Any tips or specs for removing/installing the cast iron shorty header?
Hey Mr. DT,
This is an issue with which I have had a wealth of experience.
The easiest way to do this is to pull the engine, and do the work on an engine stand. If you don't want to do that, then the next way is to remove the top of the engine including the heads, and remove the Headers on a bench.
, if you insist on doing the work with the engine in the engine bay, then you need to follow the ensuing instructions.
The VERY FIRST
thing that you NEED to do is take the Headers loose from the Exhaust Pipes. The NEXT thing is to loosen the 9/16" Grade 8 Upper Exhaust Flange Bolts.
, BEFORE you attempt this seemingly innocuous feat, you will have to do the do the following BEFORE
you remove the Spark Plug Leads from the Spark Plugs, or take the Ignition Lead out of the Distributor, as you will need to have the engine to where it will run.
In order to loosening the Top Exhaust Bolts it will be necessary to check to see if the heads on the 9/16" Grade 8 Exhaust Bolts are capable of withstanding the use of a six-point, 9/16" socket without rounding off the corners, and if they aren't you are going to have to obtain a Metrinch set.
Prior to attempting the loosening, soak the upper Exhaust Bolts liberally with Aero-Kroil, Liquid Wrench, WD40, PB Blaster, Quaker State QS14, Yield, and any other penetrating liquids on which you can lay your hands. None of this did ME any good, but it can't hurt and you can't get TOO
much of this stuff into the open end of the Upper Bolt Holes in the Cylinder Head Exhaust Flanges.
Do this for two to three days (or more) before even TRYING to loosen a bolt.
When you are satisfied that you are ready to start loosening the bolts, start the engine, and bring it up to operating temperature in fact, the hotter the better. You might even block off the radiator to get the engine up into the 210 -220 range. Then begin loosening the bolts in any order you find convenient. You can even do this WHILE the engine is running, wearing gloves to keep from getting burned, and no sleeves to keep from getting any clothing caught in any spinning parts. It's a risky thing to do, but well worth the risk if you are successful.
You MAY need a breaker bar to get the bolts to come loose, and even with all this preparation, you still may STILL break off a bolt or two or three or... Well, you get the picture.
BUT if you're lucky, I mean if you're REALLY lucky, you may get all the bolts to break loose, and if you do, consider yourself blessed by the Gods of the FE Engines, and the Murff of the Great NorthWest.
If perchance you DO
break off a bolt, or two, or three, or... you have no choice but to continue on.
Once all the bolts are loose, or broken, you can then shut off the engine, and you will be ready to get ready to remove the bottom bolts.
Remove the Oil Dipstick Tube. and remove the Shift Linkages on the Driver's Side.
You will need the vehicle to be up off the ground on Jack Stands so that you can reach the Bottom Bolts. These will not usually break off as they are in blind bolt holes.
The Bottom Bolts on Cylinders One and Five can be gotten with a 9/16" wrench from the top front of the engine. The rest are going to have to be gotten to by contorting your arms into all kinds of odd and unusual positions which will sometimes preclude your being able to SEE what you are doing, and you will have to do it all by "feel".
One of the MAJOR "PITA"s is the un-bending of the Locking Tabs. This is done with a long metal rod, and a small hammer and is a "hit and miss" situation (literally).
Once the Locking Tabs are all bent away from the Grade 8 Bolt heads, the bolts can be reached with short 9/16" open end/box end wrenches, sockets on extensions, and U-Joint sockets on extensions. It's a "do it any way you can think of" type of situation, entailing the turning of the steering wheel to move the steering linkage to get access.
Once all the bolts are loose, you can then remove them which will get the headers separated from the heads, BUT you still may not be able to get the Headers to come out of the engine bay without taking the engine mounts loose and jacking up the engine depending on the year and model of the vehicle.
This job is a beeeatch, and for a lonnnng running narrative of this process, you might want to read the threads titled: "The Great Exhaust Manifold Removel Caper
", and "The Great Exhaust Manifold Reinstallation Caper
They are a quite complete (with JPGs) and sometimes humorous, sometimes pathetic running narrative of everything
that can possibly be done
right AND wrong, everything
that can possibly go
right AND wrong, and at least a dozen suggestions that may or may not work in any given instance, including the use of Propane Torches, Acetylene Torches, Right Angle Drills, Files, RotoTools, Slots, Screwdriver Sockets and LOT and LOTS and LOTS of cursing.
But once the task is finished, the just lying under the old Gal feeling the warm glow of satisfaction is immense. Especially when you realize that what it REALLY is is HEAT STROKE
! For THAT I recommend a cold shower, and a Tuna Salad Sandwich!
The manual says: 12 to 18 ft. lbs. BUT since you can't get a Torque Wrench on any bolt other than the Top Bolt of Cylinder Three, you are just going to have to tighten them as tight as they will go, and let it go at that.
bolt sequence tightening?
From the center out. BUT this too is but senseless speculation as you will find that you will just have to do it any way that you can.
The use of Gaskets is a persona preference thing. The same with the "type" of gasket (if any). Some insist that no gasket is necessary, and that only some kind of lubricant will suffice. Some prefer High Temperature RTV Silicone. I personally used LPS 1 Greasless Lubricant due to ease of application. One just gets the Headers pulled up to within 1/32" of an inch of the Cylinder Head Exhaust Flange Face, and then using the little red squirt tube right up against the gap, one just depresses the valve of the rattle can, and capilliary contraction takes the lubricant EVERYWHERE there are two coinciding surfaces.
Any gotchas or watch out fors?
YES! Broken Upper Bolts, and "Cross Threading" of the Bottom Bolts when reinstalling.
Something that you might also do is to run a 3/8" tap through the top Bolt Holes to clean the threads BEFORE attempting reinstallation. AND use LOTS of Never Seize. And then to preclude Breaking any more bolts: On New Year's Day, as part of your celebration, go out and loosen and then retighten the Top Bolts as a maintenance
Good luck, and if I can be of any assistance, just give a whistle.
Oh, and too... Tim, Scott, Gary, Richard, and SouthernGAL (I can't for the life of me remember HIS name), et al are also compendiums of wisdom that is priceless in times of consternation.
Hope this finds YOU doing well.
How's THAT for brief, Gary? (typing time 3 minutes and 9 seconds)