Ok. Here are the details.
First - why.
As seen above, the driver's side exhaust manifolds have a tendency to crack. Mine split at about 33,000 miles or so. I forget exactly.
Shorty headers? Yes. They're cheaper and dont require a lot of cutting and head scratching. Ripp Mods has a set of long tube headers that I hear are pretty decent. Borla's long tubes are "offroad only"... but look like theres almost enough room for cats. I didnt want the headache. Simple as that.
Third - choice.
There is a decent selection. I considered buying the Rugged Ridge (Omix-Ada?) headers, but while at Jeep Beach, I found that Rusty's distributes a set of shorty headers for the JK from Flowdaddy. They were on display and I would have brought a set home if it hadn't been for one little hitch... which Rusty promised to work around later in the week. Another reason why I like dealing with small-town businesses. Rusty is a busy guy, but he holds to his word. :thumbsup: Besides that. I like the looks of the headers.
Here we go. I only had one problem with the kit. No instructions. The install is relatively easy, but there are some hurdles. Earlier this week before the install, I took time on the internets to look up several manufacturer's installation instructions for both short and long tube headers, just so I'd have all the angles covered. One set tells you to remove the whole inner fender/battery tray on the passenger side... and this is what I attacked first.
Before installing, I took some pics of the welds. The pics didn't come out all that great, but, but welds are clean and obviously hot enough. The welds were only cleaned up where necessary for flow... Good job. Full circumference welds inside the tubes with wide tacks on the outside of the tubes to the flanges. Flanges are pretty thick and plenty stout.
Now.. the tray. It came out pretty easy, but it does add some time to the job. The dividend is the amount of room you have to work with once its out of the way. Wouldnt recommend doing it with the tray in... its worth the effort to remove it. PLUS... it gives you an opportunity to clean up some electrical routing you "may" have done earlier.
(edited photo URLs - 1-26-13)
(and again-- 11-08-13)