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Grab a beer. Get comfortable.

Here is a full how-to, plus pics and a video. Arghh arghh arghh.



Special thanks to UrbanRedneck who both sold me his used Mac Longtubes as well as provided me with a killer how-to PM, and Emay as well for insight.

A lot of this description is Urban's from PM's he sent me. I added torque values, notes, re-ordered it into exactly how I did it, and added my own twisted humor. "Open header fury" is Urban's patented catch-phrase. LOL. Urban, if we get to meet, the beer is on me. Thanks again for enduring my PM's.

Anyway...let's do it up:

You can do either side header first. Emay does the driver's side, Urban does the passenger side. I did the driver's side first.

No lift is needed. Raise the car up as high as you can and put it on 4 jack stands or a set of ramps and two jack-stands. I used ramps on the front and jack-stands on the rear. Some guys who use all jack-stands also remove the front wheels (Urban does this, I did not). Open hood and remove your air intake:



Turn the steering wheel about 90 degrees left - You are trying to get the steering shaft bolt to point up (where the shaft goes through the firewall on the engine side). Take a good look at that steering bearing on the engine side of the firewall, and take some pics of it. It is funny looking, and if you don't know what it looks like, you will think you screwed it up when you re-install, but it is normal - it looks weird.







Disconnect the negative battery cable first, then remove the battery and battery tray (8MM with extensions):





If you have a K-member brace (I.E. Steeda G-Trac brace or CHE brace), remove it (22MM nut and 12MM Allen socket):



Disconnect the passenger front O2 sensor (22 MM) from near the battery.

Disconnect the cat-back + X or H or ProChamber or whatever you have and support the over-axle pipes with something, I used a bungee cord between two tabs that are on the floor in that area. (OEM Cat-flange to OEM header bolts are 15MM). The H pipe to over-axle pipe clamp bolts are 12MM.
 

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Disconnect the other three O2 sensors (22MM), unbolt and remove the mid-pipe:



Remove the starter. You'll need to remove the red plastic cover, positive cable 13mm nut, the solenoid wire, 10mm nut, and then remove the three 10MM bolts holding it in:



Next, remove the steering shaft. I made sure the steering wheel was about 90 degrees left from dead-center (that put the aforementioned steering shaft bolt by the firewall on the engine side point up) and I put a bungee cord on the steering wheel and anchored it to the gear shift so it wouldn’t turn.

Next, remove the 13mm pinch bolt where it goes into the u-joint at the steering rack, so the u-joint will stay on the rack. In this shot, I have already removed the shaft; you can see the U-joint minus the pinch bolt:



Next, remove the 13mm bolt furthest towards the firewall that holds the upper u-joint to the upper steering shaft:



Now, go inside the car and look where the shaft goes through the firewall, remove the 2 10mm nuts holding the bearing plate to the firewall, and pull the steering shaft in (the part inside the car collapses) to get it to separate from the lower shaft (outside car), you can now remove the lower shaft. DO NOT TURN THE STEERING WHEEL AT ALL WHILE THE SHAFT IS OUT.



It is rectangular shaped, so it only goes in one way, but if you turn the wheel you can mess up the clock spring. You MUST remove the bolts all the way or you cannot slide the shaft out. There are notches machined in the shaft where the bolts slide. I marked the shaft with a black sharpie so I would know how it is oriented. In this pic, the left side is where it attaches to the steering rack U joint, the right side goes to the shaft by the firewall:









The motor mounts are held to the engine mount brackets by one 15mm bolt on each side that points up. Remove the driver's side nut completely, and loosen the passenger side nut until it is only on by a few threads.

Now, jack the engine up (board under the oil pan works well) until the driver's side mount is clear of the engine mount bolt:



Remove the bracket from the block.

Unbolt and remove the driver's side exhaust manifold.

Remove the studs (5 MM socket):





Now, install the driver's side longtube and tighten the bolts. I used a new OEM gasket set. Here are old ones so you can see what they are shaped like. Each header gets two of them; there are four gaskets total:



Clean the surface on the head with a little brake cleaner and a rag, it shouldn't be too dirty because the factory MLS gasket doesn't leave any residue.

