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Old 03-02-2009, 12:52 PM   #1
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How-to Install header and downpipe

TOOLS NEEDED
10MM RATCHET WRENCH
13MM DEEP SOCKET
14MM DEEP SOCKET & BOX END WRENCH
15MM DEEP SOCKET
13MM SOCKET & OPEN BOX END WRENCH
15MM SOCKET & OPEN BOX END WRENCH
JACK AND STANDS, OR RAMPS (or a car lift if your lucky)
RATCHET AND 6" & 3" EXTENSION
FLASHLIGHT
PENETRATING FLUID
O2 SENSOR SOCKET, OR 7/8 BOX END WRENCH

(Step 1)
Jack up the car and put on jack stands and make sure care is secure. Let the car cool down. (If you have a strut bar, this is a good time to remove it. Makes install much easier)
(Step 2)
Remove top and bottom heat shields. (Top = 3 13MM bolts) (Bottom = 1 15MM bolt & 10MM bolt) Remove the 10mm bolt from the top.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
(Step 3)
Spray down all 10 bolts on the manifold, the 3 bolts on the manifold/downpipe and the 2 bolts on the downpipe/catback with penetrating fluid. (This will make this whole process much easier!)
(Step 4)
Unclip the oxygen sensors, There is a little blue tab that has to be pushed out which acts like a lock holding the 2 snaps together. The lower clip is to the downpipe sensor. The upper one is to the one on the manifold. (removing the downpipe makes this much easier, even if your just installing the header) Do not remove the sensor from the manifold yet. This will be done after the manifold is out.
Click the image to open in full size.
(Step 5)
Remove the downpipe, Starting with the 2 rear 14MM bolts. You will need a wrench for the nut and the socket for the bolt.
Click the image to open in full size.
Then use your 15 MM deep socket to remove the front 3 15MM nuts from the manifold/downpipe
Click the image to open in full size.
Once you have the downpipe off the car, place it aside.
(Step 6)
Removing the manifold, There are 10, 13MM nuts holding on the manifold that need to be removed. All but the 3 middle bottom nuts can be removed from the top. The others are easier to remove from the bottom. (ON AUTO's MOST OF THE WORK CAN BE DONE FROM THE TOP) The very middle bottom nut is a PITA! You will need a long extension and go at it above the manifold but still from under the car.
(Here is a pic that gives you an idea of the nuts to be removed. Sorry I do not have any pics with the stock manifold on)
Click the image to open in full size.
The nut circled is the PITA one
Click the image to open in full size.
Once all nuts are removed, remove stock manifold and gasket. Inspect the head to be sure the area is clean and there are no obstructions that could cause leaks. Here is a pic of the manifold removed. (Very restrictive)
Click the image to open in full size.
(Step 7)
Installing the header, Place the new gasket and the header on the head bolts and finger tighten down all 10, of the 13MM nuts so the header sits in place like so.. (DO NOT USE ANY KIND OF GASKET SEALER!)
Click the image to open in full size.
Go in order of the diagram below, torquing all 10 nuts down to 106in/lbs, followed by a 2nd pass, again in order, and make sure they're all at 106in/lbs the 89in/lbs is for the exhaust shield studs.
Click the image to open in full size.

(Step 8 )
Remove oxygen sensor from the stock manifold, Using either an O2 sensor socket (A 7/8 deep socket with a slit down the side for the wires) or simply a 7/8 box end wrench. Next, take the sensor and screw it into the bung on the header. And give it just a little "snug" with the 7/8 wrench.
Click the image to open in full size.

(If installing a new downpipe, Repeat this step for the O2 sensor on the downpipe.)

(STEP 9)
Installing the downpipe, This particular header came with 3 double threaded bolts and 3 nuts like so..
Click the image to open in full size.
You will want to screw these bolts into the bottom flange of the header so there is only about 1/8 inch of threads before the middle non threaded part of the bolt.
Click the image to open in full size.
Next, pair the downpipe and header flanges together along with the new gasket. Finger tighten on all 3 of the 15MM nuts onto the bolts, and then tighten them with a ratchet. (Do not over tighten!) Be sure there are threads exposed on both sides, the header and beyond the nuts like this.
Click the image to open in full size.
Once those bolts are tightened on, the rear downpipe flange should be pretty much mated up with the flange for the rest of the exhaust. Reinstall the 2, 14MM bolts.

