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The studs came out of my heads easy. They're made for an E10 socket (female Torx).


Ken
 

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I can totally relate! Funniest thing I've read in quite awhile! I've installed a lot of headers in my days as a mechanic. I learned a lot of tricks but every set of headers and vehicle is just so slightly different that it is always a learning experience. I've worked on some cars that the only way to put the headers on was to pull the engine, others just needed to lift the engine off the mounts a few inches. I don't think I ever did one that did not need some modification.

Has anyone installed the TRD headers. Did they fit better?

I'm going to need to get this done myself. I got a crack/leak in the passenger side header. I think I'll let my mechanic friend do this job.

Thanks for making my day!
:ts:
 

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This is, by far, the BEST thread I have ever read, and I belong to 4 owner groups, Tundra, Supra, RX8, WRX STI, and by far, this is, with out a doubt, the BEST, well written, and well follow upped on thread, I too went through the pain and torture of this install.....

Hats off to all that read and wrote on this thread, and to the dude that started this thread, if you are ever in Denver Colorado, Please let me know, as I will buy you a steak dinner at the outback or texas road house...
 

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Headers

Thank you Stoner. Great humor and tech info. I am getting ready to do this myself with some JBAs. Were you able to use a torque wrench once you had all the correct sockets?
Thanks
Bob
stoner said:
So I get my SSAutochrome headers from eBay for $124 shipped. They arrive and they are pretty sweet for the money I paid. The flanges are crazy thick and the welds look great. They aren't exactly race quality looking into the collector, but I didn't pay for race quality; my main goal was to imake an improvement over the factory setup while eliminating the annoying exhaust leak on the passenger side manifold.

Having read about warped flanges on Tundrasolutions, I laid the flanges face-to-face. They aren't perfect, but they are pretty close. I didn't slide in a feeler gauge, but the teeny bit of daylight I did see between the flanges looked small enough to ignore. The nuts and bolts and gaskets were all present as well as two full sheets of "race" stickers for my bumpers, windows, quarter panels, etc. I'll do a before and after dyno pull and report how much horsepower the stickers add in an upcoming thread.

I "borrowed" some Aerokroil spray lubricant from work, bought $30 worth of gaskets from my local stealership and picked up some long extensions and ratchet wrenches from Harbor Freight. I had no luck finding a mid-depth socket as recommended here, but a couple folks mentioned just making my own with a hacksaw and a file. Thursday night I sprayed all the nuts/bolts with kroil.

Friday night I got the truck jacked up on stands and removed the passenger side tire and inner splash guards. Sprayed all the nuts/bolts again. I got the exhaust heat shields off with no trouble and immediately gave thanks for my new 24" extension. As advertised, the top four nuts are pretty accessible with an long extension, a universal joint and a deepwell socket. I used my 18" breaker bar on all of 'em, and that thing has paid for itself a hundred times over. The front and rear lower bolts were not too much trouble, though my forearms are starting to get pretty chewed up from all the creative reaching I am having to do to get the socket onto the nuts.

Now the two inner lower nuts are all I have left. I bought a spare 14mm deepwell with the intent of cutting it down to size for these two nuts, but I thought I would just give it a try first with the unmodified socket. By sacrificing a little more skin and hair on my forearms, I was able to get the socket on one of the nuts and then connect the universal, extension and breaker bar. When I pulled on the breaker bar the universal scattered itself all over the floor due to the extreme angle I forced it into.

I am too filthy to get cleaned up and get to Autozone before closing, so my amused bride runs for me. In the meantime, I tried removing the exhaust y-pipe. The three nuts holding the pipe to the collector flange were no fun. I immediately found myself wanting a three-foot piece of rigid pipe to augment my suddenly inadequate breaker bar. I sprayed 'em all once more and leaned into them with teeth gritted. When the first one broke free, I thought for sure it has snapped off the stud. The socond was just as difficult. The third split my Craftsman 6-point deepwell. Great. I still had my extra cheapo Autozone socket, so I shortened up the extension and tried an angle from in the wheelwell instead of on the floor. It worked, and now my wife has returned and laughs at how dirty I am (face and hair full of dried kroil and rust flakes from lying under my work - real smart, eh?).

