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So, I spent about 5 hours today working on my header install (including a store run or two and a lunch break). I managed to get the head shields off, and I believe 10 out of the 16 manifold nuts loose.

I managed to get this far without jacking the engine up (mainly because I forgot that was an actual step). Coincidentally, I've been having a hell of a time accessing some of the nuts that are on the bottom side of the manifold.

My main weapon of choice has been a 14mm flex head ratcheting wrench, which I saw recommended in another header thread, and it's been a huge asset. In fact, all that I've used so far has been wrenches. I haven't really been able to get a socket anywhere near the bolts. Does anyone have any other suggestions that may help me to break those last few bolts loose? Also, I'll try jacking the engine up tomorrow when I continue but, does it really provide that much of an advantage? Does it give you better clearance/angles, or what?

I've been hitting the nuts with PB Blaster and doing hot/cold cycles here and there trying to loosen things up, but I just can't quite get torque on some of those bolts. On a couple, I can't even get the box end of the wrench to seat flush because of the manifold itself, so there's that too.

It's obviously not impossible since many people before me have done it. Tomorrow is supposed to be a cold one, and snow is expected on sunday, so hopefully I can knock it out before I go hypothermic. Looking forward to any info/tips/suggestions!
 

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Send pics please! I wanna see how the studs look, and do you see any of them possibly breaking?
 

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The watching wrench is a must! Raising the engine 1-1.5" is darn near necessary to remove and install headers to clear the frame. I would use a box end wrench and position it to wear it fits the open end of the ratcheting wrench to where it's a "cheater pipe" extra leverage. I know that description is horrible lol but I don't know how else to describe it. Also....14mm 6pt sockets with a 3/8" ratchet and a short piece of 3/4" electrical metal conduit for a "cheater pipe" is another good method on these installs.
 

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The watching wrench is a must! Raising the engine 1-1.5" is darn near necessary to remove and install headers to clear the frame. I would use a box end wrench and position it to wear it fits the open end of the ratcheting wrench to where it's a "cheater pipe" extra leverage. I know that description is horrible lol but I don't know how else to describe it. Also....14mm 6pt sockets with a 3/8" ratchet and a short piece of 3/4" electrical metal conduit for a "cheater pipe" is another good method on these installs.
No worries, I understood you perfectly. Good info, thanks! I used the wrench on wrench cheat on 2 of the bolts, but on the remaining ones I just can't find the space to get in there. I had a few beers, went back outside and got 1 more loose from each side, so I'm at 12/16, but it's too dark to figure out another angle of attack on the ones I can't reach. I physically can't even reach (not with my wrench seated flush anyway) 3 out of the 4 remaining bolts. For now, I'll just lick my (literal) wounds for the evening and head out again when the sun comes up.

As far as pictures, I'll see what I can do! I have the terrible habit of getting way too involved and forgetting about everything else. All of my studs seem to be in good shape though, and the only round off I've had was on the rearmost passenger side heat shield bolt. I just cut around it. Also, on the front driver side heat shield bolt, it actually sheared off and is now stuck inside the manifold. I figure I'll just drill it out once I get it off the truck.
 
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Raising the engine is only necessary for removing the manifolds from the engine and getting them out of the engine compartment. And of course for getting the headers in.

You could raise the engine up to make the manifold nuts easier to get to, but that's optional. I removed almost all of mine using an extension on my socket wrench. Sometimes the 20"+ extension was the easiest way to get to a nut.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Raising the engine is only necessary for removing the manifolds from the engine and getting them out of the engine compartment. And of course for getting the headers in.

You could raise the engine up to make the manifold nuts easier to get to, but that's optional. I removed almost all of mine using an extension on my socket wrench. Sometimes the 20"+ extension was the easiest way to get to a nut.
What size extension worked for you? Or should I just find one as long as possible to get the ratchet out in to the open?

And sorry, but what do you mean by the 20''? A 20'' breaker bar?

Looks like I may need to hit Lowe's one last time tomorrow before I remove everything!
 

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I was able to get EVERY nut with a 14mm flex head socket (snap-on brand was mine, very short and usefull), then another swivel to get more angle, with 3 extensions to get the ratchet outside the fender.

