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Old 07-03-2001, 07:59 AM   #1
LUME
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Default Borla Header: First Impression

Well, I just got this thing yesterday, and I have to admit,

IT LOOKS LIKE CRAP.

Very seldom do I look at a an aftermarket goody and see so many ways that I could personally improve on it, but this is definately one of those cases. Here's what I've noticed:

The mounting flanges look like somebody cut them out of sheet steel with a dremel. Very jagged and ugly. The bolt holes on one of the flanges DO NOT line up with the factory gaskets.... I hope this will not be a big problem. Also, for some reason, the flanges are PAINTED. I have a feeling they are not stainless. If this is true I will be very angry when they rust off. The welds look horrible (they are all MIG welds). I can't believe I paid this much for SS that was MIG welded.... I have an urge to grind off all of these crappy blob welds and TIG weld it back together. The bends through the main run of the header are OK, but there are really ugly bending mandrel marks all over the tubes. The bends up to the head mounting flanges are somewhat tight, and appear to be slightly kinked. Also, they Swage the end of the tube so that it mates up with the head flange. That sucks.

The collectors look like crap as well. You can actually see the welds for the last one (by looking up the end of the header), and it looks like somebody just squashed the two tubes and forced them into the collector, instead of properly cutting and welding them. I am dissapointed in the quallity of this header, but I will wait until they are installed before I give a final impression.

--Roy
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Old 07-03-2001, 08:06 AM   #2
ChaosThom
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Wink

Thanks for the review. Let's hope they perform a lot better than they look. I'm interested in where it takes your power band.
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Old 07-03-2001, 09:11 AM   #3
Dirty Underwear Gang
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Talking They arent all bad

They make your car sound soooooo nice though!!! Ive had people ask me "Whats wrond with your car? Why does it sound like that?" It sounds sorta like a v8. rumble rubmle rubmle
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Old 07-03-2001, 09:29 AM   #4
MrMajestic
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Default gains

I don't really care about how it sounds, did you get any gains?

I was thinking of getting headers, but only if makes a big difference in performance.
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Old 07-03-2001, 12:45 PM   #5
treekiller
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Default send those fuggers back...

Roy, take measurements and send them back, heck if they are that bad you can do a better job, I have seen Borla equipment in the past and was very impressed with it, this sounds like a case of poor outsourcing on borla's part.

DO not install them if your not happy, ask for better ones..

if they will not send you better models, send them back for a full refund and build yer own!

Jeff
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Old 07-03-2001, 12:57 PM   #6
kelley nelson
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Default return

I'm with Jeff. If you're disappointed with what you're getting for the money in terms of appearance and quality of manufacture/engineering, send that mofo back. If you put it on the car you'll be stuck with it.
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Old 07-03-2001, 01:14 PM   #7
LUME
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Default

Me? Stuck with something? Never! You've never seen me blow my stack! I'm going to slap em on the car and see what I can get out of em. After all, my mantra is "All Go, No Show". So performance is the ultimate test. If they show promise, I'll keep em. If they suck, then I just may alter them to suit my needs (as Jeff said). If they REALLY SUCK, then I'll apply the Rocky+Jeff stainless steel cleaning method and send 'em back!


--RD
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Old 07-04-2001, 02:26 PM   #8
LUME
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Default After Install

Well, I just installed the header. Getting the factory one out was a pain in the butt, but only took me an hour or so. Putting the Borla one in took about 10 minutes. First impression after driving:

NO noticable HP increase. No noticable noise increase (except for exhaust leak at Cat flange).

Please not that this is still with the stock exhaust. The Borla cat back is on back-order....

Right now, I'm thinking this header is a waste of money....
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Old 07-04-2001, 03:19 PM   #9
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LUME, I went the opposite direction as you. I did my exhaust first (about 6 months), before I installed the header. I also installed a mid-pipe at the same time as the header. When I first installed the header I had a leak at the header gasket. With the leak the car was MUCH slower!! Once I replaced the gaskets (and added some Ultra-Copper gasket sealant for additional piece of mind) it sounds MUCHO better and pulls harder without bogging down. Once you get the leak fixed I think you will have some improvement. With the leak you have almost zero back-pressure.
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Old 07-04-2001, 11:08 PM   #10
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We installed one today on a members car and noticed the fit was not quite right, had to really play with it to get it on. Sound was good, didn't ride in it long enough to notice any gains, and after 45 minutes he got a CE light.
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Old 07-05-2001, 06:18 AM   #11
Marc Sawaya
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How did you notice the leak? I've had the Borla headers for several months now, and I've had Tanabe's racing medallion exhaust the whole time. I'm happy with the headers, both in terms of performance gain and sound. I didn't notice a tremendous increase in power, but a noticeable one. I don't think mine leaks, but I wouldn't be surprised if I found out it did.

Marc
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Old 07-05-2001, 08:02 AM   #12
LUME
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Default

I can hear (and feel) a "tss tss tss tss tss, etc." coming from the flange that bolts up to the first cat. It is a minor leak and is definately not responsible for lack of power or noise. I think the stock exhaust is killing me. I replaced the gaskets at the head flange ($17 for two), but not the one at the cat. Not a huge deal and I think it's alread sealed itself anyway.... I'll wait for the rest of the exhaust before I comment on the usefulness of this header.

