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Old 01-10-2008, 10:59 AM   #1
ride5000
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 32792
Join Date: Feb 2003
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: lincoln, ri
Vehicle:
2003 GGA MBP
12.9 / 105+

Default comparison of synic EL headers vs. ported oem

so last weekend i took off my very well ported oem headers (http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=763991) and fitted a set of used synic EL headers that have been sitting in my garage since last summer. the synics had had a VERY light smoothing done to the head ports, and nothing else. (if one looks very carefully at the tube to 3-bolt flange junction it can be seen that the joints are welded on the INSIDE, precluding taking any substantial amount of metal off without having the pieces come apart in your hands.) the only possible improvement that could have been made to my oem header setup would have been a better-flowing crossover pipe.

i also took off a gutted but otherwise untouched oem wrx up pipe and replaced it with a very lightly ported sti up pipe. using a gasket, a carbide bit, a die grinder, and my eyeballs, the inlet to the up pipe was approximately matched to the outlet of the synic collector which was about 2mm inside the gasket line. the outlet of the up pipe was brought to within 3mm of the turbine housing gasket line, leaving a 3mm anti-reversion step there (the exhaust housing is gasket matched). the ground portions of the up pipe were polished with an 80 grit flap wheel. this was a very quick touch up taking less than an hour.

both sti up pipe and synic headers received my heat treatment, which consists of a double-layer of 2" thermotec cool-it exhaust wrap followed by heavy aluminum foil duct tape. this time around i followed up the foil with stainless steel lock wire, to keep it in place very securely. no wrap "sealant" or ceramic coating was used on either part.

over the past few days i let the wrap burn in (which includes shedding the adhesive back on the foil duct tape).

this morning on the way in to work i took a datalog. here is a plot of MRP vs RPM:



