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post #1 of 44 Old 06-02-2011, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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Rustys Flow Daddy Headers

Here is my excessively long and overly detailed review on the Rustys OffRoad Flow Daddy Headers for JK Wranglers. If you don't have the time skip to the last paragraph.

Recently, I discovered that my drivers side factory manifold had significant cracking. You'll know when your manifold cracks because your JK will start sounding more and more like a motor boat. Not wanting to replace them with another cast manifold that was prone to breakage, I was excited to find the Flow Daddy Headers for a very reasonable price. I called them up and asked about their warranty. The helpful lady told me they carried a lifetime warranty as long as I didn't wrap them. Apparently someone had wrapped their header and they cracked. I thought nothing of it, why would I want to wrap my header? I'm not a drag racer, so I got them on order. They were promptly shipped and arrived in good condition. They looked to be of very good quality out of the box.

No instructions were provided with the product or that I could find on the website. I figured the install would be relatively easy. The factory manifold and heat shield on the drivers side were very easy to remove, I got them off in about 10 minutes. Getting the Flow Daddy header in is a completely different story. It was almost impossible to even get the header into position. The heat shield is a mostly flat piece that sticks up quite high and makes squeezing it in between the motor/firewall/steering column almost impossible. After much coercing I finally got it in position with the new provided gasket. I spent another hour and a half trying to get the provided bolts into the new piece. It's virtually impossible to work with them. I got all the bolts in place except for one, and found out that bolt head does not fit with the header in place so I had to remove all the bolts again to get that bolt in place and then spend another hour trying to retighten them all.

I highly recommending tightening all of the bolts evenly by rotating around the flange. I think you will highly increase the chances of stripping the holes in your motor if you tighten the first bolt all the way and then proceed to do the same with the second bolt and so on. In hind sight I wish I would have cut off the heat shield entirely before I started the installation. The cheesy design added HOURS to the installation time and at some point during the installation I cut loose one of the welds so I could move the heat shield just enough to either access a bolt or get it in place, I don't quite recall which.

With the hard part behind me (so I thought) I moved to the spark plug wires. Again, because of the heat shield design the plug boots are almost impossible to access and it proved extremely difficult to access them. I routed the OEM wires as far from the header as possible. One of the wires ( #4 or #6) was crossing the edge of the heat shield which concerned me quite a bit. I did my best to bend a relief in the heat shield where it crossed so it wouldn't rub a hole through the wire.

I eventually got everything in place and left the passenger side installation for later as it was way past midnight at this point. A week later, in Moab, I experienced a slight hesitation out on the trail. It was definitely missing spark. I discovered that one of the plug wires must not have seated fully and I couldn't get to it with the dang heat shield in the way so I cut the rest of the heat shield off. I got the wires seated correctly and went on my way with out a hitch. While under the hood I also noticed one of the flange bolts had come loose and fallen out. The provided star washers are not adequate, I recommend getting spring lock washers and replacing them.

Approximately a month and a half later I was cruising up into the mountains when the almighty JK motor started loosing power, CEL started flashing, backfire, etc.. I immediately flipped around and headed back to the nearest remote town as I didn't have any cell service and I did not want to get stranded up there. My front brakes started smoking like crazy the first time I slowed down for a corner. I have never had a problem like this before, the JK brakes generally aren't that great, but not this bad. I shut down the motor and let everything cool down for a while. Luckily it was all downhill from there and I made it back to the small town. When I got back into town I noticed I was also getting a fast blinker. I check my lights and found my rear brake light was burnt out.

I started diagnosing the problem, I eventually pulled the CEL codes and got a misfire Cylinder 4. After a bunch more digging and investigation I found that my spark plug wire was not looking too good and later that night, after dark, I was able to confirm that the spark was jumping from my wire to my headers! I was in a mess at that point as the town I was in didn't have any sort of auto service to speak of. The closest set of new wires was at a Napa warehouse about 70 miles away. Out came the electrical tape. I put about 50 wraps around it to insulate it and the next morning we headed down the canyon into a more populated area. The electrical tape held up for about 20 miles before it melted through and started arcing again. Luckily, I pulled over across the street from a NAPA and took my hammered wire into the store to see if there is anything that could be done. (The set of JK wires were still 50 miles away at this point). The clerk was able to find another wire that was fairly similar and I put it in and everything was back to normal! Yes, let's get home from this vacation.