(Step 10) Reclip both sensors, and reinstall the bottom heat shield. The top heat shield will take a little hand bending and manipulating but it can be reinstalled also, with the exception of one bolt.

Now start the car and check for leaks. If there are none, Go rip down the street and enjoy your new header!
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Last edited by OBZ; 08-25-2009 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 03-02-2009, 10:25 PM   #2
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great write up
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Old 03-03-2009, 07:53 AM   #3
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Thanks man! It took longer to do this wright up than it did to install the header!
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Old 03-03-2009, 07:59 AM   #4
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job well done
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Old 03-05-2009, 02:15 PM   #5
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Bump! Cmon, no more comments? I spent a lot of time wrighting this up.
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Old 03-05-2009, 02:22 PM   #6
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very nice subscribed.
am going to be doing this very soon .

I'd assume the process is ultimatley the same on all of our engines?
Where did you get your new gaskets at?
Cobalt addiction header? Videos .
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Old 03-05-2009, 02:23 PM   #7
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My buddy found a GM graphic of the order your supposed to tighten the bolts in (which is basically from inside out). I had a leak and one of my bolts wouldn't even go in until he showed it to me. We uninstalled it and reinstalled, tightening the bolts in the correct order.

this part is very important and i'm glad you pointed it out. don't tighten them all down all the way. go from one bolt to the next, in order, and gradually tighten them. At the end of my re-install there were bolts that I had tightened that were now loose because I had tightened others that pulled the header closer. VERY IMPORTANT or you will get leaks.

Good write up.
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Old 03-05-2009, 02:34 PM   #8
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Very nice!!! just what i was looking for.
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Old 03-05-2009, 02:40 PM   #9
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hell yea great job I used this when I did my CA on my 2.2 last week, very helpful. o and I never lifted the car and took about 1.5 hours with a few smoke breaks in between. I would say a 3 on the hard to do meter.
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Old 03-05-2009, 02:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daythecountrydied21 View Post
very nice subscribed.
am going to be doing this very soon .

I'd assume the process is ultimatley the same on all of our engines?
Where did you get your new gaskets at?
Cobalt addiction header? Videos .
Yes it is ultimately the same with the 2.2,2.4 and 2.0 SUPERCHARGED. This is not a how to for the turbochrged models.

The header is from racing solutions. It came with all the gaskets and bolts
Quote:
Originally Posted by roadrage06 View Post
My buddy found a GM graphic of the order your supposed to tighten the bolts in (which is basically from inside out). I had a leak and one of my bolts wouldn't even go in until he showed it to me. We uninstalled it and reinstalled, tightening the bolts in the correct order.

this part is very important and i'm glad you pointed it out. don't tighten them all down all the way. go from one bolt to the next, in order, and gradually tighten them. At the end of my re-install there were bolts that I had tightened that were now loose because I had tightened others that pulled the header closer. VERY IMPORTANT or you will get leaks.

Good write up.
Thanks, If you can post up that graph, I'd be happy to add it to the How-to!

Quote:
Originally Posted by venum_us_2002 View Post
Very nice!!! just what i was looking for.
Quote:
Originally Posted by philupondes View Post
hell yea great job I used this when I did my CA on my 2.2 last week, very helpful. o and I never lifted the car and took about 1.5 hours with a few smoke breaks in between. I would say a 3 on the hard to do meter.
Yeah with the auto trans, the motor sits at a different angle and it is possible to do it from the top
Great! glad I could help you all out!
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Old 03-06-2009, 01:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadrage06 View Post
My buddy found a GM graphic of the order your supposed to tighten the bolts in (which is basically from inside out). I had a leak and one of my bolts wouldn't even go in until he showed it to me. We uninstalled it and reinstalled, tightening the bolts in the correct order.

this part is very important and i'm glad you pointed it out. don't tighten them all down all the way. go from one bolt to the next, in order, and gradually tighten them. At the end of my re-install there were bolts that I had tightened that were now loose because I had tightened others that pulled the header closer. VERY IMPORTANT or you will get leaks.

