What Tools Are Needed To Tighten H-pipe Bolts?

Discussion in 'Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech' started by TJ Mitchell, Aug 7, 2013.


  1. TJ Mitchell

    TJ Mitchell Member

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    There is a leak where the H-pipe meets the shorty headers on my '93 LX vert. I'm thinking all I need to do (hopefully) is tighten up the bolts right there. I know of the leak because I ran seafoam and a lot of the white smoke came up from the passenger side of the engine bay rather than just the tailpipes. Pretty sure where the headers meet the heads is fine.

    Normally I'd just jack the car up and see how hard the bolts are to reach. But, working on cars is against HOA rules where I live, and I could be fined if I'm "caught". That's why I only want to jack my car up once and get the job done on the spot. So, I need to make sure I have the proper tools ready the first time.

    Here is what I think I need, please tell me if I am missing anything:

    - Jack and 2 stands
    - Socket wrench
    - Socket wrench extension (10 inch)

    I guess I'm mostly curious if the wrench extension is adequate, or if I'd need some kind of joint adapter.

    Thanks :nice:
    #1
  2. larrym1961

    larrym1961 Member

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    I always used the extensions and deep socket and no joint adapter. But if I remember right I used 2 10in. extensions.
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  3. MFE92

    MFE92 Active Member

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    A joint adapter may be nice to have, and depending on whether everything is factory and how it's oriented, you might want to be prepared to remove an O2 sensor or two for cleaner access. Be careful tightening those nuts though, you don't want to break the stud in the header. Also, sometimes the H-pipe flanges distort so much that you can run out of threads on the studs before you've really tightened them down, so take a handful of washers with you to use as spacers for the nuts.
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  4. TJ Mitchell

    TJ Mitchell Member

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    For a total of 20 inches of extension? Wow, I didn't realize they were that far.

    Awesome advice, thanks.
    #4
  5. mikestang63

    mikestang63 Mustang Master

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    You would normally hear an exhaust leak like a ticking sound. Can you have someone rev the car in nuetral while you look at that side of the engine and listen for leaks? What brand headers? The ones that are not ball and socket tend to have leaks from where the header to h pipe meet and often require a gasket or high temp RTV.

    Do you have your smog stuff on? Could be one of the hoses or the pipe from the H pipe to the thermactor. Also could be the small metal bung on the H pipe leaking out exhaust.

    you want to tighten each side down equally. Do not do one side at a time or you will have a leak or worse break a stud.
    #5
  6. TJ Mitchell

    TJ Mitchell Member

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    - I definitely hear a ticking noise.
    - Ford Racing headers. I do believe it is a ball and socket connection.
    - Yes, it has all the smog equipment. I know what pipe your talking about, I'll check it out as well.


    Just to confirm... I'll need two 10" extensions? Just want to make sure, because I'll have to go out and buy another.
    #6
  7. davis3

    davis3 Active Member

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    Check the welds on those headers.
    My buddy installed the ford motorsports headers on his 94 gt.
    We chased an exhaust leak for a bit until we found the source.
    It was a small pin hole at the header tube to flange weld.

    You wouldn't believe the volume of the tick coming from that tiny hole!

    I threw a quick weld on it and fixed it right up.
    #7
  8. Spaz

    Spaz Member

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    Get another extension. It's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Should only be a few $.
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  9. TJ Mitchell

    TJ Mitchell Member

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    Picked up a 20" extension and a socket wrench U-joint. The length of the extension was overkill. The U-joint came in handy on the driver side bolts which seemed to be positioned slightly different than the passenger side.

    I used a floor jack and a jack stand as a backup and lifted one side at a time. I removed the wheel on each side, the extra clearance and maneuverability was definitely worth the few extra minutes. If I jacked the entire front end way up instead of lifting one side at a time, I could see removing the wheels becoming unnecessary.

    They were VERY loose on both sides, but especially the passenger side. I was amazed when I started it up after tightening them up. So quiet!

    Before, it also smelled like it was running very rich. As I understand it, an exhaust leak before the O2 sensor can have that effect, as the increased oxygen from the leak confuses the system into adding more fuel. On my last smog check (I'm in CA), it was very high in HC, which is unburned fuel. So, I expect today's smog to go much better :)
    #9
  10. mikestang63

    mikestang63 Mustang Master

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    :nice:

    You may have to go back and retighten them up after a few heat cycles but seems like you got it fixed.
    #10
  11. TJ Mitchell

    TJ Mitchell Member

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    I think you're right. It sounds like one of them is leaking a little bit already.
    #11

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