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View Full Version : Cheaper way for header project?



Black3800
11-28-2008, 03:42 PM
Anyone see a cheaper way of doing this? In my opinion there is a cheap way and the right way (in my opinion) I would like to put this all together as cheap as possible, Iím a college kid, thatís way. So I donít want to have a shop do anything.
I would like to buy some new pacesetter headers and all of the other things to go with it. I found some pacesetter headers with the armor coat for $342 shipped. I have my heart set on the coated kind. I think these are worth the extra money. Iíve read online that it is better to buy better gaskets so that is another $25. Also read that buying stage 8 locking fasteners are the way to go to attach the headers. Anyone know of a cheaper alternative, or are the bolts pacesetter sends you good enough? I think that I should buy a new catalytic converter (3Ē in/out) and that is another $60. Then I think I should make a new S pipe after the cat. I plan on buying a 180* 3Ē mandrel U bend (anyone know what radius I should buy?) and cutting it in half to make the turn. I donít have a welder so I hope band clamps will work to connect everything. That should work right? I also hope I can use my old O2 sensors because those things are stupidly expensive in my opinion. I heard that new headers kill O2 sensors for some reason. I just thought of thisÖI know I have an O2 sensor before and after the catÖis there one in each header also? I have a 1997 if that helps. I think there is a total of 4 but I could be wrong.

My total cost for this project is about $530ish. That is before buying new O2 sensors and having a bung welded in after the cat. Anyone that has put on headers find them really worth it? Or is it a $600 line to put on a FQuick mod list? I suppose I'm being impatient, but I would like to have all the supporting mods done in case I want to do something really fun with my car in the future? Also, 14's would be nice too. :)

I know I gotta pay to play but why do car projects get more and more expensive? Lol

freakv6
11-28-2008, 03:59 PM
Sounds like you pretty much have it down. The locking fasteners are not a must. if you choose not to go with them you will have to re tighten the bolts they send you a few times before the will stay. so it basically just comes down to whether your cool doing that or not. The headers have been fine with my stock o2 sensors, so i wouldn't worry about that. And yes their are one in each header as well. As for being worth it, its really dependent on what your goals are. With you going from cast manifolds to headers, your going to see a nice gain, as well as open up your options for future mods.

Black3800
11-28-2008, 05:46 PM
Thanks for the info. :)

I guess I'll just use the bolts they give me. I'm glad to hear that the stock O2 sensors will be alright. I read somewhere that new headers have some coating inside that when it burns off it will kill the O2 sensors.

My goals for my car is to be in the 14's. Then after that I would like to get into LT1 territory. That is far off in the future but it would be fun to tell my dad that my V6 is faster than his Z28. So I'm trying to knock out all of the supporting mods that I can for either a cam or nitrous. Again that is far in the future so who knows.

Thanks again.

freakv6
11-28-2008, 06:36 PM
Yea headers is definitely a step in the right direction for you.

SpeedingFirebird
11-28-2008, 10:04 PM
Sounds like you pretty much have it down. The locking fasteners are not a must. if you choose not to go with them you will have to re tighten the bolts they send you a few times before the will stay.

Save yourself the trouble and get locking header bolts. Trust me on this one. If you don't re-tighten in time, you'll have a blown gasket. The bolts that come with the pacesetters stink big time. I just finished switching mine over to Stage8 locking header bolts.

Black3800
03-04-2009, 05:03 PM
I know this is an old thread but I started it. lol

I'm almost going to pull the trigger on buying some pacesetter headers. For those of you that have done it how long did it take you? Its a nice day where I'm at and I went out to try and get the heat shields off. I got part of the driver side off. The only bolt I couldn't get has to be done from under the car. The passenger side I got 2 bolts off and rounded off the other two. :( that's when I stopped. 12 pt sockets suck.

I think I did alright for working on cold manifolds and no pb blaster.

I'm just afraid that I'll get to a point where I'm stuck or I'll break off a manifold stud. I can't see under the manifolds...are the bolts pretty easy and visible from under the car? What kind of extensions or swivels should I buy?

I'm going to buy an O2 sensor socket and I'm going to use my grandpa's impact gun for the old Y pipe and sawzall to hack off the other stuff.

