Headers Glowing red? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old Apr 12th, 01, 04:26 AM Thread Starter
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I just got my recently rebuilt 396 started for the first time last night. (finally!!) I was running it at 2000 RPM for 10 minutes to break in the cam, when I noticed the headers were starting to glow red. Is this normal? They are Flow-tech headers that were fairly cheap. I don't think that they are real thick walled. They are 1 7/8" into 3" collector. Also the #5 header pipe was not glowing like the others but was hot. What would you suggest that I check to find out why it was not running like the others. I pulled the sparkplug afterwards and it had a little carbon deposit.

Thanks in advance.
Greg
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old Apr 12th, 01, 06:44 AM
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Yes, headers glow red at night!! Kindda neat!

Change plug and wire with cylinder 5, and see what happens. May have to go to a step hotter plug on cyl 7.

Could also be poor fuel distribution cause by manifold design. A nice even glow is what one is seeking, right amount of fuel, jets are correct, good fuel distribution, etc.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old Apr 12th, 01, 08:04 AM
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New motors will run hotter when breaking them in.It may be jetted a bit lean check your plugs after driving it you want a brownish tint on the plugs.If its too lean you can burn a piston.I might catch some flack over this but IMHO I think if the headers are glowing red (after its broke in) its too lean, I would fatten it up a bit
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old Apr 12th, 01, 08:13 AM
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I noticed the same thing when I got my Z11. It's equipped with Borla stainless steel pipes and headers and they look like hot coals!
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old Apr 12th, 01, 08:18 AM
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I have often heard that on break in they do that. If it keeps up though, then your carb is probably running lean like everyone else said.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old Apr 12th, 01, 12:33 PM
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at 2000 RPM with no air flow by the motor any header will glow, at breaking it is normal. after breakin they will still glow just not as hot, if they still are glowing realy bright it could be a lean mix or late timing or both.

if your timing is late you will get glowing header's because the burn is not starting soon enough and is still combusting into the header's causeing a hotter exaust, with a lean mix you get hotter temp's too.

now some of the new cam's with ther long duration on the exaust side will give you a briter glow too. the exaust gases are flowing longer and that causes more heat to flow into the header. normaly it is not noticeable too much.

i like too see a nice deep orange glow at 2000 RPM after breakin, i know my mix is right and timing is right.

a hot almost white ornage glow is too hot IMHO. except at breakin.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old Apr 12th, 01, 01:34 PM
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Look at it this way, you have 8 cigar lighters under the hood, lol.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old Apr 12th, 01, 02:32 PM
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BreathWeapon,

now we all know why you have that handle!!!! you smoke a stogie and fire up your car to lite it!!!!!

you are funny dude!
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old Apr 12th, 01, 02:37 PM
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A rich mixture can do it too, the fuel burns in the headers! If rich enough, it can fry hoses at a foot and a half away!

Hot Rod has this topic in their new issue.
I forget the month, but there is a car with no hood and very tall injectors on the cover.
David

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old Apr 13th, 01, 09:03 AM
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Check your timing. If you have too much timing your engine (headers) will run too hot. When I first fired my motor I had too much timing. The headers even lit one of my spark plug boots on fire - keep in mind my temp guage said 160. After the timing was retarded and set correctly with a light the headers cooled way down.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old Apr 13th, 01, 06:51 PM
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Check your timing and carb mixture, then see what happens with normal driving. Ten minutes of revving an engine in a stationary car will cause an exhaust to run hotter than normal. This is true for a new motor or one with 50,000 miles. Its not that new engines have higher exhaust heat, just that the breakin procedure produces a hotter exhaust. New engines produce extra heat internally from friction, not the combustion heat that causes a header to glow.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old Apr 13th, 01, 07:46 PM
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It sounds like you have a bad vacume leek, probably the intake manifold. I would spay some either around the intake ports where it bolts to the heads if the rpm changes yank the intake and reseal it, and I bet that fixes your problem.
I hope this helps,
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 01, 05:14 AM
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I second the vac leak. Thats what happened to mine. One of the plugs on the carb was split. During the breakin, you have the rpm's up high enough to almost mask the problem.

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old Nov 16th, 01, 03:59 AM
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I have experienced this for the first time as of last night! Just fired my rebuilt motor, after a previous cam disaster, and lo and behold-the headers are glowing bright red! These are Flowtech shorties. The pipe that bolts to the collector was even glowing red as well. Kind of interesting. Did not seem to cause a problem so I just continued to break in the cam. Will check timing later and tune the Holley to see if the condition goes away or persists. Weird watching all of that paint turn red and just fall right off the pipes in a puff of smoke..

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old Nov 17th, 01, 03:00 AM
 
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I agree with all the inputs from everyone. I have found every engine that I break-in does the very same thing. I have found that the main cause is because you are running the engine at a higher power setting for an extended period of time without the vehicle moving. There is a lack of airflow around the engine and headers. Headers that are ceramic-coated will also do this upon initial break-in. However, to prevent engine damage, check timing and carb. jetting.
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