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Exhaust Header Replacement  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: 05-08-2011 06:17 pm
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SpeedyMitch
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After trying several patching compounds I'm coming to the conclusion that a full exhaust header replacement is likely the only way to fix the cracked welds at #4. My plan is to replace the stock header with the part from Delta.

This does *not* look like a fun job. I have been reading the tricks about how to nudge the motor to the left, etc. But even with an extra inch of clearance this looks to be a PITA.

For example, I don't see how to get the header out/in with the steering column in place?

I have a full car lift available but it is not convenient. The alternative is ramps. How much of this job can be accomplished from above vrs contorted below?

Any suggestions, encouragement, or other ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Speedy Mitch

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 Posted: 05-08-2011 06:31 pm
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JodyKerr
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Mitch,

 

Read my writeup here: http://www.jensenhealey.com/forums/view_topic.php?id=1453&forum_id=2&jump_to=9464#p9464

The major differences in regards to the one piece header are:

1) Yes you have to remove the steering. Clean it up as best as possible and use whiteout to make alignment marks. Also take good photos to help you remember which way it goes in.

2) The one piece unit is slightly easier to fit. But defnitely get the slimmer copper nuts.

3) I recommend you get the header Jet Hot Coated before installation. It will improve engine compartment heat, fight rust, look cool, and walk your dog all at the same time.

This may sound silly, but I'd rather do the repair with the car up on jackstands than in the air. I find I have to alternate between attacking it from the top and bottom. Also with the engine lifting aspect, it's easier for the home mechanic to do that at ground level unless you have a gantry hoist.

It's a patience game.

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 Posted: 07-20-2011 06:37 am
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SpeedyMitch
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I did the yoga moves and got all 12 nuts/studs off the old header (about half came off with the stud).

Now I'm stuck trying to remove the steering column. The lower pinch-bolt has play and the splines can move. The upper pinch-bolt is not budging. I sprayed it with PB Blaster and gave up for the moment.

Any hints or alternatives to removing the upper pinch-bolt?

Thanks in advance,

Speedy Mitch

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 Posted: 07-20-2011 01:16 pm
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jcdean
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While in the Navy I used to watch the divers remove and install propellors on the subs.  They would have a crane lower a very large crows foot into the water and then place a 15 foot breaker bar onto it.  They would then place an extremely large scale on the crane hook and run a cable off that to the end of the breaker bar.  If the nut did not pop loose at the propper reading on the scale they would keep the strain on and place a small explosive charge on the nut.  This almost always worked.

 

Hope this helps.

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 Posted: 07-20-2011 02:34 pm
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Jim Ketcham
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Carefully focused heat usually works on stubborn nuts. 

I also found that loosening/removing the 2 steering rack bolts/nuts makes removing the steering linkage must easier by allowing more room to side the linkage off the splined shaft.

Good luck,

Jim

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 Posted: 07-20-2011 11:08 pm
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terryhowarth
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I'm so glad my car is right hand drive.

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 Posted: 07-21-2011 06:31 am
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Mason Jones
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I had the same experience as Jim, I couldn't get enough movement in the steering column for the joints to separate only instead of loosening the steering rack I removed the bolts holding the steering wheel under the dash. Removing the 2 steering rack bolts sounds much easier but I couldn't get a wrench on them because of the way they are inset in the rack housing.

I was convinced the joints were frozen until I loosened the steering wheel end of the column then it slipped right off.

If you can get a camera in try taking a photo of the top knuckle(?) joint. Or maybe there's one somewhere already. It can flip 2 ways and when I first put it back together I had it wrong and it bumped the header when turning the wheel. Had to loosen everything and flip it the other way then it cleared.

Mason

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 Posted: 07-21-2011 06:43 am
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Mason Jones
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Not sure if this was clear but loosening one end of the steering column meant I didn't have to take the top knuckle apart, just the bottom one.

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 Posted: 07-21-2011 01:37 pm
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pbahr
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Just use an air-powered cut-off wheel and grind the bolt off. Works every time.

YELODOG

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 Posted: 07-21-2011 07:43 pm
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SpeedyMitch
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Thanks for everybody's help.  Here is a quick update.

I used quite a bit of explosive language and PB Blaster and finally go the top and bottom pinch-bolts out.

