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Old 12-07-2001, 10:05 AM   #1
SubaruStu
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Smile Stu's Brullen Header install experience

Warning: This is a little long!


I received and installed my header last night, and I thought that
I would share my experience for anyone else who is going to
DIY.

Overall I am pleased with the results but there are a couple of
things that "shadetrees" should know. It is a 90% DIY activity
but requires some stainless welding, read on....

Thing 1 - the install is not a direct bolt-on. I don't know if was
clear in all of the posts. While everything does line up in the
stock locations, you have to mod the mid-pipe to fit the high
flow cat. The mod requires that the mid-pipe flange be cut off
and an adapter welded into place. A temporary clamp is supplied,
but (stated clearly in the instructions) it will not suffice for any
length of time. The adapter is slip jointed to the pipe and leaks,
requiring the joint to be welded. Since you spent the money on
a stainless exhaust, spend the time/money on stainless welds!
Not every shop is equipped to do this!

Thing 2 - you will have to remove the mid-pipe. My car was on
ramps leaving little space at the rear of the car to unbolt the
mid-pipe from the muffler. If you haven't got access to a lift, you
may want to consider some way of getting all four wheels off of
the ground, like jack stands.

Thing 3 - you will have to cut the mid-pipe. If you have a stainless
mid-pipe, a hacksaw will not do it. You are going to need a cut-
off wheel. I used an air-saw

Thing 4 - before you start anything, you might need to take a
trip to the store for hi-temp silicone gasket, a 22mm wrench
(or a large enough adjustable wrench will do) for the O2 sensors.
My car was up on the ramps before I read the instructions. Muffler
tape and safety wire are options (explained later)


The install (3-3-1/2 hrs under less than ideal conditions):

Once up on the ramps, I undid the battery for the ECU reset.
The instructions provided are pretty clear, but the pictures don't
help a lot. Removal of the old stuff is a snap. Loosen bolts, unplug
O2 sensors, support with stand (or floor jack in my case), remove
bolts/nuts, drop the whole unit down. Done!

Installation is also pretty straightforward, follwing the instructions
and taking your time. Remove O2 sensors and reinstall in new
unit, bolt right side into place loosely, apply silicone sealant to
LHS-collector flange and loosely bolt into place etc, etc.

The next step is probably what took the most time. This is where
you have to setup the cat to mid-pipe adapter. Take your time
and measure it several times. The adapter will seat almost fully
onto the "doughnut" so use this as a reference point. Remember,
you can always make the pipe a little shorter, but not longer!
Once you've got it marked remove the mid-pipe, take a deep
breath and cut the flange off. Slip the adapter on and clamp it
up.

I suppose at this point, I should mention that if you have a MIG
welder and can do SS welding (ie stainless wire and proper gas
mix) then you just assemble the adapter and mid-pipe on the
car, tack weld in place, remove again and weld up the joints.

Once the adapter is clamped (or welded in place). Then it is just
a matter of bolting everything back up. AT this point, there are
a few steps that I did (will do). The first is that I safety wired the
mid-pipe to both the cat and the car until I get it welded together
since I would hate to have the slip-joint come apart (unlikely, but
possible) and have the mid-pipe get folded up underneath the
car. I would also temporarily wrap the joints with muffler tape
to minimize leakage until the welding gets done (that's tonight's
job). Don't forget to plug the O2 sensor back in.

That's it! Get the car on the ground and fire it up. While is is
warming up for the ECU reset, you can check for leaks in the
joints other than the cat mid-pipe adapter. Once the ECU
reset has started, take 'er out for a rip. I'll post my impressions
and G-tech findings in another post since this one is already too
long......
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Old 12-07-2001, 12:45 PM   #2
p-car
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Thanks, Stu.

I ordered a full exhaust: header, cat, midpipe and dual-tip muff from Brullen. Guess I should talk to Richard to check if it will be a bolt-on since I'm buying the entire system.

john
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Old 12-07-2001, 12:49 PM   #3
ylexot
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Quote:
I ordered a full exhaust: header, cat, midpipe and dual-tip muff from Brullen. Guess I should talk to Richard to check if it will be a bolt-on since I'm buying the entire system.
Ditto for me.
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Old 12-07-2001, 02:00 PM   #4
SubaruStu
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I was kind of afraid of this. I don't want a stampede of
cancellations for Brullen, but if the header arrived and people
were hit with the realization that it isn't strictly bolt-on when they
are expecting that it is, they are going to be even more pissed.

