Installing SUMMIT Shorty Headers on a 1989 Ford Bronco - Ford Bronco Forum
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post #1 of 272 (permalink) Old 04-24-2003, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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Installing SUMMIT Shorty Headers on a 1989 Ford Bronco

DISCLAIMER: 4xPepe` is by no means any sort of MECHANIC. Infact it could easily be said that he is MECHANICALLY CHALLENGED. Please consider the source when using his information/experience. 4xPepe` cannot be held responsible for the use and or abuse of the following technical information. With that being said… on with the Write-Up!


Installing SUMMIT Shorty Headers on a 1989 Ford Bronco with a 3 inch Body Lift.

Hindsight is 20/20; so let’s go over some of the lessons learned before I walk you through the installation…
1. Start with the passenger side, it's the hardest and the drivers side will seem like a relief after getting through the passenger side.
2. Take the passenger side fender-well out (as Rafa said to me). There should only be 2 canister type items connected to it and it is SO WORTH the extra 10-15 minutes!
3. When connecting the headers to the exhaust... hook up the passenger side first. This side is the closest to the CAT and has very little movement already... while the driver side has plenty of movement being so far from the CAT.
4. Get new plugs to install too! Once the passenger side header is on... good luck ever getting to the plugs again! On this same note... you will need at least a 45-degree angle on your plug wire caps (Mine were already 45-degree.)



A cracked Exhaust Manifold started this whole project. My original intention was simply to replace the cracked manifold on the driver side. Little did I know, my Bronco wanted new Headers. I got a set of used exhaust manifolds from another ’89 351W, but for some undetermined reason the used manifolds did not match up at all. After fighting with them for a day, I went ahead and decided to get the recommended SUMMIT Shorty Headers. I ordered these and had them sent overnight for just under $200:




PARTS (Where’s my DAMN STICKERS?):


Of course the stock standard gaskets didn’t look real trustworthy, so I decided to go with the “Mr. Gasket” set instead. $20:


Now on closer review of the Passenger Header you may notice that access to the plugs is VERY limited. NOW is the time to replace those spark plugs, so I went with the BOSCH plugs. These plugs are a bit shorter than the standard plugs and I figure anything to keep them as far away from the heat of the headers is a good thing:


New Headers laid out and EGR tube temporarily installed. Once the headers are installed the tube may require a little bending, but should work just fine:


IN-SIDE:


Here are some very handy tools that I was lucky enough to have around. You’ll soon see where they play a very important part:


Trying to apply 20 lbs. of torque to the Header bolts was difficult due to access room, but this setup made a real difference:


If your short and fat like me (or just short, or your Bronco is BIG) you’ll have a problem reaching into the motor compartment. I used stacked Milk crates work great and their so cheap (as they are generally available during the midnight special sale behind your local grocery store):


Lighting is always important and here’s a clever little setup, if you have a “Customized” paint job:



Now… to the MEAT!

As I mentioned before I had already removed the old exhaust manifolds, so let’s just start from there. This is the driver side; it is much easier to access than the passenger side. I left the old plugs in at this point, as I didn’t want to break any of the new ones when installing the driver side header. Bare exhaust ports:



Here you can see the driver side header pretty much drops right in and matches up real nice:


Looking like a nice clean fit, except there is no place to connect the dip-stick brackets anymore. Oh well… I’ll fix that later:



Looks like a go to me! Dropped in the gaskets, got the bolts started and replacing the plugs:


Everything on this side was just too smooth, should known trouble was coming later. Got the Plug boots on:


Decided to use a Zip-Tie to hold that Dip-Stick in place. Notice the convenient bracket I used to anchor too:



Things are going so well at this point… I think I’ll take a little break.



BACK TO WORK – PASSENGER SIDE!!!

So at this point I was still pretty intimidated by all the stuff on the passenger side fender-well and trying to avoid pulling it off, so I changed the plugs with it still on.


Say… do you think I’m leaking any OIL?


So I’m cleaning up the area and getting ready to drop in the passenger header. Before I do that I have to deal with the exhaust pipe nut and bolt that are completely rusted together. They even got to soak in PB Blaster overnight... still wouldn't budge:


Tried removing the tire to access those bolts… still not enough room:


So I break down and remove the fender-well. This was way easier than I anticipated and was a major advantage when installing the header. I’d recommend that anyone do this:


LOOK AT ALL THAT ROOM:



Now I can get to those rusted bolts and a whole lot more!


