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Old 05-28-2013, 03:19 AM   #1
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Header Advise

I need to replace my exhaust manifold on my 98 Sahara. This is my daily driver. I will replace the manifold with a header. Would it be better to go with the Rugged Ridge or save up some cash and buy a banks? Any advise would be appreciated.

Sorry I got kinda crazy with the Smilies. I was bored at work.

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Old 05-28-2013, 06:11 AM   #2
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I got a rugged ridge because it was cheap. Had it installed by a shop because I didn't have the time or patience to do it myself. Found out later that it was warped and wouldn't seat on the downtubes and wouldn't allow in intake to seat properly. Basically had to have the whole intake / exhaust header done all over again. Went with an OE header and all my problems went away.

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Old 05-29-2013, 12:58 AM   #3
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Do it right the first time and you won't have to do it again! It can be a frustrating job and you def don't wanna have to do it twice if you can save the cash for something worth the effort.
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Old 05-29-2013, 09:56 AM   #4
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Whats the issue you have with the current manifold? Fracturing of the welds?

Is the reason for going Banks or RR for HP gains? In reality, if thats the case then the gain won't be much unless you're freeing up the entire system. The difference between a banks header and the stock manifold isn't much as far as design; better routing and slightly better flow and back pressure due to individual pipes going all the way to the collector. The stock isn't a manifold like a cast header on a V8, that just dumps all the exhaust into a common "manifold" to one outlet; it's piped. Hope that makes sense!

The job is pretty easy to do if you take your time: couple hours at most by yourself. That's with painting a cheapo manifold as well.

I'd have to agree with the second post that OE is the way to go. I used the Dorman cheapo on my 97 and it worked fine at the cheapest price. I wouldn't go with a more expensive option unless I was installing a whole system; which in my opinion a performance exhaust on a jeep is kind of a waste, it's not like waking up a SBC.
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Old 06-11-2013, 08:03 AM   #5
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The manifold/header is cracked on the underside of the pipe before he heads back towards the front of the Jeep. The is to get ride of the nasty noise the Jeep is making.
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Old 06-11-2013, 08:29 AM   #6
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I replaced mine with a polished stainless steel header off of ebay. Fit perfect, no leaks and made very well. Welds are very clean, flanges are thick and sturdy. Hardest part is getting the bolts out. I used a torch and recommend you do the same. I recommend also that you do not use the included manifold gasket and get a quality one from NAPA etc. They say that the only one to replace it with is the OEM type with the flexible hosing on it but I went with the Ebay header and all is good. No noticeable performance improvement just a quiet engine compartment and a smooth running 4.0
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:52 PM   #7
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I heard on another forum somewhere that the flexible tubing part on those manifolds are actually some kind of catalytic converter type thing that jeep put on to help pass emissions with the I6 and made them look like little flex type things. Anyone know if that's true, or heard that before?
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Old 06-11-2013, 02:03 PM   #8
Knows a couple things...

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Originally Posted by JeepTjUnlimited06 View Post
I heard on another forum somewhere that the flexible tubing part on those manifolds are actually some kind of catalytic converter type thing that jeep put on to help pass emissions with the I6 and made them look like little flex type things. Anyone know if that's true, or heard that before?
No that is untrue, at least on the earlier one piece headers. The flexible joints (one on each side) were added to earlier one-piece factory headers (and they are true headers, not a manifold) to prevent cracking that happened with earlier designs without the flexible joints. Later models went to a 2-piece header design where the header's two down-tubes do have a small pre-cat on each side before the main catalytic converter.
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Old 06-11-2013, 02:12 PM   #9
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No that is untrue, at least on the earlier one piece headers. The flexible joints (one on each side) were added to earlier one-piece factory headers (and they are true headers, not a manifold) to prevent cracking that happened with earlier designs without the flexible joints. Later models went to a 2-piece header design where the header's two down-tubes do have a small pre-cat on each side before the main catalytic converter.

And NOTE the aftermarket headers do not have the flex joint. Borla and the other headers have a history of cracking because of this. They may warranty them but that just means you have to remove and replace.
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:20 AM   #10
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+1 for Neil. This is EXACTLY why I'd go for an OEM type. The cheapy Dorman I spoke of above was the redesign with the bellows (flex joints).

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