrating oil is your friend here. If you choose to use heat, you want to heat the aluminum head, NOT the bolt. The idea is to get the material around the fastener to expand, making for a "looser" fit. If you heat the bolt, you accomplish the exact opposite, which is not what you want. Warming the engine to operating temp can often help, as the aluminum expands more than the steel bolt anyway.
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Old 05-24-2010, 08:37 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ryuujin
I'm advised that I should not attempt to fit headers myself as the exhaust manifold bolts tend to sieze and break off. Is this the normal case or just an isolated few incidents.
Ryuujin:

Here is a link to the saga I endured in removing my exhaust manifolds to install headers:

http://www.ppbb.com/phorum/read.php?19,1552140,1552140#msg-1552140

You must have a Zen approach if you encounter any problems, or you will not be happy with taking on this project.

Regards, Maurice.
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Old 05-24-2010, 10:12 PM   #8
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Thankyou SCHOIR the advice and pics are great. It all leaves me a bit cautious about tackling this - but as you suggest, I'll Zen myself in and give it a go - Ill let you all know the result.

Many thanks to all who replied and thanks for the help and advice. I'll take pics if all goes to ********************. Hell I'll take pics if all goes to plan!
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Old 05-26-2010, 05:11 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by ryuujin
Thankyou SCHOIR the advice and pics are great. It all leaves me a bit cautious about tackling this - but as you suggest, I'll Zen myself in and give it a go - Ill let you all know the result.

Many thanks to all who replied and thanks for the help and advice. I'll take pics if all goes to ********************. Hell I'll take pics if all goes to plan!
Anytime!

One other word of caution. I found that getting the rear of the car up as high as possible made the job much easier, especially when trying to get an angle of attack as close to possible as 90 degrees. This is very important if you end up having to drill any of the broken bolts. Hopefully, yours will come out without any drama!

When you are under the car, if you can move your elbows above and across your body when you are reaching up, it should be high enough.

Don't forget that the torque for the 12 bolts into the cylinder head is very low...either 17 or 23 ft/lbs, IIRC. So, if you find a LOT of resistance when you are unbolting one, tread carefully. "Boxsterra" on PPBB had given me that advice and the torque value, but I can't find it right now.

Of course, make sure that the car is sitting very securely on good jackstands, and throw the rear wheels under the rocker panels as an extra safety precaution so you can have all your attention on the task at hand.

Looking forward to your progress.

BTW, the sound with the headers and the PSE is sweet enough that I would do it again!

Good luck!

Regards, Maurice.

Last edited by schoir; 05-26-2010 at 05:14 AM. Reason: add more info
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