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Discussion Starter #1
I have been researching headers for my Challenger R/T 5.7L for quite a while now. Reading through a lot of posts and forums, collecting information and finding the best methods and routes to go and what I have concluded is Stainless Works 2" Long Tubes with High Flow Cats (I need them for emissions) is the best header to go with for my purposes (already ordered and waiting for them to arrive). However, I discovered there's a lot more to headers than just swapping out my exhaust manifold, such as hardware, gaskets and coating/heat shielding. Here's where my questions come in before I start buying more stuff.

Hardware: I have read that Stage 8 Locking Header Fastener Kits are the best way to go in terms of hardware, expensive but they seem worth the expense. Is Stage 8 really the best hardware kit I can buy for the header install? Are there other options?

Gaskets: Stock/OEM gaskets seem to be the best route to go in terms of sealing and fitment on these cars. However, I have heard that Fel-Pro is also a good aftermarket gasket brand to go with and half the price of OEM, but does anyone have any opinions/experience on this? Should I just bite the bullet and get OEM despite the price? Also, I have a 5.7L and I read that if I got 5.7L gaskets, I'd have to modify them slightly to fit the Stainless Works Headers due to the small heat shield on the gaskets. I'd like to avoid having to modify anything unnecessarily so would I have any issues using 6.4L or 6.1L gaskets instead?

Coatings/Heat Shields: Due to how hot headers get and the inability to reuse the stock heat shields, ceramic coating seems to be the best route to go. I'm leaning toward Jet-Hot since they have a location semi-close to where I live. Will a ceramic coat keep the components around the headers safe from heat and not cause damage to anything? I was also told header wrap was an option but I read they'd damage the headers over time so I dismissed them quickly. What has everyone else done in terms of heat protection when it comes to headers?

Installation: I already know this is going to be a nightmare to install but I'd like to hear some tips and tricks for it. I will be installing this myself using a QuickJack. What should I consider removing or loosening to make the install easier? I've heard, read and seen so many things regarding install and modification that I'm not sure what to believe anymore, so any advice is highly appreciated. Also, I know the headers/exhaust manifold have a torque spec of 18 foot pounds, which I would really like to torque the bolts but looking under the car, it looks like there's not enough space to fit a torque wrench in there. Has anyone had any issues torquing the header bolts to spec and if not, how can I do it?

I believe that wraps up all my questions and concerns, I will reply to this thread though should I have anymore. I really appreciate any and all help I can get from the community.

Thank you.
 

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Interesting questions very well researched and thought out. I had a bad experience buying LTH thru Just Bold-on performance so I am now waiting for some BBK-40460 LTH's from Brothers Performance. I too would be very interested in the feedback you get from the great members that have already been thru the install.

-Dogg
 
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Why did you settle/decide on the 2"? Little smaller 1&3/4" or 1&7/8" would be better for the 5.7. I would run the 2" with a 6.4 but not the 5.7. I have 1&7/8 on mine.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Why did you settle/decide on the 2"? Little smaller 1&3/4" or 1&7/8" would be better for the 5.7. I would run the 2" with a 6.4 but not the 5.7. I have 1&7/8 on mine.
Long story short is because once my 5.7L engine starts giving me issues and headaches I'm going to swap it out for a different and larger engine (currently looking at the Arrington 6.4L 426 Forged Crate at the moment but I have a long while to decide and that's a topic for another thread). While 2" might not be the most useful right now, it will help both now and later on in the build. My thought process is pretty much build everything in the car to prepare it for the bigger engine so when the time comes I don't have to fork out an astronomical amount of money.
 

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Use NEW OEM gaskets and bolts, and be sure to torque to specs. If you use anything else, odds are, you'll need to retorque the header bolts after 100 miles, and then you'll be hating life. If your headers are not already ceramic coated, that needs to be corrected. There is nothing better than the ceramic coating. Finally, you're going to want to use a professional lift to do the job. You'll find out why in short order if you try anything else. Mine are JBA's so there is nothing more I can tell you about this right now.
 

