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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
okay, so i have a problem, and been trying to figure out for the past 2 hours why this is happening, kind of came to a conclusion but im not sure.

My headers i am installing, Hooker Headers, part 2451, very nice, and installed nice.. BUT when installing and putting the gasket on.. i noticed that:

1. the last bolt on the very left hand side, {driver side header) will not sit flush! The bolt threads thru, but the headers r not flush to the block, even with gaskets, the following picture is hard to see, stupid camera, but u can see a very small gap between the header gasket and the block. cant someone tell me if i need a thicker gasket or....*PICTURE 1*

2. my headers are very very very close to the power steering box, 99.5% away from touching.. i wouldnt even be able to slip a piece of paper thru!! obviously the engine is gonna vibrate, and with time, headers will be damaged! how do i get rid of this problem, it clears the powersteering perfectly otherwise.*PICTURE 2* Is it because my mounts are big block mounts, which tend to the sit the car a tad lower? should i replace the big block mounts with small block?

3. Also, i am using ARP 12 point heads, how the heck am i suppose to get a wrench around the bolt to tighten it and apply 40 ft lbs of torque, if i cant even get a socket or a wrench around the bolt?

PLEASE HELP!:(:mad:


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Looks like your motor is sitting a little to far forward?
hhmmm.... I have the same headers and steering box and the steer box sits nearly dead center between #1 and #3 exhaust tubes. Just an observation. Arent the 302 mounts suppose to sit the engine further back in the car? Or is it forward?
 

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i bet your header flange is bent from welding at factory
hooker has been slipping when it comes to quality control lately.
you can get those bolts in but youll have to sacrifice a wrench.
I have made a wrench that gets in there by grinding the box end to make it thin wall and also put a few bends in it to get in there.
but your best bet is to get socket head bolts and use a ball end allen wrench to get them tight.
 

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okay, so i have a problem, and been trying to figure out for the past 2 hours why this is happening, kind of came to a conclusion but im not sure.

My headers i am installing, Hooker Headers, part 2451, very nice, and installed nice.. BUT when installing and putting the gasket on.. i noticed that:

1. the last bolt on the very left hand side, {driver side header) will not sit flush! The bolt threads thru, but the headers r not flush to the block, even with gaskets, the following picture is hard to see, stupid camera, but u can see a very small gap between the header gasket and the block. cant someone tell me if i need a thicker gasket or....*PICTURE 1*

2. my headers are very very very close to the power steering box, 99.5% away from touching.. i wouldnt even be able to slip a piece of paper thru!! obviously the engine is gonna vibrate, and with time, headers will be damaged! how do i get rid of this problem, it clears the powersteering perfectly otherwise.*PICTURE 2* Is it because my mounts are big block mounts, which tend to the sit the car a tad lower? should i replace the big block mounts with small block?

3. Also, i am using ARP 12 point heads, how the heck am i suppose to get a wrench around the bolt to tighten it and apply 40 ft lbs of torque, if i cant even get a socket or a wrench around the bolt?

PLEASE HELP!:(:mad:
1. You should be able to lay the headers on the floor and the flange should be perfectly flat. What you may be seeing is that the flange should not actually touch the head. The header pipe extends past the flange slightly and acts kinda like an o-ring seal. Pull the bolts out and lean the header back so you can see behind the flange and you'll see it. If the pipe is not touching the head, that's another issue and should be addressed. Stick a credit card or playing card or something thin in there against the gasket to see if it contacts the pipe and maybe you'll be relieved.

2. Big block motor mounts are the same as 350 and 302 mounts. If they fit the frame stands at all, then you have the correct frame mounts. Switching to small block mounts (which most parts stores call the 307/327 mounts) will actually lower the motor when used with those frame stands.

3. I have tried the allen head bolts. I didn't like them as essentially the allen head on mine was too small to actually torque properly and just damaged the head. The best I have found are header bolts with a 3/8 head and serrated underside. You can actually get a socket or box end on all of them.


If you want to stay with that model, you may have to heat up the pipe with a torch and "clearance" it with the banging tool of your choice. A piece of pipe laid on it and hit with a sledge would leave the cleanest lines.

If you've got an eighth inch of clearance, I'd say you've got enough. The motor is going to lift on that side when you romp it anyway.

BTW, looking at mine (Summit/Dynomax), your motor looks to be in the right position.
 

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An old trick I still use:Cut the header flange between 1 & 3 and 5 & 7 to allow the flange to sit flat against the head in just this kind of instance.
 

