A guide to install Pacesetter headers (By 97rs4life)
New vs. Old
What you need
wrenches, sockets, metric tools, pliers
welder and saw
2 PEOPLE (helpful, not needed)
Some other odds and ends
***Night Before*** Soak the manifold bolts with some good penetrating oil and do it again the morning of the install to help get the manifolds loose when doing install
1 Start up your car and get it warm to help when removing the bolts.
2 Pull it up on ramps, block back tire e-break all that, safety (I had a lift)
3 Remove Y pipe by removing the bolts and then cutting the y pipe about 1"-2" in front of the cat unless you are replacing the cat as well.
4 Remove heat shields as well as the starter shield to make more room. Get the plug wires out of the way, then remove the plugs, use gloves if manifolds still hot from your warmup. Also unplug O2 sensors so you can remove the sensors once the manifolds are out (don't loose white clips that you have to remove).
5 Remove the manifold bolts for both manifolds. I left the back stud closest to the firewall on the drivers side in because I heard it breaks a lot on people and the header fit in there with it still in the head. Made it a lot easier to install it because you can line up the gaskets and headers better this way. Passenger side I left the two studs in the head and reused the nuts and washers for each. (picture below shows 2 studs on drivers side, I removed the front one later when I couldn't get the header in there.)
It will take longer to get stock manifolds out then the new headers in. Getting the old manifolds off took almost 75% of the time of this install.
6 Both manifolds dropped out of the bottom of the car pretty easy. The drivers side was tight, but I was able to work it out without banging anything in to make room.
7. As you take stock out get out the O2 sensors (or have new ones ready) mine came out after heating them up a little. I then installed them into the headers. I had to make an O2 extension for my passenger side header. For some reason it was a tad short. No big deal just some soldering and extra wire. Here is a pic of the sensor wiring harness location. It is tough to get at because it is on the backside of the engine (blue/black connection seen in picture towards top of block).
8. Install gaskets and headers from the bottom. I used some metal replacement gaskets and put RTV silicone (orange stuff) around each port on both side of the gasket to help seal the gasket when I tightened them down.
NAPA gaskets have been said to work good as well as the pacesetter paper gaskets after soaking them the night before. Also Abbott's Racing work really well and cost $35.
New headers are easy to bolt in just start in the center and work outwards, then back to center till everything is snug.
9. Put in new plugs and 90* spark plug wires to keep them away from the header. Put starter shield back on and anything else you took off to make room.
10. Put y-pipe on, snug up bolts, weld to cat. I had the two piece y pipe so I welded that as well to prevent leaks.
Header bolts are 5/16 -18 1". I went to the local hardware and got some grade 8 hex bolts and they worked great. Also stage 8 sells locking header bolts for our cars for like $56 and they are kit #6912 if you are looking for them. It is a new kit and most retailers don't carry them yet so you can order directly from them. They told me $56 is shipped.
11. EGR system is a tight squeeze but it will go in. I had to grind the hole a little bit to make it easier to slide in. Make sure to use a bunch of RTV Silicone High Temp on this as well. A big problem area with the pacesetters is the EGR hookup. In the picture you can see how far away it was and how much I had to pull it in.
Stand back and admire your work.
12. Finally start it up and check for leaks. Warm it up and let it cool a few times and then check the bolts and snug them up if needed again. Then check the bolts a couple times the first week after the install, then after 100 miles, 300 miles and 1000 miles. After that you should be fine, wouldn't hurt to check them at every oil change however.
MMM, sexy looking huh?
Page 1: Intro/mods
Page 2: Nitrous Install Pics
Page 3: Performance/Suspension Mod Pics
Page 4: Links
Page 5: Audio
Page 6: Other random pics of my car
Page 7: Port and Polish Throttle Body Project (updated)
Page 8: Things for sale
Page 9: Pacesetter Header Install Walkthrough with pics