New headers, exhaust leak - Ford Bronco Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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New headers, exhaust leak

Finished installing my BBK headers. Did the passenger side last weekend (what a b**ch) and the driver's side this weekend. On the passenger side when I fired it up there was still a pretty big leak..searched the interwebs and found a cool way to check for leaks..sealing up the tailpipe and introducing compressed air into the exhaust I was able to use a spray bottle filled with soapy water to see where it was coming from..found two leaks, one on the top of pipe at a weld just in front of the muffler and another at the collector..

Used muffler cement and tiger wrap for the pipe. On the collector I unbolted and put a bead of permatex copper where the ball from the header seats into the y-pipe..got everything buttoned up and torqued down..night and day difference..it was so quiet...

Unfortunately, when I did the drivers side, install of the header was pretty uneventful, other than having to pull the oil dipstick tube, but again it was leaking at the collector. I know these ball and sockets are supposed to be pretty forgiving but I had to use the permatex copper again, which I hate to do..let it set up from yesterday will retorque when I get home and see if it's good.


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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 06:56 PM
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I just did this as well and had to retighten them for a few weeks and that seemed to get them.


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 10:54 AM
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I found that if you tighten both collector flanges at the same time while wiggling and shaking them as you go back and forth tightening the bolts you can get them to seal up much better. Doing one side gets that side leak free but the other side will have more of a probability of leaking. Just my 2 cents. That is if you are dealing with a Y-Pipe, true dual exhaust is another simpler story.

PS... BTW the Copper silicone doesn't hurt either.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys..I got them sealed up pretty good..once the permatex copper set up, I tightened the collector bolts, then gave the header bolts another half turn..much better. the engine is so quiet now.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 11:32 AM
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I'm searching for a leak myself, but it's up at the head mating surface, and it's on a inline 6. Talk about a pain in the arse, since the intake and headers are intertwined at the head. Good idea with the soap water.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 01:24 PM
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I'm getting ready to install BBK's on my '95 when I tear into it this week.
I've installed a lot of the BBK headers in other vehicles and other headers with the ball / socket type collector. A lot of times it's the main part of the exhaust 'binding' up as it were. Loosening the pipes enough to get some give where they meet the header collectors will usually let you tighten it up and get a good leak free connection with no sealer needed. Then tighten the rest of the exhaust back up and you're usually good to go.

Hope this helps.

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