I want to stress that other than the welding (which for most is
not DIY) it is a clean, straightforward install!!!

I talked several times to Richard and knew what was going on,
but it didn't really hit me until I got to that part where it said cut
the flange off.....

So a couple of more thoughts. I am very happy with the header.
It looks great, bolted right on, came complete with all the
necessary gaskets and hardware, and the instructions are
well detailed. I can't compare it to other pieces, but it looks like
a quality piece of hardware, but it is not a shiny "show piece".
It does go underneath the car after all.

The reason for the adapter, cut weld thing, is that the outlet of
the high-flow cat is 3" (big hole!) so a reducer to the 2.25 is
necessary. So if you have a 3" I think that it would bolt right on.
I also don't think that now that I have done it that the welding is
a big deal. Mine isn't right now and it is holding up fine, but I
won't leave like that. It isn't a big deal to drop the mid pipe (4
bolts) with the adapter clamped on and get it welded.

Feel free to contact or post for more details.


Stu
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Old 12-07-2001, 02:07 PM   #5
inpreza kid
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i always though the brullen header was complete bolt on. it would have been nice if brullen informed us of this. i guess it isn't that big of a deal. maybe in the spring i'll put the money down for one of these bad boys.
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Old 12-07-2001, 02:28 PM   #6
SubaruStu
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Quote:
Originally posted by inpreza kid
i always though the brullen header was complete bolt on. it would have been nice if brullen informed us of this. i guess it isn't that big of a deal. maybe in the spring i'll put the money down for one of these bad boys.
I went back and reread several of the header threads and there
is reference to to both modifying and bolting on. In the last
thread on the subject, it does say that some modifications to
the mid pipe are necessary, another specifically stated that the
mid pipe flange had to be removed, but another did state that
it bolted on. They do state that an adaptor (provided) is
necessary, but nowhere does it state that custom welding is
required.

I am sad and happy that I mentioned this. I suspect that Brullen
is fielding several calls on this and there are a couple of PMs
headed JoeT's way too, and they might be pissed about it, but
then how would you feel towards Brullen if it arrived and then
you found out it isn't a bolt-on.

I am cool with it, and I think that HubbieScooby in HI was too,
and it isn't a big deal, but just be ready for it.

Oh yeah, it does sound really cool, and it might be my imagination
but the car actually seems quieter! wierd. One of the Toronto
guys actually mentioned this too!

Stu
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Old 12-07-2001, 03:32 PM   #7
SubaruStu
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I spoke with Richard @ Brullen about the "issue", and he agreed
and apologized that it should have been clearer that a welding
mod was required.

He offered two key reasons it should be done this way. The first
is that to make an appropriate flange and fit it up, it would cause
a large restriction (sorry I don't know the exact details of what it
entails) which is counter to why you want a header in the first. place. The second is that a true "clamp together" arrangement
would have to be made out of aluminized steel, because the
stainless is too hard. You got a stainless setup so you don't have
think about rust so why put a crappy mild steel clamp on it.

He is willing to field phone calls on this and explain his position
that the welded adapter is the proper way to do it to maintain
the free-flow, and the stainless steel, even though it requires
the extra effort of welding which then doesn't make the system a
100% bolt-on.

Hope this clears some stuff up.


Stu
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Old 12-07-2001, 04:20 PM   #8
MINDGAME
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Stu-
What muffler did you mate to your system? Anxious to see your G-tech specs and driving impressions as well. How's the overall sound of the system?
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Old 12-07-2001, 05:14 PM   #9
SubaruStu
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I went for the full monty - Brullen all the way through. It was a
pretty good deal if you know/knew you are doing cat-back and
header. I got the dual 3" tips and "quiet" setup. I really like. Like
I mentioned before, it seems strange but the cat is actually
quieter with the new header. I think that the harmonics are a bit
higher, and therefore a bit more damped.