log of above plot:
Code:
2460	-0.2	2.7	39	0	0	14.3	31.1	12.2	ECU	87	ECU	2.7	13.85
2474	0.2	2.7	54	0	0	14	30.7	12.8	ECU	87	ECU	2.6	13.88
2445	0.6	2.7	68	0	0	13.8	30.7	21	ECU	87	ECU	2.6	13.95
2472	0.6	2.7	80	0	0	13.9	30.4	25.7	ECU	87	500	2.7	13.9
2498	0.8	2.7	100	0	0	14	30.5	20.6	ECU	87	500	2.7	13.58
2483	1	2.7	100	0	0	13.9	30.3	14.8	ECU	87	500	2.7	13.43
2508	1.2	2.7	100	0	0	13.6	30.5	15	ECU	87	500	2.7	13.4
2485	1.2	2.7	100	0	0	13.5	30.4	15.1	ECU	87	500	2.7	13.44
2485	1.4	2.7	100	0	0	13.4	30.4	15.3	ECU	87	500	2.8	13.33
2454	1.9	2.7	100	0	0	13.5	29.8	15.5	ECU	87	500	2.7	13.07
2483	1.9	2.7	100	0	0	13.3	29.8	15.6	ECU	87	500	2.8	12.94
2510	2.1	2.7	100	0	0	13.1	29.8	15.7	ECU	87	500	2.8	12.84
2493	2.3	2.7	100	0	0	13	29.8	16	ECU	87	500	2.8	12.85
2496	2.5	2.7	100	0	0	12.8	29.8	16	ECU	87	500	2.8	12.99
2511	2.5	2.8	100	0	0	12.8	29.8	16.3	ECU	87	500	2.8	13.1
2517	2.7	2.8	100	0	0	13	29.5	16.4	ECU	87	500	2.7	13.15
2536	2.9	2.7	100	0	0	13.1	29.5	16.2	ECU	87	500	2.8	13.2
2534	3.1	2.8	100	0	0	13.1	29.5	16.9	ECU	87	500	2.8	13.23
2527	3.1	2.8	100	0	0	13.2	29.1	16.4	ECU	87	500	2.8	13.27
2550	3.3	2.7	100	0	0	13.2	29.2	16.3	ECU	87	500	2.8	13.31
2544	3.5	2.8	100	0	0	13.3	28.8	17.3	ECU	87	500	2.8	13.31
2564	3.7	2.8	100	0	0	13.3	28.8	17.5	ECU	87	500	2.9	13.33
2546	3.9	2.8	100	0	0	13.3	28.9	17.5	ECU	87	500	2.8	13.31
2513	3.9	2.8	100	0	0	13.3	28.4	17.8	ECU	87	500	2.9	13.31
2572	4.1	2.9	100	0	0	13.3	28.5	18	ECU	87	500	2.9	13.3
2519	4.3	2.9	100	0	0	13.3	28.5	18.2	ECU	87	500	2.8	13.28
2574	4.3	2.8	100	0	0	13.3	28.1	18.2	ECU	87	500	2.8	13.27
2556	4.5	2.9	100	0	0	13.3	28.2	18.3	ECU	87	500	2.9	13.23
2585	4.5	2.9	100	0	0	13.3	28.2	18.4	ECU	87	500	2.9	13.2
2590	4.7	2.9	100	0	0	13.2	28.1	18.5	ECU	87	500	2.9	13.17
2590	4.9	2.9	100	0	0	13.2	27.8	19	ECU	87	500	2.9	13.12
2585	4.9	2.9	100	0	0	13.2	27.7	19	ECU	87	500	2.9	13.09
2604	5.1	2.9	100	0	0	13.1	27.5	18.8	ECU	87	500	2.9	13.07
2624	5.3	2.9	100	0	0	13.1	27.4	19.1	ECU	87	500	3	13.03
2594	5.5	2.9	100	0	0	13.1	27.4	19.5	ECU	87	500	2.9	13.02
2602	5.5	2.9	100	0	0	13	27.1	19.6	ECU	87	500	3	13.02
2616	5.7	2.9	100	0	0	13	27.1	19.8	ECU	87	500	2.9	13.03
2596	5.7	2.9	100	0	0	13	26.7	20	ECU	87	500	2.9	13.05
2620	5.9	3	100	0	0	13	26.6	20.1	ECU	87	500	2.9	13.04
2639	6.1	3	100	0	0	13.1	26.4	20.3	ECU	87	500	2.9	13.03
2614	6.3	3	100	0	0	13	26.3	20.7	ECU	87	500	3	13.1
2641	6.3	2.9	100	0	0	13	25.9	20.6	ECU	87	500	2.9	13.14
2670	6.5	3	100	0	0	13.1	25.7	20.9	ECU	87	500	3	13.14
2653	6.8	3	100	0	0	13.1	25.6	21	ECU	87	500	3	13.13
