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Old 05-12-2010, 05:22 PM   #1
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Default Exhaust leak I can't tighten out

Picked up some copper header gaskets (exhaust manifold) and I can't get them tight enough (using stage 8 header bolts) to eliminate two small leaks (one on driver's side #7 and one on passenger #4)

Any suggestions?
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Old 05-12-2010, 05:35 PM   #2
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Any chance the bolts are bottoming out in the cylinder heads?

Can you check the flanges using a straight edge to see if they're flat?

How about trying a different tightening sequence to more evenly pull them to the heads?

Any chance another part of the exhaust system is lodged against some part of the frame/suspension, etc. Look closely for clearance all around.

Could completely unbolting the lower exhaust free things up?

On a few header installations I had to dimple one or more tubes for just that little bit of needed clearance.

Hope this helps.

Jake
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Old 05-12-2010, 05:37 PM   #3
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Holy crap. I just had a revelation.
I'm mildly challenged.

Yep. The copper gaskets came with locking washers. I didn't even think about the bolts bottoming out. I need to put those washers in there. *rolls eyes*

Thanks Jake. You provided that little bit of info that I had been overlooking.
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:53 AM   #4
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How long are the bolts? As there is a good bit of thread in the heads. Like 3/4's. Also using lock washers with grade 8's locking bolts is a bad idea.

There is also a certain way the copper gaskets go in. Along with I tried two different sets on my pacesetters and they leaked like a mofo. Been using stock manifold gaskets made by felpro since and not one problem.

I also believe jake thinks you have headers where you said manifolds.
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Old 05-13-2010, 08:11 AM   #5
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An easy way is to stick something like a straight piece pf coat hangar into the head bolt holes, then measure to see how deep it is. To that add the thickness of the exhaust flange and gasket. That'll give you an idea of the overall depth you have to work with. From that figure subtract 1/8"/1/4" to prevent bottoming.

I'd measure all of them just in case one or more are shallower than others.

He wrote "header gaskets" AND "exhaust manifold", so I tried covering both bases just in case. After examining stock LT1 exhaust manifold gaskets it was obvious to me that GM put some serious engineering and thought into them.

One thing I forgot to mention is last summer when I was installing new Dart heads on my son's 96 LT1 Vette, I had to do some pretty extensive cutting and grinding to get the stock exhaust manifold heat shields and a couple of spark plugs to clear. That's one reason I mentioned possible clearance issue(s).

Keep us posted.

Jake
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1996 Vette, 388 CID LT1 (3.75" X 4.060"), Eagle Internally Balanced Forged Crank, Eagle 6" Forged Rods, SRP Forged Pistons, CompCams XFI 467 Cam (230/236 @ .050), Scorpion 1.7 RRs, AFRs ported to 212 ccs (304 cfm @.600), Match Ported LT1 Intake, SVO 30# Injectors, BBK 58mm
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Old 05-13-2010, 08:47 AM   #6
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When I said "header gaskets" and exhaust manifold gaskets, I meant that I'm using pacesetter long tube headers and I'm having issues with the gaskets that drop in between the header and the head (in the exhaust manifold position)

I can't use factory felpro gaskets because the outermost holes are in the wrong positions.
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dj Brady View Post
When I said "header gaskets" and exhaust manifold gaskets, I meant that I'm using pacesetter long tube headers and I'm having issues with the gaskets that drop in between the header and the head (in the exhaust manifold position)

I can't use factory felpro gaskets because the outermost holes are in the wrong positions.
Factory gaskets should work... what do you mean they are in the wrong positions? The bolt holes on the headers should all be the same.
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Factory gaskets should work... what do you mean they are in the wrong positions? The bolt holes on the headers should all be the same.

Nope. There's a difference from factory manifolds to my pacesetter headers (I won't say all headers because I don't know). The factory manifolds utilize the outer most 2 bolt holes on the heads and the factory gaskets reflect that. The Pacesetter headers I have use the innermost 2 on the end bolt holes. When I used felpro gaskets for my pacesetters on my last 'assembly' that were designed for factory exhaust manifolds, I had to drill out 2 holes about 3/4" to the inside of the outermost 2 holes.
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Old 05-13-2010, 12:10 PM   #9
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Awww... Jake I think you misunderstood me Stock gaskets work if you cut the slots in them

I run them on my pacesetters. Do as jake said if it the bolts aren't bottoming out. I would have to say if you drove it with a leak. Or leaked with the pacesetter bolts. The flanges are warped.
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Old 05-13-2010, 12:25 PM   #10
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Flanges on the pacesetters? Are you saying that the heat from an exhaust leak could warp them or something else? Before this most recent reassembly, I didn't have any leaks. My recent work was pulling the heads, having some flow and grind work done, and reassembly and I used copper gaskets this time. I don't know if the coppers are thinner than the fel-pros that I used before (same headers, just different gaskets) but I think Jake may have been on to something that my bolts are now bottoming out in the heads and not drawing the headers tight to the heads because a potentially thinner gasket... and from what I gather, the resulting leak could have warped my pacesetter header flanges?


where's the beating my head against the wall emoticon when I need one... putting the engine in the car was easy... getting these little issues lined out is killing me.
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Old 05-13-2010, 12:28 PM   #11
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Yes warped from a leak if you drove it leaking. You never said which bolts you have and the length on them.
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Old 05-13-2010, 12:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dj Brady View Post
Picked up some copper header gaskets (exhaust manifold) and I can't get them tight enough (using stage 8 header bolts) to eliminate two small leaks (one on driver's side #7 and one on passenger #4)

Any suggestions?

They're stage 8 locking header bolts for an lt1. 3/4" long
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:21 PM   #13
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I think I am using 3/4 or 1inch stainless hardware bolts with lock washers. When I measure I had a 1/8 inch before bottoming out. I want to say mine are 1inch. If so that isn't your problem.

The only other thing I can think of is the gasket is put in wrong. Flange is warped or a broke off stock stud in the hole.
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Old 05-16-2010, 09:41 PM   #14
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Default Re: Question Exhaust leak I can't tighten out

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dj Brady View Post
Picked up some copper header gaskets (exhaust systems manifold) and I can't get them tight enough (using stage 8 header bolts) to eliminate two small leaks (one on driver's side #7 and one on passenger #4)

Any suggestions?
I think you need the advice of automotive repairer. The leaks are produce by what damages? I think you should you should use other bolts that fix to your header gaskets. Like 1/4, 3/4 or any other bolts. If it you don't fix it with that. You should contact any automotive repairer.

Last edited by tiresmokindad; 06-28-2010 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 05-19-2010, 07:27 PM   #15
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They're stage 8 locking header bolts for an lt1. 3/4" long

If you haven't resolved your issue, reach into your wallet, plunk down $31 and use the best gaskets you've ever tried

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/PHP-66031/
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