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Discussion Starter #1
OK guys. Just the other day I noticed my engine sounding really airy, and now when I accelerate there is this fairly loud kind of clicking noise, though it doesn't sound like metal hitting metal.

My guess is that it is an exhaust leak right out of the headers. When I'm driving on the freeway at about 75, I can feel the vibration as if it were right under my right foot.

Any other ideas what this might be? If it is a header leak, what kind of headers should I be looking to replace them with?
 

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That sounds like a exhaust leak to me, they can sound just like a tap tap noise.
 

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If you are going to replace them with another set of headers, I'd save the bucks and get a set of "Hot Coated" ones like by jet hot or something. They last much much longer than regular painted ones and chrome ones. If your budget is tight and its mostly a street driven car, Tony Branda Performance has nickle plated ones (the tri-y design) that look like chrome ans stay pretty nice for about $180 a set, with plated hardware and gaskets. If its a total street car I personally would go with manifolds then your exhaust troubles are over and it gives muich more room to work on the engine area. They reproduce the 289 Hi-Po manifolds for about $300 a set or less I think. They flow good and look good also. No worry's about rusting out either!!!
Dont go with (Junk) cheapy headers from auto zone or the summit brand ($90-$130), YOU WILL constantly be aggrevated with them...
Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wow, just since yesterdays post the leak has gotten much louder, I may have to fix this way sooner than I thought.

It's my daily driver with a 302 2v, which will hopefully be modified to a 4v very soon. I don't want to go stock though since I'd like to get more out of the engine. I'm thinking about having the exhaust done at the same time as the headers.

Ideally I'd like to go dual exhaust with a crossover and dual magnaflows. Unless of course anyone has any other suggestions.

I gotta say, I love the advice everyone gives in these discussions, it's priceless.
 

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Have you inspected the exhaust system for loose nuts and bolts. Tighten those up if needed and your exhuast leak *should* go away.

If you still want headers then go with the Tri-y's.
 

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If you determine that it is an exhaust leak, why not just replace the gaskets? Chances are that is the problem. But, I'd go one step further and use copper gaskets. They form to the shape needed and never blow out. I replaced all my exhaust gaskets with copper and never had to again.

If needed, I also agree that coated headers are worth the money but not on an everyday driver. They'll still get trashed... at least where I live.

Mark
 

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Header Bolts

Check your header bolts where the headers attach to the block. I have found that these will loosen up much more often than at the collector. Check your gaskets at the collectors, but I would almost best that you will find your leak between the headers and the engine.
 

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When I bought my red XR7-G (now Dick Hertzler's) the owner had just paid a shop to install gaskets on the exhaust manifolds of the 390GT engine in an attempt to fix the exhaust leaks. It still made all kinds of racket and he was really upset that it did not work.

When I got home I tightened the spark plugs and got rid of the leaks.
 
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