BTW, what is the recommend torque for the head flange nuts (6 of them)? I torqued it to 20 ft-lbs...... just a guess...

--RD
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Old 07-05-2001, 10:14 AM   #13
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15 lbs. was what we were told to torque them too.
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Old 07-05-2001, 10:27 AM   #14
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if you ONLY replaced the headers and nothing else in your exhaust, you shouldn't expect any gains...
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Old 07-05-2001, 01:48 PM   #15
SUBYRS710
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I've noticed a loss in pull with the borla headers, and i have the apexi N1 exhaust. Personally, i think the car sounds like crap now. My opinion, is the headers are a waste of $$ Deffinitly. For the price your paying, your not getting any serious h/p gain out of them. Think about it.....Just my 2c.
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Old 07-05-2001, 10:00 PM   #16
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I installed mine about 2 weeks ago along with the Stromung mid-pipe. (Already had the Stromung duel tip installed)

I have a 4EAT and the difference is very noticeable. I no longer get that slight hessitation between 2nd and 3rd, and if i get on it, the thing pulls strong all the way to redline before shifting. Sound is great, no leaks that i've noticed yet, reused the stock gaskets didn't torque the bolts to any specific lbs. just kept tightening, alternating bolts until they were all TIGHT.

Overall, my impression to this point is that it was worth the money for the gains i've gotten.

BTW: after paying for them .02 cents is all i have left.

Snowman
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Old 07-05-2001, 10:15 PM   #17
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Hey JGard18- Why not? Care to fill us in?
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Old 07-05-2001, 10:21 PM   #18
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Bottom, you not only have to be able to get more air in the engine but you have to have a efficient way to get the exaust out. This is my limited understanding of it. Maybe someone can explain it in more detail.


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Old 07-06-2001, 02:16 AM   #19
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I just ordered headers and they are on the way from COBB. They had better give me nice performance gains or i will ship them back before you can say TURBO, but I have a feeling that they will be just fine. The stock headers are so restrictive that any help is a bonus, the Borla ones look like they have a higher velocity design. as compared to the weak stock units.
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Old 07-06-2001, 08:44 AM   #20
LUME
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Actually, I am surprise by the quality of the stock units. They are a nice design, and seem to be close to equal length. The only real disadvantage is the diameter and that horrible 90 bend that the right side tube has to make before going into the first cat. I honestly believe that unless you are turbo'ing, these headers are useless.... Good thing I plan on turboing in the near future.

On a related note, I got the exhaust yesterday (the Borla cat back). The quality of this stuff looks much better than the quality of the headers. Unfortunately it has a HUGE 5" CHROME RICE TIP on it!! Oh well, I'll just have to swing over to TRi and cut it off, and weld a nice piece of 304 on in its place....

--RD
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Old 07-06-2001, 09:48 AM   #21
cminch
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Thumbs up headers

I've had the Borla headers on for 2 days now. At first I was skeptical. The quality didn't look very impressive (as mentioned). The fit wasn't exactly perfect either (as BRP01 mentioned). And after 45 miles on the car I got a Check Engine light. So needless to say I was a little baffled. I reset the ECU the following day and haven't had a CE light since. I made an appointment to take it into a dealer just in case...

So now I've had a couple days to play with the car and my story changes. I've noticed an increase in power. It wasn't as much as I would've liked but the gain is noticeable. The car pulls up to redline a lot faster and with no hesitation. Highway driving has improved significantly. 4th and 5th gear seem to be a lot more responsive. The car also feels like it gained some torque as well. I replaced the headers midpipe and catback all at once so I can't give as detailed of a description about each individual piece.

As of right now I stand behind the product and would recommend it. That could change, but I'm very pleased with the outcome thus far. Sure it's not the most attractive piece of equipment, but it's functional and the warranty is untouchable.
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Old 07-06-2001, 10:47 AM   #22
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I am glad no CE light after second reset Craig. See ya Sun. bright and early.
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Old 07-06-2001, 01:41 PM   #23
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Hrmm.

I've got the gen III borla headers and I love them.

and don't listen to JGard.. there are gains.

the stock header is quite restrictive.. Not large gains by any stretch, but it'll breathe better at top.

I've got a 2.5" non resonated catback N1.. and when I've got the silencer out it sounds EVIL.
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Old 07-06-2001, 10:22 PM   #24
DoomEquation
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But me wants LOTS of gains......aww there go the plans for those 16.000 runs at LACR now....damn and I thought headers were a big gain

Oh well, with some changes in engine breathing **Cough Ahem Mwah S** There might be hope...
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Old 07-09-2001, 08:50 AM   #25
LUME
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Default Exhaust now complete

Ok, so I have the full Borla exhaust installed. First thing I did was tool down to TRi to show Chris, Jeff, and Rocky. Then I took it to Manhatten for the weekend.

Let me put it this way.... I just spent over $800 on a whole lot o' noise!
Anyhoo, it sort of sounds like a cross between a harley and a P-51 Mustang.... Impressive in the Holland tunnel, but droning on I-78. Oh well. I think I'm going to spend some money on something worthwhile next time..... like a bicycle.

--RD

PS. The exhaust hangers on the cat-back system suck. The keep slipping out of the rubber thingies....

Last edited by Subie Gal; 07-10-2001 at 10:51 AM.
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