I did one run with the G-tech but the numebr came out low, same
as previous runs but I now have snows on steels, a roof rack and
a ski box. We'll see how it goes this weekend. It does pull well
and runs through the gears quicker. I think, qualitatively it adds
HP through the whole range and you can tell that it is "breathing
easier"

Cheers....Stu
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Old 12-07-2001, 07:03 PM   #10
p-car
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Stu -

Did you have the cat-back exhaust before you got the headers or did you just now buy the full monty ?

I just got off the phone with Richard and asked if they will sell full systems with a mid-pipe that already has the correct flange to be a direct bolt on with the header/cat. I'd swear he said "yeah it will be bolt on since you are buying everything all at once". I might have missed something cuz I was at work and getting interupted while I talked to him.

Oh, and he said that the reason for the cutting/welding a new adapter is that existing mid-pipes mate up to a 1.875 inch flange for the stock cat and the new adapter is something like 2.25.

Best news I got from him was that they might be shipping mine next week
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Old 12-07-2001, 08:19 PM   #11
SubaruStu
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I did everything at once, but was able to get the cat-back several
weeks (6?) ago.

Maybe Richard will make the necessary mods for the new header,
which then would be a direct bolt on. This makes sense because
the cat to mid-pipe joint is in the OEM location so he could do it
without fit problems. Lucky you, and a added bonus(?) to those
buying everything at once. Maybe I should have waited. naaaww

I am still pleased, despite the extra step.

Stu

Quote:
Originally posted by p-car
Stu -

Did you have the cat-back exhaust before you got the headers or did you just now buy the full monty ?

I just got off the phone with Richard and asked if they will sell full systems with a mid-pipe that already has the correct flange to be a direct bolt on with the header/cat. I'd swear he said "yeah it will be bolt on since you are buying everything all at once". I might have missed something cuz I was at work and getting interupted while I talked to him.

Oh, and he said that the reason for the cutting/welding a new adapter is that existing mid-pipes mate up to a 1.875 inch flange for the stock cat and the new adapter is something like 2.25.

Best news I got from him was that they might be shipping mine next week
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Old 12-08-2001, 02:27 PM   #12
ylexot
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Thanks for the info Stu and p-car. I'm not going to cancel my order even if I have to get some minor welding done. It would just be a little more of a hassle. It will be very nice if p-car is right and buying the full monty will be a straight bolt-on.

Stu - any issues with heat shields or diff protectors/skid plates (if you have them)? Any other tips/tricks/advice?
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Old 12-08-2001, 07:39 PM   #13
SubaruStu
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Quote:
Originally posted by ylexot
Thanks for the info Stu and p-car. I'm not going to cancel my order even if I have to get some minor welding done. It would just be a little more of a hassle. It will be very nice if p-car is right and buying the full monty will be a straight bolt-on.

Stu - any issues with heat shields or diff protectors/skid plates (if you have them)? Any other tips/tricks/advice?
I spoke with a Legacy owner today (Dean from Ottawa) and while
he had his done at Brullen he believed that is was a straight bolt
on deal. Maybe this means if you go full-monty the adapter is
already done. If you are going that way, then it is definitely a bolt
on. Any one going engine-back should ask Brullen. There is no
reason that I can see from the install that they can't do it. It took
me another hour today to unbolt, weld, and reinstall. It made a
lot of difference in the amount of noise actually. It cost me $40
bucks because I bought a 2lb spool of SS MIG welding wire (@
$17/lb) and my brother did it with his MIG welder. Don't sweat
taking it to a car mechanic tht does stainless, you can fit it, mark
it well for length and rotation of the flange, unbolt it and take it
to any welding shop that can do SS. It takes two beads around
and about $40 CDN.

There were no "gotchas" with the install - other than some of
my own situation. If you are mating it up to an existing mid-pipe,
be prepared to take it off - because mine was on ramps, unbolting
it form the muffler was difficult. There appears to be no clearance
issues, rattling etc. The only thing to watch for is alignment to
avoid leaks. All of the other stuff is covered in my first post.