I remove the rear bolts holding the y-pipe (no problem), drop it and encounter the joy of trying to disconnect the weatherpack connector for the O2 sensor. I ended up unmounting the connector from its attachment point so I could get two fingers from each hand on it. I tried three different size screwdrivers to seperate the two halves, but this thing is kicking my butt. Affter 30 minutes, I give up and decide to take off the manifold so I can get a little more slack in the wires.

I took my newly-ruined craftsman deepwell socket and clamped it in a vise. The split was only about half the legth of the socket well, so I cut just behind the split and viola! - a perfect mid-depth socket. It only took maybe five minutes to cut through with a 24-tooth hacksaw blade and a little spray lube to keep it biting. With this new tool in hand, I made short work of the two most difficult nuts and pulled the manfold off the head. Let me say: A mid-depth socket is an absolute must-have item for this project! But don't buy one, just make one - it's cheaper and easy to do.

Once I got the manifold off and a little slack in the O2 wires, I was able to jam a very-small-bladed screwdriver into the connection point of the electrical connector and pop it apart. Once I got the manifold out, the O2 sensor came right out with a 7/8's open end wrench (I don't have metric wrenches that big - yet).

I install the new Toyota gasket and slip the new header into the engine bay from below (plenty of room). When I try to lay the header onto the manifold studs (I am using the factory hardware - I'll take studs over bolts any day), it won't...quite...fit. Despair. After a moment, I realize the holes are just a teeny bit out of alignment, prob'ly from when the flange warped ever-so-slightly when the tubes were welded on. It would have been nice if SSAutochrome had laid it back up on a jig and dressed up the holes a little, but again - for $124, I am not complaining out loud. I chucked up a bit in my drill and "adjusted" the holes a smidge.

This time it went right on, no sweat. I applied anti-sieze to all the original spring nuts (or whatever they are called) and began hand-tightening them. Now I see why the ratchet wrenches were called for. I had to get a lot more creative with the extensions (at this point, my 2" extension became absolutely necessary on one end of the u-joint), u-joint, wrenches and my arms in order to get any torque on these nuts. I tightened in sequence from the inside out in four stages, which got me familiar with all the different tool assemblies and body positions for each nut. I am so contorted for some of these, I can feel my shoulder and elbow and wrist joints separating slightly when I apply pressure to the ratchet/wrench. Fortunately, the sting of oil/grease/spray lube seeping into the thousand open cuts on my arms distracts me from the impending dislocation events.

The O2 sensor threads right in and the electrical connector snaps together instantly as if to mock me. I reuse the collector gasket and the new collector gasket as recommended here, and the new nuts and bolts. I have to install one of them upside-down (to my mind) because you can't drop in one of the bolts from the topside due to the O2 bung being in the way. Lots of anti-sieze on these nuts in case I ever have to pull them off again. Rear of the y-pipe bolts right up and we are in business.

I fire it up to check for leaks, and the absence of the annoying exhaust leak that started this whole mess is immediately apparant. No leaks at all - the truck sounds great.

I snap the splash guards back up and bolt on the tire. Dismount the driver's side tire and drop the splash guards, then spray everything with kroil and call it a night. Total elapsed time: FOUR HOURS! Holy cow - what took so long? Oh yeah: broken tool, modify a tool, fight with stupid electical connector, drill out holes on the flange, mini-breaks to let blood run back into my arms and out my many cuts, scrapes, scratches, hangnails or pool to form plenty of colorful and festive bruises.

Saturday morning I am stoked to attack the not-so-easy side. First a quick spray and then remove the dipstick tube. Going in through the fenderwell, I have all the manifold nuts off in ten minutes with my trusty new mid-length socket and fistfull of extensions. This is gonna be a snap! HA!