Taking care of those bolts was easy enough once I could get to them:



So I drop in the header and look at that… good thing I already installed the new plugs:


Now I notice that the header isn’t lining up with the exhaust pipe like the driver sided did:



So I crawl back under the rig and detach the driver side exhaust pipe, suddenly with a little push… the passenger side now lines up real easy:



Once that was done I re-connected the driver side, dropped in the gasket on the passenger header. Here I pulled up the little piece from the header, it would melt quickly if left to sit on the header where it used to live. I have no idea what the piece is called, but it’s out of the way now:


Here’s where I Zip-Tied that little bugger to keep it out of harms way:


I routed the little vacuum lines through the zip-tie to ensure they were also safe and connected the plug wires as well, also making sure they cleared the headers.


And the passenger side is ALMOST FINISHED:


All that should be left from here is to reconnect the fender-well, torque the header bolts on the passenger side and clean up a bit.

Of course you should take the rig out… run it hard and HOT to burn off the paint (stinky) and then some back and re-torque any bolts that need it.

Come back now and then for the next few weeks making sure the bolts stay torque down and your headers should enjoy and long and successful life!

Summit claims you should gain 15 HP from installing these headers and I have to agree that the feeling is noticeable and the sound, while not any louder is somewhat “throatier”.

"When life throws you a curve... LEAN INTO IT!"

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Last edited by BikerPepe`; 09-17-2013 at 12:45 AM. Reason: testing broken images...
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post #2 of 272 (permalink) Old 04-24-2003, 03:00 PM
huh
 
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INVALID SESSION!!!!!

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post #3 of 272 (permalink) Old 04-24-2003, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Bronkzilla
INVALID SESSION!!!!!
:finger:

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post #4 of 272 (permalink) Old 04-24-2003, 03:11 PM
huh
 
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glad to see the fender trick made things a bit easier..

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post #5 of 272 (permalink) Old 04-24-2003, 03:11 PM
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Awesome writeup Pepe'! :cheers: Pics are worth a thousand words and you have plenty of them...shoulda changed the valve cover gaskets while you were in there... :lol: " INVALID SESSION" You's a badboy "Sway!" :mrgreen:

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post #6 of 272 (permalink) Old 04-24-2003, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J-Roc
Awesome writeup Pepe'! :cheers: Pics are worth a thousand words and you have plenty of them...shoulda changed the valve cover gaskets while you were in there... :lol: " INVALID SESSION" You's a badboy "Sway!" :mrgreen:
Thanks J-ROC... I thought about it, but cost wise I was already $200 over budget and besides, just like my old ShovelHead... it's an OIL FILTRATION SYSTEM. No need to CHANGE the OIL, just keep it FULL! :mrgreen: :twisted:

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post #7 of 272 (permalink) Old 04-24-2003, 03:19 PM
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Very good PePe.
I am quite inpressed with your tech write up.
I liked how you mentioned to install the passenger side plugs first because they are a b!tch to replace after the passnger side header is in.
I could only imagine how upset someone would be trying to get those plugs out & in after the fact.

Looks good and you gotta keep us up to date on how they are working for you.

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post #8 of 272 (permalink) Old 04-24-2003, 03:39 PM
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Nice write up. Looks good, good job. Are those springs red under all that mud? So does your rig sound/perform any different?
post #9 of 272 (permalink) Old 04-24-2003, 04:19 PM
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WAY TO PEPE!!! Glad to see ya got it together and got it on the site ....

]http://www.supermotors.net/getfile/624303/fullsize/bronco- ]A U.S. VETERAN[ Whether active duty, retired, national guard or reserve - is someone who, at one point in his or her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America", for an amount of "up to, and including, my life." :
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post #10 of 272 (permalink) Old 04-24-2003, 05:05 PM
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nice write up...im thinking of doing the headers thing......and that leak....man you need to fix that....i had a leak like that...and it burned my plug wires all up....its a job to fiw it...took me about 6 hours..and then 8 beers after it to chill me out...

