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Summit Shorty Headers


I bought a set of Summit Shorty headers about a year ago and they have been hanging on the wall of my garage since then. I decided today is the day to install them. I figured I could do it in an hour or two. I thought wrong.

Tools used:
I'll add them when done.

Stuff to have on hand:
Rust Remover

Well I didn't start until around 2:00 pm so that was a bad idea right there. I'm going on a trip to Calico with a bunch of other Bronco drivers next weekend so I have to finish it tomorrow. 

I started by spraying every bolt I could see with a good amount of Rust Free and let the whole thing have a good soak. The last thing I want to do is break a bolt on the exhaust manifold. After I let it sit a while I removed the 16mm bolts where the Y pipe meets the manifolds. I had removed them before so they weren't to hard to remove. I then pulled the spark plug wires and taped the number order on them so I wouldn't get them mixed up when reattaching them. I then started backing off all the bolts. The drivers side came off pretty easy. 

After I had the bolts out I pulled out the manifold. I don't know how this thing did not have an exhaust leak before since there were no gaskets between the manifold and the heads.

I started the two end bolts then slipped the gasket in place. I then started the rest of the bolts and turned them as far as possible by hand. The bad thing is with the design of the headers there is very little room between the bolt holes and the pipes. This means you can't fit a socket over the 7/16" bolts. You have to use an open end wrench and turn between 1/8 and 1/16 of a turn at a time. Still it only took me about 15 minutes to change out the drivers side header. 

Now the fun began. I knew from other write-ups that the passenger side is a real bear compared to the drivers side. The fuel injection system hangs to the right side of the engine and all the smog crap is in the way. You would think having a lifted truck would make this easier from underneath, but not really. The Y pipe meets there and they're is  just no room to reach up and do much to reach the back two bolts. There is also the EGR valve attached to the manifold that is one more thing in the way. 

It took me about an hour to wrestle out the old manifold and again there was not gasket. At least I didn't have to scrape one off. I spent another hour going up and down trying to get the end bolts started so I could drop in the gasket. I ended up having to start the front bolt and installing one in the middle and snug it up so I could just reach in and get the back one started from beneath. I then backed out the middle bolt and dropped in the gasket. I got all the bolts snug except for that damn back one then, with the back one only 1/2 way in but tight against the pipe I could not budge it. I could get a wrench on it but couldn't get the room to turn it. 

What I need to do now is back off all the other bolts so I can move the header forward enough to tighten the back bolt, then retighten all the other bolts. I got dark really fast with the cloud moving in so I decide to call it a night. Not 5 minutes after I moved the tolls in the house it started raining. At least I didn't get wet. 

1/28/06 I guess I never updated this write-up. I will have to do it soon. But in short I have to get my Bronco smogged soon and I was getting a exhaust leak. I got lucky and it was just the Y-pipe had worked itself loose. I managed to partially melt a couple spark plug wires an before I put a new set I bought on I need some exhaust wrap. Most auto parts stores won't have this so you need to got to a place like Summit or in my case I'm kind of lucky since PAW is only about 20 minutes away. I don't like the look of the off white bandage wrap so I also picked up a can of high temp flat black to go with it. The directions say it helps to seal and protect them so I guess it's a good thing.

This is one PITA job doing it on the truck. It would be more of one to remove the headers first so I started wrapping them up. The directions let you know how long to cut each piece first. In the case of the front one on the drivers side, it's 1 1/2" and just over a foot long. With one bend it calls for 86" of wrap. That's over 7 feet. Sure enough it was just the right length. I took many breaks since the bending over the fender to wrap these is hard on the back and knees.

The passenger side was much more fun. First thing I did was pull all the smog stuff so I could get to it. I also had to do each pipe in multiple pieces since the pipe were so tight I couldn't slip the wrap between them. The back one was the most fun. Try not only wrapping it one handed by touch only but then installing a zip tie the same way. I also wrapped the EGR tube while I was at it.

I will have to let them dry and next week I will paint them and button it up so I can get the Beater smogged.

Last Update: 05_14_2005