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View Full Version : Magnum RT AWD Header Install - How To



cleary524
04-30-2010, 11:34 PM
For those that say it's hard to do; you're right! The AWD header install is not easy to say the least, but the good news is that it can be done...and it can be done without removing the motor mounts too!

Thanks to my good friend and member SVT 003 and the use of his garage and lift, the Edelbrock header install went smoothly and without problem or any busted knuckles either!

Started at 8:30 am and finished at 5:30 pm...so a full 9 hour day with an hour for lunch and tool run.

To start, remove all the regular stuff, CAI, serpentine belt, belly pan, lower fascia, mid pipes and then the altenator.

To get the alternator out, UNPLUG YOUR BATTERY FIRST, then use 15 mm standard socket and ratchet. 3 bolts hold it onto the motor. One bolt on top and two bolts on the bottom. Then there is a communications harness to unplug and then a 10mm nut holding the positive power wire on. Once removed, stick the altenator to the side or zip tie up above out of the way.

http://i668.photobucket.com/albums/vv49/cleary524/Exhaust%20Install/000_0254.jpg?t=1272680387

Then onto the stock manifolds. To remove there are 4 10mm bolts that hold the heat shield onto the manifolds. Spray with PB Blaster and let soak.
http://i668.photobucket.com/albums/vv49/cleary524/Exhaust%20Install/100_0106.jpg?t=1273008747


* TO DO THIS JOB PROPERLY IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU HAVE RATCHETING PIVOTING HEAD COMBINATION WRENCHES...ESPECIALLY THE 10 MM!!!*

With alot of fanagling and twisting all the heat shield bolts come of and so do the heat shields. I had to bend the heat sheilds to get them out from behind the manifolds. The 02 sensors really get in the way, but the heat shields are just sheet metal and can be bent pretty easy. With some brute force and bending they come out the back eventually.

Onto the manifold bolts. The four bolts that hold the heat shields in place are like stud bolts. Under the heat shield nuts lie 4 13mm studded bolts on each side. Again the ratcheting pivoting combo wrenches make it pretty easy to remove all four bolts. Some of them you may be able to remove with a 13mm deep socket and a bunch of extensions plus flexible swivels. In between there are about 5 or 6 10mm bolts that hold the rest of the manifolds on. Again use the pivoting ratchet combo 10mm wrench and with a little muscle your good to go and off come all the bolts.

The drivers side was a snap. No lowering of the steering rack is required. No removal of the motor mounts is required either if you have the pivoting ratchets. These tools are a God send...I couldn't have done this job without them or the lift.

http://i668.photobucket.com/albums/vv49/cleary524/Exhaust%20Install/000_0262.jpg?t=1272680767
Driver's side manifold removed.

http://i668.photobucket.com/albums/vv49/cleary524/Exhaust%20Install/000_0263.jpg?t=1272680925
Driver's side shot from a little further back.

The passenger side...All though pretty tight is doable. The hardest part of the passenger side is one bolt on the bottom that is right above the motor mount and two bolts on the top that are past the oil dipstick. With alot of contortion and moving around using the ratcheting pivot head 10 mm combo wrench the passenger side manifold eventually gives way.

This shot below you can see the oil dipstick tube pushed to the side after the manifold has been removed. You also see the plug harness for the communications of the altenator (unplugged).
http://i668.photobucket.com/albums/vv49/cleary524/Exhaust%20Install/000_0261.jpg?t=1272681072

With the passenger side manifold removed... (The three hardest bolts to install on the passenger side are the two top bolts above the two exhaust ports in the middle and the lower bolt at the bottom of the 3rd port, or right above the motor mount...:banghead:)
http://i668.photobucket.com/albums/vv49/cleary524/Exhaust%20Install/000_0264.jpg?t=1272681117
...onto the headers and thier preparation.

http://i668.photobucket.com/albums/vv49/cleary524/Exhaust%20Install/000_0265.jpg?t=1272681173
You can see the ratcheting pivot head combination wrenches above. You can't do this job without them. Best $70 bucks I ever spent. I ended up giving the wrench set to SVT 003 at the end of the day for his kind help, time and use of his lift, for that I am extremely grateful. SVT 003 is a pretty good wrench!!! I wouldn't have been able to do this job without him either. He got me out of a pinch getting the 6.1 header bolts in on the passenger side that my big hand simply could not reach or fit to.

For the header prep, I bought 2 new 02 sensors just in case, but didn't end up needing them. I also bought a 22mm crow foot 02 sensor plug tool. Pretty cool tool for $7. Made getting the 02 sensors out a snap.

http://i668.photobucket.com/albums/vv49/cleary524/Exhaust%20Install/000_0260.jpg?t=1272681358
The tool uses a 1/2 inch ratchet drive so you can get some mustard behind it when removing the 02 sensors from the stock manifolds. Don't forget to use PB Blaster and also to get the sensors removed without damaging the thread, ratchet off a little then on a little so you don't blow the thread until you have it removed.

You know the thing that really gets my goat about my new 02 sensors was that the dam UPS man must've thrown them around and broke one of the harness clips. Glad we didn't need them...I'm sending them back to www.moparpartz.com (http://www.moparpartz.com) for a refund.
END RANT.

