Reconditioning the Headers

This project came about due to the need to sort out some rust in the frame rails. The headers (also known to me as extractors) had to be removed to provide access under the car, and as they are covered in surface rust I wanted to see just how bad they are….some nice shiny new ones would be nice 🙂

To start with I had to remove 3 bolts connecting the collector to the exhaust pipe. Thankfully the nuts were reasonably easy to remove as I had had them off a few years ago.

I then moved up to the engine and removed and labelled the plug wires. I then did the same with the plugs. This is the first time I had checked the plugs in ages and they were ‘ok’ but I’ll probably replace them when everything goes back together.

I then struggled for about an hour to remove the 8 bolts holding the extractor to the head. I had hoped I might be able to bring the pipes up through the engine bay but soon found that the valve cover lip was in the way. After removing the valve cover and loosening the monte carlo brace (and covering everything with a towel to stop anything getting in) I tried, but soon found it impossible to get them out through the top. I then resorted to trying to maneuver them out under the car but the power steering ram is in the way….so that’s the next piece to be removed. As always, these projects tend to snowball!

Once the power steering ram was disconnected I was able (with much swearing) to remove the headers from beneath the car. They are covered in surface rust/scale so I gave them a trial sanding. Thankfully I didn’t find any holes so I’ve contacted a local sand blasting company to see what it would cost to get them blasted.

It turns out that its reasonably cheap to get them blasted (compared with new ones!) so I’ll put them aside and get them done in a month or so once frame rail rust is dealt with.

Update – Well I ended up buying an entire new exhaust system so these will go into storage

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