2596	6.8	3	100	0	0	13.1	25.3	21	ECU	87	500	3	13.11
2670	7	3	100	0	0	13.1	25.2	21.2	ECU	87	500	3	13.06
2675	7.2	3	100	0	0	13.1	24.9	21.4	ECU	87	500	3	13.06
2668	7.2	3	100	0	0	13.1	24.6	21.7	ECU	87	500	3	13.06
2690	7.4	3	100	0	0	13.1	24.6	22	ECU	87	500	3.1	13.06
2692	7.4	3	100	0	0	13.1	24.3	22.2	ECU	87	500	3	13
2707	7.6	3	100	0	0	13.1	23.5	22.4	ECU	87	500	3	12.96
2696	7.8	3	100	0	0	13	23.5	23	ECU	87	500	3	12.96
2649	7.8	3	100	0	0	13	23.5	22.9	ECU	87	500	3.1	12.95
2725	8	3	100	0	0	13	23.2	22.8	ECU	87	500	3	12.93
2721	8.2	3	100	0	0	13	23.2	23.3	ECU	87	500	3	12.92
2730	8.4	3	100	0	0	12.9	23.1	23.4	ECU	87	500	3.1	12.92
2686	8.4	3	100	0	0	12.9	22.8	23.6	ECU	87	500	3.1	12.91
2736	8.6	3.1	100	0	0	12.9	22.8	24.1	ECU	87	500	3.1	12.89
2752	8.8	3.1	100	0	0	12.9	22.4	24.2	ECU	87	500	3.1	12.89
2699	9	3.1	100	0	0	12.9	22.4	24.5	ECU	87	500	3.2	12.88
2750	9	3.1	100	0	0	12.9	22.2	24.4	ECU	87	500	3.1	12.85
2759	9.4	3.1	100	0	0	12.9	22	25.1	ECU	87	500	3.2	12.83
2780	9.4	3.2	100	0	0	12.9	21.6	25.3	ECU	87	500	3.2	12.83
2707	9.6	3.2	100	0	0	12.8	21.4	25.8	ECU	87	500	3.2	12.82
2787	9.8	3.2	100	0	0	12.8	21.3	26.4	ECU	87	500	3.3	12.77
2794	10	3.2	100	0	0	12.8	21.4	26.4	ECU	87	500	3.2	12.74
2727	10.2	3.2	100	0	0	12.8	20.9	26.9	ECU	87	500	3.3	12.72
2784	10.4	3.2	100	0	0	12.8	20.2	27.1	ECU	87	500	3.3	12.63
2803	10.6	3.2	100	0	0	12.7	20.6	27.9	ECU	87	500	3.2	12.58
2815	10.8	3.2	100	0	0	12.6	19.8	28.2	ECU	87	500	3.3	12.53
2824	11	3.2	100	0	0	12.6	19.6	28.5	ECU	87	500	3.2	12.5
2820	11	3.2	100	0	0	12.5	19.3	29	ECU	87	500	3.3	12.45
2853	11.4	3.3	100	0	0	12.5	19.2	29.5	ECU	87	100	3.3	12.44
2841	11.6	3.4	100	0	0	12.5	18.8	31.1	ECU	87	100	3.3	12.41
2824	11.9	3.4	100	0	0	12.5	18.9	30.1	ECU	87	100	3.3	12.37
2846	12.1	3.3	100	0	0	12.4	18.9	31.3	ECU	87	100	3.3	12.3
2868	12.3	3.3	100	0	0	12.4	18.5	32	ECU	87	100	3.3	12.28
2832	12.7	3.4	100	0	0	12.3	18.6	32.2	ECU	88	100	3.4	12.18
2888	12.9	3.4	100	0	0	12.3	18.6	33	ECU	88	100	3.4	12.13
2881	13.1	3.4	100	0	0	12.2	18.2	33.7	ECU	88	100	3.4	12.08
2886	13.3	3.4	100	0	0	12.1	17.9	34	ECU	88	100	3.4	11.96
2901	13.7	3.4	100	0	0	12.1	17.9	35.5	ECU	88	100	3.4	11.8
2881	13.9	3.4	100	0	0	12	17.5	35.8	ECU	88	100	3.4	11.72
2841	14.3	3.5	100	0	0	11.8	17.5	33.3	17.1	88	100	3.5	11.66
2855	14.5	3.5	100	30	0	11.7	17.2	33	16.8	89	100	3.5	11.65
2898	14.9	3.5	100	30	0	11.7	16.8	35	16.6	90	100	3.5	11.67
2922	15.3	3.5	100	40	0	11.7	16.5	35.9	16.4	90	100	3.5	11.69
2913	15.5	3.5	100	40	0	11.7	16.4	36.6	16.1	90	100	3.5	11.78
