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Getting ready to order some headers

This is a discussion on Getting ready to order some headers within the External Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I finished filing my taxes and have some extra money to play with, so I've been looking into some Hooker ...

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    Member Sas's Avatar
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    2001 Formula Firehawk

    Getting ready to order some headers

    I finished filing my taxes and have some extra money to play with, so I've been looking into some Hooker headers and Y-pipe. I've never done headers on a car, so I'm looking forward to the experience. I've also been reading alot of the how-to threads for installs, but I have a question. Do you have to take them out through the top, or can I just toss it on the lift and get it all out the bottom? Also, what extra parts should I look into ordering for the install? I just replaced my plugs and wires, so I'll most likely just re-use those. Once I get it all put together I plan on getting a mail order tune by Frost. Any other advice for an exhaust virgin? I learned with the last TA not to trust a shop to work on your car, so I won't be paying to have the work done this time.

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    Senior Member tatertot91's Avatar
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    Sunset Orange Metalic
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    If you are looking at hooker headers I highly recommend going through texas speed for pacesetters and their y pipe. The fitment is awesome, the merge on the y is very nice and the y is stainless. You can remove and install everything from the bottom but it helps to have someone up top helping out. Removing the coils will help you get to all the bolts on the old manifolds and take the spark plugs out for the install so you dont risk cracking one. Letting some pb blaster or similar penetrating oil sit on all the exhaust bolts for a few hours is also not a bad idea. Reuse the stock gaskets and get some vette o2 sensors to finish the job, I prefer those over an extension harness. Besides that it should be a straight forward install
    Last edited by tatertot91; 01-24-2012 at 09:01 AM.

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    ^^ This. Whatever gaskets come with the new headers throw them away and use the stock GM gasket. I picked up a new set of gaskets at the local GM dealership rather than reusing the originals. I installed my headers with Stage 8 locking fasteners and added DEI boots over top of the plug wires for a little extra protection. The Bosch P/N 13111 sensors are what you want for your front O2's - no need for extensions.

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    Member Sas's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info, already have the new gaskets sitting here, jumped the gun on getting those in. I've heard some mixed opinions on pacesetters, I'm not really a fan of the tone they give, that's why I'm going more towards the hooker route.

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    Senior Member tatertot91's Avatar
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    Sunset Orange Metalic
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    The tone is going to be close to if not exactly the same whatever brand header you go with, but either will work. What tends to affect the sound is the merge on your ypipe and obviously the catback/exhaust setup you're running

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    Member Sas's Avatar
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    Good to know

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    Member derekbuckner1's Avatar
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    I got hooker headers and y myself and I have no leaks. I will say though that I had to use the gaskets that came with the headers. The mls gaskets just wouldn't line up with the headers and provide a good seal.

    From doing the install myself (twice due to leaks) I would advise you to look more into pacesetters. I may have just got a bad set, but hooker didn't seem to think they were in need to replacing. The flange is not as thick as pacesetters and the primaries protrude from the flange, forcing you to try and seal the primary pipes themselves to the head, rather than a flat flange. Dont get me wrong, I love my exhaust setup now that it's all worked out, but it would have been much easier if I went with pacesetter. Also, Texas-Speed is making their stainless headers again, and you can't beat the price for stainless.

    LS6 Intake, LS6 VCT, E^2 Catch Can, Hooker LTs and ORY, Magnaflow Cat-Back, 3" QTP electric cutout, UMI adj LCA, PHB, 3 pt SFCs, STB, MGW Shifter, SLP lid and bellow, Free-Mods, Tuned by BlueCat


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    I had pacesetter headers on my 98 WS6 and they practically rotted off the car in a few years....a garaged car with 41k on it ....so i replaced them with american racing headers and never looked back...

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    Member derekbuckner1's Avatar
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    ^+1. Go stainless if you have the option

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    if the car doesnt see water or snow you do think that stainless is better than ceramic for heat?

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    Member derekbuckner1's Avatar
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    Yes. Stainless will yellow a little but ceramic coating wont last through the heat cycles

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    I have Dynomax ceramic coated headers on our Corvette and after 6 years they look just like they did when I installed them. No issues at all.

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    Senior Member tatertot91's Avatar
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    Sunset Orange Metalic
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    Quote Originally Posted by 98BlackMambaWS6 View Post
    I had pacesetter headers on my 98 WS6 and they practically rotted off the car in a few years....a garaged car with 41k on it ....so i replaced them with american racing headers and never looked back...
    Granted they won't last forever but was the set you had painted or coated?

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    Member Sas's Avatar
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    After some research I may go with the KY speed setup after all. Waiting for the stainless to get restocked.

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    Junior Member BadbirdLS1's Avatar
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    texas speed makes a sweet SS header and for a good price.

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    to your other question.....yes.....you can do pretty much all of the work from under the car. You will have to get someone on top to start the bolts after you get them into place but that's about it. Also, take your plugs out before doing anything. Very easy to crack the ceramic on a plug and then wonder why the car runs like crap when you get it all back together.

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    Member Sas's Avatar
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    Cool, thanks for all the info!

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    Senior Member Too Fast's Avatar
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    Yep do it from under the car. Expect about 8 hours, and be happy if it's done in less than 5. I have Hookers w/ceramic coating and their ORY. 5 years now or so, and the coating has worn off the bottom half but the top half under the hood still looks pretty good. One thing to consider is an equal tube length header, which mine are, and other cheaper LT alternatives, which may not be. Equal length header tubes = equal flow, just like you want equal length intake runners. Probably not worth more than 3-5 HP over a non-equal length header tube, but what the hell, may as well. They fit really well, but also consider changing your engine mounts since that will be very hard to do after a LT header install.

    Oh yeah, you'll love the new sound! And with Hookers, you will get the awesome decal, ''I love my Hooker (headers)'' to put somewhere!

    No tune required with LTs/ORY if you don't mind the SES light on. I got 1.5 better highway MPG w/no tune.

    Good luck!
    Sas likes this.

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    Member Sas's Avatar
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    New toys just got here, went with the hooker headers and texas speed catted Y. I can't wait until this weekend!

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    Senior Member Too Fast's Avatar
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    So the Texas Speed Y will fit the Hookers? I know you researched that. Good luck this weekend. Are the headers coated, or what.

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