Installing long tube headers problems. - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-19-2018, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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Installing long tube headers problems.

Iíve been installing some Mac ceramic coated long tube headers on my 70 coupe. Passenger side I thought was going to be a real pita ended up going not so bad. The driver side how ever has been nothing but torture. Iíve got all the bolts in except one the very far rear bolt wonít go in. You can see with a mirror that the hole doesnít line up 100%. Iíve tried everything from prying to up, a strap to pull up on it doesnít work. I havenít consulted Mac yet on this problem was just hoping magically it would go in. These headers have a lot of ground clearance and you donít have to do a drop on the steering. But what Im having a hell of a time with also is the Automatic Shifter Linkage Rod, I canít not find for the life of me do they make this in a cable or is there only a rod for the c4 trans? Was hoping to get this exhaust done soon but it sure as heck doesnít seem like itís going to.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-19-2018, 08:16 PM
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have you tried taking the bolts out and re-started by threading the rear one first? Also, how tight are you threading the bolts? Make sure to leave some play in it. Weird stuff happens sometime.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-19-2018, 08:17 PM
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How far off is the rear bolt hole? I'm sure it wouldn't be fun to do because you'd have to take the header out but could you elongate the rear hole a bit on the header flange itself to make it fit? Typically the issues with exhaust come from the drivers side because you have to worry about fitment issues with steering/transmission/clutch components, z-bar's and so on, even though you said you have an automatic... but it typically gets even more complicated especially when you are using long tube headers. I would contact MAC first and see if they have a solution and double check the part number for the headers that you have as well before you do any drilling but if it's only slightly off and these are the headers you want to use? Have at it, especially if you can't ship them back now since they're used.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-19-2018, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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354171A5-172D-4560-A7DA-760DDE747026.jpgWhat? Removing all the bolts then rethreading
Them from end to end? This headers are individual and not a one piece like I had before which honestly is the biggest pain in the ***
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-19-2018, 08:24 PM
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ahh...nevermind then. didn't realize those don't have a solid flange across all the tubes.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-19-2018, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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How far off is the rear bolt hole? I'm sure it wouldn't be fun to do because you'd have to take the header out but could you elongate the rear hole a bit on the header flange itself to make it fit? Typically the issues with exhaust come from the drivers side because you have to worry about fitment issues with steering/transmission/clutch components, z-bar's and so on, even though you said you have an automatic... but it typically gets even more complicated especially when you are using long tube headers. I would contact MAC first and see if they have a solution and double check the part number for the headers that you have as well before you do any drilling but if it's only slightly off and these are the headers you want to use? Have at it, especially if you can't ship them back now since they're used.
Yeah I agree, I was honestly going to drill it out tonight but decided against it and posted on forum instead. I would say it off by an 8th of an inch. I had another one like that but was able to pull up on it and thread the bolt in. Iíll have to try calling tomorrow see what they think could it be casted wrong of coarse but idk.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-19-2018, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Badass70 View Post
Attachment 672473What? Removing all the bolts then rethreading

Them from end to end? This headers are individual and not a one piece like I had before which honestly is the biggest pain in the ***


If you start both ends and work in, it should make it much easier. I have those bolted up to 289 heads and they are a little more work to get them on, but itís worth it!


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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-19-2018, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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If you start both ends and work in, it should make it much easier. I have those bolted up to 289 heads and they are a little more work to get them on, but itís worth it!


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So you started the outsides and worked your way to the middle? Weíre any of the holes way off when you were installing them or they seemed to go in not too bad? Just seemed while Doing driver side few especially the inside ones were not lining up right, and I assume you have a stick which wouldnít be an issue with this stupid trans rod.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-19-2018, 08:36 PM
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So you started the outsides and worked your way to the middle? Weíre any of the holes way off when you were installing them or they seemed to go in not too bad? Just seemed while Doing driver side few especially the inside ones were not lining up right, and I assume you have a stick which wouldnít be an issue with this stupid trans rod.


Iíve always started the two outside bolts, them hang the gasket, then start the rest. Leave them all with just a few threads started so you have the most wiggle room. Yes, I do have a toploader, but twisting the equalizer bar in is an act of a contortionist


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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-19-2018, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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Iíve always started the two outside bolts, them hang the gasket, then start the rest. Leave them all with just a few threads started so you have the most wiggle room. Yes, I do have a toploader, but twisting the equalizer bar in is an act of a contortionist


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Yeah I was afraid of that, guess Iíll start the bending, canít be too hard. I bend pipe for a living 👍, Iíll takr your advice and back then almost all the way out see if that helps for any reason.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-19-2018, 08:59 PM
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If you want some real joy, try installing a set of Pontiac headers....

Anytime I had an issue with a specific bolt, I would start over and put that one in first, just like has been suggested. Once you have the ends in and the gasket hung, you can work your way in. You can always try persuading the tubes around a bit with a pry bar wrapped in a rag to protect the coating.

Regarding the shifter linkage - if it's the backdrive rod going to the steering column from the transmission, many headers require you to remove that rod for clearance.

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-19-2018, 10:21 PM
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Iíve got MAC headers on GT40P heads. Take the left side out and put a straight edge on the 3 tubes. Youíll probably find one of the tweaked. I ran into the same issue but I blame that on myself. I had one tube touching the frame rail and that to slightly flatten the side of the tube. The banging was just enough to throw the tube slightly off. I corrected the issue and the header went right in


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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-19-2018, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Huskinhano View Post
Iíve got MAC headers on GT40P heads. Take the left side out and put a straight edge on the 3 tubes. Youíll probably find one of the tweaked. I ran into the same issue but I blame that on myself. I had one tube touching the frame rail and that to slightly flatten the side of the tube. The banging was just enough to throw the tube slightly off. I corrected the issue and the header went right in

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-19-2018, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Hemikiller View Post
If you want some real joy, try installing a set of Pontiac headers....

Anytime I had an issue with a specific bolt, I would start over and put that one in first, just like has been suggested. Once you have the ends in and the gasket hung, you can work your way in. You can always try persuading the tubes around a bit with a pry bar wrapped in a rag to protect the coating.

Regarding the shifter linkage - if it's the backdrive rod going to the steering column from the transmission, many headers require you to remove that rod for clearance.
So that rod is basically useless then? Wasnít really sure what it does anyway. Btw no thanks on the Pontiac headers Iíll pass 😁
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-19-2018, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Huskinhano View Post
Iíve got MAC headers on GT40P heads. Take the left side out and put a straight edge on the 3 tubes. Youíll probably find one of the tweaked. I ran into the same issue but I blame that on myself. I had one tube touching the frame rail and that to slightly flatten the side of the tube. The banging was just enough to throw the tube slightly off. I corrected the issue and the header went right in

Did your 1 tube come separate from the rest? Mines has a clamp down by the collector. I was very careful not to bend or bang them but Iíll see what it looks like Iíve tried prying up on it to get it to line up maybe that bent is some idk
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