In classic fashion, as my projects go, I’ve managed s screw something up. It’s fully my fault, as my fiancé says, this is a problem that only I would find myself having. No normal person would subject themselves to this unfortunate chain of events to be faced with delimias similar to mine. Fortunately, I have a group of like minded idiots who are always down to talk about uniquely stupid automotive issues.
It all started when I wanted to fix an exhast leak at the header gasket. My first instance of “scope creep” occurred when I thought “since I’m taking the header off anyway to change the gasket, i might as well put on a set of Hedman Hedders, that would be awesome.” I found a used set for cheap on the forums and had them shipped to me.
Now this is where my first bit of idiocracy sets in. I know these headers are specifically made for the RHD Range Rover classic and Hedman says they will not work on LHD vehicles. The powers of the internet contradict this and I found several instances where people had installed these with “a light bit of bashing”. Feeling confident enough I ripped out my stock (but perfectly functional) headers and y-pipe.
I then go to install the LH side pipes and lo-and behold, it fouls on the steering shaft isolater. This piece is basically a large square on an otherwise narrow shaft that takes some vibrations out of the steering. It was clear that I could have headers or I could have steering, but I could not have both.
WARNING - This is where things get really stupid. So I take the header out, take some eyeball measurements, then proceed to bash the poor thing against a concrete step to get it to move the way I want it to. You could say I got carried away.
Shit” I probably said to myself. “That is pretty much fubar and probably won’t work right.”
I then took a moment to look at this steering shaft I was moving and realized that it could be reversed. I apologize for not taking a pic inside the engine bay, but you can see how the rubber isolater is clearly on one side of the shaft. The shaft is mounted diagonally with the isolater on the steering box side and closest to the engine. By flipping it, you move the isolater near the firewall and far away from any pesky hot rod pipes.
Having redeemed myself from my earlier idiocracy, I decided to double down and install the fubar LH pipes anyway. I got everything put back together and drove (with open headers) to the muffler shop about a mile away to have a Y pipe made.
The shop did a beautiful job connecting the headers to the center silencer, but as soon as they started the car it was clear there was a massive exhaust leak at the head flange. My fubar pipe won’t cut it.
So, after begging Hedman to sell me just one pipe (they won’t) I’m resigned to shelling out for a new set of headers. This is the cost of stupidity people, please don’t be like me and hit your nice things with a hammer. Take things slow and try to understand why things won’t fit.
All that being said, since I’m resigned to paying $220 for a new set of headers, does anyone thing it’s worth it to pay $500 for the ceramic coated version? The ones I got on the forums came pre-wrapped and I’ve read about a million things about why that’s bad. I’m wondering if it really matters to have painted steel (with high temp paint of course) vs actual ceramic coating. I’m concerned about Underwood temps but I’m not convinced the Hedmans would create more heat than the stock cast iron jobs.
PS driving with open headers is both extremely awesome and horrible all at once. People could hear me for miles and I was literally setting off car alarms over my 1.5 mile drive to the exhaust shop