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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay so I have spent the past 2 weeks working on my longtube headers. I bought a used set of MAC long-tubes with a used Bassani shorty catted x-pipe. Got those for 300 bucks. Not bad if I say so myself.

Rule #1: if it CAN go wrong, it WILL go wrong. My 300 dollar exhaust modification has probably cost me over 400 dollars so far. And it is getting finished at an exhaust shop tomorrow (the x-pipe needs to be cut a little bit and welded). So I still don't know the final cost. But that's life.

Rule #2: take your time. Period. I was fortunate enough to have access to my parents' vehicles while my car was in my grandma's garage. I know some people need to get this done in one weekend. It certainly is possible to do this, but sometimes you need to step away and get rid of some stress and frustration. Mistakes happen when you're stressed. Trust me. I almost started the motor while it was sitting on just the jack. No motor mounts or anything. It would have been bad. So take a few breaks when you get mad or stressed out.

Okay, for this install I used this guide that I found. This is for BBK headers on a 2001 Bullitt, but the idea is still the same. How-To: Long-Tube Header Install For 1999-2004 Mustang
I did notice some of the wrench sizes were wrong (unless I wasn't sure what it was talking about). But I mainly used it to understand which order I needed to do things. I highly recommend this guide, unless someone knows of a better one.

For the most part, the install was pretty straightforward and simple. My cousin has more experience with cars than I do, so he was very helpful in identifying certain parts. I'm not going to go through the whole guide. You can see that for yourself on the link.

The first big problem I ran into was the old engine studs. I got header bolts with the headers, so I needed the old studs out. Some of them came out with the nuts, but some of them stayed in while the nuts came off. Then of course the end of the studs got rounded off. So my dad showed me how to "double nut" the studs. That got them out pretty easily.

The second problem was with the passenger side header hitting the starter. I had removed the starter to help make the passenger header easier to put on. But then I couldn't get the starter back on. So I had to loosen the header and wiggle it out of the way so I could get the starter on. Then I tightened the header again. It still touches, but hopefully I won't have any problems with rattling or over-heating the starter. So remember to get the starter back on first if you even remove it at all.

The last major problem was with the EGR tube. I was tired and forgot to re-attach the EGR tube to the driver's side header (See Rule #2). I remembered it later that night and had to remove the header to wiggle it into position. It was a huge pain in the butt. Then I had to get a wrench in that small little space to tighten it. It's best to attach it before you bolt the header in position. But either way, I found it annoying and frustrating.

Lastly, make sure you don't skip any steps. I was so desperate to start the motor that I forgot to re-install the k-member and motor mounts. So the engine was sitting on the jack (not mounted to anything). Luckily for me, there was a ground wire that was not re-installed. So the motor wouldn't fire. I realized later that I needed to put the motor mounts back in so the engine wouldn't rock off the jack and mess anything up. Once I re-installed everything, it fired right up and sounded pretty sweet.

The x-pipe is still a mess, but it should hopefully be fixed at the shop tomorrow. It bolted to the headers fine, but the passenger side was a little too long to bolt to my cat-back. Plus I think one of the cats leaks. So I'm having the shop weld the cats in and figure out what needs to be done to the length of the cat-back pipe to make it fit. He's the professional :bigthumbsup Also, it needs to be tucked up under the car a little bit so it doesn't scrape over every bump I hit. I doubt I will lower it any now that I have the exhaust hanging a little bit lower.

All in all, I'm glad I decided to tackle this job. I never thought I would have enough knowledge to figure this out, but after learning so much on this forum I was able to get it done. Plus my cousin helped. And I owe a lot of gratitude to my dad. He usually doesn't have any interest in working on cars, but he seemed to enjoy it. Now I just need to get him to start contributing financially :gringreen

Hopefully this gives some help to anyone thinking about doing the longtube headers. Use the guide and you should be fine. Plus it helps to have a couple buddies willing to assist.
 

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Ya i installed the same headers on my car, and also used the same instructions when i did mine. Had it done in a night. But i can relate to all the some problems you had, minus the starting the engine while on a jack. My passenger header sits on top of my starter which is why i have to go through all of that again to drop out my transmission in two weeks, and the egr tube was a pain also. But the results are always worth it in the end when you can finally sit back and look at it over an ice cold beer.. Good work man :bigthumbsup that job is definately not for the light hearted
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, like I said you could definitely have it done in one day or a weekend. But my cousin works night shift and I cut grass a few days a week for some extra money. So we were having a hard time getting our schedules to match.

Also, have you had any problems with your starter over-heating or anything? I've heard some people say the starter will get fried and not work again until the car cools off for awhile. For instance if I'm driving and stop at a fast-food place and then try to start it again while it's still hot??
 

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egr

My headers hit everything, but I havent had any problems with the starter getting hot. On the EGR I just took all of it off and plugged the tube on the header, So much cleaner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Okay, I just picked it up from the exhaust shop. He had to cut some pipe and weld some pipe and weld the cats. But now it sounds really great!! It's not too loud at idle, but once you mash the gas it really wakes up. Kinda raspy (x-pipe with chambered mufflers), but I like it. I still haven't had a chance to really let it run, but I'm satisfied overall. Hopefully I picked up some horsies in the process :yup:
 

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Hi Guys, thanks for the laughs. Your honesty is remarkable. Someday, when I have extra skin on my knuckles, I will install a pair of long-tubes. Geeze, it was a lot easier on my 1972 240Z. oooppps, did I say that? I love my Cobra.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Haha yeah I got nothin' to hide. And actually I don't think I scraped any knuckles in the process. I got a scratch on my forearm when one of the bolts finally broke loose and my arm went up and hit the k-member. And I scratched my knee on the air compressor while walking around the garage. So it wasn't too bad on me :bigthumbsup
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
how much was it to have a shop install the headers and x pipe?
I did the headers myself, and got most of the x-pipe installation done. But I had to get it cut to bolt up to the cat-back. So all he did was weld the cats (instead of using the clamps) and modify the pipe to make it fit. Just 75 bucks.

But I've heard prices for the total header install that are usually around 400 bucks.
 
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