Again I am amazed at how difficult the three collector nuts prove to be. Again I thought I had snapped of a stud when the first one finally broke free. I am no bodybuilder, but I do hit the gym enough to know that I can bench press a little over 200 lbs and curl a little over 100 lbs. Let me tell you I am straining for all I am worth, seeing little spots in my vision and watching my muscles stand out as equal force is applied to both the nut in question and to pulling my elbow out of joint. The second one breaks loose. The last one just laughs at my best efforts. I finally get contorted enough to get some serious leverage on this sucker when it just rounds off as pretty as you please. I am using a six-point socket, but this doesn't seem to matter to this nut which is now the bane of my existence.

Taking a look at the transmission crossmember, it is patantly obvious that I will never be able to get the manifold/y-pipe assembly out as a unit. After removing the O2 sensor (the electical connector only fought me for five minutes this time) I try it anyway just to prove it can't be done. I prove it, but I am able to get the collector flange down several inches into a more accessible location. I tried hammering a smaller socket onto the round nut, but that just makes a smaller, uglier round nut. Being a man of action, I retrieve my BFH and trusty cold chisel, which is sharp as the devil himself. These Toyota spring-nuts (what is the proper name for these things, anyway) already have a "cut" in them to facilitate their grabbing whetever they are screwed on to. I start chiseling there and my wife yanks open the garage door to find out what all the ruckus is about. She is accustomed to the ever-present blue language coming from under the truck, but when I switch to the "bigger hammer" mentality, she knows it won't be long until the real trouble starts. This time I am able to reassure her that I am wailing on my pride and joy with a purpose and she ducks back into the house to start my favorite dinner - she knows just how to defuse me after a wrenching session degenerates into a hammering session.

After twenty minutes of chipping away steel and having no luck, I take another look at the transmission crossmember while my arms are lying on the garage floor and accepting blood once again. The joy of pounding on this last stupid nut has subsided, and now I just want to done. I grab my junior floor jack and discover it's reach to be too short to touch the bottom of the transfer case skid plate. A couple of four-by-fours later, and I make contact with the skid plate. A quick shot of spray lube and out come the bolts from the bottom of the tranny. Two pumps on the jack to raise the tranny off the crossmember and out come three of the four crossmember bolts, which lets me drop one side of the crossmember and pull the hated manifold/y-pipe.

I break out the trusty hacksaw again and slice off the chewed-up nut and manifold stud. Whew. Almost done. HA!

After cleaning the head mouting surface with a brass brush and sliding the gasket into place, I fish in the header. I am expecting it to not fit, and it doesn't disappoint me. I can't even get the front part of the flange into place because the rear mount of the power steering pump is in the way. Not by much, but enough that I can't just force it. Ten minutes with a file on the corner of the aluminum power steering pump mount and I get enough clearance to slip the flange onto the studs. As expected, the mounting holes don't line up. Really, how tough would it be for SSAutochrome to lay it back onto the jig and clean up these holes? I have to remind myself that the hassle is well worth the savings. Another session with Mr. Drill and I slip it back into place. It still doesn't fit. I have to remind myself that the hassle is well worth the savings. More drill. Still no fit. I have to remind myself that the hassle is well worth the savings. More drill. Still no fit. I wonder how strong this mild steel really is as I attack it wtih the drill yet again; I mean, it cuts pretty easy if I keep the bit lubed, but a couple of these holes are close to the edge of the flange and I am just making 'em closer.

Eventually, I spray the studs with lube and the header slides most of the way onto them. It won't fully seat on the head, but it's close. I am betting that I can just let the nuts pull it the rest of the way as I tighten them. After applying anti-sieze to all the nuts, I attempt to thread them on by hand only to discover that the driver's-side header is constructed in such a way that several of the studs are shrouded by the primary tubes and are only accesible by someone whose arm has no bones.

I have blocked this portion of the install from my memory, because I am ashamed of the words that came from my mouth and the evil thoughts that passed through my head towards Toyota and SSAutochrome. I try to remind myself that the hassle is well worth the savings. Somehow, I got all the nuts started on their respective studs through sheer willpower. Now to tighten them. In sequence. To spec. How the...?!

