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Old 01-22-2012, 06:10 AM   #1
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Header bolts - don't be afraid

So, after reading many tales of woe on this and other formus, I was really concerned about trying to remove my header bolts.

I had sprayed them with Liquid Wrench several times over the last couple of weeks while the car is up in the air for Winter project work. I then read about mixing acetone with auto transmission fluid, which is supposed to make a penetrating fluid that is better than anything you can buy at the store according to some test data I found, so I did that too.

The day finally came yesterday, so I heated up the head (not the bolts) with a propane torch, thinking it was better to expand the aluminum than to heat and expand the steel bolts, then I sprayed one more time with acetone/atf.

All 12 bolts came out as smooth silk.

I don't know if some of my steps were overkill, but I hope this may save someone else another tale of woe. Oh - be carefull of the acetone around hot surfaces, and make sure you don't get anything too hot that has been or will be sprayed with that stuff.
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Old 01-22-2012, 08:17 AM   #2
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It can be hit or miss based on where the car was located, how it was driven, etc. My 2.5 bolts came out like cake. Ten of my 3.4 bolts had to be drilled.....
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Old 01-22-2012, 02:00 PM   #3
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It can be hit or miss based on where the car was located, how it was driven, etc. My 2.5 bolts came out like cake. Ten of my 3.4 bolts had to be drilled.....
Yeah - I may have just been lucky - hard to know.

I guess my luck ran out today. I had assumed that my new headers came with new bolts, but of course there were no bolts in the box. So, I got to waste a couple of hours today driving around Atlanta looking for enough M8 x 30 bolts to do the job.

Then, I found that the cable from the front O2 sensor doesn't quite fit up the way it's supposed to. So now I have to wait and call Fabspeed.
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Old 01-22-2012, 03:45 PM   #4
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Do you have to replace the header bolts - I was under the impression that you could re-use the originals but with a new gasket.....?
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Old 01-22-2012, 05:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAP1DOUG View Post
Yeah - I may have just been lucky - hard to know.

I guess my luck ran out today. I had assumed that my new headers came with new bolts, but of course there were no bolts in the box. So, I got to waste a couple of hours today driving around Atlanta looking for enough M8 x 30 bolts to do the job.

Then, I found that the cable from the front O2 sensor doesn't quite fit up the way it's supposed to. So now I have to wait and call Fabspeed.
That is strange Fabspeed doesn't send bolts, very strange. Is your O2 sensor an original or a replacement at some time?
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Old 01-23-2012, 05:31 AM   #6
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It can be hit or miss based on where the car was located, how it was driven, etc. My 2.5 bolts came out like cake. Ten of my 3.4 bolts had to be drilled.....
I second that...
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Old 01-24-2012, 01:35 AM   #7
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Do you have to replace the header bolts - I was under the impression that you could re-use the originals but with a new gasket.....?
You probably could do that, but my bolts were pretty rusty, so I wanted new stainless fasteners. I think I also read in the Bentley manual that you are supposed to replace these.

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That is strange Fabspeed doesn't send bolts, very strange. Is your O2 sensor an original or a replacement at some time?
My O2 sensor was original. I called Fabspeed, and their sales guy said that he heard that on some installations you have to pull slack from the engine bay, which means I will have to unbolt the connector from the head, which is hopefully no big deal.
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