- About the Hotshot header...
Fred Miceli (F...@mtolive.basf-corp.com)
I finally got my HotShot Headers! I can't believe it! FINALLY!
They look good and they are ceramic coated. I couldn't install
them this weekend, because the nuts that hold the stock collector
pipe to the cat are corroded and welded to the cat and studs due to
heat and rust!! Looks like I'll have to take it to a shop and have
them loosen the nuts for me.
Anyway, Clint Fong (yeah, he's still around) installed his headers
on Saturday and we raced on Sunday. We'd start at 70 MPH in 3rd
and race till we came up on traffic. By the time I shifted into
4th, he gained 1/2-3/4 of a car length on me and he really started
to walk me in 4th gear. By the time we got to 120-125, his rear
bumber was about 2 car lengths in front of my front bumper (ie he
gained 3 car lengths since starting even at 70 mph)!! The gap
became more apparent when we raced uphill!!! REALLY!!! Its too
bad we could really get up to 135MPH - 140MPH to really see what
would happen. We both have identical go faster mods except for the
headers and the clutch (he still has the stock clutch at 114K
On a side note, the exhaust note sounds like there is a little
metallic rattling coming from somewhere within the entire exhaust
system. Clint claims this is the case with other Hotshot header
owners (Steve Ting and Gordon).
- Installing the Stillen header
I had to do the install over two evenings after work. Took me about 2 1/2
hours to get the old exhaust manifold and downpipe off and about 2 1/2 hours
and another evening to get the $tillen equipment on. The $tillen piece is
very well done, all the emmisions/O2 sensor stuff is there. I used ample
liquid wrench and a lot of time but no busted bolts! The exhaust comes with
only the gasket from the header to the down pipe. The $tillen instuctions
refers to a separate gasket kit that you must request (thanks Adam for not
mentioning this!) for the manifold gasket and the gasket were the down pipe
conects to the cat. From the local Dealer the cat gasket cost me $6.96
(#20692-65J00) and the manifold $13.33 (#14036-53J00). the dealer did not
have the metallic asbestos downpipe gasket, but the newer all metal - yuck.
Also I would recommend picking up a new O2 sensor, your gonna tear up the old
one getting it off, $58 bucks.
Tools: It helps to have numerous length extensions on your
socket set to get to all the manifold bolts, you'll need short and
deep if you got them10mm, 12, 14, a 17 for something I can't remember,
a large cresent wrench, and possible vise grips for O2, gasket
scraper, phillips medium screwdriver, liquid wrench and lots of
patience, jack & stands (or ramps, until you do the suspension - and
then you can't clear the air damn :( ).
Install: you have to take off the brass colored A.I.V. from the
front of the engine completely off, and I let the black resonator
sorta hang by the thick black hose below. You have to take off the
heat shield off obviously to get to the bolts that hold the manifold
to the block (apply liquid wrench!). Jack the car to get to the three
down pipe bolts (right were it tucks under the block) and the two
bolts were it connects in front of the cat. You can unbolt/ unscrew
the black splash guard panel thats under the front right / passenger
bumper to give great access to the bolts on the down pipe. Three
bolts: one in front, two in back.
The old cast iron manifold I took off last (dropped the down pipe
first). It is a tight fit to get it out. I would recommend loosening
the EGR tube on the back side of the block near the throttle (two
bolts) to give you more play. Taking the radiator/fans out may have
been better, but with some wiggle here and there you can get it off
past the head bolts.
Everything bolts on pretty well. The O2 sensor is much lower on the
down pipe so the clip won't reach to the resonator box, just
stretches, I use a zip tie to the brass emissiond tube that also
connects down on the down pipe so it wouldn't swing out into the
radiator fan. I did not even look at trying to put back on the heat
sheilds, anyone do this?
Leaks? Well I have driven the vehicle twice (trying not to, dropping
off the car tommorrow to get a clutch job - yes with the JWT pressure
plate). About 4,500 rpm I'm starting to hear a "tingle" I think at the
cat. I have yet to re-torque everything. Otherwise very solid.
Impressions? With the very little drive time I would say throttle
response is better, car is louder but the $tillen exhaust is still
tolerable at highway and at idle, the car is scooting better (like if
you hold it in second at 4K rpm and then hammer it WOT - jumps with a
good roar), but could not trash it b/c the clutch is slipping so bad
between gears. Back pressure is even more reduced, so you'll get some
backdraft "pops" now and then.
Sure does look good in the engine bay! It is not the same as pictured
in the $tillen catalog. Basically in the catalog the tri-Y set up has
separate secondaries as it hits the downpipe and two separate pipes
till the flex joint. The one that ships has the four pipes blending to
two at the down pipe gasket, and as it bends below the car you are
down to one big pipe as it runs back towards the flex joint. Which is
better? Who knows, I'm just glad to get it.
- I was wondering if anybody on the list has tried running the headers on a stock SE-R? As some other people on the list have found out recently, the aftermarket mufflers are a little loud for my taste. Since very little of my driving is spent at high RPM's, the little gain up top was not worth the added noise.
Wayne Cox (w...@erinet.com)
I think you'd see a nice benefit from them. Most all the other mods help
top-end breathing, with lots of noise increase. The headers help all
around; I liked the bottom end improvement from my HS set a lot. From what
you said, headers, bumped ignition timing, maybe a JWT ECU would be your
As for sound change, my loud exhaust lets everything through. The headers
changed it to a more buzzy, raspy (annoying) tone. But with a stock muffler
I don't think you'd hear much difference.
