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Hi to everyone...

So I find myself in the ranks of those who have wound up with a cracked BBK 4 into 4 header, in my case with a little over 3,000 miles on the car. In full disclosure, I was running the side pipe support hangers, fully tightened, and after inspection there’s no visible cracking or stress that I can see on the side pipe.

What has broken is the #1 pipe on the passenger side. (Pics attached.) Was driving and suddenly was hearing a ”clanging/metal rattle” - got home, popped the hood and it stood right out.
360828

360829


Here’s where I could really use some help - what would you guys do? Repair or replace?

I thought about sending the pics to BBK just to see what they would say, but I know I can take it to my local welding shop and have them Tig it.

Also considered replacing it but when I went on Factory Five‘s site I don’t see the BBK 4 into 4 headers anymore? I tried googling to find and searched the forum for a part number but came up with nothing.

So what would you guys do?

Thanks in advance for any help!
 

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Fix then have recoated and good as new.
Hi to everyone...

So I find myself in the ranks of those who have wound up with a cracked BBK 4 into 4 header, in my case with a little over 3,000 miles on the car. In full disclosure, I was running the side pipe support hangers, fully tightened, and after inspection there’s no visible cracking or stress that I can see on the side pipe.

What has broken is the #1 pipe on the passenger side. (Pics attached.) Was driving and suddenly was hearing a ”clanging/metal rattle” - got home, popped the hood and it stood right out.
View attachment 360828
View attachment 360829

Here’s where I could really use some help - what would you guys do? Repair or replace?

I thought about sending the pics to BBK just to see what they would say, but I know I can take it to my local welding shop and have them Tig it.

Also considered replacing it but when I went on Factory Five‘s site I don’t see the BBK 4 into 4 headers anymore? I tried googling to find and searched the forum for a part number but came up with nothing.

So what would you guys do?

Thanks in advance for any help!
I had the exact same problem with my header on the no. 1 pipe on passenger side. I used my mig welder and ran a bead of weld all the way around. I tested the metal with a magnet and it stuck.
Hi to everyone...

So I find myself in the ranks of those who have wound up with a cracked BBK 4 into 4 header, in my case with a little over 3,000 miles on the car. In full disclosure, I was running the side pipe support hangers, fully tightened, and after inspection there’s no visible cracking or stress that I can see on the side pipe.

What has broken is the #1 pipe on the passenger side. (Pics attached.) Was driving and suddenly was hearing a ”clanging/metal rattle” - got home, popped the hood and it stood right out.
View attachment 360828
View attachment 360829

Here’s where I could really use some help - what would you guys do? Repair or replace?

I thought about sending the pics to BBK just to see what they would say, but I know I can take it to my local welding shop and have them Tig it.

Also considered replacing it but when I went on Factory Five‘s site I don’t see the BBK 4 into 4 headers anymore? I tried googling to find and searched the forum for a part number but came up with nothing.

So what would you guys do?

Thanks in advance for any help!
I had the exact same problem on the same pipe. A magnet will stick to metal. I mig welded mine. Went slow with a series of beads. The pipe metal is very thin so have to be careful. Thousands of miles later and no problems.
 

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Mine cracked too. Not as bad as yours. It looks like the same exhaust port has mine ( PS cylinder nearest the accessory drive). I had them welded and they broke next to the weld. I think when BBK squared the round tube it affected the strength of the pipe. I got lucky and bought a new set from someone on this forum.
 

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I would fix it. If you decide you'd rather replace them (or the repair doesn't last as intended), There's a header company in Barnesville, MN that does very nice work (Google is your friend, or you can send me a message for contact info). They don't advertise here, so I doubt I can post a link directly but they make headers to fit our cars in plain or stainless steel. Mine fit much better in every direction than the (Hooker) headers originally supplied by FFR:

360858


WAY cheaper to fix what you have though!

Sean
 
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Hi to everyone...

So I find myself in the ranks of those who have wound up with a cracked BBK 4 into 4 header, in my case with a little over 3,000 miles on the car. In full disclosure, I was running the side pipe support hangers, fully tightened, and after inspection there’s no visible cracking or stress that I can see on the side pipe.

What has broken is the #1 pipe on the passenger side. (Pics attached.) Was driving and suddenly was hearing a ”clanging/metal rattle” - got home, popped the hood and it stood right out.
View attachment 360828
View attachment 360829

Here’s where I could really use some help - what would you guys do? Repair or replace?

I thought about sending the pics to BBK just to see what they would say, but I know I can take it to my local welding shop and have them Tig it.

Also considered replacing it but when I went on Factory Five‘s site I don’t see the BBK 4 into 4 headers anymore? I tried googling to find and searched the forum for a part number but came up with nothing.