I'm trying to get a feel for what I would be up against. I know other people have done it so that means its not impossible.

Thanks for the help again.

freakv6
03-04-2009, 05:55 PM
If you hit everything with some pb blaster the night before you should be golden. It is easily done in a day, and i have seen it done in as little as a 2-3 hours. Key is just to take your time and use plenty of pb blaster. With all that said, their is a good chance of breaking off a stud. whats good is the ten to leave a little out and you can grab on with some vice grips to get it out. Using that pb blaster will make this less likely to happen.

**just your standard extensions and swivel will work just fine, nothing special needed.

firebirddrvr
03-04-2009, 06:27 PM
do you already have a rear with some good gears? if not id invest in that first.

Black3800
03-04-2009, 07:24 PM
do you already have a rear with some good gears? if not id invest in that first.

Its on my to-do list. I've been looking for one out of a Z28 or Trans Am. I want the 3.42 gear, disc brakes, and a posi. I've searched craigslist, LS1 tech, ane ebay. lol when I wasn't ready to buy one they were everywhere. Now that I want one they are hard to find.

My dad's 95 Z28 has the rear I'm looking for but he won't let me have it for some reason.

Ok so I'll pb blast everything a couple days in advance once or twice a day. I'm just really really afraid of breaking off a stud. I would feel pretty doomed if that happens.

tmon930
03-04-2009, 07:50 PM
look around junk yards too.

firebirddrvr
03-04-2009, 08:06 PM
maybe you and i both will get lucky and find one with some 3.73's that would really wake them up. would be better bang for your buck too. switching from 3.08's to 3.73's could easily net you half a second off your 1/4

Black3800
03-04-2009, 08:25 PM
maybe you and i both will get lucky and find one with some 3.73's that would really wake them up. would be better bang for your buck too. switching from 3.08's to 3.73's could easily net you half a second off your 1/4

I'll be happy with going from 3.23 to 3.42 gears. I really want to be able to spin both wheels and be able to launch at a decent RPM at the track. lol

firebirddrvr
03-04-2009, 09:19 PM
i definately feel ya there

SpeedingFirebird
03-04-2009, 10:04 PM
Ok so I'll pb blast everything a couple days in advance once or twice a day. I'm just really really afraid of breaking off a stud. I would feel pretty doomed if that happens.

It doesn't hurt it hit them with PB a handful of times before you start.

Black3800
03-04-2009, 10:28 PM
Just ordered some headers, a new cat converter, some pipe to make my own S pipe after the cat to go to the rest of my borla stuff. :boing:

So not only am I repainting my back bumper, I'm putting on some headers for spring break. :dood:

EDIT: I just thought of something. My dad is gonna be mad when he sees a couple huge boxes with car parts delivered home. Now he is gonna want some lol.

firebirddrvr
03-04-2009, 10:48 PM
sweet should be cool. id love to eventually go to true duals with custom h pipe and borla xr1 mufflers.

Will
03-05-2009, 12:53 AM
Its on my to-do list. I've been looking for one out of a Z28 or Trans Am. I want the 3.42 gear, disc brakes, and a posi. I've searched craigslist, LS1 tech, ane ebay. lol when I wasn't ready to buy one they were everywhere. Now that I want one they are hard to find.



My dad's 95 Z28 has the rear I'm looking for but he won't let me have it for some reason.





Ok so I'll pb blast everything a couple days in advance once or twice a day. I'm just really really afraid of breaking off a stud. I would feel pretty doomed if that happens.


1 Makes me laugh, and the bulleted one has happened to me :( The header bolt broke one me :(

Black3800
03-05-2009, 01:13 AM
I don't know what I'll do if a stud breaks off. I read a horror story about someone putting on new headers and the bolt snapped off flush with the head. Had to take it to a shop to have the head removed and have the stud removed. $700+ to do that and that's not good.

EDIT: Isn't another good way to help a header bolt/stud come out is to add heat? My room mate says to get a small torch and heat up the bolt before undoing it. Any input on that?

freakv6
03-05-2009, 10:00 AM
Yea the heat works well too, just be careful. Because as most gm cars im sure yours has some oil build up from something leaking. wouldnt wanna set anything on fire.

If the worst does happen and you break a bolt off, the easy out bolt removal kits they sale at the autoparts store does work pretty well.