2925	15.9	3.5	100	40	0	11.7	16.4	36.9	15.9	91	100	3.5	11.8
2908	16.3	3.5	100	40	0	11.8	16.1	38.5	15.3	92	100	3.5	11.94
2916	16.7	3.6	100	40	0	11.8	16.1	39.1	15.1	93	100	3.6	12
2933	17	3.6	100	40	0	11.9	15.8	40.4	14.9	93	100	3.6	12.09
2952	17.2	3.5	100	50	0	12	15.7	41.5	14.8	93	100	3.6	12.21
2969	17.8	3.7	100	50	0	12.1	15.7	41.5	14.7	93	100	3.6	12.21
2976	18.2	3.7	100	50	0	12.2	15.5	42.6	14.5	94	100	3.6	12.16
2962	18.4	3.7	100	50	0	12.2	15.5	43.4	14.4	94	100	3.6	12.08
2953	18.8	3.5	100	60	0	12.2	15.6	44.1	14.3	95	100	3.6	12.02
2972	19.2	3.7	100	60	0	12.1	14.9	45.4	14	95	100	3.7	11.97
2978	19.6	3.7	100	60	0	12	15.1	46.2	13.6	96	100	3.6	11.9
3003	20	3.7	100	60	0	12	15	45.7	13.4	96	100	3.6	11.81
3044	20.2	3.8	100	60	0	11.9	15	47	13.4	96	100	3.8	11.76
3032	20.6	3.8	100	70	0	11.8	15.1	48.2	13.4	96	100	3.7	11.73
3010	21.2	3.7	100	70	0	11.8	15	49.1	13.4	96	100	3.7	11.73
3014	21.6	3.6	100	70	0	11.7	14.9	49.9	13.4	97	100	3.7	11.7
3030	22.1	3.6	100	70	0	11.7	15	50.7	13.4	97	100	3.8	11.65
3023	22.3	3.8	100	80	0	11.7	14.6	51.1	13.4	97	100	3.7	11.58
3016	23.1	3.9	100	80	0	11.7	14.8	52.5	13.4	97	100	4	11.56
3015	23.9	3.9	100	90	0	11.6	14.7	52.7	13.4	97	100	4	11.49
3053	23.9	3.9	100	90	0	11.6	14.6	53.7	13.3	97	100	3.8	11.47
3089	23.5	3.6	100	90	0	11.5	14.7	53.4	12.8	98	100	3.6	11.45
3117	23.9	4	100	90	0	11.5	14.6	53.4	12.8	99	100	3.6	11.42
3129	24.1	4	100	90	0	11.5	14.6	56.9	12.6	99	100	3.6	11.36
3144	23.9	4.1	100	90	0	11.4	14.2	54.4	12.9	99	100	3.8	11.34
3159	24.7	3.7	100	90	0	11.4	14.5	57.4	13.1	98	100	4.1	11.33
3182	24.7	3.7	100	100	0	11.3	14.3	56.5	13.1	98	100	4.2	11.28
3194	24.7	3.4	100	90	0	11.3	14.6	58.3	13	98	100	4.2	11.26
3209	24.5	3.9	100	90	0	11.3	14.7	57.4	12.6	99	100	3.7	11.22
3229	23.9	3.9	100	90	0	11.3	14.7	56.9	12.6	99	100	3.7	11.18
3231	24.3	4.1	100	90	0	11.2	14.6	58.9	12.4	100	100	3.7	11.18
3223	24.1	3.9	100	90	0	11.2	14.6	59	12.6	100	100	3.7	11.17
3257	24.5	3.6	100	90	0	11.2	14.2	58.7	12.8	99	100	4	11.17
3286	24.9	3.6	100	100	0	11.2	14.4	61.6	13	99	100	4.1	11.17
3294	24.9	3.8	100	90	0	11.2	14.4	61.8	12.6	100	100	4.1	11.18
3318	24.9	4.1	100	100	0	11.2	14.2	60.6	12.8	99	100	4.1	11.15
3346	24.9	4.1	100	90	0	11.2	14.5	61.6	12.8	99	100	4.2	11.14
3351	24.7	4.1	91	90	0	11.1	14.1	60.9	12.4	100	100	3.8	11.12
3347	24.1	3.6	75	90	0	11.1	14.7	59.7	12.6	100	100	3.7	11.12
3358	24.3	3.6	58	90	0	11.1	14.2	61.3	12.8	99	88	4	11.1
details:
IAT = 38*F
5th gear
1 bar @ 2870
20psi @ 3000
24psi @ 3125
3.0mafv @ 2620/5.9psi
3.5mafv @ 2840/15.7psi
4.0mafv @ 3120/23.9psi

