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Discussion Starter #1
I'm sure I'm not alone when I say I'm on a tight budget but still want quality mods. I have a 13 R/T and from I have read long tube headers are almost a must for high performance. I also realize that prices for long tube headers stretch into the thousand mark and shops will gouge you in labor costs. My question is is it possible to install them yourself even with minimal experience without screwing something up?
 

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I'm sure I'm not alone when I say I'm on a tight budget but still want quality mods. I have a 13 R/T and from I have read long tube headers are almost a must for high performance. I also realize that prices for long tube headers stretch into the thousand mark and shops will gouge you in labor costs. My question is is it possible to install them yourself even with minimal experience without screwing something up?
yes, be ready to curse them.....not fun to install
luke
 
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I'm sure I'm not alone when I say I'm on a tight budget but still want quality mods. I have a 13 R/T and from I have read long tube headers are almost a must for high performance. I also realize that prices for long tube headers stretch into the thousand mark and shops will gouge you in labor costs. My question is is it possible to install them yourself even with minimal experience without screwing something up?
I installed shorties with the help of a very friendly forum member, and his garage, and his lift, and his tools.

I watched a few youtube vids, a few recommended unbolting the engine and shifting it from left to to right to open up a little more space for access.

We didn't do that, just fought it, and cursed it until we got the OEM ones off and the new ones on. Having super flexible extensions of varying lengths was the only way to get it done. He had socket heads that themselves were flexible, and without them I don't think we could have done it.

So it is doable, but it was a lot more work and effort than I was expecting.

Can be done with minimal experience. There was nothing magic to it, it is a fairly straightforward part to take off and remove, you are not playing with complex engine parts. Maximum patience required though.
 

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LT Headers can be installed but its almost a must to have a lift if you don't pull the heads. I tried it with just jack stands and finally gave up pulled the heads and then reassembled everything. Thankfully I had a friend that has torque wrench that measures by degrees, the last step of torquing the heads is based on a 90 degree measurement and with out a torque wrench that can measure that you won't be able to properly torque the head down.

EDIT: To clarify I am talking about the Heads themselves, not the headers, that require the final torque to be a specific degrees of turn. So if you pull off your heads to install the headers, make sure you have a torque wrench that can measure in degrees.

Food for thought!

-Kenny
 

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LT Headers can be installed but its almost a must to have a lift if you don't pull the heads. I tried it with just jack stands and finally gave up pulled the heads and then reassembled everything. Thankfully I had a friend that has torque wrench that measures by angle, the last step of torquing the heads is based on a 90 degree angle and with out a torque wrench that can measure that you won't be able to properly torque the head down.
Others have replaced headers on jack stands - I concur with Kenny, that isn't something I'd like to attempt, particularly with LT headers. It takes a bit of wiggling to get the suckers up in to the engine bay area, I'd imagine it would be harder with LT and the car being closer to the ground.

I didn't use a torque wrench, used the old school torque-o-meter.
Torqued an easy to get to bolt to the required torque to determine what it felt like, and then torqued the bolts on the header by hand, using the test bolt feel as my guide. There was simply no way I was getting a bloody torque wrench in that space.

Then a week later we lifted the car back up and did a double check to see if anything was loose. A couple of bolts on the top of the header on the passenger side (the nightmare side) were starting to loosen. So we tightened them up again as tight as we could. No problems with that approach so far. 10,000 miles and counting.
 

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I installed shorties on my 5.7 just over a month ago, without a lift. Never again! Like stated, the technical/skill level is not the issue on these. After doing this, I wouldn't say the shops are gouging on their prices. As far as the ones that seem unreasonably high, instead of telling someone that they just do not want to do the job, they give a very high estimate to drive them off.
 

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I did long tubes on my R/T, I too did it on a lift, but nothing else all that special other than the previously mentioned decent selection of flex sockets, universals, and a couple ratcheting combination wrenches. I'd do it again if needed, but it is a pain.
Not technically complicated, just more difficult than something like doing brakes. I suppose it does help that I sling wrenches every day in industrial maintenance, so I know how to use cuss words and which way to hold my tongue.
 

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After looking at the work, I decided to get a shop to do the work, they want $625 parts included. It seems like a real deal to me. BTW, a few different shops quoted within a few dollars of that.
 

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I did my American Racing long tube on a set of jack stands. Not all that hard of a job. It was very tight and took awhile. Luckily I had all winter. Took about 8 hours total. And I did not pull the heads off. Prepare for a lot of bleeding. lol
 

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I did my American Racing long tube on a set of jack stands. Not all that hard of a job. It was very tight and took awhile. Luckily I had all winter. Took about 8 hours total.
I should add that I'm not as young as I used to be (who is). If I was 10 years younger, I probably wouldn't have had as hard of a time.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yes, actually a set of SRT with factory cats. New gaskets, bolts and dip stick tube included.

That sounds like a reasonable price. But with LT headers I don't think I have the cash to spare to have someone install it. I also enjoy getting to know my car a little better. this is my first car that I'm paying forXD


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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What is a good brand of SHORT tube headers that will bolt into an '11-'14 R/T and use the stock midpipes, without the two flange mounting bolts being rotated to different positions? A complete bolt in to stock R/T mids.
 

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Basically you can do it two ways:

Spend 8 hours of frustration (and hope you have small hands) as the heads are very wide (6" side to side) and close proximity to the apron / strut towers. And hope you can properly torque all the nuts on the exhaust with the tight access.

or (as the shop manual says) spend the same amount of time to pull the heads, swap out the exhaust (and torque the nuts readily) thread this back in, re-install the heads, reinstall the the pushrods, rockershafts, intake and the harnesses.

Then you can bolt up the mid-pipes to the rest of the system from underneath.

Either way there's a lot of time involved - one method is a pain, and the other is just as much time, just w/o all the frustration.
 

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If you go long tubes, be prepared to also purchase a tuner to eliminate the engine light. Ive installed 2 sets of BFE long tubes on 2 different friends cars on car ramps. Really not too bad of a job just time consuming. When I finally got around to doing mine, I decided on factory SRT short headers as I am planning on remote turbos and no engine light. The SRT headers were a lot more work than the long tubes because of the heat shield thickness. The long tubes are more beneficial though. I didn't notice a real big difference with the short headers but I gained about 1 - 1.5 mpg on the highway.
 

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I've installed the SRT8 shorty headers and just replaced those with ARH long tubes this week. Totally doable on jack stands. Actually I thought the long tubes were a little easier than the SRT8 manifolds for same reason as previous poster. Definitely need patience and good assortment of tools. 10mm flex head ratcheting wrench was my best friend through it all. Don't forget thread lube to prevent galling. You may want to remove them at some point in the future.

And also, removing the valve covers makes getting to the top bolts easier, just be careful when reinstalling them so that you don't knock the gasket out of place in the back, or you will be leaking oil.
 

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What is a good brand of SHORT tube headers that will bolt into an '11-'14 R/T and use the stock midpipes, without the two flange mounting bolts being rotated to different positions? A complete bolt in to stock R/T mids.
JBA bolt right up. Good quality.
 
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