Again, this install cannot be done without a mid-depth socket, and the ratchet wrench paid for itself many times over. The header did indeed pull itself to the head with no protest, and I got pretty good at changing extensions, u-joints, ratchets and sockets using one hand, one boot, the crook of an elbow and my teeth and one eye socket. I must have looked like a monkey jumping from the engine bay to the wheelwell to the floor trying to get everything attached and lined up, only to give it a 3/4 turn before moving to the next adventure in self-torture.

After geting the header bolted on, the O2 sensor gave me a serious scare when it would not thread into the bung. I rested my head against the now-clean framerail (clean because all the dirt that had coated it was now in my hair, on my face, ground into my many wounds, under my fingernails, etc) and really considered weeping at the prospect of having to unmount this thing to find a fix for a buggered-up O2 bung. After finding my center, going to my happy place and consoling my inner child, I tried again and found that for some reason it went in. I really think God just took pity on his poor creature, because that thing was not threading in just a minute ago. The electrical connector gave me a fit. I read here that it almost doesn't fit on the driver's side, so I was prepared for it. Again, I had to grow a second elbow in my arm, but I got it to snap into place.

I got the y-pipe into place and got one bolt started on the collector flange when I noticed the collector gasket lying next to me. Yanked out the bolt and slid the gasket in, and bolted everything down with one upside-down again. Big handful of anti-sieze on these nuts so I never have to go through that hassle with this truck again. Bolt up the rear of the y-pipe. Bolt the crossmember back in, lower the jack and bolt the tranny back into place.

I reinstall the dipstick tube and give everything the once-over, finding a couple vacuum tubes that had popped loose when I was hip-deep in the engine bay. Everything looks good, so I fire it up and - no leaks. Thank you Jesus, Allah, Buddha, Yahweh, the Great Spirit and everyone else who made this possible. I remind myself that the hassle is well worth the savings. Back on go the splash guards and the tire. Out go the old manifolds, heat shields, busted u-joint pieces, half a socket, used-up hacksaw blade and such. When I get back in the house after sweeping up, I discover the elapsed time: SEVEN HOURS! WTF? This ain't my first rodeo! What is going on?! Oh, yeah - I got my butt kicked.

I didn't even drive the truck last night; I was too whipped. This morning, though, was the payoff. The truck revs much easier, and pulls stronger right around the 3000 RPM mark. I spun the tires turning onto main street, taking me by surprise because it has never done that before; it just tached right up! The best part is the lack of the exhaust tick that got me started on this project to begin with. So I can say this install totally sucked, but was totally worth it. My arms look like hamburger, but I am smiling.

Just thought you might like to know!
 

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Stoner,

Thanks for the single funniest post on this site... I read this once before, but it's a whole lot funnier now that I've experienced most (I have JBAs, so I didn't have to drill out any holes) of what you went through. EXCELLENT writeup!

Dave
 

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Thanx

Thank you all for the kind words. It was not my intention to write such a lengthy post, but the truth can be long and painful. My headers have held up well, and when I went back in to retighten everything, nothing budged.

BobM - I did put a torque wrench on all the nuts I could get a socket to fit, but when you factor in the universal joint I dunno how accurate those clicks really were. Most of the topside nuts can only be accessed with a ratchet wrench, so I just put some calibrated "oomph" on each one. IMHO, the real concern is to ensure you tighten in proper sequence to avoid leaks...

Bung Hole - I may take you up on your offer; I havent had a big ribeye from Texas Roadhouse in way too long...

By the way (if anyone is stilll reading) - they are still totally worth it!
 

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I really liked that long post. A lot of the same experiences that I had! I broke a socket, rounded a nut off, etc. Believe it or not, I managed to install my JBA's without removing the wheels, without raising the engine, and without having to grind on anything. Also I didn't have a mid length socket, or a ratcheting combination wrench. I just used what I had and a lot of patience! It was well worth it and they've already outlasted the original manifolds.
 

