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I’m planning on putting a set of Hedman headers on my car. My brother (a GM guy) said that I will have exhaust leaks and will be changing gaskets often. Is that true? I have read few complaints on this forum about exhaust leaks. He also said to stick with the stock (C-code) manifolds because I would not notice any performance gains anyway. Is that true? Currently I have a 289 with an Edelbrock carb and intake. I also want to add a cam someday. I respect my brother but he is restoring a 67 Firebird. Do you think he just wants to make sure his bro’s Ford won’t beat him?
 

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Good quality headers do not leak....

Buy a 99.00 set and you'll likely get what you pay for...

With a sound exhaust port face and a good quality header, you don't even need to run gaskets...a nice thin bead of red RTV and away you go...

I have a set of JBA shorties on my D-coder (with gaskets) and I've tightened them twice in 7 years, including putting them on..*G* Race car has homebuilts with some old Mr. Gasket asbestos gaskets...no problems...

Buy quality and install carefully and long life and no leaks will be your reward...

Pat
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I concur with Pat. Good set will last you a lifetime. Combine that with the ARP header bolts, a 6 POINT wrench for installing the header bolts, some RTV for around the flanges and they are good to go. The only leaks from ym headers have been from the cheap construction of them. Get 16 GA min steel, ceramic coat them and they will last forever. Tell your brother that they will work on the Firebird too!


Steve Leslie, 65 coupe, back on the road (watch it!) 302, toploader, A/C, disc brakes, bench seat, tri-bars, tri-Ys, now I need tri-power!

http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=1571478&a=12535662&p=46267978&Sequence=2.jpg
 
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I have hedman on mine, and have had no leaks. Maybe I just got lucky, but I haven't had a problem!!

65 coupe 302
(rebuilding a 351W)
 
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Maybe I've been exceptionally lucky, but my generic tri-y headers have been leak free since I put them on nearly two years ago. I used good quality exaust and collector gaskets (the ones that came with the headers looked like they were made out of old manila folders). I also retorqued them after the first drive I took with them on, and then again every week for several weeks. Been troublfree ever since (knock wood...)
I've heard small-block Chevy motors are more prone to header leaks due to the fact that the center two exhaust ports are right next to each other.
 

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It depends. I had a set of Hooker Super Comps on my Cougar and I was constantly battling leaks. I've had no problems with the Sandersons I have on the Mustang at the flange (no gaskets just a bead of Ultra Black) but I've taken it into the muffler shop that put the exhaust on twice to fix leaks at the collector. They ended up putting a steel reinforced donut style gasket in and I think that'll solve it once and for all. Headers with good mufflers will definately give you more HP, despite what your brother says.

My motor.
Black primer 66 coupe, bench seat
Balanced 5.0, F303 roller cam, TFS heads, Demon 650, MSD
C-4, 3.55 TSD.
 

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To put it real blunt, you're brother doesn't know what he's talking about. First, you will definatley see a performance gain with headers over the extremely restrictive C code exhaust manifolds. Secondly, the biggest reason for header leaks is that the header bolts are usually very hard to torque down real tight.

Buy a set of Stage 8 header bolts (about $50). They have a keeper held on with an E-ring and cannot vibrate loose. I put a set on my '66 2 years ago, and haven't had a leak since.

If you always do what you've always done,
You'll always get what you've always got

http://www.classic-mustang.net/johnpro
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I use a bead of that high heat red silicone stuff around the header flanges..and just a gasket..I haven't had any leaks..I also think they should be tightened down evenly..unlike regular manifolds..headers are fairly thin and could distort..I snug the bolts in a little at a time evenly all around until tight

'59 T-Bird..[color:blue]'70 Mustang Convert</font color=blue>...[color:green]'72 Mach One</font color=green>
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The Black Bird At 42,she's the oldest in my Ford stable
 

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I have Hedmans on my 71 m ach and they have been great
 

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Seen on TV a couple of weeks ago, believe it was hot rod TV or some show like that and they said if you use gaskets to soak them in water for a day or so then install.. Never heard of this myself and certaintly don't believe every thing i hear on TV. But never tried it so it might work. Just passing it on. Jim

Parting out over 120 mustangs. For e-mail address click on horsehead or call 540-249-3333. No answer leave message. Located in VA. Thanks, Jim
 

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I'm good friends w/ a guy that works at an exhaust shop and after seeing probably the same TV show you probably saw it on, I asked him about it... He said it actually does work very well sealing up the headers, but if you want to take them off you really have to scrape at it. Haven't tried it first had either though, I just have the RTV and it seems to be workin' pretty well.

-Jason

'72 Mach 1 || '90 Talon TSi AWD
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"Thats not a leak, my car's marking its territory!"
"If you've done it, it ain't braggin'." -Roy Rogers
 

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Many, many years ago an old gearhead told me to include a thin smearing of grease on the exhaust and carburator gaskets. With that, the gaskets REALLY had to be scraped off when the time came to change them out.

Tom Kubler, 1st book purchased: The Cobra Story (67); 1st drive: 67 Sprint Cpe (71), Parents 1st new car: that Mustang (67); 1st Mustang: '71 Sportroof (75); San Antonio Mustang Club Founder (78). Current Stable- 66 GT350 & 66 GT350 'vert replica
 
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I learned 25 years ago to soak my header gaskets in water for an hour before installing. Helps the gasket conform to the shape of the header flanges.

Bob
"Buonarotti!!! When will you make an end of it?" -Pope Julius II
"When I am finished!!!" - Michelangelo
 
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