So what would you guys do?

Thanks in advance for any help!
 

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Hi,
I don't like to hear this since I installed the 4 into 4 headers from FF in my MK4 a few months ago. Previously I had the J-pipes and experienced cracking also.
I would suggest you contact Tony Zullo [email protected] and enclose the pictures of the cracks.

You might want to contact Deep South Cobra Club. We have events throughout the year. Good group of guys and gals.

Tim
Mount Dora FL
 

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I would fix it. If you decide you'd rather replace them (or the repair doesn't last as intended), There's a header company in Barnesville, MN that does very nice work (Google is your friend, or you can send me a message for contact info). They don't advertise here, so I doubt I can post a link directly but they make headers to fit our cars in plain or stainless steel. Mine fit much better in every direction than the (Hooker) headers originally supplied by FFR:

View attachment 360858

WAY cheaper to fix what you have though!

Sean
Can u post the name off the company I would like a set
 

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Hi,
I don't like to hear this since I installed the 4 into 4 headers from FF in my MK4 a few months ago. Previously I had the J-pipes and experienced cracking also.
I would suggest you contact Tony Zullo [email protected] and enclose the pictures of the cracks.

You might want to contact Deep South Cobra Club. We have events throughout the year. Good group of guys and gals.

Tim
Mount Dora FL
I spoke with Dan G. at FFR. BBK is no longer their supplier. He was very aware of this problem. He basically said the problem was not BBK's. According to Dan G. the owner was running his engine to lean or the side pipe was not supported. Heat and vibration were the main culprits. My side pipes were always supported and my engine is not running lean. FWIW.
 

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That can be repaired if you're good with a MIG or TIG welder.

To prevent the crack from continuing, drill a 1/16 hole at the end of each crack. Also at the junction of cracks.

Best results will come from removing the coating, and getting down to bare metal.

While you're at it, I would consider running a 1/8" angle iron brace from the bottom of each pipe to the bottom of the flange. But then, I do tend to over engineer everything I do. ;)
 
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Discussion Starter #12
I spoke with Dan G. at FFR. BBK is no longer their supplier. He was very aware of this problem. He basically said the problem was not BBK's. According to Dan G. the owner was running his engine to lean or the side pipe was not supported. Heat and vibration were the main culprits. My side pipes were always supported and my engine is not running lean. FWIW.
That would be an uncomfortable conversation for me to have with them as I know the engine isn’t running lean, and we installed the side pipe supports exactly as instructed. It certainly looks to me like a tear from engine torque/vibration, but if that’s the case and we are running the exhaust supports as required then there’s another element to this problem, be it needing to acquire very specific positioning of the motor, or it’s a bad design.

The header is going to a trusted fab shop to be tig welded this week. If for some reason they can’t fix it then this thing gets a whole lot more expensive in a hurry.

I want to thank everyone for their replies and thoughts - will report back at the end of the week to let you know how it turns out.
 

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You know, sometimes stuff just happens, and there is no blame. I have the same headers on my car, 10,000+ miles, I don't use any side pipe supports, and so for no issues.
 

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You would be surprised at the temperature gradient on the header where it exits the head. The flange and the first inch to inch and a half of the pipe are much cooler than the pipe 4 inches away from the head. They get cooled by being in contact with the head which has cooling system priority especially around the exhaust ports. If you don't believe me, take your laser digital thermometer and measure the temps down the pipe starting at the head.
The other problem is the side pipe support brackets as supplied by FFR. I believe they were originally designed to hold the pipe in place when using J pipes. J pipes have a couple of spots that allow movement that the 4 into 4 headers don't. Because they are bolted to the frame at the inboard they allow very little in and out movement of the pipe. This has been known to crack the pipe at the mounting tab and could put stress on the headers at the engine. For this reason the experts, Jeff Kleiner for example, recommend only putting one bolt in the side pipe mounting tab and not tightening it too tight.
I went a different route and cut off the inner portion of the mounting bracket. This allows the bracket to support some of the pipes weight while allowing motion in all directions.
Here is a couple of pictures. One from the build manual and one of my car.
Sorry for the long post.

HTH
Norm
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Howdy everyone....

Well that took longer than expected, but here we are, thanks to some Tig welding:

361108

Got everything bolted back up last night, but haven’t been for a drive yet.

For those of you who run the side pipe modified as Jeff Kleiner does, do you use the inboard or outboard bolt with the mounting tab?
 

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Interested to hear how the weld works out.
I had the exact same #1 cylinder header crack yesterday.
I am using the side pipe hangers with one bolt installed.
 
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