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by: GorresKime

Description: Fabspeed Header Installation Information
Parts:Fabspeed Header $2565Fabspeed MotorsportsCeramic Coating - 2000 deg high temp black (optional)$190I used a local vendor:Applied Plastic CoatingsExhaust Manifold Bolt Set (optional but recommended)$21.60SuncoastHigh Temp Anti-Seize (optional but recommended)~$10PepboysTools:
3/8" drive ratchet3/8" drive extension 6" long3/8" drive extension 10" long3/8" drive universal joint3/8" drive 13mm socket1/4" drive 13mm flex socket13mm open end / box wrench13mm ratcheting box wrench10mm ratcheting box wrenchT25 Torx bit with T-Handlelarge adjustable wrenchtorque wrench3/8 to 1/4 drive adapter (not pictured)22mm crows foot (not pictured)Time:6 HoursDifficulty Rating (1-10):5 (not technically hard but it will try your patience)Intro:Here is a picture of the passenger side header from the rear looking forward (in case anyone out there is wondering):
You can see the header down tubes and the exhaust flange in the circled areas.Installing the Fabspeed header:After reading a few of the other exhaust/header install articles I decided to go the jack stand route of raising the car. This method provides better access to the exhaust flange bolts because you can remove the rear tires.Reference this article for instructions on how to properly get the car on jack stands:Using Jack StandsOnce the car was on jack stands I removed the rear wheels. I highly recommend the Boothe wheel hangers (I always use 2 when I mount or remove my wheels)Boothe Designs 1.) Remove the wheel well shields. The top nuts are 10mm and the bottom bolt is a T25 torx.
2.) Spray the flange nuts and Oxygen (O2) Sensors with some penetrating oil (I used WD40) and wait 30 min for it to do it's thing. I did not spray the manifold bolts.3.) Remove the driver side exhaust flange nuts (13mm nuts). I started with the top one as it is the most difficult. I figured if I could not get it loose, then I could easily back out of the mod and have it professionally done.After about an hour (this hour is not included in the time estimate) of trying to get this nut loose I decided to go to Sears to see what I could find to help. I bought a 1/4" flexible extension (on a tip from another exhaust article) and a 1/4" drive 13mm flex socket. I tried the flexible extension but found I could not apply the torque needed to break the nut loose. I did have success using the flexible socket pictured below:
Here is a shot of how I got it loose:
Once I broke it loose I moved behind the exhaust to remove as it was easier to apply the torque without so much lateral torque (careful doing this as you CAN bend the bolt).4.) Remove the two O2 sensors pictured below. I tried the 22mm crows foot first but could not break it loose. A 22/23mm Flare Nut Wrench would probably be the best tool but I decided not to make another trip to Sears and used an adjustable wrench instead. Once they are loose, unscrew the sensors. Pay careful attention to the wires so you do not damage them (unscrewing the O2 sensors twists the wires).TIP: The wires from the O2 sensors have clips to hold them in place. You can pull them out to give you more slack when unscrewing them. NOTE: There is another way of pulling the headers while leaving the O2 sensors in place but requires a bit more work (disconnecting the other end of the O2 sensor wire) so I opted not to use that method.
The Fabspeed instructions said to label the O2 sensors to make sure you don't mix them up but I don't think it is physically possible to mix them up unless you remove them from the car at the connection end (which I did not do).5.) Remove the driver side manifold bolts (13mm bolts). These were pretty easy to break loose (I was expecting a fight). The passenger side bolts even had some rust but come loose with just the socket wrench, 10" extension, and 13mm socket.