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Long story short is because once my 5.7L engine starts giving me issues and headaches I'm going to swap it out for a different and larger engine (currently looking at the Arrington 6.4L 426 Forged Crate at the moment but I have a long while to decide and that's a topic for another thread). While 2" might not be the most useful right now, it will help both now and later on in the build. My thought process is pretty much build everything in the car to prepare it for the bigger engine so when the time comes I don't have to fork out an astronomical amount of money.
I didnt see what year yours was. If you buy headers and plan to upgrade later, make sure you get the exhaust port configuration for the headers. D port or not. That will throw a wrench in your future plans. Buying headers twice would suck.
 

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I didnt see what year yours was. If you buy headers and plan to upgrade later, make sure you get the exhaust port configuration for the headers. D port or not. That will throw a wrench in your future plans. Buying headers twice would suck.
Good point, I didn't even take into consideration the exhaust ports on the new engine (which is a long way away). I have a 2015 R/T so I have the D-Port.

Use NEW OEM gaskets and bolts, and be sure to torque to specs. If you use anything else, odds are, you'll need to retorque the header bolts after 100 miles, and then you'll be hating life. If your headers are not already ceramic coated, that needs to be corrected. There is nothing better than the ceramic coating. Finally, you're going to want to use a professional lift to do the job. You'll find out why in short order if you try anything else. Mine are JBA's so there is nothing more I can tell you about this right now.
Could you define "professional lift" for me? If you mean a lift that I will be able to stand underneath. I don't have access to one at all and nor do I have the money to rent a shop for that kind of lift. I recently bought my QuickJack since that's the best I'll be able to do it terms of lifting the car (QuickJack rises the car roughly 2' off the ground and gives me plenty of wiggle room).

Regarding the gaskets, do you know if I'll be okay using 6.1L/6.4L gaskets on the 5.7L?
These are what I am looking at getting for reference.

Thanks.
 

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I installed a set of Jet-Hot coated, Kooks 1 7/8" LTs in December of 2018. The 2" will likely be even closer to the starter and other wiring in the engine bay so I would definitely spring for the ceramic coated option. Jet-Hot did a beautiful job. Kooks supplied the gaskets(Cometic), and stage 8 locking header bolts. I did use OEM 6.1 gaskets though, but I've heard the cometic are good also. Install is simple, just time consuming and sometimes frustrating. I would imagine the 2" would be a little tougher install since each primary tube is slightly larger. I didn't even bother trying to get a torque wrench in there, just got the bolts as tight as I could with a 10mm wrench(not too tight). The locking stage 8 bolts are nice, but I only installed the retainers on the easily accessible bolts. I did check the hard to reach bolts after putting some miles on, and none had loosened. Logged about 8000 miles on since then with no issues. With a tune and DRs, car has been a best of [email protected] in the 1/4, +600DA.
 

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Good point, I didn't even take into consideration the exhaust ports on the new engine (which is a long way away). I have a 2015 R/T so I have the D-Port.



Could you define "professional lift" for me? If you mean a lift that I will be able to stand underneath. I don't have access to one at all and nor do I have the money to rent a shop for that kind of lift. I recently bought my QuickJack since that's the best I'll be able to do it terms of lifting the car (QuickJack rises the car roughly 2' off the ground and gives me plenty of wiggle room).

Regarding the gaskets, do you know if I'll be okay using 6.1L/6.4L gaskets on the 5.7L?
These are what I am looking at getting for reference.

Thanks.
Main difference in the gaskets for the 5.7 is they have 1 extra cutout on the pssenger side for the EGR that recirculated right there on the head


That being said, i used the 6.4 gaskets when i put factory 392 headers on my 5.7 , effectively blocking said EGR port. Its been this way for 2 years, and i haven’t found a discernible difference
 

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Good point, I didn't even take into consideration the exhaust ports on the new engine (which is a long way away). I have a 2015 R/T so I have the D-Port.



Could you define "professional lift" for me? If you mean a lift that I will be able to stand underneath. I don't have access to one at all and nor do I have the money to rent a shop for that kind of lift. I recently bought my QuickJack since that's the best I'll be able to do it terms of lifting the car (QuickJack rises the car roughly 2' off the ground and gives me plenty of wiggle room).

Regarding the gaskets, do you know if I'll be okay using 6.1L/6.4L gaskets on the 5.7L?
These are what I am looking at getting for reference.

Thanks.
That's what I meant, a lift you can stand beneath. If you have to do the job on your back, it will take twice as long to do it. As for the gaskets, I used the ones for a 5.7L, and don't know if the others will fit properly.
 
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