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Unread 01-02-2010, 10:15 PM   #1
cdjones
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1979 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Dalton GA
Posts: 38
Headman Header Help

I am having a time with a set of Headman Ellite in frame headers on a 79 CJ7 (304 cid). Three main problems.

1. My 304 has two 3/8" bolts for the center cylinders, and the others are 5/16 The headers came w/ all 3/8 header bolts, and I can't find any 5/16. So I got some 5/16 allen heads, but cannot get the allen wrench to clear the pipes.

2. The ellites have a 3/8" flange, which I wanted to prevent warping, but you cannot get a plug wrench to clear.

3. Looks like there is going to be steering shaft clearance problems also. Have not got that far w/ installation.

Kind of put out with the fitment of these units. They also lay right against the brake prop. valve and clutch actuator. For the money I feel they should fit a little better.

Has anyone else got experience with these problems? Should I just send them back and buy some manifolds?

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Unread 01-03-2010, 05:19 AM   #2
BioTex
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2006 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Alpine, Tx.
Posts: 3,173
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdjones View Post
I am having a time with a set of Headman Ellite in frame headers on a 79 CJ7 (304 cid). Three main problems.

1. My 304 has two 3/8" bolts for the center cylinders, and the others are 5/16 The headers came w/ all 3/8 header bolts, and I can't find any 5/16. So I got some 5/16 allen heads, but cannot get the allen wrench to clear the pipes.

2. The ellites have a 3/8" flange, which I wanted to prevent warping, but you cannot get a plug wrench to clear.

3. Looks like there is going to be steering shaft clearance problems also. Have not got that far w/ installation.

Kind of put out with the fitment of these units. They also lay right against the brake prop. valve and clutch actuator. For the money I feel they should fit a little better.

Has anyone else got experience with these problems? Should I just send them back and buy some manifolds?
I had a set of headers on my 304, and they also touched the brake proportioning valve. I don't know the brand. It must be a common problem.
As far as the clearances for spark plugs, can you grind some of the flange away? These issues are why I took the headers off, and went with manifolds.
Another option is to go with the shortie style headers. I purchased some from Sanderson, and was very happy with the fit and quality. Customer service was great. Just my
__________________
'85 CJ7, BDS 4" lift, 1" Body lift, 33x12.5, Shrockworks Sliders, 304 V8 with RV cam., T-176, D300, Dana 30, AMC 20.
1986 CJ10-A SD-33 Diesel/727/np208
1971 800B with 345/T-19
06' TJ Rubicon, 4" R.C. springs, BFG/AT 35s M.C. 6" fenders, rockers and surrounds, Currie front & rear adj. tracbars, tattons DC rear shaft, adj. upper - lower CA's. Bilstein 5100's
YJ Buggy Build Current project. Stroker/FI ?
1990 MJ Comanche 4.0L AX15/np231
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Unread 01-03-2010, 06:22 AM   #3
cdjones
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1979 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Dalton GA
Posts: 38
Thanks for the reply. Yes I could grind the flanges for the spark plugs, but then I could'nt return the headers.......... So I've got to decide wether to punt or go for it.
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Unread 01-03-2010, 08:19 AM   #4
MikeMCJ
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1951 M-38 
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 511
IMO, punt. Is the 304 stock? How much HP (at the right RPM) would you actually gain from the headers? Is it worth the hassle? My Hedman HPC coated 6 into 2 headers are for sale. The eventual leaks and clutch linkage interference (and other clearance issues) aren't worth the measily gain in performance for me. I'd run duals from the stock manifolds if it wasn't a race engine or a special package of intake/exhaust/cam/etc. It's one thing if you are doing a Ford or Chevy V8 swap where headers are easiest as they are custom made for the swap, but to put up with the minuses for 10-20 HP? I see no performance gain claims from 304 headers. I do not wonder why. You'll find a lot of people that say they got a ton of power out of the headers, but that has more to do with perception. Headers do sound cool, when they aren't leaking.....
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Unread 01-03-2010, 03:49 PM   #5
Dad03
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1975 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 230
I put on the in-frame Hedman headers from Summit (the ones around $199)on my 304. They were a PIA to install. Had no problems with the header bolts but its tight everywhere brake prop valve, steering shaft, leaf spring mounting bolts, etc. They clear everything but some have less than 1/4" clearance. They look like it wont clear until its all tightened up.
I would not do it again. Not much gain IMO. May end up going back to the manifolds next summer.


I would save the money for something else.
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Unread 01-04-2010, 05:01 AM   #6
cdjones
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1979 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Dalton GA
Posts: 38
I was'nt really going for performance gains as much as a good sound. I just rebuilt the motor, with a MT1 Melling cam, .40 over, but my stock manifolds are cracked..... So I went with the headers.

For those of you that have gone from manifolds to headers, what is the difference in sound, planning on using flowmaster muffler, duals out the back?
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Unread 01-04-2010, 06:06 AM   #7
BioTex
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2006 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Alpine, Tx.
Posts: 3,173
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdjones View Post
I was'nt really going for performance gains as much as a good sound. I just rebuilt the motor, with a MT1 Melling cam, .40 over, but my stock manifolds are cracked..... So I went with the headers.

For those of you that have gone from manifolds to headers, what is the difference in sound, planning on using flowmaster muffler, duals out the back?
Honestly, I can always tell by the sound when a vehicle has headers, but it is a hard sound to describe. It is almost a Tinney sound coming from under the hood. I don't think the exhaust sounds any different. It's like you can hear combustion (or leaks) thru the header material better than the cast iron.
IMO you do not get that much performance gain from headers unless you have ported heads, and are in the 3k plus RPM range. Have you looked into the Shorties yet? They are basically manifolds out of steel tube. Very compact. This way if you decide to go with headers, you don't have clearance issues. Personally, I think it is a waste of money on a 304 w/ stock heads.
__________________
'85 CJ7, BDS 4" lift, 1" Body lift, 33x12.5, Shrockworks Sliders, 304 V8 with RV cam., T-176, D300, Dana 30, AMC 20.
1986 CJ10-A SD-33 Diesel/727/np208
1971 800B with 345/T-19
06' TJ Rubicon, 4" R.C. springs, BFG/AT 35s M.C. 6" fenders, rockers and surrounds, Currie front & rear adj. tracbars, tattons DC rear shaft, adj. upper - lower CA's. Bilstein 5100's
YJ Buggy Build Current project. Stroker/FI ?
1990 MJ Comanche 4.0L AX15/np231
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Unread 01-17-2010, 09:53 AM   #8
timmayham
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1995 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Clarksville, TN
Posts: 352
It may be a little late, but I found a shop and shelled out some money to have them install the headers (headman Elite in-frame w/HTC coating) and build my exhaust (about $400 for header install, Y-pipe to a single 3" w/40 sieres Flowmaster. AWESOME SOUND!!!). To go with Dad03, it is a very tight fit! I just swapped from my 304 to an AMC360 and put the headers back in myself. The 360 also had different size manifold bolts just as you are describing, luckily for me I had the bolts from that motor still (from an '85 Grand Wagoneer) maybe with a little homework you can find a set some place. Motor mounts had to be undone and engine raised a bit to get the headers between the motor,frame, motor mounts, and stearing shaft. Pain in the @$$? You bet, but isn't anything you do to a 30 year old pile of Toledo tin a pain in the @$$?

a thought: owning a CJ is like being in an abusive relationship! It beats the crap out of you and takes all your money, but you still love it and keep coming back for more...
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