You will need to support the header as you remove the last bolt and the header requires a bit of maneuvering to get them free but not too bad overall.6.) Remove the passenger side exhaust flange nuts (13mm). These were easier to remove than the driver side ones. The top bolt did require the use of a universal joint just behind the 13mm socket.7.) Remove the passenger side rear O2 sensor as described in step 4. The front sensor on the passenger side is almost impossible to reach so I waited to remove it.8.) Remove the passenger side manifold bolts (13mm bolts). You will need to support the header as you remove the last bolt especially since the front O2 sensor is still attached. I carefully worked the header down to the ground (I use an old carpet to provide padding) and then removed the remaining O2 sensor.TIP: With the header removed, the O2 sensor is hard to remove because there is nothing bracing it. I had one of my kids come out to help with this step.Both old headers are now removed... take a break and have a beer! :beer:OK, now that we're lubed up a bit :cheers: lets get on with the installation. :)9.) If you plan on using anti-seize, now is the time to apply. I added it to the manifold bolts, flange bolts, and O2 sensors. Be careful to not over-apply the anti-seize. Just a light coating is plenty. Below is a picture of the manifold bolts with anti-seize applied.
These are the copper gaskets and flange nuts/bolts provided with the Fabspeed header (only one headers worth shown but both supplied):
TIP: Double check that the stock gaskets are no longer attached to the manifold or exhaust flange :)10.) Install the driver side header (13mm bolts). This is a bit awkward because you have to hold the header in place while you get the first manifold bolt screwed in (make sure the copper gasket is in place!). Once the first bolt is in about 1/2 way, try to support it while you get the others in place (you don't want to bend the bolt :eek:). Leave the bolts a bit loose to give you a bit of play when you install the exhaust flange bolts.
11.) Install the driver side exhaust flange 13mm nuts and bolts (make sure the copper gasket is in place!). I put the bolts in with the bolt head on the exhaust side and the nuts on the header side of the flange. I did this because I wanted to drive it from the head and the nuts have a larger, flat washer-like side that helps when holding with a box wrench. I left these just a bit loose so I could torque the manifold bolts first.(This picture is actually from the passenger side but it is the only one that shows the exhaust flange clearly)
12.) Tighten and torque the driver side manifold bolts. I started out by snugging these bolts just barely tight using the pattern shown below. I then used my torque wrench set at 10 ft-lbs in the same pattern. I went back again at 17 ft-lbs (final torque value) in the same pattern.
13.) Tighten and torque the driver side exhaust flange bolts (20 ft-lbs).14.) Tighten and torque the driver side O2 sensors. I looked for a torque values and came across some for Bosch replacement O2 sensors - 17 ft-lbs (if someone has more info on this value, please let me know so I can update). I used a 22mm crows foot to torque but be sure you know the rules of applying torque with an extension. TIP: If you keep the crows foot at 90 deg to the torque wrench you don't need to do any math. :crazy: For more info see: Torque Wrench Adapter Extended CalculationTIP: Since you will twist the O2 sensor wires while installing, I twisted them in reverse about 4 turns so they would not be twisted once screwed in.
15.) Install the passenger side header (13mm bolts). Since the forward passenger side O2 sensor is hard to get to once the header is installed, it needs to be installed before the header is lifted into place. Once the O2 sensor is installed and torqued, lift the header into place and install as we did for the driver’s side header (make sure the copper gasket is in place!).16.) Install the passenger side exhaust flange 13mm nuts and bolts (make sure the copper gasket is in place!).17.) Tighten and torque the passenger side manifold bolts (17 ft-lbs).18.) Tighten and torque the passenger side exhaust flange nuts/bolts (20 ft-lbs).19.) Install the rear passenger side O2 sensor and torque (17 ft-lbs).20.) Start you car and check for leaks. I looked for obvious exhaust fumes and listened for any hissing from the joints. TIP: Don't run too long as it will get too hot and you will need to wait for it to cool down to do the next step.21.) Go back around to re-torque every nut and bolt. In my experience, most bolts turned a bit more when I re-torqued them so don't skip this step.22.) Replace the wheel well sheilds.That's it for the header install. I did some minor cleanup on the headers to remove any stray anti-seize. Mount the rear tires and get the car off the jacks... you are ready to roll.Here's a few extra pictures I took of the headers installed:


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