Black3800
03-16-2009, 09:50 AM
Today's the day. I'm putting on my headers. wish me luck. I hope I did my research.

tmon930
03-16-2009, 10:10 AM
good luck man, vid or ban policy now instated...

freakv6
03-16-2009, 10:14 AM
Good luck man, remember patience is key. and lots and lots of lube. wait did that sound a little dirty?

Black3800
03-16-2009, 10:55 AM
man o man I think I'm gonna get frustrated. I've been out there for an hour and all I've got done is 1 manifold stud. It came out surprisingly easy. I tried cutting off my y-pipe/cat/s-pipe and got no where. Tried getting off my egr bolt, that sucker is on there. and I unplugged all of my spark plug wires. I got one of the y-pipe bolts to turn but didn't see the bolt on the other side. I'm home alone so I need hands and all of my friends are not on their spring break yet.

But me 1 manifold stud 0

I almost wonder if I'm in over my head. :(

freakv6
03-16-2009, 11:01 AM
Did you soak everything down with PB Blaster? Key is to not get frustrated. You will get it, just gotta take your time with it. Another set of hands is nice to have, no buddies that can help at all?

Black3800
03-16-2009, 11:13 AM
I got 2 more studs. :boing: I thought those were gonna be the hardest part but they are coming out really easy (knock on wood)

I've soaked everything in pb blaster for the last 2 weeks every other day. lol

Most of my friends aren't back from school. My spring break came early. Or they are working. lol the ones that would be available I wouldn't want near my car. I'm getting it. at least I made a dent in the project.

EDIT: well I just broke off the egr bolt. I'm assuming I can just go buy some new bolt for my headers. I hope that won't cause me any troubles. lol I was kinda happy just to break it. I showed it who's boss.

freakv6
03-16-2009, 11:24 AM
Yea i had to make any a trips to the hardware/auto store before. not a problem at all.

Black3800
03-16-2009, 11:38 AM
I hope I'm not doomed. I went after the front most passenger side stud. I am not kidding. I put the socket on it and the stud fell out. :( It looks like it broke off really deep into the head. It clearly wasn't holding anything. Is it going to be possible to put on my new headers like that? I hope I can get everything tight enough that it won't leak. :confused:

freakv6
03-16-2009, 12:01 PM
thats one of the ones that always breaks. most likely you will have a little bit hanging out u can gt ahold of with some vice grips. if not then an easy out set will take care of it. if you cant get to it right now, that bolt being out will not be the end of the world. though i do suggest fixing it eventually.

Black3800
03-16-2009, 01:28 PM
Dang, 3 hours and hardly anything to show for it. At least I'm breaking stuff, bleeding, covered in PB blaster, and frustrated. amidoinitrite? lol

Kinda disappointed, the last manifold stud I went after broke and now the y-pipe bolts are breaking.

I want these old manifolds out now!

freakv6
03-16-2009, 02:18 PM
Yea man thats just how it is with 10+ year old cars. Once you get it all out, things get simpler though. keep at it.

Black3800
03-16-2009, 03:49 PM
I know I'm sounding like a wuss but I've hit a wall of what I can do. Nothing is turning anymore.

Why are O2 sensors such a pain in the butt? I can't get any of them out.

I was hoping to have the new headers almost on by now. And I still have a lot of studs to get out.

freakv6
03-16-2009, 03:57 PM
they make specail sockets that work best on 02's...do you have one of these? Can you not get to the rest of the studs? or are they just not turning? Nothing you can do but keep cranking on them. one of two things will happen, just hope for the better of the two.

Black3800
03-16-2009, 04:14 PM
lol yeah I'm hoping for the better option.

I have an O2 sensor socket but still can't turn them.

I went out to cut my y-pipe with a sawzall and relieve some anger. First time I've ever used one. Vibrates like a mo-fo lol.

My y-pipe is dangling by one bolt but that's the two person job.

I'll get it, just thought I'd be closer to being done.

freakv6
03-16-2009, 04:19 PM
Yea this is why its good to have members of the board close and do mod days. makes things so much more fun/easy.

