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Old 01-12-2012, 01:42 PM   #1
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fixing header crack once and for all...help

I have a 99 4.0 wrangler, auto, 4 inch lift, 180k on everything. I don't know if this info matter but just wanted to give as much as possible. the first "crack" happened around 75k and we replaced it with a dorman (with the flex joints welded in the manifold), I would get about a year or so out of each header going through about three. Since they had a 2 yr warrenty at the time I would just change them out when they cracked for a free new one.

Next, I decided to put a flex joint in the exhaust pipe just before it goes into the skid plate area. Installed my new header and again got about a year or so out of it. This time we tried to just weld the crack up, bad idea...it broke once more in just a few months.

On my recent attempt about 6 mnths ago I wrapped the new header with thermal wrap thinking it would cool down slower after driving and maybe would crack as easy. Yes I was desprate. Also I installed another hanger coming off the frame to the exhaust pipe right where the pipe goes around the oil pan. The hanger had a rubber flex joint in it. I can def say neither of these helped cause the manifold only last 6 months and it is cracked worse than ever by the noise.

I want to get this problem fixed once and for all cause I'm getting way to good at switching them out and it is getting old.

Iv read that my engine maybe running hot?

Engine mounts broken? Figured I would feel that driving around normal?

Cat is clogged putting pressure on my header? Same for the muffler?

Ps. The crack is usaully where everything goes into one pipe and a lot of times at the third exaust port where it is welded onto the next pipe. Where 1, 2, 3 collect into and then travel down ito one.

Thank you for you time reading all this.

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Old 01-12-2012, 01:48 PM   #2
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Replace with the new type with the exspansion coils at each end. Did that just after I bough my TJ. Sounds so much better. You can get the exhaust manifold from a bunch of different places. Just do some price shopping on the net. That's what I did.


This one is from Amazon.com

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Old 01-12-2012, 01:53 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. This is the header I have. Still manage to crack it
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Old 01-12-2012, 01:58 PM   #4
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We have used a welder and built up the thickness in the cracking areas. Done this for a few friends with both YJ's and TJ's.
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Old 01-12-2012, 02:08 PM   #5
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Might want to check your exhaust system to make certain your Manifold is not supporting to much of the weight of the exhaust system. I also knew I guy who kept breaking his-he had a busted motor mount that kept putting too much torque on the Manifold. Yes, you can weld them before they go in (new) to reinforce but it would be interesting to see how long they last since they are much thinner than the original stock cast ones.

Another though is what kind of wheeling do you do. Is it somehow putting extra stress on the exhaust and manifold? Out side of that the one with the coils still is the best and if you break the best well.........?
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Old 01-12-2012, 02:49 PM   #6
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Yeah I was going to weld up the one that is on there since I don't get another one under warrenty. Hope maybe it will help it out.

As for the weight of the exhaust system, I was think the same thing so I installed an extra hanger. It seemed to shorten the life this go around. I guess you can have to much bracing or not enough....I need to find the middle. I wish al the stock bracing would just be enough.

And wheeling I realy don't do any. This isn't my daily driver and I try to keep it in god shape. I need to check the mount, like I said seems like I would have some kind of thud or something when I am driving around wit a broken engine mount? What a god way to check if there busted?
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Old 01-12-2012, 03:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathanarthurg View Post
Yeah I was going to weld up the one that is on there since I don't get another one under warrenty. Hope maybe it will help it out.

As for the weight of the exhaust system, I was think the same thing so I installed an extra hanger. It seemed to shorten the life this go around. I guess you can have to much bracing or not enough....I need to find the middle. I wish al the stock bracing would just be enough.

And wheeling I realy don't do any. This isn't my daily driver and I try to keep it in god shape. I need to check the mount, like I said seems like I would have some kind of thud or something when I am driving around wit a broken engine mount? What a god way to check if there busted?
I know it's frustrating trying to find why something is breaking. As for checking the motor mounts, first a good visual inspection looking for cracks or broken or even loose bolts. Then, with you safely underneath the Jeep have a buddy Rev the engine up and down in NEUTRAL (don't want to get run over. The Torque of the engine will rock it one direction but not overly so. If it seems like if it moves more that it should NEW motor mounts may be needed. Sometimes they can just wear out (the rubber or neoprene depending on what you have). Also I would look at the exhaust system from the manifold back while your buddy revs the engine. That way you can tell for certain whether there is undue stress on the Manifold. Sorry, I can't help you more but do let us know what you find after doing this.
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Old 01-12-2012, 07:52 PM   #8
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ok so i had a friend rev it. the engine tourqes about a half inch or so. the metal on the mounts look ok and the rubber can be pushed on with my finger without much give. i also looked at the exhaust while reving it and didnt notice to much movement. and i felt up by the header for the leak. its broken once again in the same spot, on the more sharp bend just before going into one peice. i dont get why this happens so often.
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Old 01-13-2012, 02:26 PM   #9
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I was thinking about putting in a new muffler and cat just to elimenate the possible pressure problem. Does anyone know how long a cat usaully last before breaking down inside? Also an idea to re route the exaust so it doesn't go toward the front of the jeep around the oil pan and then back...hoping that may let it flex and also get some weight of the header.
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Old 01-13-2012, 02:40 PM   #10
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Most of the cats I've seen that were seriously stopped up made a distinctive sound. It's a whooshing sound that reminds me of a jet.
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Old 01-16-2012, 04:57 PM   #11
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'97 TJ Banks Engineering Stainless Header Crack

