I am about to put my headers on the motor for the last time....heh. I have 12 pt. stainless
ARP bolts. They came with matching stainless flat washers. The header bolts that came with the headers came with black oxide lock washers. I have a copper exh. manifold gasket. What is
my best shot combination for long time no problems. thanks
If the lock washers you got are thick us them on every bolt you can. They work. If they are thin like
regular lock washers you can go the local speed shop and get thick header washers that will keep your
bolts on for a long time. I don't think you will be able to use the flat washers. The idea is to have the
thick lock washer grab the header flange and the bolt.
For the gasket I have my own idea that I thought up and have used for many years and have yet to
have one leak. I have turned on a lot of people to it and they all like it and use it themselves.
Take two sets of metal factory type manifold gaskets, lay one down and put a thin 1/8" bead of rvt high temp silicon around each port. Set the second gasket on top but don't push it down, let it set so the silicon is about as thick as a wood match stick. Let it sit over night. The next day put a bead on the metal side of
the gasket and put it on the header and let it dry. You will end up with a cushion for the header and head
to work with as you tighten down the bolts. Tighten down the bolts evenly and run the car for 20-min.
and re-tighten the bolts. Check the bolts for the next few days and eventually they will not turn anymore.
Don't overtighten the bolts. You can also cut each port out of the gasket if you have individual tubes like I have on the Cleveland in my '65. It worked for me!!!!
... but your best bet for never having to fiddle with them again is using Stage 8 header bolts. (Stage 8 is the brand name). They have a keeper and an e-ring that slips over each bolt. They CANNOT vibrate loose. When you want to take them off, you just pop off the e-ring and keeper and take them out.
I've had them in my headers on my '66 for almost 2 years. It's my daily driver (rain or shine) and I haven't messed with a header bolt since I put them on (and have had ZERO leaks).
BTW, they look very good, too. The bolts, keepers and e-rings are all chrome (matches my JBA's). I know my description doesn't do them any justice, but they are well worth the $50 or so.