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Discussion Starter #1
Just purchased a set of ARH LT's and have some basic questions for all you pros out there.

1. The gaskets that came with the headers look like a flexible graphite laminate (laminated to a stainless insert I assume). I want long term leak free reliability. Should I purchase some factory exhaust manifold gaskets from my dealer or use the gaskets that came with the headers?

2. Is the torque spec for the exhaust manifold bolts 15 ft-lbs? I assume this is with anti-seize applied?

3. I plan on using the bolts that came with the kit. They look like they are comparable to grade 8 (10.9 marking) so should be fine in my opinion. Any thoughts here?

4. There are no torque specs for the various pipe clamps. Seems I have seen 50 ft-lbs somewhere. Anyone know?

5. The dreaded passenger side O2 sensor. I am thinking I will unscrew the O2 sensor before I disconnect it. I know, I will be twisting the wires and need to use some common sense here. My thoughts are that I might be able to reach the connection from under the car with the exhaust removed. I can (sorta) see the connector from underneath and am thinking I might be able to wrangle it loose with the manifold and down pipes out of the way. Input here would be appreciated as well!
 

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Throw out the arh gaskets and use oem. I reused the original header bolts with no anti sieze. Torqued in two passes 15 ft/lbs sounds right.

As far as exhaust clamps I installed them with my Milwaukee impact until the clamps bottomed out. I did the same thing you are thinking, unscrew sensor, remove header and then unclip. Access will be better that way. Use pbblaster and some heat on the sensors mine didn't want to come out.

Edit: found the ls3 torque spec paperwork I had printed out, it says 11ftlbs first pass 15 second.
 

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Throw out the arh gaskets and use oem. I reused the original header bolts with no anti sieze. Torqued in two passes 15 ft/lbs sounds right.

As far as exhaust clamps I installed them with my Milwaukee impact until the clamps bottomed out. I did the same thing you are thinking, unscrew sensor, remove header and then unclip. Access will be better that way. Use pbblaster and some heat on the sensors mine didn't want to come out.

Edit: found the ls3 torque spec paperwork I had printed out, it says 11ftlbs first pass 15 second.
Ha ha you beat me to it - I’ve put my headers on so many times the torque specs are like a tattoo on my arm (I also use the factory gaskets, but with ARP header bolts)

Far as the clamps go, it ain’t that serious - make em tight - I hit them with my Milwaukee and it’s fine.

The pass side O2, I got creative with a pry bar. I could see the connection and the clip was facing down. I carefully placed the pry bar on the tab and gave it a push...pop goes the weasel, plug came out no problem.

As header install goes, this car, by far, was the easiest I’ve ever had the pleasure of doing
 

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I used the arh and bolts. No leaks and I drove over 5000 miles with them already. Hard miles too. Make sure the x pipe points upward when facing the back of the car!!!
 

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Definitely an easy header install compared to most. For the passenger O2 sensor, I used a long flathead screwdriver and a straightened coat hanger wire. Using the two from underneath, I was able to disconnect the plug right behind the head and later reconnect them. I think I'd put a hook on the end of the coat hanger at some point, but can't remember now. Maybe I used the hook to hold the harness side while I used the screwdriver to push the connector back in...

Take a few pictures of where the dipstick goes into the oil pan, and how it's routed for reinstallation reference. Best to use a Sharpie or something from underneath to mark where the hole is before you remove the dipstick. Makes future alignment much easier since you can't see the hole from under the car.
 

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I would definitely stick with a new set of OEM header gaskets.

The bolts supplied are nice stainless bolts. Out of habit I bought ARP bolts since I used them on my other car, which spends it's non-driving life parked in a garage vs the SS that sits outside. Well, disappointed to see the ARP's are rusting after 1 year of use. I lost one during install and used one of the stainless bolts. Looks perfect. So I'd say use their stainless hardware, although really nothing wrong with the stock bolts either.

One thing I recommend is taking a look at the clamps from your midpipe to the mufflers. If they're significantly rusted, you'll need to get a new set as they're a specific euro style that are about $15 each (don't buy the GM replacements as they're like $150 each, no that's not a typo). Also get yourself an E torx bit set so you can properly loosen and tighten them. 12 point socket is less than ideal and will likely strip them.
 

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You ARH guys are lucky. My Stainless Works came with cheap bolts that immediately showed their cheapness when I started tightening them, prompting me to use the factories until I received my ARPs. The kooks I just bought came with Stage 8s - never used them before, but they were popular with the 5.0 boys back in the day. I’ll see how they work out
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I appreciate all the advice! I think the ARH gaskets would work fine but the general consensus seems to be to use OEM so that is the route I think I will take.

