Hooker headers gasket change on a 440

Mopar Exhaust Systems

  1. 70chall440

    70chall440 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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    So I have a client's car in the shop (70 Satellite) which has a 440 in it with Hooker Comp headers (at least that is what I believe they are, they are large tubes). The car has PS and PB and it has a header leak (sounds like on the #1 cylinder). Looking at it, it appears that the steering column and starter might have to come out and perhaps the engine jacked up on that side in order to get the header away from the engine far enough to clean the flange and get a new gasket in. That said, maybe I am over thinking it and I would love to hear from anyone with experience with something similar.
     
  2. Eric's440Duster

    Eric's440Duster Member

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    I used to loosen the bolts and breakout the old gasket, cut slots and slip the new gasket in. It worked great. I also use High temp RTV on both sides and let sit overnight. Never a leaked again,

    Good luck
     
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    • 70chall440

      70chall440 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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      I am using Remflex gaskets and already did the passenger side. The problems I am seeing are

      1. there is very little room for the header to move outward, it has perhaps an inch from the steering column shaft

      2. the header bolts are very hard to get at/to; they will come out ok but I am not sure how they will go back in. The back 2 bolts are all but inaccessible to put back in

      3. the header bolts are pretty short, at best they are 1" long

      4. the MC and power booster make working on it pretty challenging

      I am going to pull the VC tomorrow which will give me a little more access so we will see. I know one thing, I will NEVER buy Hooker comps for any car I own.
       
    • Darter6

      Darter6 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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      Love Remflex . Header leaks gone.
       
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      • moparedtn

        moparedtn Ed on the Ridge FBBO Gold Member

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        You should be fine leaving the front and rear bolts in but loosened and removing the rest.
        Back off the header all it will go - an inch is plenty. Less works too, you just need enough
        to slide the new gasket in behind the header.
        Knock the old gasket out of there, clean things up best as you can...
        New gasket gets notched vertically on front and rear bolt holes so it'll drop right in.
        Thread sealant on the bolts you pulled out, then reinstall them as well.

        Yeah, getting at some of them is a royal biyotch (I can think of one in particular around #3
        cylinder I think?). Part of life suffering with headers. :)
         
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        • 747mopar

          747mopar FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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          I have Hooker Super Comps, never had to remove them for a gasket change. Those are great gaskets from what I heat, I'm running the multi layer aluminum gaskets which also work great and can be used over and over again.
           
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          • 70chall440

            70chall440 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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            Definitely not my first rodeo with headers but these comps are such a PIA to work with I guess I was really looking for someone who has specific experience with them that could give me some magic tip to make this easier (which I know is wishful thinking). I am sure these headers are great on a race car (for power) but just a pain in this instance.

            My concern with just backing off the bolts is getting the flange clean. Oh well I am sure I will figure it out, someone put them on there so it isn't magic or impossible.
             
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            • Daves69

              Daves69 Well-Known Member

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              moparedtn's plan is where I'd go. Header bolts were tough to work on/with when we were kids in HS and the body was able to bend.:(

              If the tougher bolts have to come out maybe a flex driver can help get some of the PIA's re-started for ya'.
              Jawco 1/4" Drive Flexible Flex Socket Nut Driver 12" Long USA (bowerstool.com)

              Everyone has their special "one flat at a time" wrench they use too. This has worked well for me............

              upload_2021-7-22_8-22-47.pngView attachment 1141989
               
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              • 70chall440

                70chall440 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                I know I can get the bolts out, just getting them back in worries me due to the #2 cylinder's tube that runs across the bank and really limits access. You can see them fine, even get a wrench on them but to try and start the back 2 bolts I am not sure how that will go. Obviously someone put them in there so if they can do it I can as well, just a job I am not too excited about. I think it will be perhaps a little better w/o the VC.
                 
              • Daves69

                Daves69 Well-Known Member

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                Lol, #2, that's the one I start while the header is hanging on a stud further back while I hold the front away from the block with one hand, and preach words of praise as I try to turn the bolt with the other hand. :D Once started, go after the next difficult. Someone with small hands around to help can be a benefit.
                Some headers, #1 can be fun too!
                upload_2021-7-22_9-25-12.png
                 
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                • moparedtn

                  moparedtn Ed on the Ridge FBBO Gold Member

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                  I've got a special lopped off box end wrench for a couple of those "captured" little bastard bolts... :)
                   
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                  • moparedtn

                    moparedtn Ed on the Ridge FBBO Gold Member

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                    That's the little bastard! The 2nd one back...:mad:
                     
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                    • 68Dart470

                      68Dart470 Well-Known Member

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                      1/4" drive flex extension and small ratchet are my "go to" if I can get a socket on them.
                       
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                      • YY1

                        YY1 Well-Known Member

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                        My "secret" to cure header leaks is to cut the flanges between the pipes.

                        This allows each pipe to seal to each outlet pad at what ever angle it wants to be at.

                        Usually after this, no gaskets are needed.
                         
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                        • 70chall440

                          70chall440 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                          Back in the day I used to cut the flanges but with my Schumacher tri-Y and my TTI's never a leak and no issues.
                           
                        • 70chall440

                          70chall440 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                          Thanks to all, fortunately there was a copper gasket in there without a bunch of RTV and everything was relatively clean. There was just enough room to maneuver the header to clean it and then get it back in. Not a real fun job but not all that bad either, because there is one flange it was easy enough to get the front bolt started and then swing the header up into position to get the rest of the bolts in. Just hope it doesn't leak anymore.
                           
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