Hello, when I installed a Mopar reman long block in my '97 TJ in 2009, the original OEM exhaust manifold had a noticeable crack. These OEM manifolds were well known for cracking, so it was no surprise to find it during the rebuild with 140,000 miles. Since I was investing alot of bucks into this project, I decided to buy the best manifold on the market by Banks Engineering. Is was 409 stainless and comes with a lifetime warranty. So $425 later, I received and installed it. Less than 2 years later and under 20,000 miles of service, I heared a familiar exhaust noise in the header side of the engine. Removed the header and found it cracked at the collector. Did some web surfing and found numerous fourms with compliants of cracked Banks Headers. Found my invoice and called Banks Engineering. They said a change to the collector should resolve a repeat failure and received a RMA # and shipped the manifold back to Banks for a warranty exchange. Received the replacement header today and indeed, the header design changed significantly. Instead of 3 separate collectors as shown on the first header, a larger single collector now exists and collects all 6 tubes at one location. I am sending this new header out to a Ceramic Coater to coat it internally and externally with this coating that acts as a thermal barrier. It also polishes to a near chrome finish. Doing this as an added step against a repeat failure. I hope my picture assists those of you that are curious about where these cracks occur and it may help those that have bought an Banks header and experienced a cracking condition. Find your receipt and keep it in a safe location.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:30 AM   #12
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Thanks tjproud, I think I'm going to break down and buy this one. Anyone out there with this style already? Hope the new design will last a little longer than 20k...

Also do you guys think wrapping the header helps with cracking? Or would the roll be a waste of money?
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathanarthurg View Post
Thanks tjproud, I think I'm going to break down and buy this one. Anyone out there with this style already? Hope the new design will last a little longer than 20k...

Also do you guys think wrapping the header helps with cracking? Or would the roll be a waste of money?

Ive had mine (the new style) for five months now and will be getting the replacement next week. Banks says this is the first one they know of and are sending me a new one directly and paying to ship this one back to them as they want to examine it.. There service is the best I've ever dealt with and they seem to want to solve this issue once and for all as well.

IMO, headers dont/wont crack due to heat alone. there is a loading issue present that stresses the metal and when heated dosent expand or contract at the same rate.
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Old 02-03-2012, 01:35 AM   #14
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I also have this style. It cracked within 3 months of the install. Had it installed a year ago at banks. contacted them in july and have gotten no where. I get transferred to so and so, leave a message and then silence.
I need to get it replaced next week, and am willing to scrap this one and get a brand that won't crack.
By the way, they have told me each time, that mine is the first one to crack, and I must have gotten the first batch, this is the 5th one.
Wenatchee, how long have you had that one installed?
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:46 AM   #15
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Great I wonder if I should go ahead with the install? Its sitting in my garage ready to go. Should I save my money?
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:08 AM   #16
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Since I received the new header exchange under the terms of Banks warranty, I am not risking a repeat failure. I am sending this new header out for ceramic coating. About a $175 expense, but worth it to me to not have to pull this header off again.
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Old 02-05-2012, 11:08 AM   #17
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I would like to suggest also getting in there and moving around your exhaust system. You may just have a loose exhaust causing this.

As for headers, I am a JBA guy.

**I just seen they have a different warranty now. My Bronco Ceramic Coated header has a lifetime warranty but now they only show 1 year on this jeep one. Bummer

JBA Performance Exhaust Featured Product:: Jeep Wrangler 4.0L Headers & Exhaust Systems
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Old 03-15-2012, 12:22 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJProud
Since I received the new header exchange under the terms of Banks warranty, I am not risking a repeat failure. I am sending this new header out for ceramic coating. About a $175 expense, but worth it to me to not have to pull this header off again.
I'm going to be replacing my manifold soon as well. Any updates with the coating and "new" design from Banks?
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Old 03-15-2012, 03:09 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KrzyMoke View Post
I would like to suggest also getting in there and moving around your exhaust system. You may just have a loose exhaust causing this.

As for headers, I am a JBA guy.

**I just seen they have a different warranty now. My Bronco Ceramic Coated header has a lifetime warranty but now they only show 1 year on this jeep one. Bummer

JBA Performance Exhaust Featured Product:: Jeep Wrangler 4.0L Headers & Exhaust Systems
I just had a JBA header installed on my 2006 LJ 4.7L Stroker and I hope it lasts along time.
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:47 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by TJProud View Post
Hello, when I installed a Mopar reman long block in my '97 TJ in 2009, the original OEM exhaust manifold had a noticeable crack. These OEM manifolds were well known for cracking, so it was no surprise to find it during the rebuild with 140,000 miles. Since I was investing alot of bucks into this project, I decided to buy the best manifold on the market by Banks Engineering. Is was 409 stainless and comes with a lifetime warranty. So $425 later, I received and installed it. Less than 2 years later and under 20,000 miles of service, I heared a familiar exhaust noise in the header side of the engine. Removed the header and found it cracked at the collector. Did some web surfing and found numerous fourms with compliants of cracked Banks Headers. Found my invoice and called Banks Engineering. They said a change to the collector should resolve a repeat failure and received a RMA # and shipped the manifold back to Banks for a warranty exchange. Received the replacement header today and indeed, the header design changed significantly. Instead of 3 separate collectors as shown on the first header, a larger single collector now exists and collects all 6 tubes at one location. I am sending this new header out to a Ceramic Coater to coat it internally and externally with this coating that acts as a thermal barrier. It also polishes to a near chrome finish. Doing this as an added step against a repeat failure. I hope my picture assists those of you that are curious about where these cracks occur and it may help those that have bought an Banks header and experienced a cracking condition. Find your receipt and keep it in a safe location.
Attachment 90325

Attachment 90331!
Here is the company contact information that I had the Banks header I received under warranty exchange ceramic coated for added protection:
Thermal Tech Coatings
312 East Poythress Street, Suite A
Hopewell, VA 23860
804-452-0263
$175 - includes return shipping
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