After all the input, I will stick with the bolts that came with the headers. The ones that came with mine are 10.9 zinc plated carbon steel. OD measures .310" which is about right for an M8 and pitch appears to be close to 20 threads per inch which is about 1.25mm so I am assuming they are M8 x 1.25 bolts. 15 ft-lbs should not be an issue. Hopefully they won't rust but it sounds like the ARP's did not fair any better.

My stock exhaust actually looks new as my car has never been stored outside and only has around 5700 miles on it. In fact it's never even been driven in the rain! I know, it's a garage queen. Kind of embarrassing! Now that the warranty is up and I have decided to keep it I am going to own it and quit worrying about what it's worth. Hence the money I am starting to throw at. Can't wait to see how much it costs to drastically lower the value of the car!

I think the first thing I will do, at least from under the car is to remove the O2 sensors. I will try the passenger side with it still connected and see how it goes. Honestly these are my biggest concern. As most of you have pointed out, the rest of it seems pretty easy on this car. Lot's of room.

Thanks for the tip on the dipstick. I have read about that one before but forgotten about it. I will make sure to mark it's position and take some pics before I pull it out.

I hope to get it done within the next couple of weeks. I am still trying to figure out the tune and don't want to put them on until I have it figured out. I am from Tulsa and there just isn't any reputable tuners with Dynos near by. I would love to dyno the car before and after to verify the gains but it just isn't going to happen. I have been looking heavily into the HP tuners package deal that PatG offers and am really close to pulling the trigger on the LS NA version. Another option is a local tuner named George Schmidt. He has a good reputation on the local G8/SS forum here in Oklahoma but I have personally never met or talked to the man. PatG appears to have a lot of positive feed back as well and although there will be no dyno to verify the numbers, he does require some data logging after the initial tune upload. What do "all y'all" think of the tune situation?
 

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I appreciate all the advice! I think the ARH gaskets would work fine but the general consensus seems to be to use OEM so that is the route I think I will take.

After all the input, I will stick with the bolts that came with the headers. The ones that came with mine are 10.9 zinc plated carbon steel. OD measures .310" which is about right for an M8 and pitch appears to be close to 20 threads per inch which is about 1.25mm so I am assuming they are M8 x 1.25 bolts. 15 ft-lbs should not be an issue. Hopefully they won't rust but it sounds like the ARP's did not fair any better.

My stock exhaust actually looks new as my car has never been stored outside and only has around 5700 miles on it. In fact it's never even been driven in the rain! I know, it's a garage queen. Kind of embarrassing! Now that the warranty is up and I have decided to keep it I am going to own it and quit worrying about what it's worth. Hence the money I am starting to throw at. Can't wait to see how much it costs to drastically lower the value of the car!

I think the first thing I will do, at least from under the car is to remove the O2 sensors. I will try the passenger side with it still connected and see how it goes. Honestly these are my biggest concern. As most of you have pointed out, the rest of it seems pretty easy on this car. Lot's of room.

Thanks for the tip on the dipstick. I have read about that one before but forgotten about it. I will make sure to mark it's position and take some pics before I pull it out.

I hope to get it done within the next couple of weeks. I am still trying to figure out the tune and don't want to put them on until I have it figured out. I am from Tulsa and there just isn't any reputable tuners with Dynos near by. I would love to dyno the car before and after to verify the gains but it just isn't going to happen. I have been looking heavily into the HP tuners package deal that PatG offers and am really close to pulling the trigger on the LS NA version. Another option is a local tuner named George Schmidt. He has a good reputation on the local G8/SS forum here in Oklahoma but I have personally never met or talked to the man. PatG appears to have a lot of positive feed back as well and although there will be no dyno to verify the numbers, he does require some data logging after the initial tune upload. What do "all y'all" think of the tune situation?
PatG is awesome.

My ARP bolts were like brand new when I sent them to their new owner 5 years later.

I wish I were in OK to lend you a hand cuz I really enjoy turning wrenches on this car lol.

Sounds like you’re about ready to take this on! Good luck with the install and hit us with a sound clip when you’re done!
 

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I used patg also, remote tune and I bought his hptuners/mpvi2 package. Very happy. I don't think I mentioned it before, I had to remove steering shaft on driver's side, the bolt is 11mm and I put the seat belt through the steering wheel to keep it from moving.
 

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I also used pat g and my buddy is getting his camaro tunes by him as well.
 

