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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
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.

Second-
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.




Ok.
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)
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
I had sprayed the nuts on the heat shields and the lower flange bolts with PB Blaster the night before and about an hour before starting. Everything came apart pretty easily. The factory manifold bolts were plenty tight on the passenger side. Once I had the passenger side out, a few of the instructions tell you to reuse the passenger side heat shield. Since the battery is "right there", I felt it was a good idea... plus, considering the little bolts included in the kit, I think thats what Flowdaddy would have suggested as well... if I had instructions. :)

The new header slides right in with no fuss. I put all bolts in before tightening anything, leaving the two for the heat shield loose. Loc-tite on the lower flange bolts... went together pretty easily.




Ok. Now.. the Driver's side.

You can see some of the crack in the picture. Like I said... about 3/4 around the #2 outlet. :eek:

One thing I didnt see anywhere was to remove the ignition coil. Getting the stocker out was no problem, but the header would NOT fit.




You can see how tight a fit it is with Flowdaddy's included heat shield.


The driver's side is the biggest PITA to do. Why? Well, the heat shield is a nice thing to include. Its known that the plug wires will roast on the drivers side. Which is the reason why I had gotten some "socks" for the plugs. I had to bend the heat shield in so I could get the upper bolt in on the #4 outlet. I didn't feel good about prying against the valve cover, but the metal mount for the coil pack is convenient and solid enough.







(edited photo URLs 1-26-13)
(again 11-08-13)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Here you can see the lower view on the passenger side with the heat shield installed...



... and here from the driver's side.







Final word?
I like em. I pulled the factory muffler back off and put the old Flowmaster back on. Before I did the job, I shot some video. Honestly... it doesnt appear any louder. A little throatier? Yes. We'll see if there was any change (+/-) at all on economy... which I really doubt. I'll have some links for before and after video tomorrow. I can't access youtube from work.... :)



Updated Summary: June 24, 2012

i've also sent in my suggestions to Flowdaddy and Rusty's.
1- removable heat shield
2- include plug boot socks
3- put lock nuts in hardware kits
4- put up some instructions on the website at least.

I look at these as a "builder part", similar to what you'd get from poison spider or others. the quality appears to be very nice, but you need to know what you're doing to install them and work around any headaches in the installation process.




(edit: updated photo URLs 01-26-13)


UPDATE! Go to page 3. Header collector cracks
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Update: Video

I recorded video with the Flowmaster and with no muffler at all. :grinpimp:
Before and after the header install.
You can only hear a slight difference in the exhaust note with no muffler. The Flowmaster sounds pretty much the same to me.

Heres the catch. Its on Facebook. (suck it up)
Our page is open anyway... if you can view it, here ya go.

Flowmaster 40 with stock manifolds
http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1708287863038

Flowmaster 40 with Headers
http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1708291863138

No Muffler - Stock manifolds
http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1708286142995

No Muffler - Headers
http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1708291063118


If you have trouble with the connection, try using HTTPS for secure. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
$250 with a two year unlimited mileage warranty according to Rusty. He also said that there had been no problems reported.... and I think that they would know, since they are the sole distributor.
 

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Nice write up... sounds great too. :beer::beer:
 

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does the factory warranty cover the stock manifold cracking Which is obviously a factory defect since we are all having issues,some multiple issues Recall anyone???
 

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does the factory warranty cover the stock manifold cracking Which is obviously a factory defect since we are all having issues,some multiple issues Recall anyone???
I believe they are covered under the 80K emissions equipment warranty.
 

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So how happy are you with these since you have had them installed for a while? Did you gain any MPG? Are they holding up well? Has the heat shield rusted at all? Any issues with the gaskets leaking? ect...
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
"maybe" and 1-2 mpg increase overall. i used to stay in the 13s. since then, it stays in the 14s with the occasional venture into the 15's. i drive it hard because its a slug... so...

only issue i had is one of the bolts on the left exhaust flange came loose. tightened it up and no other problems. finish is still very good. the DEI spark plug boots have prevented plug wire melting... and no chafing/cuts on the middle boot sleeve. no discoloration from heat exposure, either.

so far, i've been pleased.
when i got them, i considered them a stock replacement... with the prime investment as "looking cool". no loss in performance or mileage. no noise. so. i'm good with the result. i wouldn't call em a prime competitor with long tubes and a programmer, though. i still need a programmer anyway.
 

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I just noticed something. How hard is it going to be to change the spark plugs on the drivers side with that heat shield on there? Are they even accessible?
 
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