for comparison:

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...7&postcount=71
(1 bar at around 3075)

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...99&postcount=1
details:
IAT = 21*C (70*F)
5th gear
1 bar @ 3075
20psi @ 3270
24psi @ 3500
3.0mafv @ 2725/6.3psi
3.5mafv @ 3103/15.7psi
4.0mafv @ 3550/24.1psi

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...8&postcount=34
1 bar @ 3075
20psi @ 3280
3.0mafv @ 2784/5.1psi
3.5mafv @ 3027/12.7psi

one thing that i must point out is that i found a little bit of carbon on the driver's side manifold-head gasket. it was only on one side and it was not very thick, but there was very likely a small exhaust leak there. i had noted some exhaust smell every once in a while.

by no means am i saying that such a small exhaust leak alone caused the boost threshold increase of 200rpm, but it was a factor and it should be taken into account. remember too that you will NOT see this kind of thermal management on your average tube header install, and that makes a huge difference. finally, the slightly larger internal volume and possibly more disruptive flow of a gutted cat up pipe has been changed as well.

in any event i am pleased with the improvements in boost threshold from the EL headers. i also feel a smoother response from the engine in that rolling on the throttle from low rpms does not result in "lugging" quite as readily. for example anything below 2k in 3rd gear would result in a very loud shaking, made much worse due to my lightweight flywheel and crank pulley. now that threshold has been dropped ~3-500 rpms. the car is also much quieter, which is fine by me.

i will be following up in this thread with more data from the higher rpm ranges where improvements in max flow may (or may not) be seen. i've got some pics too.

hth
ken
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Old 01-10-2008, 11:14 AM   #2
ride5000
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Old 01-10-2008, 01:06 PM   #3
TheShad0w
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Great info as usual Ken, I've been eye'ing a set of EL headers for my setup as well.
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Old 01-10-2008, 03:05 PM   #4
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I had the Synics on my WRX and plan on putting them on the 04 STi I just bought. I liked them as well and thought the off boost throttle response was better than stock.

After reading this post I will definitely take the opportunity to wrap them berfore installing them since they are off the car!
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Old 01-11-2008, 09:04 AM   #5
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Ken, how does your engine load vs. RPM compare? Although getting the boost to come on quicker is important, it is not necessarily a direct correlation to more power. Increased engine load or MAF g/s is (I know you know all that BTW). I was interested to see the improvement in airflow due to the headers.
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Old 01-11-2008, 09:34 AM   #6
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Welcome to the dark side ken!!!
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Old 01-11-2008, 12:59 PM   #7
ride5000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blkscooby View Post
Ken, how does your engine load vs. RPM compare? Although getting the boost to come on quicker is important, it is not necessarily a direct correlation to more power. Increased engine load or MAF g/s is (I know you know all that BTW). I was interested to see the improvement in airflow due to the headers.
if you look at that other thread you can see the load vs. mrp characteristic. the slope and y-int are some of the highest i've seen yet. so in this case, yes, more boost absolutely does mean more load.

i prefer to use the utec to log since i get a consistent 20lps, and wideband afr data. by logging the oem ecu and plotting the load vs. mrp i get a translation function that i can then use against the utec logs.

i forgot to mention it earlier but i also see a ~120*f reduction in exhaust gas temps from the #4 cylinder. whether this is because #3 is no longer affecting the probe or it's a distinct change from #4 i do not know.

ken
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Old 01-15-2008, 11:53 AM   #8
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I just wanted to bump this up because i think it deserves more discussion. Somebody is finally logging this header on a 2.0. I haven't seen much discussion on it, so i guess i'd like to see more. No i didn't search i guess, but hey, ken knows his stuff, and it's his thread so, TTT!!!!
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Old 01-20-2008, 09:20 AM   #9
ride5000
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some additional thoughts:

1) car seems to run smoother in the lower and mid rpm ranges. i suspect this is due to the evening out of backpressure from each of the cylinders. i also notice less deceleration noise from the tranny when compression braking.

2) car is a bit harder to stall down low in the idle-1k5 range.

