A Simple Guide to Repair Your Dodge Headers
If your Dodge headers have already succumbed to wear and tear after several years of use, don't dispose them yet. Take a look at them first if there are no major cracks or obvious breaks, and you can simply work your way to making them as good as new. These parts are responsible for enhancing the exhaust flow in your vehicle; however, they are also susceptible to damage. Headers are made of stainless steel or chrome materials. Despite of the quality of their materials, headers will eventually tend to get extremely hot especially for race cars, making them easier to bend and break. They are usually made by aftermarket automotive companies, but they are also available in high-performance parts shops. Instead of buying a new set of headers, why not repair your old one? Here's an easy way to do it.
Difficulty level: Moderate
What you'll need:
- Mandrel bender
- Vertical band saw/cutoff saw/die grinder
- Welding tools
- Heat coating
Step 1: Park your vehicle in a cool place. Make sure that vehicle has cooled down before touching the pipes to avoid getting burned. You may use personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves and masks if necessary.
Step 2: Remove any damaged sections of your Dodge header. You may use a vertical band saw, a cutoff saw, or a die grinder to do this. Be careful when doing this to avoid damaging the other parts of the header.
Step 3: Bend and cut the new sections of the tubing to replace the damaged pieces. Make it a point to keep the joints to a minimum since this will affect the exhaust flow coming from the engine. Take note that all cuts should be made perpendicular to the direction of the flow.
Step 4: Ground off any heat coating that has been applied to the headers. This is to make it easier for you to do the welding process.
Step 5: Keeping the weld bead to a minimum, weld at least four tacks on each joint of the header using TIG machines. This is to ensure that everything is held firmly in place. Don't use an overly thick filler metal; look for a pipe wall that is between 0.049 to 0.065 inches.
Step 6: After welding the headers, you can now apply heat coating to the area. Feel free to put a generous amount to keep the headers from heating up and becoming more vulnerable to getting bent or damaged again.
Just like that, your old Dodge headers are now as good as new. You can finish the repair job in an hour or two. It's better if you can have someone to assist you during the repair. If you are a professional Do-It-Yourselfer, then you know that you can save a lot of money just by doing this project. It is better to assess the condition of your old headers first before deciding that you can repair them or you should buy a new pair. Otherwise, you could be just wasting your time repairing them.