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  #61 (permalink)  
Old 09-09-2010, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sqzbox
Yeah, that's a gimmie! Failure to do that shows "absence of forthought" and one probably has no business being under one in the first place. I just remove it because I'm a lazy mechanic and it get's in the way of my 6'4" frame. I've got the dent's on my head to prove it!
I'm only 6'1" but yea, it just gets in the way, and once you mark the hood the first time you don't have to do it again. I usually have a buddy to help though, doing it solo is a pain in the ***, wouldn't even attempt it on some cars.

On the headers- I bolt them up after I have the mounts and trans bolts in. headers are usually near the last thing I put on, similar to the radiator and shroud, and yes I usually pull the radiator, it takes 3 minutes and prevents the engine from slipping into it accidentally. When I pull an engine about the only thing left in there is the brake cylinder, steering assembly, and frame.

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  #62 (permalink)  
Old 09-09-2010, 02:00 PM
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Sounds good, I am dreading some of the header bolts... I'm sure most headers have there pain in the ***** bolts, and these hooker headers that are on now have some really tuff bolt locations.. I heard horror stories from my friend who's dad had the same headers... He switched to dougs and loves them, but those are really expensive I'll have to stay with these.


BTW! There was an exhaust leak on the passanger side between the header and the engine before the engine broke. I have never heard of getting headers machined, do I need to? Or will a new or thicker gasket eliminate the leak?
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  #63 (permalink)  
Old 09-09-2010, 08:00 PM
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I think the bolt in the middle of the driver's side header was put there by magic. You cant fit a box end around it, the tube is too close. You cant get behind it, tubes are too close to the block to get your hands around. Did I mention it's behind a tube as well? I'm seriously thinking about buying a grinding stone to attach to the end of a drill and grind the bolt head off.
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  #64 (permalink)  
Old 09-10-2010, 12:02 AM
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Make that bolt the last one you remove and use an open end wrench.
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  #65 (permalink)  
Old 09-10-2010, 01:41 AM
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It's wise to plan as much time on the headers as the rest of the engine combined. Chevy has easy header install, but plug changes are a little difficult and plug wires can be burned pretty easy. On Pontiac's, the headers are a bit#h, but plugs and wires are a dream. It's the old "you can pay me now, or you can pay me later".

Loosen all header bolts a little. Then remove #2 bolt back, then #3, and then #5. The notorious 4th bolt back cannot be unscrewed too far until the remaining #1 and #6 bolts are at least 3/4 the way out since the bolt head will dig into the tube. Removing the engine mount bolts and raising the front of the engine up about 2-3 inches really helps getting to the 4th bolt by getting the engine above the steering shaft. I like to get bolt #4 unscrewed almost all the way before finally removing #1 and #6 (then #4 removal is completed). When you re-install the headers, you MUST start bolt #4 FIRST. Any other sequence and you will never get it in - period. If you remove the headers for some reason, make sure you have them roughly in place before dropping the engine back in. And no, it's physically impossible to install the engine with headers attached.

Pontiac people develop a very strange catalog of wrenches to work on their headers - and none of these will include box end wrenches. My favorite is the ignition wrenches in normal and 90 degree ends. While you cannot tighten down a bolt with these, they work great in getting the bolt up to the snug point (and for unscrewing a bolt that has been loosened). Most of us also have several open end wrenches for headers that we have customized the ends by heating and bending. You can never have enough wrenches with different angles when working on Pontiac headers.

The manufacturer of the headers makes a big difference on ease of installation and removal. Doug's headers are the best and easiest to install and remove. The other manufacturers wrap the tube extremely close to the #4 bolt, but at least Hooker has a hole and slot so you can start the bolt and slide the header over the bolt and into position.

Last edited by lust4speed; 09-10-2010 at 02:05 AM.
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  #66 (permalink)  
Old 09-10-2010, 05:17 AM
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X2 on the wrenches- I can tell you've "been there and done that".

The wrenches that work best for me are the heavy duty ignition type wrenches, not those spindly (but cool) small, polished ignition wrench set tools like from X-man.

I've looked for an extra new Mac DA 14 tool (top in photo), to no avail. They appear on eBay every so often, but I'm sure other brands will have a comparable tool. The Meteor is a US made tool of unknown origin. But the basic type and shape shown is what you want- along w/the small, 7/16" hex head header bolts.

The tip about starting the fourth bolt back from the front is spot-on. I had forgotten about that, but it IS important. I have seen header pipes unnecessarily "dimpled" to allow access, something that can be avoided if the sequence lust4speed provided in the previous post is followed. And even if the pipe is hammered on, the bolt will still be trouble unless started first and removed as the flange is pulled away from the head.