3) with utec running speed density, afrs above 6k rpms have drifted about a half point leaner on average, from mid-high 11s to low-mid 12s. timing remains unchanged, and no knock has been observed yet. that amount of afr shift indicates a VE increase of approximately 4% vs. the oem headers.

i'll have some logs of the above later... my wife has been commandeering the laptop lately so this is all from just watching gauges.

ken
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Old 01-22-2008, 05:10 PM   #10
djerickd
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Nice review, I want to get one myself... anyone have one for sale?
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Old 02-11-2008, 03:13 PM   #11
PolarisSnT
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Originally Posted by djerickd View Post
Nice review, I want to get one myself... anyone have one for sale?
I might have a brand new one for sale if I dont decide to keep it. Synic is replaceing mine due to a warped flange and I am debating going with the WBR header instead.

Hey Ken, what is this thermal duct tape you speak of and where did you get it? Also did you individually wrap each runner or wrap them together?
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Old 02-28-2008, 03:07 PM   #12
Blown95ImpalaSS
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^^just purchased a synic el and I'd like to know too
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Old 03-04-2008, 01:44 PM   #13
PolarisSnT
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Already sold guys. Went with the WBR one. My last set of Synics was wrapped(poorly I might add) and the spool was nice but I am uncomfortable with the dangers of wrapping a header and the damage it does to the metal after a long period of time.
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Old 03-31-2008, 10:45 AM   #14
ride5000
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Old 03-31-2008, 03:01 PM   #15
TheMadScientist
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Hey ken let us know when they crack. So far mikey has been through 2 of these.
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Old 03-31-2008, 08:33 PM   #16
ride5000
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mark,

shortly after i put it on the car, the #2 flex joint bit the dust.

i fixed it.

you don't even want to know how, or how much it cost me!
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Old 04-18-2008, 11:48 AM   #17
MRF582
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how did you fix it? JB weld?
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Old 04-18-2008, 12:03 PM   #18
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Soda can?
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Old 04-18-2008, 06:48 PM   #19
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mark,

shortly after i put it on the car, the #2 flex joint bit the dust.

i fixed it.

you don't even want to know how, or how much it cost me!
Wow that sucks. Im glad I got rid of mine and went with WBR. The coating is nice and they have really made the power on my car
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Old 04-21-2008, 06:09 PM   #20
ride5000
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i actually just pulled them back off the car the past weekend.

i have a theory as to why people are having issues with these headers (and probably most others)... they are not jigged very well.

on my car to get the over the studs i had to apply quite a bit of outside pressure.. ie the headers were too narrow.

once you get them on the car that way the flex joints are taking a lot of strain. as it stands the manufacturing of the flex joint itself makes it inherently weaker than a solid tube. after a bunch of cycles to 1k* and back down while continually under tension from a bad fit it is only a matter of time before it fails. i suspect that the flex joints weren't the best quality in the first place, and i bought these headers used.

(for the record, i had repaired one flex joint with a $3 tube of exhaust putty from autozone, an old coffee can, and four 4" hose clamps. slather on putty, fit can over the whole mess, clamp it down, let it cure for about 36 hours. it surprised me when it held 25+ psi boost! when the other let go i just didn't have the space to repair it under the car as i did the first one, so off they came.)

the plan is to find a few scrap pieces of proper diameter stainless tube, and a good day this summer to slap them back on the car. i'll drive down to the garage, cut out both flex joints, fit the solid tubes on, get them tacked, take off the headers and weld 'em up proper.

i think most header failures are due to manufacturing tolerances putting undue stresses on the pipes and the only real way around this is to get them custom fitted to your car. luckily i paid <$400 for them in the first place and have friends who are good welders. hell i'd weld 'em myself but i don't have enough experience with thinwall tubing and i'd make a mess.

i'll also say this: going back to the oem header really illustrates how constricted they are. they're noisier, and all my speed density tuned operating points shifter from 0.5 to 1 afr point richer. the only good thing about them is they sound cooler, but for me it's not enough to keep me from swapping back to EL tubes as soon as i can.
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