Black3800
03-16-2009, 04:46 PM
I rounded off the O2 sensors even with the magic O2 sensor socket. So I cut out this section and put the he-man grip on them with vice grips then stood/bounced on it until it got loose.

http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p194/footnfool/IMG_1762.jpg

freakv6
03-16-2009, 04:55 PM
ah, the he-man grip plus bouncing......a very common thing with stuck bolts. lmao

Black3800
03-16-2009, 05:57 PM
I GOT ONE! WOOT WOOT!

that one broken stud is in the head. No getting that one. :(

http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p194/footnfool/IMG_1765.jpg

lol I couldn't get that o2 sensor.

freakv6
03-16-2009, 05:58 PM
woot! keep it up.

Black3800
03-16-2009, 06:00 PM
I forgot to put this question in my last post. Is the old gasket at all usable? What about the metal piece in the middle of the two gaskets?

Haha this too...the dumb thing scared the poop out of me when the last stud came out. It was comin for my face!

Black3800
03-16-2009, 08:58 PM
Got everything off. :boing: I am going to leave 2 studs on the driver side because I don't want to risk breaking them. The driver side went much faster once my dad got home to help. Having 4 hands is much better.

The only casualty is the broken off stud in the passenger side. Hopefully things will seal.

http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p194/footnfool/IMG_1770.jpg

freakv6
03-16-2009, 09:08 PM
so the new ones going back on? and no, none of the gasket is reuseable. gotta go new.

Black3800
03-17-2009, 12:01 AM
13 hours from when I started I got the headers on. I still have to hook up the y-pipe, egr, O2 sensors, probably some stuff I missed, and hill billy rig the rest of my exhaust. I did get the two studs out. So I'm happy about that.

Any good tips for lining up/ rebending the egr pipe? It goes in the hole but it needs more convincing.

I had to buy new O2 sensors for the headers, I kinda destroyed the old ones trying to get them off. :-/

:boing:
http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p194/footnfool/IMG_1772-1.jpg

freakv6
03-17-2009, 08:59 AM
i cant personally say for the egr, as i deleted mine when i did headers. I would definitely be careful about bending though, the egr has a tendency to be a good place for an exhaust leak.

Black3800
03-17-2009, 03:19 PM
Here it is with everything up to the catalytic converter. Sounds better in person, the camera makes it sound more higher pitched for some reason.

So far so good. I'm also surprised that it didn't set any code because I had the last O2 sensor not put in yet. Then again I didn't have it run for very long.

Doesn't sound to bad.

http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p194/footnfool/th_MVI_1776.jpg (http://s128.photobucket.com/albums/p194/footnfool/?action=view&current=MVI_1776.flv)

Black3800
03-17-2009, 03:53 PM
Ok now I have some issues. I drove my car to an exhaust shop to put in the S pipe from my cat to the rest of my system. At low rpms my car vibrates really really bad. It sounds like the interior is going to shake itself apart. I made sure that nothing was hitting anything so I don't know what it could be. My car runs fine. It is just really flippin loud. Would it being that loud shake it like that?

Will
03-17-2009, 07:38 PM
Oh Im in love!!

freakv6
03-17-2009, 09:30 PM
its no problem, our interior rattles like hell when the exhaust is dumped under the car with no muffler. wait till after your exhaust is all together to see if it clears up.

Black3800
03-18-2009, 07:35 PM
lol now I gotta add to my post pacesetter install problems.

Driving around today after I got my new pipe put on. (sounds good by the way) I set two codes. P1133 O2 sensor bank 1 sensor 2 ( I think) something and P0141 something about air/fuel mix. I was without the rear most O2 sensor for a while, but now it is plugged in.

I had the codes deleted and unplugged my battery to hopefully do something.

Any ideas on what I have to do?

Thanks for the help again. :)

freakv6
03-18-2009, 09:50 PM
the P0141 is common after a hight flow cat. Only way to get rid of this one is a sim, hp tuners, or putting a good cat on. This doesnt effect driveablility or performance at all if the light doesnt bother you though.

P1133 is insufficent switching bank 1 sensor one (which im pretty sure is you drivers side front 02 sensor (right off the header). didnt you change this one? Aftermarket (non GM) 02 are real finecky. This could be a bad 02 you picked up. you might see if you can find a used stock one to replace it. Also may wanna check the connection on this one.