Last edited by cobalt327; 09-10-2010 at 05:22 AM.
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  #67 (permalink)  
Old 09-10-2010, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt327
X2 on the wrenches- I can tell you've "been there and done that".

The wrenches that work best for me are the heavy duty ignition type wrenches, not those spindly (but cool) small, polished ignition wrench set tools like from X-man.

I've looked for an extra new Mac DA 14 tool (top in photo), to no avail. They appear on eBay every so often, but I'm sure other brands will have a comparable tool. The Meteor is a US made tool of unknown origin. But the basic type and shape shown is what you want- along w/the small, 7/16" hex head header bolts.

The tip about starting the fourth bolt back from the front is spot-on. I had forgotten about that, but it IS important. I have seen header pipes unnecessarily "dimpled" to allow access, something that can be avoided if the sequence lust4speed provided in the previous post is followed. And even if the pipe is hammered on, the bolt will still be trouble unless started first and removed as the flange is pulled away from the head.


I've been googling and searching for the hex wrench in your pictures, but I keep getting hex key wrenches. What is the wrench you have pictures called? I want to go get one!

There is a sears and a harbor frieght and a napa auto parts and an autozone by my house. Does anyone have a specific wrench they can recomend that I can buy there, or a link to the item if it's online only?

I'm going to follow the advice and lift the engine up a bit. just the motor mounts or tranny bolts too?
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  #68 (permalink)  
Old 09-10-2010, 09:52 AM
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another alteritive is 3 tube headers. I put a set on a 455 in my Lemans and had no problem with any bolts. Some people critisize three tubes but if you think about it none of the cylinders on the center two fire in sucsesion on the same bank. When I put them on, I felt an imediate gain in performance.
Throttle responce and bottom end torque really improved.
If I had to do it again I would just for the ease of instalation and bolt access.
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  #69 (permalink)  
Old 09-10-2010, 10:50 AM
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It's just not that hard to use 4-tube headers, IMO. The problem w/3-tube Pontiac headers is the center pipe is typically 1-3/4", the ends are 1-5/8".

No doubt 3-tubes are better than most any 'ordinary' cast iron exhaust manifold, but they do leave power on the table compared to 4-tube headers in all the testing I've seen.
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Old 09-11-2010, 07:44 PM
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Ok, my friend had a 7/16th angle head wrench. What a life saver, it's still a pain, but it's a cakewalk compared to before.

New problem! I cant get the flywheel to turn to get all the bolts, and the battery is dead. I dont have a big enough socket to fit over the main bolt on the crankshaft pulley to turn the engine manually. Does anyone know the correct socket size I need to get?
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  #71 (permalink)  
Old 09-11-2010, 11:23 PM
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It's takes a 15/16"!
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:14 AM
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I cranked it clockwise with a 15/16, and all that happened was the bolt got tighter! It felt like if I torqued it any harder, something was going to snap or get damaged. I couldn't turn the engine... How am I going to turn the engine and get the last flywheel bolt out??
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  #73 (permalink)  
Old 09-12-2010, 12:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam83
I've been googling and searching for the hex wrench in your pictures, but I keep getting hex key wrenches. What is the wrench you have pictures called? I want to go get one!

There is a sears and a harbor frieght and a napa auto parts and an autozone by my house. Does anyone have a specific wrench they can recomend that I can buy there, or a link to the item if it's online only?

I'm going to follow the advice and lift the engine up a bit. just the motor mounts or tranny bolts too?
Commonly known as ignition wrenches.
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  #74 (permalink)  
Old 09-12-2010, 05:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam83
I cranked it clockwise with a 15/16, and all that happened was the bolt got tighter! It felt like if I torqued it any harder, something was going to snap or get damaged. I couldn't turn the engine... How am I going to turn the engine and get the last flywheel bolt out??
The engine will turn by the bolt- w/o the bolt turning- if the bolt is correctly torqued to 160 ft/lbs, providing there's nothing internally wrong w/the engine and it's not in gear w/a stick shift trans.

So, first torque the bolt to 160 ft/lbs. Remove the plugs if you haven't already. Go on and turn the engine over w/the damper bolt.

You can also use the teeth on the flexplate to turn the engine over w/a heavy duty screwdriver or a tool made for the purpose. There are many- search for "flywheel turner".


The Performance W80510 Flywheel Turner


The KD Tools #2270 Is Another
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  #75 (permalink)  
Old 09-12-2010, 09:54 AM
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If you tryed to turn it with the damper bolt and it got tighter then it wasn't torqued down in the first place. With the crazy amount of torque ft lbs needed to tighten it up The biggest pain is holding the engine back from rotating while trying to reach 160lbs on the damper bolt. Removing the plugs will make a big difference in rotating the engine as there won't be compresion to hold it back.
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