Zak Nilsson (X...@primenet.com)
It will help. From what I've gathered, either the Stillen or the
Hotshot header will get you around 12 hp at the wheels...which is like
17 or so at the crank. Of course it will work better with intake and
exhaust, but it will certainly do something even without them. I'm
not sure what a header sounds like with no other mods; mine sounds a
bit louder and growlier, but it's hard to tell over the roar of the
- About the KBD header...
Corey Slovick (s...@ctrvax.Vanderbilt.Edu)
Mine is ceramic coated, 4-2-1, and beautiful! There is no flex pipe,
just a mandrel bent stainless steel pipe going from the last collector
to the cat. I installed it myself (with the aid of a hydraulic lift)
in about an hour and a half.
Here are the two things that you ARE GOING TO run into.
First, there are 3 holes in the header and only 2 things to fill
them. I'm referring to the pulse-air/EGR tube at the top right
and the O2 Sensor. The third hole took a little bit of ingenuity,
I ended up just kinda happening across a bolt tha fit at the
hardware store. I plugged it up and good to go.
Three months later, the 4-2 gasket burnt out (little piece of
asbestos shit). I went to the dealer and bought two of the metal
ring gaskets made for the same joint in the stock manifold. I
got 'em good and sticky with some Disc Brake Quiet and
tightened it up, and that was the end of that.
This you may or may not run into. After first install, the entire
exhaust system was moved back an inch or so, causing the
HKS muffler to rattle against the tow-hitch (yeah, it's got a tow
hitch, too). Local welder took a small piece out of the midpipe
and that went away. Now the rear section moves side to side
and "buzzes" against the rear sway bar (ST). I'm going to fix that
with a lot of heater hose tape, hopefully (like that alliteration??? :-)
Your after-market noises will surely vary with your other
assortments of after-market parts.
- Header installation tips...
Kurt Sussman (k...@uplanet.com)
Make sure you have the following before you start:
- 10, 12, 14mm sockets. You may want deep sockets too, but I didn't need
them. A swivel, medium and long extensions are useful too.
- a torque wrench is essential. Don't use the cheapo pointer type.
- anti-seize compound (to keep everything from being 'welded' from the
- some kind of breaker bar; I used a 14" 1/2 drive bar (not ratchet) and
a 4' pipe for the motor mount bracket (more on this later).
- all gaskets (cat, steel secondary, manifold to head), bolts, etc, and
some spare exhaust studs (at least one always pulls out, and if you snap
one you want to be prepared)
- some 3/8" washers; I used 2 flat and 2 lock washers (for the front
Since I'll probably forget to mention all the safety stuff, I'll just
say be careful. Your car is big, sharp, and heavy. You are soft and
squishy. Block your tires, use jack stands, stay awake, etc.
Jack up the front of the car. You need to get to the front of the cat,
as well as a few screws and nuts under the front.
I removed the passenger-side splash shield so I could reach the
secondary and front motor mount. Unbolt the cat end first, being careful
not to rip the ground strap (the cat has to be grounded so the second O2
sensor reads accurately). Then remove the bolt on the top side of the
secondary (to the front motor mount) and the nuts holding the secondary
to the manifold.
Bolt your new secondary/flex pipe on, using enough anti-seize. Don't get
any on your clothes. Let it hang in the front.
Put your jack under the oil pan, and find a small block of wood to
protect the pan. Support (don't lift!) the engine, and remove the front
motor mount. You have to get rid of the bracket between the mount and
the engine, and since the bolts will bottom out without it, you'll have
to use washers when you put the motor mount back on.
Unscrew the O2 sensor (and AIV, if you have one).
Remove the manifold, loosening the bolts in a spiral from the outside
toward the center (2-4-6-8-7-5-3-1). To get the EGR tube out of the
driver's side of the manifold, loosen the manifold end, then loosen the
two bolts on the smaller manifold at the other end of the tube. 12mm,
swivel, medium extension.
Scrape the gasket surface on the head until it is shiny and smooth. You
don't want to do this again.
Put the new gasket on and maneuver the header into place. Put all the
nuts and washers back on, but don't tighten them until they're all snug.
Torque them to 27 ft-lbs in a spiral from the center bolts to the
outside (8-6-4-2-1-3-5-7). Put everything together, using anti-seize on
everything that might get hot.
Double check your work. Did you remember to tighten the little manifold
at the back end of the EGR tube?
Warm the car up. Listen for exhaust leaks and rattles. The header will
smoke a little. Don't panic. Drive around a little. Park the car.
In the morning (when it's cold), torque the manifold nuts again in the
same pattern. This time, set your wrench to 35 ft-lbs.
- What's the difference between 4-2-1 vs. 4-1 headers?
Frank Viloria (f...@haywire.csuhayward.edu)
From what I have picked up thru messin with cars, 4-1 headers
provide better flow since the outgoing gasses don't have to go thru
the transition of flowing out of 4 pipes, to 2 pipes, to 1 pipe.
However, in most states 4-1 headers are illegal for street so thatz
why many header manufacturers usually only make 4-2-1 headers. My
buddy has the Gude 4-1 headers on his God-forbidden Civic and it
made a big difference in not only performnace, but noise as
The SE-R FAQ
Maintained by Ronald S. Chong