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Senior Member
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934 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I first put the hooker headers on that were sent w/FF5 kit it took me nearly an hour to get those hex head bolts on, as tightly as I could. As most of you are aware, you can't get a socket or a box wrench on them so it's just do your best w/an open end wrench. Well I had the exhaust leak. So my solution was a trip to Fastenal and bought a bag of allen head bolts. I could get at the bolts easier and was able to tighten them to where there is no more leak. HTH someone.
 

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FFCobra Craftsman
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24,700 Posts
Good call.I suggested that to a Mustang buddy but he went w/ some type of locks instead.So far I'm lucky w/ mine but doing a maintenance ck recently even w/ my SnapOn high angle open end wrench left me thinking I'm just lucky.
 

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FFCobra Fanatic
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12,975 Posts
I have a snap on box wrench that is the only box wrench I can get on all but two header bolts. allen bolts are a good alternative to the problem. Check for looseness the first dozen cool offs of the motor checking to be sure they are tight. At some point you will notice they no longer require checking. A dab of high temp silicone on the bolt threads also helps.
 

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Premium Member
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9,698 Posts
I'm using ARP 12 point bolts, and a special box end wrench that I modified. The 12 point heads are a reduced diameter, and even with that, they are still a PITA to tighten.
 

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Premium Member
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18,090 Posts
The type of gasket material will make a HUGE difference in whether or not you have leaks. This is regardless of the type of bolt you use.

A composition gasket will shrink / compress over a number of heat-cycles. Even the best composition gaskets have this problem.
The use of Stage-8 or other types of locking bolts will not prevent leaks when this happens.
The only thing that will prevent leaks is to periodically check the torque of the bolts (re-tightening them) to ensure that the gasket is held tight while it shrinks. This usually takes a good 4 or 5 long duration heat-cycles before they stop shrinking to the point where you no longer can add torque to the bolts.
Another important factor is to check the depth of the bolt holes to ensure that your bolts are not bottoming out.
After you've been through enough heat cycles to where you no longer can add more torque to the bolts, *THEN* you can Lock the bolt down and forget about it.

Myself, I don't use Stage-8 or any other locking bolts.
I do use 3/8" heat-treated star washers on the bolts.
If you chase after the bolts as I outlined above and use star washers, you will most likely never lose a bolt.
Lost header bolts come from the gasket shrinkage and lack of re-tightening them.
The same thing causes header gaskets to leak and/or blow-out on these cars.
 

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FFCobra Fanatic
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2,600 Posts
I used a small 1/4" drive socket and a flat plate to lengthen the dimples in the headder pipe for bolt clearance. I put the socket where I wanted the dimple to extend to and a small flat plate on the other side of the pipe where I then used a really big pair of channel locks to squeeze the socket into the pipe. I put enough clearance to clear the bolt head for an easier install, helped a lot. You can't tell I did it by looking at them; I was careful. I also used a wrench that had little metal on the closed end to tighten most of the bolts, clearancing helped there too.
 

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Senior Member
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8,356 Posts
Did the same as Wis; works well, still a bit tight on a few, though.
 

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FFCobra Master Craftsman
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1,399 Posts
Snap-On makes an open end angle wrench that allows you to get on and turn all the bolts. Pricey, but the only one I've seen that will do the job
Marc A
 
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