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post #11 of 272 (permalink) Old 04-24-2003, 05:17 PM
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and that leak....
I thought that was PB blaster overspray? :roll:
post #12 of 272 (permalink) Old 04-24-2003, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 94_chickentaco
Quote:
and that leak....
I thought that was PB blaster overspray? :roll:
Allot of it was the PB (on the frame and such...) but I do have both valve covers leaking some. Honestly not sure about touching that with the EFI stuff going on. I may have to learn that crap anyway... maybe if/when/after we get to Florida.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 94_chickentaco
Are those springs red under all that mud? So does your rig sound/perform any different?
Nothing red in there... at least not anymore. The sound is a bit throatier, but the sound level is basically the same, since it's using the same CAT and other exhaust protections. Performance is better, feels like I did get the extra 15 HP promised. At least she turns those 35's a little easier on take off now than ever before!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kemicalburns
Now there are a few things to look at when you get these. One if they say pacsetter on them , ship them back. Ive heard a few people on a different site that had problems with the pacsetter model.
These are the PacSetters so I'll keep ya'll up to date if I have any problems with them.

Thanks for all the positive feedback guys! Sure makes it all worth stopping to take the pics and writing it up!

BTW: Special Thanks to MountainMan for pointing these headers out to me when I was in the middle of chaos, to Raf for pointing out the Fender-well access, and to my neighbor (not the psyco one) for helping me out and just sticking around when I was ready to throw a fit in the garage!
Also much thanks to FSB and all those who helped me out during this project. Again... couldn't have done it without you guys!

"When life throws you a curve... LEAN INTO IT!"

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post #13 of 272 (permalink) Old 04-24-2003, 06:55 PM
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Congrates Pepe...keep it up and you will no longer be "mechanically challenged"! :cheers: Now doesn't it feel good to fix it better than before all by yourself?

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post #14 of 272 (permalink) Old 04-24-2003, 07:29 PM
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Lighting is always important and here’s a clever little setup, if you have a “Customized” paint job:
is that a grow light ? ? ? :mrgreen: GREAT write up Pepe', thanks for taking the time and sharing it with us

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post #15 of 272 (permalink) Old 04-24-2003, 07:38 PM
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Nice job Pepe, good write up
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post #16 of 272 (permalink) Old 04-24-2003, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazed
Nice job Pepe, good write up
Thanks Crazed! :cheers:

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsotmoon
is that a grow light ? ? ? :mrgreen: GREAT write up Pepe', thanks for taking the time and sharing it with us
Well... uh... YES! It was anyway! My pleasure Joe, just hope it helps somebody out!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Mike C.
Congrates Pepe...keep it up and you will no longer be "mechanically challenged"! :cheers: Now doesn't it feel good to fix it better than before all by yourself?
You bet it does... reminds me of rebuilding the old ShovelHead. Doesn't make the lil' lady too happy when I'm out there all the time... but it helps when I tell her the $$$ we saved! :lol:

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post #17 of 272 (permalink) Old 04-24-2003, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beerman
I liked how you mentioned to install the passenger side plugs first because they are a b!tch to replace after the passnger side header is in.
I could only imagine how upset someone would be trying to get those plugs out & in after the fact.
Glad to see my advice helped you out Pepe!!! Man that was the most complete write-up ive ever seen, includes: Lighting, tools, Break nutrition, drink selection, and a gazillion pics!!!

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Just check the bolts on those valve covers I bet that they are just a little loose and when you retorque the leak will go away

my bronco

1980 ford bronco 302,2 in body lift, 35*12.50 dunlop mud rovers, np435, 9in rear, dana 44 ft (soon to have 351w, 4 in dickcepek series II lift and 4.11 detroit rear and truetrac front)
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81Bronk36: You were totally on the ball with that advice. As everyone can now see... thos pugs would have been just short of impossible to deal with! Thanks again for that tip!
As for the write up... well, that's what happens when you ask a perfectionist for advice man. You get much more than you asked for and probably more than you could use! :lol:

80bronco: I'll give that a try this weekend when I re-torque the header bolts. Couldn't hurt! Any idea of the torque specifics so I don't totally squash the gaskets?

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post #20 of 272 (permalink) Old 04-25-2003, 01:37 AM
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Pepe, again im glad it helped you out man, you dunno how much crap I had to go through to get my headers to work!!

As far as the valve covers, I would say 5-10 foot lbs should be fine, but it is possible to break those bolts off or shear a hole in the cover from the washer so go easy, but if they are mad loose, you could give em a little turn no prob.

I always us the German tech manual for covers... Good-n-tight!!

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