Headers and h-pipe not working together bad exhaust leak

strattoc

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Jan 8, 2011
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Ok so I recently picked up a used H-pipe that's been on my car for a couple of weeks ago, and then I picked up a set of used ss shorty headers (dont know brand of either) when I put them on the first time it sounded terrible, bad exhaust leak, so I pulled the pass side off yesterday, drivers is fine and looked at it, the flange was bent in on the rear where you bolt to the h-pipe so we bent it back flat and used some copper rtv (high heat) to seal it back, it worked for a little bit but then it blew that out.

Today I looked at it and you can see how they are kind of misaligned the header and h-pipe are like cocked inward and the outside is good and close but the inside of the ball flange I can feel a gap.

Basicly my question is there someway to fix this? or should I just buy another set of headers or is the h-pipe able to be bent ever so slightly..... I'm kind of at a loss because I dont know what to do. If it werent for the fact that the header would be impossible to put on I could always attach the header and h-pipe but then I wouldnt be able to get the bolt holes to line up. That reminds me when I loosened some of the bolts on the header to get another one to start it seemed that the front primarys were pulling away from the motor very hard as i was loosening.
 
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Rick 91GT

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Most H-pipes are clamped on the balance tube to allow for adjustment in width, you need to start there to straighten out the H-pipe....if it has been welded you can cut and reweld.
 

strattoc

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Yeah mine is welded.... I did a little investigating and found out about some cheap-o headers from ebay where the passenger side tube will not work because of the angle, which sounds alot like my issue, there is no manufacturer's markings on them and the person I bought them from said he just mocked them up and never used them, no wonder why.

So heres probably what I will end up doing order a set of bbk headers from summit because they have a store like 100 miles from here and be done with it, I would imagine bbk wouldnt have a problem.

Im just going to chalk this one up as me getting burned.
 

Mustang5L5

i'm familiar with penetration
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Feb 18, 2001
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My bbk headers had trouble sealing to my pacesetter h-pipe. In my case, it was a cheap h pipe. I replaced it with oem and no trouble at all.
 

Rick 91GT

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If your looking at Summit check out the Pypes shorties, they are 304L Stainless, polished and are great pieces for the money around $240. They fit fine, and hold up very well and are well constructed....save you some money over the BBK's.
 

strattoc

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I dont know what to do lol, is the set of pypes headers that much better than the bbk's? I just want a set that will work. The h-pipe was supposed to be a bbk unit but I didnt specifically see any markings on it. All I know is it worked fine with my factory headers and now it doesnt so that makes me feel like its the headers and not the h-pipe.

So should my header selection be that important? my friend has a used set of mac equal length headers but I dont know if used is such a good idea at this point lol. I just dont want my car to sound like a log truck.
 

stykthyn

I want to measure mine. It doesn't look that tall.
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not trying to sway opinions but fwiw I bought a used set of bbk shorties for 100 dollars a few years ago and they seal great to a different brand's h pipe on my car.
 

strattoc

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Im so on the fence about this because I dont want to throw away money on this, but I guess if I buy a brand new set of headers I atleast know thats not the problem and replace the h pipe from there if I still have issues. The equal length mac ones are a good deal but I'm just nervous about buying more used stuff
 

2000xp8

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You already have headaches, avoid mac if you want your headache to go away.
 

strattoc

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Ok im gonna order the bbk set from summit and they will be here on tuesday because the store is accross the state line from me. Thanks for the input we'll see how it goes i guess.
 

Rick 91GT

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The reason I suggest the Pypes is they are 304L stainless and will not rust, the BBK will look like crap in a matter of months, they will rust...even the ceramic coated ones.

For shorties, Pypes and Ford Racing nonequal stainless shorties would be my choice.
 

stykthyn

I want to measure mine. It doesn't look that tall.
10 Year Member
Jul 6, 2006
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Stainless ftw. My bbk set is ceramic coated and it has rust spots. Not totally rusty but spotty.
 

strattoc

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I didnt realize that, I've only had bare headers before and the headers I have now are yellow looking. I dont know if it matters but its not very humid here, but I can see the value now, paying $50 more now and not having to look at rusty headers later.

The rust is just a cosmetic issue and not like they are going to completely rust through right? The bolts I already have are those stupid ass ones with the allen head and 7/16 head, I like them because they are drilled for safety wire, so I'm going to borrow the safety wire pliers from our flightline toolbox and go to town on them after I've re torqued them
 

Mustang5L5

i'm familiar with penetration
Mod Dude
Feb 18, 2001
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I've always said when it comes to mustang parts, stay away from 3letter companies.

My bbk look like rusted junk...but still work fine.
 

strattoc

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So here is where I'm at, you guys were right I need to re align the h-pipe. I threw on the bbk set today and it was the same game. Now I'm kind of at a stand still though because I cant decide whether I want to keep the BBK set which has a better ball flange set-up, or stick with these who knows what brands with a beat up flange. It would cost me gas or shipping to return the BBKs to summit and I can comfortably sell the other set I have on craigslist because I know they werent the issue.

I guess I'm going to take it to the hobby shop on base tomorrow and cut the h-pipe at the coupler and re align it to work and have it welded up on friday. I'm so used to my car sounding like a fart through a mega-phone in a tunnel.
 

strattoc

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Jan 8, 2011
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I kept the BBK's on there and am going to sell the other ones. I chopped the hpipe this morning bolted everything back up and had it welded back and it sounds amazing now. I had the biggest smile on my face driving to work, sounds like a mustang is supposed to.
 

ratio411

Founding Member
Apr 21, 2002
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I dunno why we're cutting down MAC headers???
Just like some people have trouble with some headers, some people have good experiences with them too. I bought a set of used equal length MACs and paired them up with a Dynomax ORX, and they work perfectly together. Very happy with the MACs... except for the plug wire that fell on a tube and burned in half. Probably the biggest drawback to the equal length designs.
 

2000xp8

SN Certified Technician
Aug 8, 2003
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I dunno why we're cutting down MAC headers???
Just like some people have trouble with some headers, some people have good experiences with them too. I bought a set of used equal length MACs and paired them up with a Dynomax ORX, and they work perfectly together. Very happy with the MACs... except for the plug wire that fell on a tube and burned in half. Probably the biggest drawback to the equal length designs.
We cut down mac because if you play the odds, the stuff won't last. I speak from experience.
First mac headers-leaked inside the collector where the pipes meet.
Second set-once i took them off, they would not go back on, not that it mattered because the ball flange was crushed.
Mac H pipe-rusted fell apart.
3 inch mac catback on my explorer-rusted fell apart.

Exhaust is one place you economize with the best.
Stainless pays for itself.
You may ask yourself "why did this jackass keep using these parts if they suck".
Well the answer is: the parts were cheap, and so was i.
Lesson learned.
 
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