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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
Looking for some help/ insight. Took my truck to have some new shorty headers put on and the auto shop called me because they snapped the first bolt off when trying to take the nut off that holds the heat shield on. They were afraid to go any further with the project because they said they will probably all break off. What can I do? I have my headers and desperately want them to be put on the truck...Could possibly do it myself, but it looks like a helluva job... any insight on getting these out safely would be great. Would really like to get this done sooner than later.
I have an 07 hemi QC 4x4...just for your consideration with tips/ tricks. I mean, the truck isn't that old. Should these be that stuck on there? does engine heat affect it that much? Thanks in advance. I know it shouldn't be too difficult, guys are putting headers on trucks left and right...especially to ones older than mine. ahhh!!
 

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Seems as though a good lot of bolts touching the exhaust system break over time, Depending on which bolt it is, it is probably leaking, I would have them go ahead and take them off, if they break, install new bolts/nuts and get it over with. Just my opinon! Good luck!
 

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Have them continue to remove the bolts, you may break a few, but I never recommend reusing header bolts just because of the heat cycling that they go through. You can get a good set of stage 8 locking bolts or get a set of OEM replacements. To prevent seizing and snapping you can have them use high-temp anti-seize on the new ones going in.
 

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When I had my long tubes done 5 bolts broke off! Sucks guess it's half common
 

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Have them continue to remove the bolts, you may break a few, but I never recommend reusing header bolts just because of the heat cycling that they go through. You can get a good set of stage 8 locking bolts or get a set of OEM replacements. To prevent seizing and snapping you can have them use high-temp anti-seize on the new ones going in.
x2. get it over with. order some some stage 8s with anti-seize and you're golden.
 

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I never change a set of old manifolds without soaking all the bolts with penetrating oil for at least a day. Not WD-40....penetrating oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You guys talk about breaking bolts and replacing them as if it were a non-issue...The auto shop was telling me if they snap more "interior" bolts they would have to remove the cylinder heads to replace them?.?.? Thus making my cost rise from about $165 to $1200-$1500...INSANE!! Just for some headers.
I have a different set of bolts that came with the headers that are going in. Should I buy the stage 8 ones you are all talking about from Jegs?
Is this a job that I should be able to tackle myself? I can work a wrench, but not a mechanic by any means...Been trying to look up tips and tricks to installation and there just isn't a whole lot out there.
Thanks again for any and all help!!
 

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I think what the shop is concerned about is drilling out those broken stud pieces out of your heads after they have broken of! It really is a awkwarg place to work
 

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removing the heads would be a worse case scenario, they told u that just so u are aware, I am mechanic and have to drill out bolts often because others do crappy work or they simply break, it's not that big of a deal really, definitely more work but nothing that can't be fixed. good luck!
 

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I recently went through the same thing putting on my American Racing Headers. Before I even started one of the heat shield bolts were broken off into the head. Everyone I asked said to just leave it alone but there was no way that I could leave it like that. I went on to soak all the other bolts and then one by one heat them with a torch and slowly pull them out. its took me a week to get them out just working in my spare time. I managed to not break any other bolts. once the headers were off I drilled into the broken bolt and used and easy out to pull the broken portion from the head.

In the end...it was worth it for me.
 

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It is a job you can do yourself if you have the time. As others have said, make sure you soak them in proper penetrating oil like PB Blaster or AeroKroil before working on them. A big tip is to put the front end on jack stands, remove the wheels and inner fender liner, allowing you unimpeded access to the side of the block. I never use an impact when removing manifold bolts, so a good 1/2" breaker bar with a snipe (if req'd) does the job.

The benefit of the stage 8 locking set is that it guarantees they can't back out or loosen over time, even from heat cycling. They are also made from a stronger alloy.
 

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PB Blaster for the win! People on submarines for the military use this stuff for launching secret missiles to secret places that make secret parking lots from secret bad people. In the end though it works. If you use a torch you can use some water too which will break the rust off too. I always loosen and tighten again before going more that a quarter turn with head bolts. They just are picky, like little dogs almost. They really aren't worth the amount to make them but they have the biggest attitudes. There are drill bits too that will help you pull out any snapped ones too.

Lastly I hope they are replacing the bolt they snapped to begin with~ I don't use an impact on headers or exhaust systems but I swear some people don't learn.
 

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I have had this issue over many years. With any bolt touching exhaust components you are liable to have a break. I have used PB Blaster for many many years and I gotta say it rocks. I also have always used the same technique that Hemibigblack uses, loosen, tighten, loosen always seems to work better for me. Also, who in their right mind uses an air wrench when working on any bolt on a vehicle that is rusted or more than a few years old without using a breaker bar first if it is in a critical location? Umm, lemme guess, some knucklehead that hurries and does not take care because it is not his he's working on, and knows if it breaks he can charge you more because he screwed up as long as he tells you first "hey man I am a screw up and am gonna break your bolts off so it is probably gonna cost you more." In most cases a little caution and prevention can avoid these issues. PB Blaster over a few days first then off to the shop. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks guys...lots of great info. Looks like I'll be doing the PB Blaster soak and removing the wheels/ fender walls to get to them easier. Looks like it is going to have to wait a few weeks, but nevertheless, I will conquer this beast. Thanks again for all the support
 
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