Putting the header in is easiest with two people so someone can start the bolts while you juggle the header and the gasket in. You'll be a hero if you can find a way to put a torque wrench on the bolts - it’s not going to happen - so make them good and tight.

Once that header is all buttoned up, reinstall the motor mount bracket (41 LB/ft), lower the engine back down, and put the nut back on the motor mount. Only put the nut on by a few threads.

Now, leave the driver's side loose and remove the passenger side engine mount nut.

Jack the engine up until you can remove the passenger side bracket from the engine, just as you did the driver's side:



Now with that out of the way, remove the passenger side manifold and studs, clean gasket surface, and install passenger side header.

Reinstall the passenger side motor mount.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Reinstall the starter.

Gently lower the engine. Note: When I did this, the headers hit my control arms since I have a Steeda control-arm relocation kit. I had to clearance the radius from my control arm clamp brackets with an in-line air grinder and carbide bit.

Make sure the engine hasn't shifted out of place, and tighten the motor mount 15MM nuts to 46 LB-ft. I had to use a 15MM crow’s foot on the Driver’s side. The torque conversion for the crow’s foot is 43 LB-ft

Reinstall steering shaft in reverse order of removal, but be sure to put the upper bearing back in correctly, and orient the shaft the same way it came out.

Clean the old Lok-Tite off the bolts and put new blue Lok-Tite on.

Reinstall the K-member brace (129 LB-ft). Note from UrbanRedneck: that torque is ONLY for braces that use the stock rear control A arm bolt mount...for OEM type braces that use smaller nuts, the OEM one attaches to 4 holes near the back of the K-member, it has built in studs and uses 4 nuts. I think they are 15mm. I don't remember exact torque, I think it was in the ballpark of 46ish

Now, remove your O2 sensors from the old mid-pipe. Install the primary O2s into the headers (I used a touch of anti-seize on the threads – do NOT get it on the sensor itself!) and install the O2 extensions and connect them.

If your extensions don’t line up, cut off the little tiny tabs with a razor blade. (Front and rear O2 sensor receptacles are different, but all extensions are the same):

Here are the little tabs:



Here they are cut off - a razor blade or X-acto knife works great:



Route/secure the extensions as you see fit. Zip tie as appropriate.

Reinstall the battery tray (8MM bolts); reinstall and reconnect the battery.

Go inside the car, start it up and piss your neighbors off with open header fury. Turn car off.

Setup up your new mid-pipe, be it a Prochamber, catted X, catted H, Cat-In-The-Hat, whatever. Align everything up and tighten everything down. (Header collector flange to mid-pipe gets 33 LB-ft; OEM mid-pipe to over-axle pipe bands get 40 LB-ft).

Install the rear 02 sensors (anti seize again on threads) and connect. I needed extensions for the rear 02s – some folks can un-clip the harness and re-route and get away without extensions depending on mid-pipe brand. Lower car, and go for a test drive enjoying the cleaner, more aggressive sound that long-tubes offer. Don’t forget – you need a re-tune, so NO BOOST if you are not tuned yet.

It really isn't that hard, just time consuming. I know you are saying to yourself "oh, man, I don't really have to remove all that stuff" - well trying to avoid removing the steering shaft will make the driver’s side a royal pain, so just do it.

One note – when jacking up the driver’s side, the rear of the TVS touches the thin sheet-metal by the plastic vent at the base of the driver’s windshield. Jack slowly and carefully. I didn’t have to remove anything, but it was very tight:



Also, you want to recheck the headers bolts after a couple of heat cycles, and again after a couple hundred miles. It is a PAIN, but you need to do it. Some of the bolts may be impossible to get to. Do the best you can.

As for tools, you will need the basic assortment of metric sockets and wrenches, but you pretty much need ratcheting wrenches (Metric “Gear-Wrenches”) and universal joints for your sockets as well. I would not want to try this without them. Also, I recommend that 15MM crow's foot, but you can do without it.

That concludes the how to install long-tubes part if you are just adding a ready-to-install off-road or catted X, H, or Prochamber with off-road legs.

...in my case, I had some modding to do to the mid-pipe to add cats since I wanted a catted ProChamber to go with long-tubes (something Mac doesn't make) - so we are half done...

