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  #1  
Old April 21st, 2012, 13:24
87_Pioneer's Avatar
87_Pioneer 87_Pioneer is offline
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Help Please... Ebay Headers?

So I installed an APN style header on my '91 XJ last fall, and less than 6 months / 10,000 miles later, it has cracked, causing an awful exhaust leak that is obnoxiously loud, not to mention killing my mpg and performance. The Jeep is my only rig at the moment so I can't pull the header to see if it can be welded up (I'm assuming it can't be anyway, as bad as the leak is it must be a huge crack). So the only thing to do is to replace it.

I'm on a pretty tight budget of around $100. There are two styles of header on ebay I can get in that price range, one being the APN style that I have now, and the other being an OEM style with expansion joints added to supposedly prevent cracking. I'm leaning towards the latter for obvious reasons. After bad luck with the APN style I'm hesitant to take a chance again, but then again I know a ton of guys run those headers and they do seem to have a decent rep overall. After searching Google I did find a few posts on various Jeep forums about cracked APN style headers, but I know there are probably hundreds more out there of people recommending them. I did like the sound of the APN header, though in my experience I can't say if it really increased power or mpg like it's claimed to because it replaced a cracked stock manifold.

The other style of header seems relatively new, and I haven't heard much about them yet other than a local exhaust shop that clued me in to them in the first place. They told me they were familiar with the APN style headers and they see them come in cracked fairly often. Then again, they were trying to sell me a new header + installation to the tune of $600, so I'd tend to take their advice with a grain of salt.

Just wondering what you guys would recommend I do... roll the dice and cross my fingers on another APN style header, or get the stock style one with the expansion joints and hope it really is a better design? Thoughts?

Last edited by 87_Pioneer; April 21st, 2012 at 13:28.
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  #2  
Old April 21st, 2012, 13:35
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scottmcneal scottmcneal is offline
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Re: Help Please... Ebay Headers?

how old are your motor mounts? Are they stock or after market? Your header should have last longer than that.I have only broke one header pipe, that was due to bad motor mounts
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  #3  
Old April 21st, 2012, 14:40
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Re: Help Please... Ebay Headers?

id check ur mounts. Then id prolly just get the apn style, that expansion one looks a little funky, how the runners are linking off into the side of the other runner.

Id bet the crack in ur header is easily fixed and anyone with a tig or mig could fix it
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Old April 21st, 2012, 14:51
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Re: Help Please... Ebay Headers?

I'm not sure... they're stock, but look like they're in good shape, so I don't know if they're original. It's possible that they may have been replaced at some point. My last XJ had trashed motor mounts when I bought it and I replaced them, so I'm familiar with how they fail. This XJ did have a bad trans mount, which I replaced a few months back. The crack in my header pre-dates replacing the trans mount, but I don't know if the two are related. Even after the new trans mount it's got considerably worse (it seems to get worse every week the more I drive it).

I got the header used but the seller claimed to have only run it a short time (less than 1000 miles) before his Jeep was parted out or something to that effect. I inspected it before I installed it and it definitely didn't look like it was ran for very long, nor did I find any cracks. It didn't leak when first installed so I'm pretty sure it was fine when I installed it.

I lifted my Jeep a couple months after I installed the header and got awful driveline vibes... I had to drive it around like that for a while before I got my SYE installed, so that may have contributed to it cracking so quickly.
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  #5  
Old April 21st, 2012, 15:13
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Re: Help Please... Ebay Headers?

My motor mounts looked great, the rubber was not cracked or discolored but are shot. The easy way to test this is have a friend start your motor with the hood up, then have your friend put your Jeep in a forward gear and keep his foot on the brake and give it some throttle. Then have them put the Jeep in reverse with his foot still on the brake and give it some throttle. Watch how much movement your motor makes. Mine had a lot of movement side to side, so I ordered Brown Dog motor mounts. I would also agree stay with the APN, this is the third header I have installed and was the best looking and easiest to install. Plus APN is made out of 321 stainless and is tig welded.
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  #6  
Old April 21st, 2012, 17:44
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the_weirdo the_weirdo is offline
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Re: Help Please... Ebay Headers?

I put in an APN header in Jan 2011 and it cracked within 6 months. I had to replace the APN header in Jan 2012. APN was painful to deal with on the "Lifetime warranty" so I said screw it and went with the other guys. I replaced the cracked APN with the header that has expansion joints (~$80 on ebay). No cracking in the 4 months since.
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  #7  
Old April 21st, 2012, 18:13
Boveevil Boveevil is offline
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Re: Help Please... Ebay Headers?

Been running th eBay header for 2 years. No cracks. The gasket I was sent though blows. Using a fel pro gasket.
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  #8  
Old April 21st, 2012, 19:05
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Re: Help Please... Ebay Headers?

weirdo did you notice any loss of power or drop in mpg going from the APN to the other header?

Boveevil, which ebay header did you go with? The APN style or the OE with expansion joints?

When I replace the header I may just go ahead and replace the motor mounts for cheap insurance, I believe they are under $20 from rockauto...
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  #9  
Old April 22nd, 2012, 06:42
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techno1154 techno1154 is offline
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Re: Help Please... Ebay Headers?

There are always plenty of threads of headers cracking. On the early 4.0L, I think the Renix era there was a strap attached to the down pipe then secured to the bell housing. Oh, the 1994 I once owned also had it. Would that help prevent the header from breaking?

My 1996 also have a cracked header that you hear when started from cold or see when given a dose of top engine cleaner through the intake. Yes, you could see smoke comming from places it should not be comming from. It have not gotten any worse in several years. Then again, I replaced the engine mounts with M.O.R.E. engine mounts and a new transmission mount.

I think the strap have been discontinued by Jeep. I am just wondering if this strap would help or hurt?
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  #10  
Old April 22nd, 2012, 14:02
Boveevil Boveevil is offline
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Re: Help Please... Ebay Headers?

Forgot to mention that it is the OE style with expansion joints.
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  #11  
Old April 22nd, 2012, 16:19
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Re: Help Please... Ebay Headers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 87_Pioneer View Post
weirdo did you notice any loss of power or drop in mpg going from the APN to the other header?
Didn't notice any change.
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  #12  
Old April 23rd, 2012, 14:34
solomon7 solomon7 is offline
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Re: Help Please... Ebay Headers?

Your APN should have a no crack lifetime warranty. Mine does.
Call them up and explain. They'll fix you up.
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  #13  
Old April 23rd, 2012, 14:34
solomon7 solomon7 is offline
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Re: Help Please... Ebay Headers?

Your APN should have a no crack lifetime warranty. Mine does.
Call them up and explain. They'll fix you up.
Get a flex pipe put in by a shop too and stop worrying.
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  #14  
Old April 23rd, 2012, 16:40
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Re: Help Please... Ebay Headers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by solomon7 View Post
Your APN should have a no crack lifetime warranty. Mine does.
Call them up and explain. They'll fix you up.
Get a flex pipe put in by a shop too and stop worrying.
Yeah, they'll sorta fix you up but its a painful process. 1) You have to buy a brand new one ($160 or whatever) and pay for shipping of the broken unit back to them ($20 or so). 2) They get to inspect the unit while I pray they don't find a way to weasel out of getting around the warranty. 3) Then they might refund the money for the second unit. Pretty painful way to do it.
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