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Old 01-05-2014, 02:58 PM
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Muffler/X-pipe/locking header bolts? Advice

currently on my 68 chevelle (327) I have spintech mufflers and the sound is pretty loud during cruising or up hills at a slow rpm. also have blown a couple head gaskets due to loosing header bolts. what would you fellas recommend for header bolts? I have seen those locking header bolts on summit are they any good to use? also looking at magna flow mufflers, how do you guys feel about running them or any other muffler with a classic muscle sound, but not making you deaf while your at cruise speeds? the last muffle shop got the exhaust pipe to close to the under carriage on passenger side and it vibrates at certain rpms tried to bend it down but just always returns, and now I am going to ceramic coated long tube hooker headers anyway, so figured would change all at this time. i also read that these coated headers need to go through several heat cycles before they fully cure. how short are the cycles? short drive or just sitting and idle until hot and turn off, so the metallic coating is not damage or discolored? benefit of running an x-pipe? will it make a noise reduction? if so maybe I will keep the spintech mufflers advice pls.

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Old 01-05-2014, 03:30 PM
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Blown a head gasket? You mean header gasket ?

I run studs on my headers, and a second nut to lock it.

X ipe rams the exhaust columns together. A H balances the 2 sides.

For a mature exhaust note I like a fully welded turbo muffler in series with a glass pack. Place the muff as far back as possible. Tips out the back.

To be honest I never found much difference between a full 2.5 " dual and a 3" dual power wise. The 3" made more noise, but perhaps I just never needed more than 2.5"...

Last edited by spinn; 01-05-2014 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 01-05-2014, 08:03 PM
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I run Borla XL mufflers on the blower car, but when you hammer it, they sound off...loud, the blower has a lot to do with it, but I like the sound. This is on a straight dual exhaust, no X pipe. I have ceramic coated Hooker Super Comp headers, and they turned grey within days of initial start-up. The under construction picture shows them new, the driveway picture after I had just painted the car, was taken after only a few hours of driving time (while in primer).

As far as coatings, on my T-Bucket I have Sanderson headers and pipes, with their Aluminized Ceramic coating, "almost" like chrome, see the picture. There really was no break-in per se, but definitely wipe finger and hand prints, any oil or other liquids off with rubbing alcohol before you start it. Once they bake in they're there to stay. These are on a healthy BBC, plenty of heat and no discoloration, they're coated inside and out. The closeup shows the finish after about a month.
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Old 01-06-2014, 12:14 AM
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Run the exhaust all the way to the back of the car. Type of mufflers really shouldn't make a huge difference. A crossover will tame it down a little.

As far as header bolts and gaskets I've had great luck with ARP stainless 12 point bolts and the stock exhaust gaskets you get in rebuild kits made for cast iron manifolds. Collector gaskets I use dead soft copper with with the all metal style locking nuts. Not the nylock locking nuts.

As far as breaking in the header coating follow the manufacturers recommendation.
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Old 01-06-2014, 06:51 AM
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Stainless Allen head bolts from Lowes for header bolts.What makes the header bolts come loose is when the exhaust pipes are to ridged, or when the pipes won't flex with the engine torque & frame flex.
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Old 01-06-2014, 12:23 PM
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I've had the best luck using safety wire on header bolts, you can even buy predrilled bolts now. SS wire is very heavy duty and easy to cut off when required.

I worked in the aircraft industry where everything is safety wired so it's second nature for me and I have the wire twister and wire on the shelf, good set of pliers is not that expensive and a spool of wire is cheap.

Good investment for future projects, I consider it a must have for things like oil pump bolts etc.
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Old 01-09-2014, 09:02 AM
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I've seen plenty of guys twist the safety wire backwards...dont do that.
Ive used Stage 8 locking fasteners. Those little clips can be a pain in the butt; but they sure do work. Also, make sure that the flange on your headers is true and flat. Use paper or dead soft aluminum gaskets and retorque the bolts after a few heat cycles, with the engine stone cold.
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Old 01-09-2014, 12:49 PM
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have you tried just using cut locking washers?
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Old 01-09-2014, 02:56 PM
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The first thing you fellows need to consider when buying headers is the flange thickness. The thickest you can buy (3/8") is not thick enough in my opinion. If someone made headers with 1/2" flanges, I'd buy 'em. Thinner flanges tend to warp up like a potato chip when they get hot and spit out the gasket.
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Old 01-09-2014, 03:04 PM
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Tech if you had access to a welder, what could you do to the flange to strenghthen it?
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Old 01-09-2014, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spinn View Post
Tech if you had access to a welder, what could you do to the flange to strenghthen it?
Not sure I'd try to re-engineer someone else's mess. Personally, I'd rather begin with virgin pieces of 1/2" steel and make my own headers from scratch using 14 gauge 90's and 180's.
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Old 01-09-2014, 04:17 PM
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As far as flange/gasket/fastener combo goes I've had the best luck with the Hedman Elite flange thickness, Remflex gaskets and safety wired nuts on studs with SS belleville washers under the nut.

It's the only combo I've found to hold up over time as well as a stock cast iron type.

The key to me is the Remflex gaskets, best thing since sliced bread if you ask me.
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