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Dude Boy said:
Believe it or not, I managed to install my JBA's without removing the wheels, without raising the engine, and without having to grind on anything. Also I didn't have a mid length socket, or a ratcheting combination wrench. I just used what I had and a lot of patience! It was well worth it and they've already outlasted the original manifolds.
Now that's impressive! :cool:
 

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I just wanted to thank everybody and all their stories....I tackled the headers install this weekend and while it did take alot of time I didn't run into alot of problems. Mainly because of reading everything and being prepared.


Although people advised against air tools I have no idea how I would have gotten this job done with out them. They worked great and saved me alot of time in some situations.

There are still a couple leaks because I have a couple nuts to put on yet on the driver side header but I picked up a ratchet wrench today that should do the job.


I was forced to drive to work today even though I knew my header instal was not completely done. ( I had no choice someone could work and it was either me going into work or closing the store for a day and loosing a whole day's worht of sales)

All together I ended up being forced to drive about 150 miles today in town. This was with 1 nut missing on the passenger side header and 2 missing on the the driver side header. I didnt check for leaking but I just assume they had to be with that many nuts not on yet. I never put the engine over 2000 rpm while driving specifically for this reason.

Do you think any damage could have occured during this driving time period?

Is it possible any warping could have occured even though it was such a short time?

I really wish I could have borrowed somebodys vehicle or get a lift to work but i had no choice. :cry:


All in all the install went smooth and just wanted to say thank you to all of you.
 

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i feel like an idiot.
i just gave toyota 330 dollars to have the left manifold and gaskets sent to me so i can install it.
Oh well, im not sure if those headers would pass IM in AK anyway
 

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I am not making this up.

I came into the Engine and Drivetrain forum this morning to specifically ask how hard it is to install headers. I think I have my answer.

:eek:
 

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It ain't too bad to install the headers... It takes patience....
 

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forcefedyota said:
it's really easy....once you have the block out....hahaha..;)
Haha I'll second that. I had to support the engine with a jack stand (with wood ontop) and undo each engine mount one at a time to get to some of the bolts. It's was a real PITA but once again well worth it :D.
 

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RobertT3 said:
It ain't too bad to install the headers... It takes patience....
Patience????

What's that? :confused:
 

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Cyberbilly said:
Patience????

What's that? :confused:
Patience is the ability and willingness to endure a task that takes a long time, especially one that is a pain in a a$% to deal with . It also means not easily getting angry when things don't workout. :D
 

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Has anyone paid to have the Headers installed?
How much would a job like this cost, because I don't think I have all the necessary tools to tackle this job.
I tried to prepare the truck by removing the manifolds while the Headers came in, but I only managed to get the heat shields off.
 

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Has anyone paid to have the Headers installed?
How much would a job like this cost, because I don't think I have all the necessary tools to tackle this job.
I tried to prepare the truck by removing the manifolds while the Headers came in, but I only managed to get the heat shields off.
Boy am I glad you picked this header thread to revive - stoner's write-up is truly a thing of beauty!!

I think I've read every header thread on here at one point in time, and the cost of installation seems to vary greatly. IIRC, about $400 was the low end, and others paid way more than that. Depending on your existing tool collection it'll probably be cheaper to buy a few tools and DIY than to pay someone else. If your toolbox is rather limited though...well, tools aren't cheap.

You didn't mention whether or or not you attempted to remove the manifolds themselves...just the shields. If you got most of the bolts off and are just stuck on a couple, buy the tools and finish. If you stopped right after the shields, then this might not be a good job for you to tackle yourself.

It's not that bad of a job, but it does take some patience. The first time i did 'em it took me just under four hours - without removing motor mounts. The next time was for some long tubes, and I did remove the mounts that time because there were clearance issues, and the mounts needed to be ground down a little.

With a little more info (current tool collection, how far did you get?) we might be able to give you a little more direction.


Nick
 

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If you are thinking about doing a BL also I would suggest doing it before the header job. I am in the middle of my header job now thanking God that i did the BL two months ago. I mean its like its ment to be, all the bolts are visable and right there for the taking (with the exception of the two under the motor mounts)

Tyler
 
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