I then loosened the rack from the frame to get more space but the top knuckle was stuck to the splined shaft. More PB Blaster and more explosive language. In working the top knuckle out I pulled some part of the steering column through the firewall. That can't be good. I'll post a picture when I get a chance.

With the steering shaft now sitting on the floor I find that the old header will NOT come out through the space between the firewall and the bell housing. I'm going to have reach up and cut it into parts to extract it. That should be fun!

Hopefully the new header will fit through the gap.

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 Posted: 07-21-2011 08:34 pm
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jcdean
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Explosives!

 

Works every time.

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 Posted: 07-21-2011 08:34 pm
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pbahr
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You probably sheared the Nylon column collapse bits...
I replaced mine with soft copper wire

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 Posted: 07-21-2011 08:36 pm
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subwoofer
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You can easily gain 2" or more of sideways clearance by hoisting the engine, removing both engine mount rubbers and tying the passenger side engine mount down. That effectively tilts and shifts the engine - could be just the space you need.

I have done enough angle grinder wielding in tight quarters, having a cutter disc disintegrate inches from your face while under the car is NOT fun.
--
Joachim

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 Posted: 07-21-2011 09:23 pm
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pbahr
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Joachim, you have to get SOMEONE ELSE to do it ! ! !

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 Posted: 08-11-2011 11:01 pm
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SpeedyMitch
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SpeedyMitch wrote: With the steering shaft now sitting on the floor I find that the old header will NOT come out through the space between the firewall and the bell housing. I'm going to have reach up and cut it into parts to extract it. That should be fun!
Update: Success (mostly)

I had to cut the old header into 2 pieces to extract it. The new header fit and installed much easier. I had a flange installed to mate the new header to the old exhaust system. On the road again!

HOWEVER: I found that the motor mounts are in terrible condition. I have replacements from Delta but was not able to raise the motor enough to get them in place. The driver-side motor mount is fully split making it impossible to position the motor so that it does not touch the steering shaft.

Any suggestions on how to replace the motor mounts without pulling the engine?

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 Posted: 08-12-2011 12:14 am
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Mason Jones
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SpeedyMitch wrote: Any suggestions on how to replace the motor mounts without pulling the engine?
You're not gonna want to hear this but... I think the header has to be off to be able to raise the engine enough to get the new mounts in.

It's been over a month since I installed the Delta and my memory is horrible so someone please correct me if I'm wrong but I seem to remember that the tail of the header bumps the bottom of the car as you raise the engine. I learned this the hard way. I remember lots of swearing. I bit the bullet and took the new header off again as my mounts were split as well. I think I was lucky in that I had not put all the bolts on the header yet.

On the plus side, I guess it's better than having to remove the engine. Oh and don't forget to loosen the transmission mount. There wasn't much left of mine after I forgot to do that.

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 Posted: 08-12-2011 01:18 am
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Mason Jones
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This may be stating the obvious but I didn't see it mentioned here. Some of the header bolts and steering column were easiest to get to through the wheel well with the wheel off and the car on jack stands.

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 Posted: 08-12-2011 03:45 am
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SpeedyMitch
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> I think the header has to be off to be able to raise the engine enough to get the new mounts in.

I agree. No chance with the header in place. I had the header off but the bell housing was hitting the firewall and preventing me from raising the motor enough to fit the mounts.

I think I'll pull the motor in a few months to take care of the busted motor mounts as well as get to some other issues.

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 Posted: 08-12-2011 05:48 am
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Mason Jones
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What are the chances of pulling the engine with the header in place? Is that a bad idea? I'm wondering because I'll be swapping engines sometime in the future. I seem to remember someone mentioning that somewhere but can't find it now...

On the steering column clearance issue... I had to put a big washer under the left motor mount to raise it just a tiny bit. I also had to cut the end of the lower steering joint bolt off where it stuck out from the nut so it wouldn't bump the header when I turned the wheel. Not sure if that's normal (for the Delta header) but it was the only way I could get it to clear and it only clears by about half an inch.

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 Posted: 08-12-2011 12:04 pm
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Jim Ketcham
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You definitely can pull the engine with the header in place, as well as, install the engine with the header in place.

Shimming the engine mount for clearance is quite common and often necessary

Jim

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