On the way home I had the replacement set of wires ordered to my local NAPA. I picked up the replacement set the next day after work and replaced the #4 and #6 wires. As I was removing the wire I had picked up the previous day the jacket was very brittle and brown. At this point I was suspicious that the heat from the headers was burning up the wires so I picked up a set of very expensive woven heat shield sleeves to protect the new wires. Let me stop for a moment to say that the Flow Daddy original heat shield in no way protects the boots or most of the spark plug wires. It sits up very high and is not contoured to the headers like the OEM manifold shield is. The heat shield sleeves went on very nicely with the new wires and I thought I finally had a bulletproof setup.

The next morning, 5 miles into my commute, I started getting a CEL again and loosing power. I pulled off to investigate and couldn't see anything too obvious so I limped the rest of the way to work. I thought maybe the plug in the #4 cylinder had been fouled up with not getting spark so I replaced the plug. The old plug had some light build up and a little bit of arcing, but nothing too bad. I fired it up and still had the same problems. The CEL code was still misfire #4 cylinder. By this point I had called Rustys OffRoad looking for some help on the situation. The customer service was helpful and friendly, but had to call me back later after some investigation into the heat problem.

I called Rustys later that day to see if they had suggestions and was told they were still looking into it. By the time Rusty's had called me back I had found the culprit again, another melted spark plug wire. The melted portion was inside the protective boot! Apparently, the replacement wire set is coated 40X's in silicone which helps them burn up 40X's faster. Apparently, do not use this type of wire where heat is an issue.

By now, I had decided to go back to the OEM manifold setup. I order a new manifold and OEM wires. I figured if I could get 50,000 miles out of manifold it would be better than this non-sense.

Back on the phone with Rusty's they suggested I try a set of high temp spark plug wires (the kind that are over a $100 for a set). I had already read on the forums where other people had tried these wire sets unsuccessfully and my research was starting to unfold a lot of people experiencing melting wire problems with shorty style headers. The primary problem is that all three of collectors are so tight around the #4 plug. Rustys customer service confirmed that other similar designs are experiencing problems also. In hindsight I'm guessing that they took a competitors header, ripped off the design and had it copied with out doing thorough testing of their own.

I'm fairly certain at this point that my blown brake light was from the spark plug wire arcing to the headers and I suspect it may have been wreaking havoc on the ABS which caused the sudden near brake failure. I'm crossing my fingers that there hasn't been catalytic converter damage or any other computer system damage. That is yet to be seen as it will be a day or two before I have the OEM style manifold, heat shield and plug wires.

Cont....


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Last edited by keithro; 06-02-2011 at 03:58 PM.
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post #2 of 44 Old 06-02-2011, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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I thought for sure Rustys would gladly allow me to return the headers that was damaging the Jeep. They told me I could not return them because of the length of time they had been on the jeep. They reassured me they would "take care" of me, but could not return them. I asked them what they were doing to "take care" of me as I couldn't see anything they were doing for me. Their website description states that the headers "reduce under hood heat" and "the high quality in material and workmanship of the Flow Daddy header insures you many miles of trouble free service." I didn't experience either of those effects. The customer service called back later and told me there was nothing they could do. They couldn't return them and there was nothing they could do for me.

I can't wait to get the OEM parts in and get the jeep running reliably again. I have now spent over $400 + countless hours + a soured vacation on this project. I would HIGHLY suggest not using these headers as there is no way to keep the heat from damaging your wires and stranding you when you least expect it! I don't have experience with other similar style shorty headers on a JK, but I have seen other posts with the same complaints and issues. Unless the entire spark plug wire and boot are protected with a heat shield I would not feel comfortable using that product in my jeep as it is only a matter of time until the plug wires fail. In my experience the OEM wires will last the longest. If you currently own these headers, I would carry a long spare plug wire as it's probably a matter of time until they are damaged. Keep an eye on #4 especially. Also, retorque the flange bolts that connect to the down pipe periodically.


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Last edited by keithro; 06-02-2011 at 06:00 PM.
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post #3 of 44 Old 06-02-2011, 04:40 PM
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That sucks buddy, sorry. It's really a shame that all the companies statements aren't wort a shit anymore. Good luck!

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post #4 of 44 Old 06-02-2011, 11:44 PM
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I was looking for an inexpensive fix for the factory manifolds.... Not after reading this. I'll be saving my coin for something worthwhile.