Once both 02 sensors are in (and don't forget to add a little bit of anitsieze on the sensor thread when installing), onto the header gasket prep. I bought the Mopar metal gaskets and right from the first glace...there are no substitutes for OEM!

I used a little 750* RTV Copper gasket maker to secure the header gaskets in place before installing the headers on the heads.

http://i668.photobucket.com/albums/vv49/cleary524/Exhaust%20Install/000_0258.jpg?t=1272681756

http://i668.photobucket.com/albums/vv49/cleary524/Exhaust%20Install/000_0259.jpg?t=1272681778
Saw this trick on another header install in Mopar Muscle magazine! It works well and provides at keeping the gasket in place during the install and provides a little extra insurance for a tighter seal to the header. (This was no doubt the best picture of the day!) Also notice in this picture that I all ready have the stud bolts in the collector flange....take the time to do this first, it saves a little aggrevation later on when installing the mid pipes.

Now onto the header install....what a PIA, especially the passenger side, because of the dam motor mount and framewall.

Using 6.1 Mopar header bolts with a little threadlock pre applied we worked on the driver's side first and that went on no problems...
http://i668.photobucket.com/albums/vv49/cleary524/Exhaust%20Install/000_0257.jpg?t=1272682759
...probably took 45 minutes to get that side buttoned up.

http://i668.photobucket.com/albums/vv49/cleary524/Exhaust%20Install/000_0255.jpg?t=1272682003

Then onto the passenger's side....ehy veigh...PIA!

This was really the hardest part of the project. As stated earlier there were about 3 or 4 bolts that were really difficult to get threaded, but SVT 003 with his smaller sized hands got the job done...thanks buddy! I owe you! :rock:

Using the 10mm ratching pivot combo wrench we twisted, turned, took turns going at it and perservered to get all the bolts in. Getting them threaded all the way in was the hardest part, tightening them down once threaded was not hard at all. One of the original manifold studded bolts needs to be kept for the oil dipstick. The header kit comes with a spacer. You put the spacer on the bolt and start threading it right at the EGR port using a 13mm wrench. Once on and tight, position the oil dipstick tube over the outer stud and ratchet down with one of the stock 10mm heat shield nuts.

The passenger side took us about 2.5 hours to get on!
http://i668.photobucket.com/albums/vv49/cleary524/Exhaust%20Install/000_0256.jpg?t=1272682335

After the headers were installed it was about 5:00 pm at this point and I scrambled to get the mid pipes back on and bolted down. The header kit comes with crappy bolts that are too big to fit the mid pipe studs on...they just don't fit in behind the flange because one of the primaries gets in the way on each header. SVT 003 had some extra bolts and nuts laying around that were a little slimmer and we had to drill press out one of the flange holes on the header (we did this prior to install). At this point during the mid pipe install, I took a little bit of the RTV gasket maker and ran it right around the edge of the header collector on each side to aide a little better seal between the header flange and the high flow cat mid pipe flange.

After the mid pipes were on and catback reassembled, reinstalled the altenator and buttoned up all the other stuff (CAI, serpentine belt, etc.) and then cleaned up all the tools strew about.

Done about 5:45 pm....pwhewwww!

Fired her up...no codes, actually much quieter than before (because I had an exhaust leak at the manifold and mid pipe on the driver's side) and then SVT 003 and I took 'er for a ride!

Butt dyno says, throttle response through the whole rpm range is improved and torque is definetly there. No exhaust leaks and feels great!

Now the kicker

Last night I PM'd Diablotoona and he hooked me up with a CMR library tune he has fit for my current mod configuration! I haven't installed the tune yet, but Johan says that I will notice much improved throttle response!!! He also wants me to do some data logging and he'll get me some revisions, if necessary. :pepper: Can't wait to load in the new tune! Thanks toona!

...side note...what a guy Johan is....he doesn't charge anything for his tunes, (but does accpet gratuities) so if you ever get a toon from him, be sure to leave a tip! (Paypal works great for that).

Thanks for reading and I hope this takes some of the fears out of those AWD'ers looking to install headers on their own. It can be done and done so without removing the motor mounts!

Good night! :modding:

audiomafia
07-15-2010, 11:43 PM
Sheesh. Is it harder than the RWD install?

GREAT write-up!

Token
07-16-2010, 12:14 AM
Sheesh. Is it harder than the RWD install?

GREAT write-up!MUCH harder than a RWD install.
Cleary did a great job, and his write-up is very detailed.
I'd never do it this way. For me.... The heads are coming off. 2 head gaskets, new head bolts, and the job is a lot easier and quicker.

MurderedOutR/T
10-13-2010, 11:00 PM
Let the good times roll!!!!!!! lmao......... great write up, and hilarious rolls in the background haha

cleary524
10-14-2010, 08:58 PM
Hee hee, glad you enjoyed it!
:mrgreen:

And yes I agree with Token, now that I've had my heads off for my cam install...I'd pull the heads off to do this job if I had to do it again.

ModernMopar
06-15-2011, 01:33 AM
Did you notice a big improvement with the new headers? I just bought some coated shorty JBA headers today

Quiknen
08-17-2011, 02:07 PM
Great info, might try it out

hlperez1976
09-30-2014, 11:06 PM
I wanted to cry just looking at the pictures. One of my future mods.

Inertiaa
09-26-2016, 04:50 PM
Interested in getting the part number to the Mopar metal gaskets????????????