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Had 2451's for long time, I got tired of putting up with driver side collector hanging down too low and scraping on bumps. I switched.
I used 6 pt small head ARP bolts with UltraSeal black gaskets, no issues. Use a long 3'8's 12 pt box end wrench to tighten bolts.
As for the sealing issue, as someone already mentioned, there are welded beads that are ground down to act as sealing rings. Need to check to see if you have one bolt hole not elongated enough to pull that flange down. Yes, check for flatness of the flange.
Yes, you need a spacer on the front bolt near the ps.
My headers did not fit this close even when after converting to ps. Something off here.
 

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I think everyone missed the fact that the headers are not tightened down yet. Even if they are slightly warped (normal) once you torque them they will usually flatten out. One other issue with the front tube (besides not having the power steering pump bolted through it) is the bolt could be too long and bottoming out before the headers is flush. As mentioned above when all else fails cut the header flange in two places.

I don't know if I would change motor mounts if the car has been running fine like it is. That could lead to other issues. If the car was built around the mounts you have I would probably leave that alone. If you change the mounts be prepared to modify or adjust you tranny mount/crossmember, possibly need a different drive shaft length, If you're running an HEI it may become an issue with firewall clearance, exhaust system may need modificatons, etc.. Just be sure to look it over and see if any of these things will become an issue or if any of these issues are something you are not willing to deal with.

As far as getting a wrench on the bolts, you will have to modify a wrench or shop around for a wrench with a thinner box end.


*EDIT* If you guys look at the picture, the headers don't even have all the bolts in them. I bet once they are tight and follow the angle of the heads he will have more clearance to the steering box. Right now they are hanging straight down. Double check to make sure there is no trash or damaged threads in that front hole, you might want to chase the threads as well.
 

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Good catch Royce, I agree... On the header tube and steering box you only need a few thousands clearence as the engine will only torque away from the steering box. Mine is very close and I have no vibration or heat transfer issues effecting my steering. On torquing the header bolts if you use high collar lock washer and tighten the bolts just to the point of collapsing the washer flat your bolts won't loosen.

http://www.speedwaymotors.com/High-Collar-Lock-Washers,1180.html
 

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Yes, it should flatten out once all the bolts are in for sure. Set up the power steering up and make sure it lines up correctly. Hooker supplies a PS spacer, a longer bolt is needed to go through the spacer, flange and into the bolt hole.
 

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As others have mentioned, the header flange will not sit perfectly flat against the cylinder head because of the weld bead that attaches the tube to the flange. This is what seals the header to the head because that bead presses into the gasket. Percy's dead soft aluminum header gaskets are some of the best I've used. They are reusable and are slightly thicker than most other gaskets so you will have better sealing with them IMHO.

As far as tightening the bolt goes, my recommendation is to get a 12 point 1/4"drive socket the size of your bolt, and put a short 1/4" extension on it, and step that up with a 1/4" to 3/8" adapter. Then use a 3/8" extension if needed and put your 3/8" ratchet on it and tighten away. The reason for using a 1/4" drive socket is that the walls of the socket are usually thinner than a 3/8" socket, thus giving you more clearance.
 

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You DO NOT have big block mounts. The 302's and 350's used the same engine mounts, as the big block does. As far as the frame stands are concerned, if you had big block frame stands, you would have a lot more clearance ! The engine would be "offset" to the passenger side 1". If you are worried about your engine moving, install Energy suspension engine mounts and your engine won't move. I would leave it as is, and let the header tubes make their own clearance if it moves that much.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I would leave it as is, and let the header tubes make their own clearance if it moves that much.
I would want to do this, but I am scared about damaging the header, perhaps even piercing holes in the tube? I really dont want to make a dimple, but if that what it takes, i guess its gotta be done..

Am i worrying about something that wont even happen, do you think leaving it, and having it touch very minorly will evenly allow its own clearance and over time, make its own dimple?

And i like the idea of using allen key bolts, maybe even cut the allen key, attach it to the end of its specific socket size, and tighten it with the torque wrench.

What is everyones thoughts of dimpling the headers vs leaving it be and letting it make its own clearance?

btw, I will cut the flange, i think that will make life much easier, right now i am using the gaskets by hooker [ones that came witht he headers] OR i can use fel-pro, which are make for just the tube, meaning the gasket does not cover inbetween the tubes of the flange..
 

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I would probably tap a pry bar in between the header and the steering box, to slightly flatten the tube a little, so it won't wear from contact. Be careful that you don't have a sharp point on the pry bar that may pierce the tube.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
well like djd said, you only need 8th of an inch of clearance, maybe i can make a little dimple just so that it doesnt rest on the power steering.
 

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I ground down the mounting points on my power steering box and it now sits deeper into the frame. Do a search there are plenty of posts about this.
 
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