The cheap header story part one


15 Year Member
Jan 15, 2003
Greencastle Pa
So I buy this car..88GT, shoulda left it where I found it but anyhow..the headers "tick" at idle and I'm OCD and had to fix it. I order gaskets pop um on. One is fixed one still leaks. After some diagnostic I see that the headers are garbage and basically have a weld as the sealing surface to the head. JUNK. I get on ebay and find a set of 1 5/8" shorties NEW and stainless steel with a nice FLAT mounting surface. this point I'm in. $150.00 to my door. I install them tonight. Go on top side like a breeze..awesome. UH OH collector don't fit the offroad H-pipe on the passenger side. Like the header is bent wrong a bit. SO I unbolt the header bolt start the flange bolts and twist it around and rebolt to the head. Tighten them up AGAIN, this time tightening the flanges. Start her up..LEAK at the flange. The old junk ones didnt leak there. So anyhow I swear the header is angled wrong. I emailed the seller..not real nice as I was pissed, so I'll wait and see. Should I buy a new H-Pipe? I would sooner think it was mis bent than a header but it sealed before..and I can see the gap..clearly angled off just a bit. I'm really getting tired of this exhaust game. UGH:bs:
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You are probably correct. i would have to do some marking and figuring. Just chaps my butt cause I was thinking slam them on there and on to the next issue to fix. Its two steps forward one step back with this car. I emailed the guy. He is a distributor of new parts not private. I'm hoping he will send me a header to try another. If not Im not sure of the next step. Im almost ready to order good brand name headers and a new H Pipe just to have it done, then ebay the old stuff. I just want it done. I would buy a set of long tubes and a short H pipe if I found a good used set. The new ones are expensive.
The h pipe I got with my long tubes recently didn't fit into the hangers next to the trans so in order to make it work I cut the hangers of the pipe. I'll have some welded on down the road. Maybe you could do something similar. My buddy hasn't had hangers on his car for years now so I'm not to worried about it. Break them loose from the cat back, then try and connect them to the headers without guiding them in th hangers. IDK If it'll work but it's worth a shot.
OK here we are day 2. Let me start out like this..take a look at all the inexpensive fox body headers on ebay right now.. ceramic, chrome, stainless, etc. Then look at the feedback...NONE..noone has sold any yet. And if so no feedback was left. I think it is a whole shipment of garbage from China. I removed the header today and laid it beside the old one (also an aftermarket) and the angle of the outlet looks to be the exact same fashion it looked wrong under the car to the h-pipe. Its just a crap header. After some research, one of the guys selling the same brand headers has a note..exhaust pipes may need to be modified for fitment..ha ha! He musta got burned. They are direct fit parts..MY BAD. I'll buy some decent ones. BEWARE
Cheap exhaust parts rarely work properly.
And if they do, they usually leak or rot out quickly. The metal is thin and stretched out in the bends, so they burn through easily.

Buy bassani headers and multipiece piece x pipe.
Ya, they are going to cost you way more, but then again they will fit properly.

I had to learn my lesson, not once but twice on exhaust parts.
Never again.