Good write up.
Can someone with this graphic scan it and post it? I'll be doing a header install within the next month or so.
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Old 03-10-2009, 04:43 PM   #12
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what is a good penatrating fluid
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Old 03-10-2009, 04:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venum_us_2002 View Post
what is a good penatrating fluid
WD40 will work fine.. Any penetrating fluid really
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Old 03-13-2009, 12:09 PM   #14
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Excellent Write Up...will Be Installing New Header And Downpipe On Mine Next Month...but I Didn't Notice If You Reinstalled The Factory Heatsheild On The Header...or Don't You Need To?
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Old 03-14-2009, 01:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HONDAH8R View Post
Excellent Write Up...will Be Installing New Header And Downpipe On Mine Next Month...but I Didn't Notice If You Reinstalled The Factory Heatsheild On The Header...or Don't You Need To?
Thanks man! I did reinstall both of the heatshields. The top one takes a little hand manipulating but it will fit back on. My first pic in the how-to is actually a picture with the heat shield over the header.
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Old 03-15-2009, 04:22 PM   #16
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Good job man! I am going to be doing this as soon as the weather is better around here.
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Old 03-15-2009, 06:46 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWmaster View Post
Good job man! I am going to be doing this as soon as the weather is better around here.
Thanks buddy!
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Old 03-15-2009, 11:48 PM   #18
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The header I got is from BADMAB Industries for 189.95 with free shipping and it looks identical to yours and the cobalt addiction header. I wonder if all of these come from the same manufacturer anyway?
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Old 03-15-2009, 11:52 PM   #19
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Quote:
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The header I got is from BADMAB Industries for 189.95 with free shipping and it looks identical to yours and the cobalt addiction header. I wonder if all of these come from the same manufacturer anyway?
PM me a few pics will ya?
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Old 03-16-2009, 12:35 AM   #20
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Quote:
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PM me a few pics will ya?
Here is an auction from the seller I got it from. It looks the same as pictured. It feels like a really solid part.

Header
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Old 03-16-2009, 01:16 PM   #21
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Nice! I do think its the same one.. good deal!
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Old 03-25-2009, 03:31 AM   #22
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Quote:
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Nice! I do think its the same one.. good deal!
I hope i dont make a fool out of myself for asking this. But I bought the CA header for my 07 balt ls. But upon inspecting my stock header have noticed there is no i repeat no oxygen sensor. WTF???????
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Old 03-25-2009, 01:21 PM   #23
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Yeah on the 07's both of the oxygen sensors are on the downpipe. You will just need to get a plug for that O2 bung. If your sure you will never use it. you could even use quicksteel. (do not use JB weld though it won't withstand the heat)
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Old 03-25-2009, 09:04 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OBZ View Post
Yeah on the 07's both of the oxygen sensors are on the downpipe. You will just need to get a plug for that O2 bung. If your sure you will never use it. you could even use quicksteel. (do not use JB weld though it won't withstand the heat)
yeah i installed it today. it started raining as i tightened the last bolt. dude this is great info. awesome how to guide. and yeah i just went and bought a o2 sensor to fill it. Until i get my downpipe in. So then it will be all good. Thanks!!!! Oh and just so everyone else will know who reads this, follow the steps, and you'll be all good! No leaks or problems here.
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Old 03-25-2009, 11:16 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emilys_broken_belt View Post
yeah i installed it today. it started raining as i tightened the last bolt. dude this is great info. awesome how to guide. and yeah i just went and bought a o2 sensor to fill it. Until i get my downpipe in. So then it will be all good. Thanks!!!! Oh and just so everyone else will know who reads this, follow the steps, and you'll be all good! No leaks or problems here.
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Old 03-25-2009, 11:16 PM
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