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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I have a 1978 Trans Am with a Butler 455 in it. I am running Dougs Long Tube Headers with 1 7/8" pipes collecting into a 3" system.

A few days ago I noticed my car popping or backfiring a bit when up or down shifting. I checked and sure enough, the paper header gasket had failed on #8 exhaust port.

I bought a pair of copper gaskets, removed the paper gasket, and installed the new copper gasket. It fit fine after I trimmed a bit of it to clear my oil dipstick tube. (I had not completely removed the first and last bolts so the gasket dropped in fine). I have only managed to install one additional bolt in two days of trying. I have not even tried to address the driver side with all the clutter over there.

BTW, I have separated the header from the exhaust pipe at the collector.

Does anyone have some tips to help this process along?

Thanks in advance.
 

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the woes of headers on a street car.If D port headers they are just a huge PITA.Just put a couple 6 pks in the fridge,fight with it and have them to look forward to.Tom
 

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I never take the bolts out. I loosen all the bolts, and slot the header gasket holes, and then slide it into place. You can slot around the dipstick as well. You can slide the gasket in as one piece, or you can cut each port separately and slide them in one at a time, and then tighten them down after you have all of them in place. Thats how I do it, not fumbling with bolts trying to start them in the hole, just loosen them and wiggle the header to install the gasket.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Great advice on the beer and the slotting of the new gasket.

The old paper gaskets are not slotted, The new one will be.

I caught myself wishing for an LS engine instead of that 455

Thanks
 

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I use XXX carbon gaskets. Never a leak. But ya, did a inframe gasket change once. Only once. Took me a week. That's why I use the Carbon gaskets now
 

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Put gasket seal on it so you don't have to keep fighting to hold it up in there when putting the header back on.

I did all of mine from above except the hardest bolt to get to. You have to lay entirely under the car and just get in a position to where you can put your arm up there and turn it a 1/4 at a time.

Itll take a few minutes but i think thats the bolt you put in first and the header has a notch which you slide onto that bolt. Its already 3/4 of the way in there when you put the header on it so it only take a few turns or so.

Took me a half hr to get one off when i first removes my heads but after about 50 positions i found one that worked the best and stuck with it. It really is a pain. Probably easier to jack the motor up off the mounts and do it rather then fight it from under.
 

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1968 Convertible 400, 200 4R, 1971 Formula 400 M-22 Rock Crusher, 1984 Trans Am...........
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Great advice on the beer and the slotting of the new gasket.

The old paper gaskets are not slotted, The new one will be.

I caught myself wishing for an LS engine instead of that 455

Thanks
First drive with that 455 and headers not leaking, you won't be wishing for that LS anymore, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well I finally got the Tran Am put back together, what an ordeal! I ended up loosening up the inner fender well and that gave me just enough room to tighten up bolts that control #4 AND #6 cylinder exhaust on the header. What an ordeal. If I was not so happy with the 600 or so HP, I would put some exhaust manifolds on the engine.

Thanks for the sound advice, you gotta really believe in the Indian to put up with these issues. How about that Pontiac winning the engine shoot out sponsored by Hot Rod in this months issue!
 
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