Onto the mid-pipe:

Here is my Mac Prochamber laid out with the "legs" that Mac sells to mate the ProChamber to the Mac Long-tubes. At this point I suppose I should mention that Mac longtubes are technically a mid-length header (as compared to shorties or true long tubes like ARH headers) and thus the need to the intermediate "legs" between the ProChamber and the headers:

 

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If I didn't live in Atlanta, I would run it "off-road" without cats. But, alas, every September 23rd I must go pay "The Man" to plug into my car's OBD-II port for emissions before I can register.

So...I need cats. There was no way to use the OEM cats in this setup (OEM cat inlets and outlets are angled) so I went with some Magnaflow high-flow spun stainless metallic substrate cats, model number 59956:

642-59956 - JEGS High Performance

They look much more open than the OEM cats, and are easily 60 % lighter; probably more:







I mounted the ProChamber with the legs under the car temporarily and crawled under there with a cat. I marked where I wanted them to be with a Sharpie.

I laid them out , measured them multiple times, marked them, and started cutting with my Roto-zip and cut-off wheel:



The cats themselves are 8 inches long:



I took the pipes I had cut to my local muffler shop and had them use their hydraulic muffler expander to flare the ends so they had a friction fit into the cats. They did that for free. I again used my Roto-Zip and cut four notches in each end of the cats so I could use band-clamps. I used clamps simply so I can remove or replace the cats in the future if necessary vs having them welded in. Weld cost would have been about $40 and that is also the cost of the high-end clamps, so it is a wash:

Partial mock-up:



Next, I used a 1" hole saw and cut holes for my aft O2 senors into the ProChamber legs, and I added a spare bung with plug into the passenger side pipe just aft of the collector for my tuner to install his wideband, and so I can add a wide-band A/F gauge at a later date:





While I was at it, I ground-off, re-positioned, tacked, and had welded at the muffler shop the passenger side hanger on the Prochamber that has never sat quite right. I re-located that little sucker and now it is perfect:

 

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I cleaned up my fresh welds with a wire brush on a moto-tool, and hit the bare metal with a shot of VHT ceramic spray paint to prevent corrosion:



A dab of anti-seize was put on the aft O2 sensor threads, and I bolted them into the mid-pipe and installed my O2 bung plug into the spare bung:





Here is the completed mid-pipe assembly. Missing are the high-end military grade muffler clamps I will be using. I am temporarily using cheapo autozone muffler band clamps:



Good clamps (Clampco T-bolt clamps #94100-0262 - $8.00 each from trucknbusclamps.com):



I bolted it all up under the car, and here is how it tucks in:













I know my rear O2 sensor plugs are danging...I am awaiting the arrival of some more extensions from American Muscle.

Video - I don't know what is up with the first 14 seconds. Suffer through it and it will play:

 

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Great job on the thoroughly detailed write up. I'd highly recommend installing some prothane motor mounts or I'd be willing to bet you start banging that passenger side header.

I really want to install my SLP's but figure I'll wait until winter. The weather took a turn for the worst and I have a feeling it's going to be an early and long winter. I hate MT's seasons. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Great job on the thoroughly detailed write up. I'd highly recommend installing some prothane motor mounts or I'd be willing to bet you start banging that passenger side header.

I really want to install my SLP's but figure I'll wait until winter. The weather took a turn for the worst and I have a feeling it's going to be an early and long winter. I hate MT's seasons. :(
UrbanRedneck gets a ton-of credit for the step-by-step. He "gave me the recipe" and I just cooked it up - using his old Longtubes.

Do you mean like those Prothane "bullets"?

I have a couple ways I can rectify the clearance issue beyond the grinding I did - one is motor mounts and the other is a BMR A arm setup. I'll definitely have to keep an eye on it.
 

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great write up!!! i am currently waiting to get my LT's and get rid of these #&$^#&% shorties....alot of great info!!! have a feeling ill have the laptop on top of the tool box during the install!!!!
 

