Upgrading your Exhaust Header can bring noticeable power gains to your vehicle. Torque and horsepower increases come by virtue of larger-capacity pipes facilitating more exhaust away from your engine. Exhaust Headers by DC Sports or Heartthrob, for example, also regulate engine temperature to prevent overheating and ensure efficient engine performance. Tubes connected to each cylinder work together in a coordinated effort to ensure your engine reaches peak peformance.
It is a labor-intensive job installing one of these to your own car, but installing a performance Exhaust Header is far from impossible. Some mechanical background will be helpful, as will a deep socket wrench. A partner will also help immensely with certain aspects of the job. Also, please note that the following guidelines are for the installation of the exhaust header ONLY, and not a complete, front-to-back exhaust system overhaul. These will only take you as far as re-attachment to your current mid-pipe.
Please note:In the guidelines that follow, the word "manifold" will be used to describe your stock set-up, whereas the phrase "exhaust header" will be used to refer to your new system.
- Unpack your new exhaust header and lay out all hardware and implements. Make sure that all hardware that should be present is accounted for and any necessary tools are available before beginning.
- Disconnect your negative battery terminal. It is important to eliminate the possibility of electrical charge as you move in and around your engine block. Unplug your electrical oxygen sensors. Some applications will also require that you remove your air box.
- From underneath your vehicle, unbolt your exhaust's mid-pipe from your stock manifold. You will need to COMPLETELY REMOVE this mid-pipe and take it down to properly access and install your new header. Be forewarned: it will be fairly heavy.
- Disconnect any and all hardware and equipment that prevent you from properly accessing your manifold. Spark plugs can be removed, and alternators can be placed out of the way. When removing equipment for the express purpose of getting to your manifold, it is important to remember exactly where everything goes and how everything connects.
- Unbolt and remove your manifold. Sometimes, this will necessitate unbolting both from above and below, and others it will involve unbolting from both the driver's and passenger's sides. However your engine comes together, you will need to access your manifold and unbolt it from two different vantage points.
Helpful Hint:It's important to note that not every installation application will be exactly the same. These guidelines will give you a general idea of how this project will come together, but strictly adhere to the installation instructions included with your particular Exhaust Header, for your particular vehicle.
- Determine if any studs need to be replaced or augmented, and make the necessary adjustments to your system. When everything is set, install your new performance exhaust headers to the relevant areas. In some circumstances, for convenience purposes, it is acceptable to hang your new headers from the studs prior to fastening. When everything is set, bolt everything all the way down to the head, as tight as you can manage.
- When your headers are in place, with all cylinders matching up and all bolts fully tightened, re-attach everything moved, disconnected, and placed out of the way earlier. This includes everything mentioned in Step #4, as well as any air boxes.
- Re-install your mid-pipe and gaskets to the back end of your manifold, ensuring as secure a connection as you found in the first place.
- Connect your battery terminal, turn on your engine, and listen to it sing! Every hundred miles or so, at least for the first couple, you should check to make sure all bolts and fasteners remain securely tightened. The last thing you want is for any part of this system to come undone during vehicle operation.
Upgrading your engine's exhaust system with a performance Exhaust Header improves your engine's functionality. Everything about it works more efficiently thanks to improved exhaust expulsion. It's not an easy job, not by any means, but installing one yourself (ideally with the help of a friend) can be a rewarding experience. If you need further help as you go about your task, feel free to call our friendly Customer Service staff at 800-663-1570.