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#269419 - 22/04/15 11:20 PM Wrapped headers, removed cats and exhaust baffles
Mol Offline
Just Getting Started

Registered: 28/02/13
Posts: 52
Loc: Okemos, Michigan
I wanted to wrap my headers because it was part of the look I am going for with my M3W. To do the job correctly you have to remove the pipes. The thought of doing this was scary for me at first, but I wanted wrapped headers and my friend who was going to wrap them for me said I had to remove the pipes for him to do it. Since I was going to have the pipes off, I decided I might as well remove the cats and baffles as well.

First you remove the O2 sensor.




Loosen the clamp between the pipe and header.




Unbolt the pipe mounts.




Pull the pipes apart by wiggling and twisting. The residue on this joint is Anti-seize. This product keeps metal pieces from corroding together, so that you can get them apart again if you ever need to. Before you reassemble, you will need to completely clean this off with ultra-fine steel wool and reapply a fine fresh coat. A little goes a long way.




Tail pipe removed.



It is really not that difficult to take this off.




... continued in next post...


Edited by Mol (23/04/15 12:31 AM)

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#269422 - 22/04/15 11:39 PM Re: Wrapped headers, removed cats and exhaust baffles [Re: Mol]
Mol Offline
Just Getting Started

Registered: 28/02/13
Posts: 52
Loc: Okemos, Michigan
Removing the headers is not as easy because of inaccessibility. You just have to be patient and know that you can do it.

First you need to bend down the "washer" so you can get the bolts off. This washer is actually not a single washer but goes around both bolts. Use a screwdriver and a hammer to bend it down. Before reassembling you need to flatten the washer out with a hammer. Once installed, you will bend it back up. This keeps the bolts from loosening.




Remove the bolts connecting the headers to the engine. On a couple we found a socket we could fit on. On others I had to use a open faced wrench. It was not easy due to no space to work around, but if I can do it, so can you.





There is a gasket, mine stayed on the engine and was in great shape so I didn't mess with it.



The cat is in that bulgy area toward the end of the header pipe.





I took a big screwdriver and hammer and beat around between the cat and the pipe until I could get it out. It took me almost an hour. There was a point where I was really questioning my actions but I was past the point of no return so I just kept on working at it. Needle nose pliers come in handy here as well. Keep a garbage bag nearby to put all the little bits of metal in.





Done... clean the pipe real good of all the leftover bits as best as you can and now on to the other side.





... continued in next post...


Edited by Mol (23/04/15 12:32 AM)

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#269424 - 22/04/15 11:53 PM Re: Wrapped headers, removed cats and exhaust baffles [Re: Mol]
Mol Offline
Just Getting Started

Registered: 28/02/13
Posts: 52
Loc: Okemos, Michigan
Time to wrap the headers. I am lucky to have a friend who used to build customer choppers and has been wrapping pipes for 20 years, He would not let anyone but him wrap my pipes because he wanted it done right.

Wear gloves, if gives you better grip and the wrap can be itchy.





You need a lot of space. You attach the wrap to something really solid and unwind it all (we attached the wrap to my lift way at the other end of the garage). Then you start wrapping applying steady, tight tension the entire time. Darrian Tefft is a master at this. I am so lucky he did this for me for just beer and pizza. (yes, this is our garage)

No, you do not wet the wrap to apply, that just creates a soppy mess.








Darrian, who is a master welder and now teaches welding, used stainless steel welding rod to secure the wrap. This gave it a wonderful Old School look.






... continued in next post...

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#269425 - 23/04/15 12:30 AM Re: Wrapped headers, removed cats and exhaust baffles [Re: Mol]
Mol Offline
Just Getting Started

Registered: 28/02/13
Posts: 52
Loc: Okemos, Michigan
Removing the baffles from the long pipe:

There are three of these "sound dampening" baffles. One solid plate about where the heat shield starts and two plates with holes in them about where the heat shield ends. You'll need two different sizes of hole saw and a 2 foot long extension. We had to jerry-rig our tool together and it got modified as we went and learned. I ended up taping all the joints together with aluminium tape (very strong) to keep the thing more solid and from pulling apart.