Black3800
03-18-2009, 10:00 PM
I had a high flow cat before and it didn't have a problem. I had a dynomax before and now I have a catco.

I put in a brand new O2 sensor in both headers. I kinda don't want to buy a new one because they aren't cheep. How would I buy a used one? I'll check connections tomorrow when I change my oil. I can live with a SES light but to me its just wrong. My computer is from PCMforless.com and I'm hoping it would have been tuned out or at least modified so the O2 sensors won't give me trouble.

I hope the headers didn't kill the O2 sensors.

EDIT: I just thought of something. I could put the "old" before the cat sensor into the header and just switch them. That would put a "used" one in the header and a newish one somewhere else. Eh...worth a try.

freakv6
03-19-2009, 09:10 AM
You would have had to told PCMforless.com to specifically delete a code if you didnt want it, so i really doubt they did. I would say 90% of the time a high flow cat throws the second code. Yea you can try swaping the sensors it may help. As long as you can deal with the light i dont think it will be a problem. I just hate the ses light being on myself.

firebirddrvr
03-19-2009, 05:24 PM
yeah it gets kind of annoying!

freakv6
03-19-2009, 05:30 PM
any news on your car firebirddrvr

firebirddrvr
03-19-2009, 11:24 PM
yep had 2 bad coils which im hoping is the ONLY cause for misfire! had misfire in 1,4, and 5. 1 and 4 are tied to the same coil and then 5 on one. i took em both off because...why not right 2 more seconds to get it off, and had both autozone and oreileys test and failed at both on both coils. called summit and they have 2 new msd coils on the way to be here tomorrow. after that, i send the old ones back for a refund of the purchase price of the second set. ill let everyone know tomorrow afternoon hopefully if this has solved my problems. if not next step is wires, but hopefully it doesnt need to go that far!!!

tmon930
03-19-2009, 11:55 PM
you know what would make that car sound even better? A BIG ASS CAM!!!! sounds good man.

Will
03-20-2009, 12:14 AM
you know what would make that car sound even better? A BIG ASS CAM!!!! sounds good man.

yeah, that would be cool!





edit: tmon is awesome!

Black3800
04-06-2009, 05:16 PM
the P0141 is common after a hight flow cat. Only way to get rid of this one is a sim, hp tuners, or putting a good cat on. This doesnt effect driveablility or performance at all if the light doesnt bother you though.


I'm about to buy an O2 sim.
this is what I'm looking for right?
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&refid=store&item=280284795450&category=33557&viewitem=

freakv6
04-06-2009, 05:41 PM
i have acutally never seen one like that. i have always used

http://www.afterthoughtsauto.com/o2sim.html

from the description that seems as though it would work though.

Black3800
04-06-2009, 05:51 PM
I guess I'll try the $15 route. I hope it works. But it seems like it wouldn't get enough exhaust flow.

flamingchicken
04-06-2009, 08:49 PM
just go to your local parts store and buy whats called a spark plug non-fouler....same thing.
http://www.energeticforum.com/renewable-energy/1387-o2-sensor-modification-using-spark-plug-non-foulers.html

Black3800
04-06-2009, 09:42 PM
whoa...I've never seen or heard of those before. I'll have to consider doing this for my header O2 sensors.

Thanks for that link. :boing:

caspernicus
04-07-2009, 11:20 AM
The o2 sensors in the headers are used for fueling.

The post cat sensor is the one you want to install that on to
keep from throwing a code.

Bonemaro
04-07-2009, 11:52 AM
I'm about to buy an O2 sim.
this is what I'm looking for right?
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&refid=store&item=280284795450&category=33557&viewitem=

Funky. I wonder if this even works.


i have acutally never seen one like that. i have always used

http://www.afterthoughtsauto.com/o2sim.html

from the description that seems as though it would work though.

This is the exact sim I'm running. Works perfectly.

Black3800
04-07-2009, 01:02 PM
I read through the sellers feed back and it seems to work alright. Who knows...with my luck nothing will work lol. I think the main issue with my SES light is one of my header o2 sensors. I'll find out this weekend.

flamingchicken
04-07-2009, 10:10 PM
i havent had header o2's in my car since i did headers, and the funny thing is the ses light is very intermitten...i put the scan tool on it at work and there wasnt even a stored code...