Shoot me anymore questions if you like.

Stu
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Old 12-09-2001, 09:20 AM   #14
SubaruStu
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Ylexot - I just reread your post and realized I didn't fully answer
the question. I don't have any underbody mods (skidplate or
diff protector) so there weren't any clearance issue. I was with
Gooseman yesterday and his skidplates need a little tweeking to
fit, a couple of spacers at the back. He is going to do a small
redesign to fit.

The only other tip is two people help when it come time to bolt
up the mid-pipe. It makes maintaining the alignment easier.

Cheers...Stu
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Old 12-09-2001, 10:50 AM   #15
BrianX
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I have a stromug SS cat back system, but if I get the Brullen headers and midpipe, will it bolt up to my muffler without problems?
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Old 12-09-2001, 06:32 PM   #16
SubaruStu
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Quote:
Originally posted by BrianX
I have a stromug SS cat back system, but if I get the Brullen headers and midpipe, will it bolt up to my muffler without problems?
First, I don't believe that the the Brullen mid-pipe will mate up
to the Stromung muffler. The mid-pipe to muffler joint is not at
the stock location. I don't know the joint location for the Stromung.

Good news, sort of, is the new Brullen mid-pipes will be direct
bolt-ons to the header.

The mod isn't that bad, but it does mean that you cannot go back
to the stock setup, since you cut off the mid-pipe flange to weld
on the adapter pipe. You are committed to running the header
after that, or having the old flange welded back into place.

Cheers...Stu
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Old 12-09-2001, 08:18 PM   #17
Corey
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Can someone take a picture of this adapter? When I ordered mine they didn't ask if I had a stock mid-pipe or an aftermarket one. I am just wondering if I need to tell them that I have a Stromung midpipe. How can the adapter be the same for a small stock midpipe and a lager aftermarket one.

Maybe I am just having trouble picturing this...

Thanks,

Corey
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Old 12-10-2001, 09:24 AM   #18
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Quote:
SubaruStu
Ylexot - I just reread your post and realized I didn't fully answer
the question. I don't have any underbody mods (skidplate or
diff protector) so there weren't any clearance issue. I was with
Gooseman yesterday and his skidplates need a little tweeking to
fit, a couple of spacers at the back. He is going to do a small
redesign to fit.

Just to clarify, my front skidplate WILL fit the car with the Brullen headers installed, as Stu mentioned, only that you will have to add washers or some kind of a spacer to bring the plate lower by about 1/2" to 1", just for clearance.

Also note that a read diff plate WILL NOT fit with the Brullem cat-back. From the looks of it, it seems pretty close to the diff iteslf, I dont think there is room for a rear diff protector. I didnt look too long at this, as I was focusing on the front, someone might wanna clarify.

Besides that, the headers are VERY nice, they look VERY high-quality!! I took Stu's car for a little spin around the block, and I must say the power feels GREAT! It just gets up and GOES! And the douns is sooooooo cool! It has this cool metallic racy boxer sound that I cant describe. Its not even that loud... actually, it was kina quieter! WEIRD!

I gotta get me a set....thanks for making me jealous, Stu!! :monkey:
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Old 12-10-2001, 11:31 AM   #19
Dom
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Well an answer about the skid plates as I have both and a
full Brullen exhaust & header system.

1st the rear skid plate or diff protector ( from subaru OEM)
fit but the front drivers side bolt was really close to pipe
If you left it off it wouldn't touch.
I put mine on and it was really close 1/4 " but I haven't heard any noise or rattling. So it's OK

The front I have Gooseman's skid plate and it fit although it was close 1/4" clearence and when reving the engine twiste would make the headers come close to hitting so I put spacer in 1/2 spacer, something like a nut from a bolt. Now it is fine. I'll most likely weld the spacer to the plate.

I'm happy with the Brullen exhaust and header and with Gooseman's skid plate!!
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Old 12-10-2001, 12:43 PM   #20
GooseMan
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2005 Triumph Sprint ST

Thumbs up



FYI-A *NEW* design is in the works for a wider plate (for the GC8) that will cover the headers as well as the oil pan, etc....

keep an eye out.....
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