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post #5 of 44 Old 06-09-2011, 12:12 PM
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I was looking for an inexpensive fix for the factory manifolds.... Not after reading this. I'll be saving my coin for something worthwhile.
1-800-RIPP...
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post #6 of 44 Old 06-09-2011, 02:24 PM
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i dont blame you if you have had your fill with the headers, but you may consider using the insulating sleeves for the spark plug boots. I'm using them with no problem. My writeup also disclosed the difficulty of the bolt over the #4 outlet...

Truth is, its not an easy chore to install headers on this vehicle. Its pretty tight in there, and there is very little you can do to make the install any easier on the driver's side, asside from removing the heat shield. As for most of the headaches you mentioned, I encountered them also, and listed it in my thread. Feel free to post directly onto that one as well. Couple others have already linked the two posts. I'm all for sharing our experiences.


Sorry for your troubles. I've had no issue with mine so far.


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post #7 of 44 Old 06-10-2011, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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I tried the exact same braided boots that you have with my second set of wires and toasted the #4. No doubt the oem wires are better than those silicone coated wires from napa. I'd check under your #4 protector boot for discoloration or cracking each time you change oil. Glad they are working out for you. Maybe they will make a better heatshield in the future, because the headers themselves are nice.


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post #8 of 44 Old 06-10-2011, 10:58 PM
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They look like cheap POS headers on their web site. For $250, you can't expect much. That is like less than 1/6th the price of the Ripp system. Yes, the Ripp system is expensive, but I bet it works. Power costs money, either leave your stuff alone or pay up and do it right.

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post #9 of 44 Old 06-11-2011, 12:37 AM
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geez it seems like headers are an all around bad idea...ive read a ton of threads with different brands..not a single good thing to say....ya im sure there are guys running them out there problem free (i hope) ill be steering clear however


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post #10 of 44 Old 06-11-2011, 03:56 PM
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I think the RIPP long tubes are pretty decent. Its just waaay out of my price range. Any header that has to roll up and around like the left side has to do, its gonna be a problem with the plugs or the wires. I also tucked my plug wires up close to the coil pack. I think I used zip ties, too... cant recall right off.

I dont think they would be any cheaper than the other shorty headers out there. The flange is pretty thick and the welds on the inside of the tubes at the flange look continuous and blend well with minimal finish grinding.

I still may go with a long tube setup down the line when my financial situation improves.


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post #11 of 44 Old 06-11-2011, 07:44 PM
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That sucks that the Flow Daddy's didn't work out. If you do decide to go the headers route again, I picked up a set of the JBA titanium ceramic coated headers and haven't had any problems with them. (Couldn't afford the RIPP setup - this was the next best bet for me)
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post #12 of 44 Old 06-12-2011, 01:55 PM
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Well don't go with any curve design of the drivers side, especially Gibson..

Switched over to RIPP headers with the header tune... Jeep is fun to drive again... Nothing better to a power adder that works..

MPG w/ headers and tune - 13-15 MPG via OE gauge... Also depends on TX heat..

Lowest I've seen is 11.4 @ 100+ temp.

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Originally Posted by andrelopez99 View Post
Well don't go with any curve design of the drivers side, especially Gibson..

Switched over to RIPP headers with the header tune... Jeep is fun to drive again... Nothing better to a power adder that works..

MPG w/ headers and tune - 13-15 MPG via OE gauge... Also depends on TX heat..

Lowest I've seen is 11.4 @ 100+ temp.
Why no curve? Why no Gibson?

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Why no curve? Why no Gibson?
Burnt wires and arching, even with the Gibson ceramics on 2 bank...

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post #15 of 44 Old 06-12-2011, 09:54 PM
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the tube for the #4 and #6 cylinder has to loop up and forward in order for the outlet to line up to the stock head pipe. This puts the plug wires up close to the tubes... close enough anyway.

BTW...
for those of us that cant afford the long tubes...

DEI makes the "PROTECT-A-BOOT" for the plug boots... which is what i bought at advance autoparts. they also make a cut-to-fit heat shield called "HEAT SHEATH" that you can slide over the plug wires. may be an option. i looked at it, but didn't buy it.

http://www.designengineering.com/cat...ngineering-inc



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Originally Posted by b1pig View Post
the tube for the #4 and #6 cylinder has to loop up and forward in order for the outlet to line up to the stock head pipe. This puts the plug wires up close to the tubes... close enough anyway.

