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Old 07-24-2011, 06:20 PM   #1
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Default 5.4L exhaust manifold leak?

ok, it's a 2001 Screw 5.4.. I know this is a common problem and I already made an appointment to have shorty headers installed August 4th. I been researching all weekend on what headers to buy. pros and cons on all headers I've researched. My question is.. Am I asking for more exhaust leaks down the road with headers? should I just get the leak fixed and keep the manifolds? I have over 140,000 miles now and finally got the very common dreaded leak on the passenger side. looks to me to just be the gasket. No cracks or broken studs yet(I know some will break when they remove the manifold) that I can see. if you've intalled shorty headers and feel they made/didn't make a difference tell me about it and what kind you have. I just don't want to spend $1000 and 6 months down the road I have problems again when I could spend $200 to repair the manifold gasket and be good for another 140,000 miles. thanks guys

Last edited by 50mustangs; 07-24-2011 at 06:32 PM.
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Old 07-24-2011, 06:28 PM   #2
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forgot to mention.. it does have cat back dauls with flowmaster exhaust and a cold air intake already. also would like to know if long tube headers would be a better way to go. I do pull a small camper around 3000 pounds.
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Old 07-24-2011, 07:02 PM   #3
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I have a set of Pace Setter shorties bolted on, I think it's been around 3 yrs. and no leaks (yet) and they changed the sound of the truck, I noticed a slight gain in pull off the line, I was towing a lot of boats at the time so I definitely noticed the difference. My install was nightmarish, every stud broke, welded nuts on all to remove them. Also I had to fab up the EGR fitting to work.
Long tube headers are just awesome (IMO). Wish I had some !
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Old 07-24-2011, 07:29 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by billmck04 View Post
I have a set of Pace Setter shorties bolted on, I think it's been around 3 yrs. and no leaks (yet) and they changed the sound of the truck, I noticed a slight gain in pull off the line, I was towing a lot of boats at the time so I definitely noticed the difference. My install was nightmarish, every stud broke, welded nuts on all to remove them. Also I had to fab up the EGR fitting to work.
Long tube headers are just awesome (IMO). Wish I had some !
thanks Bill, exactly the kind of response I'm looking for. Pace Setters are the headers on the top of my list right now. are yours Stainless Steel or painted mild steel? just wondering if the stainless is the way to go. I don't care what they end up looking like because you really can't see them but I don't want to buy regular painted steel headers and they rust thru in a year and I hear that the Stainless are prone to crack. I'm not in much of any kind of salt and my truck is still in awesome shape. Still looks close to new and drives like the day it was drivin off the showroom floor. I've heard good things about OBX Stainless Steel headers also. Just looking to get the best bang for my buck. Anybody? your 2 cents will be welcomed.. thanks
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Old 07-24-2011, 07:50 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by 50mustangs View Post
thanks Bill, exactly the kind of response I'm looking for. Pace Setters are the headers on the top of my list right now. are yours Stainless Steel or painted mild steel? just wondering if the stainless is the way to go. I don't care what they end up looking like because you really can't see them but I don't want to buy regular painted steel headers and they rust thru in a year and I hear that the Stainless are prone to crack. I'm not in much of any kind of salt and my truck is still in awesome shape. Still looks close to new and drives like the day it was drivin off the showroom floor. I've heard good things about OBX Stainless Steel headers also. Just looking to get the best bang for my buck. Anybody? your 2 cents will be welcomed.. thanks
Mine are the painted mild ones - I have only been in AZ since Jan. So my headers are ugly from Michigan salt, They do not appear to be pitted or rusting through, just ugly, the paint lasted about one month. So if you go the mild steel route, remove the paint and recoat with high temp header paint. As for stainless headers - I didn't go that route due to cost, and I figured the truck would be dead by now. As far as cracking goes - I would make sure the exhaust system is properly supported to prevent undue stress on the headers, and I wouldn't go blasting through big ice cold puddles when they are hot.
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