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I used patg also, remote tune and I bought his hptuners/mpvi2 package. Very happy. I don't think I mentioned it before, I had to remove steering shaft on driver's side, the bolt is 11mm and I put the seat belt through the steering wheel to keep it from moving.
Doesn’t really matter if it moves, it can only go on one way
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I wish I were in OK to lend you a hand cuz I really enjoy turning wrenches on this car lol.
I wish you were too! Always appreciate an experienced hand helping out. The shop fridge is stocked with plenty of cold beer as well!

I am planning the install for the weekend after the fourth. I hate to beat a dead horse but I still don't have the tune completely figured out and need some more advice!

I am going with Pat G's packaged MPVI tuner with tune for "NA LS with bolt-ons". He actually offers two options, one with a wide band (AEM X series) and one without. I really don't think the wideband is necessary with just headers as the mods to the tune itself are probably minimal enough that the stock narrow band O2 is sufficient. In addition to this I imagine he has done so many LS3's with just headers and CAI that the initial tune with no logs will be really close and the data logging after the install will be just fine with the narrowband. Is this assumption correct?

I do not know what the next mods will be but there is a good chance it will be either H/C or heartbeat SC. Probably the latter. I know that either of these mods will require a wideband which is why I was thinking of just getting it now. It's not that expensive and I do not need to install it right away. If I go with a wideband, is the AEM the way to go? It looks like it's designed to work with the standard MPVI (vs the Pro) and is connected in series with the OBD2 port and the MPVI. What's the preference here? I can't think of any downsides to this setup but I have never installed a wideband (or data-logged for that matter) so this is new territory for me.

If I go with a wideband should I plan on installing it permanently or make it removable? Since I do not have access to a dyno I will be datalogging while driving so the plan would be to put the WB O2 sensor in one of the connection pipes stock O2 bungs and route the cable into the cabin. Since this would be a bit of a job I don't think it would be practical to set the WB up in such a way that it could be installed and removed quickly like it could be on a dyno. There is also the issue of the signal out cable with the OBD2 connector. In my opinion a clean install would be a pillar mount, but this makes access to the CANbus connector on the back of the gauge inaccessible which means the OBD2 cable would have to remain connected. I guess I could route it under the dash and tuck it away somewhere but that would not be too clean.

Again, I apologize for beating a dead horse and I imagine this info is buried elsewhere on the forum but I figured some fresh advice from you guys in the know is harmless. I am hoping to get the last details of this thing figured out so I can make that final decision on the tune and get this little project done! Thanks again for all the advice. Whether I utilize it or not, it is greatly appreciated.
 

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They make a wideband that uses the OBD socket and has a socket so that it can still be used. AEM makes it, my boy is using that one but I don’t know the model number.

Mine is the failsafe, which also has a boost gauge. I installed mine permanently and it’s down on the center console.



I also have a fuel pressure gauge

That’s the Mobile Attraction pod.

Don’t apologize! This is what forums are for! Glad to help whenever I can!
 

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I went with pat g without wideband and he’s pretty good with it. I datalogged it many times and temps are all good and I’ll be running e85 once I change my injectors. E50 max now I can run and I have and it runs great.

I would’ve went with a wideband too if I had another bung for it. One day I’ll drive down to ARH and have them weld up one on each side.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Love the console mounted gauge pod. Not sure I could get away with that since mine is an m6 but it sure is cool!

I went with the PatG tune and AEM wideband sensor. The sensor has the OBD adapter that allows you to data log with it. I am not going to install it just yet. I will wait until round 2 of the build, which is probably not far away. I want to get the exhaust dialed in first and make sure the wide band sensor is fresh for data logging with the round 2 build.

I know I said I was going to install the headers after the fourth but I decided to start the install this weekend. I got the stock exhaust removed and the drivers side header installed. I also managed to get the O2 extender plugged into the passenger side as well. It was a bit of a pain but practice made perfect. Decided to call it a day. Should be able to finish it tomorrow but wont fire it up as I don't have my tune from Pat yet. I sent him the factory tune yesterday and I am sure he is off for the fourth. No big deal.

I did run into a bit of an issue with the battery harness on the drivers side. It is up against the header so I will have to address that. Just wondering if any of you had this same issue and what your solution was? I have attached a picture showing the problem. What do "all y'all" think?
 

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I cut and pulled the zip tie and moved it to one of the higher body holes with a zip tie.
 

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Might be a good idea to get some slip on mesh heat insulators for the plug wires.....

Just a thought.
 
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