When using the hole saw, go slow. You should be able to count the revolutions as it turns. Going any faster just heats up, and hardens, the baffles and dulls the saw. We ruined two saws on two baffles before Darrian explained this to me. After that we used just one saw on the last 4 baffles and the saw is still viable.

I have no good photos of this step, sorry.

The baffles may need a little poking at to get completely out so you'll want to have something long and solid at hand before starting this project. We ended up scrounging up a long metal bird feeder pole. Hey... it worked. Another baffle was really hangy-on and we could not get it totally out so just bent it back as far as we could. It ended up shooting out of the pipe 30 seconds after we started it up for the first time after the mod.

Now put everything back together. Those bolts connecting the header to the engine were a bitch.

Look how smooth the wrap is. It is 1 inch wrap perfectly "locked" together. The more I look at it the more I can't believe how good it looks.



The wrap stinks for awhile after you install it and patinas quite quickly.





I love the new sound. The sound meter on my phone does not indicate the exhaust is any louder, but it sounds more beefy to me. Mostly the sound is deeper and more throaty. It's got some nice balls now.

Power wise, yes, I can feel a difference. The engine is definitely a lot happier. It's hard to explain the difference, but the mods were totally worth it for me.

I'll post up a video for sound soon.


Now, simply a cool photo for your viewing pleasure... This is from a 1800 mile, in one week, trip to a road known as The Dragon, that we took last year, and we will be doing again in just 3 days:



Edited by Mol (23/04/15 12:56 AM)

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#269429 - 23/04/15 01:33 AM Re: Wrapped headers, removed cats and exhaust baffles [Re: Mol]
Squirlz Offline
L - Learner Plates On

Registered: 18/01/13
Posts: 108
I can describe the power difference. I'm her husband. It used to be when you got much over 4000 RPM there were all kinds of cues telling you to upshift. On our shakedown run, I was bombing along , engine singing happily in 3rd gear, and I thought 'I'm going pretty fast for 3rd gear' and I looked down and saw we were doing 5000 RPM! I'm also easily bouncing off the redline when hammering from a stop and getting rubber in 3 gears! We did not anticipate such an improvement.

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#269438 - 23/04/15 01:53 AM Re: Wrapped headers, removed cats and exhaust baffles [Re: Mol]
Richard - Aus Offline

Member of the Inner Circle

Registered: 15/01/12
Posts: 14976
Loc: Perth, WA, Australia
Wonderful write up and very interesting to read. Great sounding results too it appears.
_________________________
Richard
1976 4/4 4 Seater

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#269440 - 23/04/15 02:00 AM Re: Wrapped headers, removed cats and exhaust baffles [Re: Mol]
fathergoose Offline
L - Learner Plates On

Registered: 21/05/13
Posts: 108
Loc: Charlotte NC. USA
thanks Squirlz, I think I will be doing this to mine, at some point down the road.

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#269445 - 23/04/15 04:24 AM Re: Wrapped headers, removed cats and exhaust baffles [Re: Mol]
deano Offline

Charter Member

Registered: 12/02/12
Posts: 5275
Loc: Taunton
Totally agree, great write up and interesting results on the power/smoothness improvement.
_________________________
Martin (Deano)

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#269454 - 23/04/15 07:04 AM Re: Wrapped headers, removed cats and exhaust baffles [Re: Mol]
Jays Offline

Member of the Inner Circle

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 14003
Loc: Cumbria UK
Great post Mol....just what we need here and in the Club Miscellany...except that they fight shy of publishing it.

Great garage by the way....I'm very envious!!
_________________________
Jays
Former Morgan owner. Gone but hopefully not forgotten!

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#269459 - 23/04/15 07:23 AM Re: Wrapped headers, removed cats and exhaust baffles [Re: Mol]
Roger Tapley Offline
Has a lot to Say!

Registered: 26/09/13
Posts: 1098
Loc: Kent England
That's what I call dedication to driving pleasure well done!
_________________________
RogT Old Git Racer ex 4/4 sand 2013
+4 GDI Royal Ivory 2015
Ford Fiesta ST2

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