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Nice write up DiMora! Very detailed :) Make it look easy
 

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Damn that is one hell of a write up dude. Only one thing I wanna mention, is that you specified torque for the K-member brace at 129 ft. pds. I want to stress to everyone that this is because he has a Steeda (I think) brace that attaches to the control arm bolts. If you have a factory brace, the torque is nowhere near that high as they are only 8 or 10mm bolts (13 or 15 mm nuts, I forget).

I must say dude, you did a good job adding those cats. it fits real nice under there. I'm glad to see nothing was wrong with the legs, which means all my issues were the X pipe itself. I was wondering though, how come you pointed the rear o2s outward, rather than towards the trans crossmember? If they pointed in, the harnesses would probably reach. Clearance too low?

Those magnaflow cats look absolutely identical to the cats that came on my ARH X pipe. I wonder if they are the same. Mine hang a tad lower though I think. Anywho, like I said, nice write up. I can't wait untill you drive the car and let me know how much better it sounds with the longtubes.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Damn that is one hell of a write up dude. Only one thing I wanna mention, is that you specified torque for the K-member brace at 129 ft. pds. I want to stress to everyone that this is because he has a Steeda (I think) brace that attaches to the control arm bolts. If you have a factory brace, the torque is nowhere near that high as they are only 8 or 10mm bolts (13 or 15 mm nuts, I forget).

I must say dude, you did a good job adding those cats. it fits real nice under there. I'm glad to see nothing was wrong with the legs, which means all my issues were the X pipe itself. I was wondering though, how come you pointed the rear o2s outward, rather than towards the trans crossmember? If they pointed in, the harnesses would probably reach. Clearance too low?

Those magnaflow cats look absolutely identical to the cats that came on my ARH X pipe. I wonder if they are the same. Mine hang a tad lower though I think. Anywho, like I said, nice write up. I can't wait untill you drive the car and let me know how much better it sounds with the longtubes.
Hey...half the wording is yours! Thanks again!

On the O2 sensors, yes, the trans crossmember dictated my two location options.

I could have put them pointing toward the front of the car - and I actually initially marked the pipes to do so, but then when I pulled it and was ready to drill I saw how far they were from the aft cats and didn't know if that was OK, so I called my tuner.

My tuner told me to get them as close to the cats as possible. I guess they heat up quicker and run better when hot...even though they are heated it is beneficial to get them closer to the cats if you can...so I angled them as I did to get them as close as I could to the cats without hitting the trans cross-member. Doing it the way I did got them 7 inches closer to the cats, even though I now need harness extensions.

Yeah, the cats tuck up nicely and they do look like your ARH cats - I bet ARH uses Magnaflow cats. I almost bought Pypes cats, but then I read some bad reviews on them saying one guy had them fail in a year - plus they are more expensive and bigger (3 " longer) but they do have an integrated bung-hole. (Uh huh huh huh) These Maggies are Metallic Substrate which is supposed to be better for boosted applications than ceramic substrate.

On the torque brace, maybe the OEM design or CHE design is different...but the Steeda uses the aft A arm mount with longer bolts. The value(129 LB-ft) I actually got from the OEM service manual (Page 204-01-3) and believe it or not the 2008's get even more - 136 LB-ft! I couldn't believe it was that high and I could barely get enough leverage to get my torque wrench to click.
 

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great writeup, and just out of curiosity, why didnt you just buy a catted prochamber?
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)

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Shane, you are correct. That is the right torque for the OEM control arm bolts, and hence your brace. I don't know how the CHE brace is, but the OEM one attaches to 4 holes near the back of the K-member, it has built in studs and uses 4 nuts. I think they are 15mm. I don't rememebr exact torque, I think it was in the ballpark of 46ish.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Shane, you are correct. That is the right torque for the OEM control arm bolts, and hence your brace. I don't know how the CHE brace is, but the OEM one attaches to 4 holes near the back of the K-member, it has built in studs and uses 4 nuts. I think they are 15mm. I don't rememebr exact torque, I think it was in the ballpark of 46ish.
Good stuff. I'll go edit my post so nobody torques the daylights out of their OEM one!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
It is key when doing a mod like this to remove your restrictor plate to give it a little more juice...but keep that on the "down low" ...it's not exactly street legal..

 
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