BTW...
for those of us that cant afford the long tubes...

DEI makes the "PROTECT-A-BOOT" for the plug boots... which is what i bought at advance autoparts. they also make a cut-to-fit heat shield called "HEAT SHEATH" that you can slide over the plug wires. may be an option. i looked at it, but didn't buy it.

http://www.designengineering.com/cat...ngineering-inc

for your safety bro don't do those, I tried those, even on OE plugs and performance plugs and they would arch on the plug and engine block even when there was no exposure, it to do with the exterior is aluminized or something of that nature..

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Last edited by andrelopez99; 06-12-2011 at 10:47 PM.
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post #17 of 44 Old 06-13-2011, 06:32 PM
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hahaaa...

its always something....


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I just trying to save some headaches and you being on the side of the road stranded, like I was...

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post #19 of 44 Old 06-15-2011, 12:16 PM
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We've said this time and time again - the short tube design is a waste of time and effort - The reason our header even exists is because we needed a REAL solution to make safe reliable power on top of our Supercharger kit...

The reason ours are expensive - is because their not cheap!

RIPPTECH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrelopez99 View Post
Well don't go with any curve design of the drivers side, especially Gibson..

Switched over to RIPP headers with the header tune... Jeep is fun to drive again... Nothing better to a power adder that works..

MPG w/ headers and tune - 13-15 MPG via OE gauge... Also depends on TX heat..

Lowest I've seen is 11.4 @ 100+ temp.
And they sound cool too!

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post #21 of 44 Old 06-15-2011, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by RIPPMODS View Post
We've said this time and time again - the short tube design is a waste of time and effort - The reason our header even exists is because we needed a REAL solution to make safe reliable power on top of our Supercharger kit...

The reason ours are expensive - is because their not cheap!

RIPPTECH
But will they melt the bushings on the RK long arm kit like the stock exhaust? Heat shield or not, you might as well carry a case of spares for those damn things.

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post #22 of 44 Old 06-19-2011, 08:01 PM
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Anytime i have had to install headers on anything i have had that had close tolerances i have used header wrap and boots for the plugs. I have never had any issues after doing so.
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post #23 of 44 Old 06-20-2011, 08:44 PM
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Well I dont get on here much but just dont have the time, but I wanted to put what I know about the Flowdaddy headers as well as the Ripp's. We have been selling alot of the Flowdaddy and had no real questions about burning wires, if you do any research at all on the JK exhaust, they run hot and plug wires are not long lasting, through on a set of headers and unless using boots like others have posted or go with a set of heat res MSD style wires with a big boot , they will get hot, it does take time to route so they dont burn. I have put the boot covers on my JK's with the Flowdaddy's, like Ray did and same here no problems, I even had to put the boot covers on the wires with the Ripp headers on the Xtreme build JK, The Ripp heeaders are great but with manifolds breaking the Flowdaddy is a great solution at a cheap price, yes the Ripp is better performance but they cost more. The Flowdaddy's have a 2 year warranty, that is for fit or breaking, no header is easy to install, yes any header you have to remove alot and route wires and even some electricail wires, depending the vehicle. We stand behind what we sell, sorry I can't install it over the phone or on the internet. But from all the pictures Ray in Ga put up the fit is good, yes tight area but the headers do fit, a set of good quality boot covers or some really quality heat res wires and you'll have no problems. I have a JK here with no body on it, it has the Flowdaddy headers on it and I will put up some more pictures on our site to show how we did the wires and you will see they will cause no problems. If you have any question feel free to e-mail me direct or even call, like I said I dont have the time to post but I do answer my e-mails, I hope this helps clear up alot
post #24 of 44 Old 06-20-2011, 09:46 PM
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Holy run-on sentence... Did you read the op where he changed wires and added boot protectectors galore and they still melted? why the big square box for a heat shield?

........My other hobbies include: Older cars and trucks; Spending money on unfinished projects, and continuing to not finish them...

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post #25 of 44 Old 06-21-2011, 04:21 AM
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sorry , i was talking jeeps , not proper english. The heat shield was done on the header from what I was told because this is a hot spot. Being a hotspot , most and all header manufactures use a heat shield. Most and all header manufactures suggest that the wires and anything else that may get hot need to be re routed or covered. I'm not just saying the Flowdaddy, I sell and use all of the headers brands, Flowdaddy is a great product for the price and if installed correctly will give years of service as well as most of the other brands.
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