I HAD to lift the motor to remove the manifolds, no if ands or buts, and it was almost impossible to get the header in even with the motor lifted! But it did go in with some force.
 

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What size extension worked for you? Or should I just find one as long as possible to get the ratchet out in to the open?

And sorry, but what do you mean by the 20''? A 20'' breaker bar?

Looks like I may need to hit Lowe's one last time tomorrow before I remove everything!
Apologies for not being clear. I used a 20" extension for my socket. Not a breaker bar. I'm guessing it was 20". I got at some of the rear nuts using the extension by going in from behind the lower A-arm of the suspension and then up at an angle.

At stated directly above, a swivel helps a lot. Here is an example:
Sears.com

I find the swivel to be a lot more effective than a universal joint.

When you loosen the motor mount bolts be sure you only loosen them. Do not remove them completely. If one comes out then put it right back in at least a few turns. They are very difficult to reinsert once the motor has been jacked up/down.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Great info from you both. Much appreciated. I guess I'll have to go shopping tomorrow.

I'll report back and try to get a few pictures up tomorrow once I'm successful (power of positive thinking)!
 

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question:
can`t the studs be removed and the exhaust mani`s slid out?
That's a lot to ask from a steel stud that's been threaded into aluminum for 6 years....although some people have mentioned a stud backing out while doing this job.
 
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sounds like a huge pain in the a$$
 
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sounds like a huge pain in the a$$
I don't think it's all that big a deal, depending on your skill set.
I've got a very small oxy/acetylene torch head that will make those nuts come right off.....if necessary.
 
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My install was going very quickly, until I had to shim the motor mounts so the headers weren't touching them.
 

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Lubecakes hit the nail on the head when talking about removing studs. I would not do that at all, if you pull threads from the head it's gonna be a job re-tapping or helicoil that hole as tight as the engine bay is. Heat is your friend when you have frozen bolts or nuts..lol. Just don't catch your truck on fire.

HRTKD I ask a lot of guys about the clearance on the drivers side and since your install I have had one guy that had to massage the motor mount for some clearance, most have about 1/4". There has to be some variences in these trucks because JBA uses a single jig just like I do on the bpipes. Once in a blue moon someone will call with bpipe fitment issues and I know for a fact the bpipes are correct. I bolt a set of stock bpipes in my jig about once a month just to check it and be safe.
 

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Maybe I was overconcerned about the clearance. I had to shim both sides. I'm pretty sure they were on the motor mount on the passenger side before the shim.
 

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That's a lot to ask from a steel stud that's been threaded into aluminum for 6 years....although some people have mentioned a stud backing out while doing this job.
well my rig is 3 yrs old with 29k miles. I`d would "like" to think they can be removed if necc. I did purchase a set of 16 studs just in case I can remove those and slide the old mani`s back and the JBA`s in place...


just a rant> Sears is really going in the crapper.

in my experience up North, any sears I went into was loaded down with tools, isles of wrenches and sockets and such...

I went into the sears at the jacksonville mall in NC and it was a huge disappointment and waste of time considering Western ave is a corksucker to travel down...

wow, no sets of swivel sockets, no individual articulating ratchet wrench, especially in 14 mm, wow...

the economy has really set to the tone for crappola in the stores and the need to just shop online.
 

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That's a lot to ask from a steel stud that's been threaded into aluminum for 6 years....although some people have mentioned a stud backing out while doing this job.
I had 3 studs back out on me on the driver side, none broken though, ended up putting them in a vise, getting the nut off, and tap/dye each nut and bolt, till they were easy to go on and off, then used red loctite and put the studs back in the head, worked like a charm.

The passenger side i had an issue with one of the studs actually pulled the threads out of the head, like someone before had over tightened the stud and pulled the aluminum thread out. So i sent a tap through the hole, and found it much deeper than the stud actually was, (the stud only grabs about half as much thread thats actually in there) so i was able to find a bolt in my collection that went in deep enough to grab sufficient amount of thread, and threw it in there, worked perfect.
 
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