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Old 08-20-2016, 02:13 PM   #1
Randtheman
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Project: Update the Ol' Fox

So I have had this car for just under 8 years. I bought it from a fellow HPJer 3 months before I turned 16 and it has been my only vehicle ever since. I love it and have enjoyed it and plan to never get rid of it. I have always had dreams of building it up like I want it but have never been confident enough to do certain things to it, for example doing a top end swap or messing with electrical/wiring. Part of the reason it hasn't received many modifications is because of $$$.

This summer I have done several things to it and bought a few parts for a build that will hopefully happen over vacation time at Christmas. I was absolutely sick of listening to a sub-par sound system, hearing every bit of road noise, not being able to talk on the phone without headphones, and hearing that squeaky fox interior and steering wheel. I'm also sick of a few drivability issues...some have been fixed and some are still being worked on.

Motivation hit me this summer and I have done several mods/fixes to it and have many more coming up, hopefully. I'll try to give a good rundown of what I have done so far and what the future holds. I have a few pics I'll post. There could be many more, but unfortunately I forget to take "before pics" until my hands are covered in grease and my phone is in my pocket.

Now this project may not be as cool as some of the fellow HPJ ballers, but I'm sure some will find it cool. This is a BUDGET build, as I am a 2nd year pharmacy student at Campbell University. This private school is awesome, but hard on the wallet and I'm gonna have some nice loans by the time I'm done. However, I'm not gonna spend 4 years focusing on just school and not doing anything cool. Anyways...pics to follow here soon in the following posts. I'm open to any recommendations (besides putting an LS in it) and will take constructive criticism. Thanks for looking!

This is a pic from a year or two ago, but nothing has changed and this is just a pic to get started.
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Old 08-20-2016, 02:52 PM   #2
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The mods that happened this summer were:

1) Swapping out the old generic shifter for a MGW. Wow, what a difference that thing makes. Much smoother shifting. It also keeps out some of the T5 whine. Yes, yes, I know the whine isn't a good sign. I also used the Mr. Bobs gasket and installed a new leather shifter boot.

2) Removed the old stretched out clutch cable, firewall adjuster, and plastic clutch quadrant that was slipping. The clutch quadrant was a real pain to remove. I had to use a dremel to cut it into pieces to remove...and then i threw that damn thing just as far into the field as I could. Installed a new Steeda quadrant and firewall adjuster. I debated a while between the Steeda clutch cable and a stock cable modified by Maximum Motorsports. I ended up going with the MM modified stock cable and couldn't be happier. Less pedal effort and shifts like its supposed to.

3) The driver's and passenger's windows had a few things done. They were rolling up slowly, were wobbly, and crooked. I installed new window guide bushing and really cleaned the guide rods and greased them well. Unfortunately, in the process of removing the guide rods, I scratched the tint pretty good. After following TTSaleen's awesome project threads, I rode up to Tinted atmospheres in Cary and had them redo those 2 windows in 18%. The 18% over the old 40% I had is a big difference and looks a lot better in that shade.

4) As for the annoying road noise and squeaky interior, I took a weekend to remove all of the interior except the dashboard to install FatMat sound deadener. Man, was that a lot more work than I thought it would be. I have no experience with sound deadener, but it looks to be good quality stuff and very sticky. 75 sq. ft. got full coverage of the floor, transmission tunnel, under the back seat, the floor of the hatch, the roof, good partial coverage in the doors, and some coverage on the inside of the rear quarter panels. I may have added a few pounds, but I removed a few pounds of the old "factory sound deadener" along with some of the many, many layers of carpet/insulation under the rear carpet.

For the squeaky interior, when I reinstalled the interior, I made sure to clean everything well first. I took note before removing the interior of a few areas that were very noisy. I installed thin felt pads in those areas to keep the plastics close, but not touching. I got all of the screws and fasteners good and snug.

5) The sound system was lacking. I put up with it a long time. I knew I didn't want to bust ear drums and have folks hearing me miles away. I wanted a good clean sound that I could crank up when I wanted without crackling and I wanted a complete sound. It already had Infinity rear speakers and JL audio door speakers and I knew they were at least 8 years old. I have no audio experience and knew I probably needed to go with someone who knew what they were doing and knew the market well. I had a family friend, Dave, who is with Mobile Autosports in Greenville, NC, install a new Pioneer headunit, 4-channel amp, and Memphis sub/custom box and wire all of it up. He said the old speakers were fine so we kept those. I was pretty impressed with everything. I don't have a spare tire, so he made a shallow box for the sub and installed the sub/amp there so that it would all be hidden. I couldn't be happier. I think that the FatMat helps with the sound, also. He installed the sound system the Monday following the weekend I installed the FatMat...so I don't know how well the FatMat works yet

Last edited by Randtheman; 08-20-2016 at 04:41 PM..
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Old 08-20-2016, 03:39 PM   #3
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6) I bought an SVE 130amp alternator with the 4g wire kit. I got that installed with a new belt. I saw good results, but wasn't 100% satisfied. I say that because the voltage is kinda bouncy. Not so much an issue with the kit, but I'm likely to have a ground issue or wiring issue somewhere. With the old alternator, I was producing 12.15 volts at idle with the headlights on bright and the A/C on full blast. After installing the new alternator, I was making 13.9-14 volts at idle with headlights and A/C on. The voltage was the same without them on. I did some research and many people said to check the old grounds and consider adding 1 or 2 grounds because of the alternator upgrade. I repaired the EEC ground that mounts beside the battery (it had about an inch of bare wire showing and was much smaller than the factory 10gauge). I replaced the battery-engine ground and added a 4G ground from where the EEC-body ground is to the engine. I have another 4G cable that I plan to run from the engine to the strut mount. I'm now producing anywhere from 14.1-14.3 volts at idle, but it oscillates up and down between the two. I'm not sure if that is normal or what, but it is an issue that I'm looking in to. I'm wondering if the new stator plug on the alternator isn't making a good connection. It's not as tight as I would like. Overall, so far so good.

7) Kind of branching off of the alternator fix above in number 6, the rats nest of wiring under the hood of these cars gets on my last nerve and is an eyesore. Certain wiring can be brittle, the electrical tape is falling off, and those 26 year old vacuum lines... A few months ago I was trying to check for a vacuum leak. I searched around the TAB/TAD solenoids on the passenger side. I started touching lines and in the process of moving them, they would easily break.

I have started replacing some of the old vacuum lines, but that is a not-so-tough project that I plan to tackle in the upcoming weeks. While messing with the alternator and the wiring, I took some time to go over a few of the old wires that I came across and re-wrap them in quality 3M electrical tape. It is slowly starting to look better, but it still needs some work and wiring/electrical work scares me.

8) The last 2 things I did were install a new reverse light switch harness and a neutral sensing safety switch on the transmission. The reverse lights still aren't coming on, so I will loop the wires this week and see if the problem is in the old switch. The old neutral sensing safety switch was not the right harness for a fox, so I haven't been able to pull KOER codes because technically there was no switch connected. Hopefully this will solve that. I have a scan tool and will check those this week.

Below are some before/after pics of the tint and a few random before or afters of everything so far. I'll try to organize everything better in the future.

Last edited by Randtheman; 08-20-2016 at 04:49 PM..
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Old 08-20-2016, 03:47 PM   #4
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Cool project! In for updates!
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Old 08-20-2016, 04:10 PM   #5
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As for the future...

Go faster parts:
It will either be a 347 or a 408. Either way, it will be EFI and a 90% street car. I may pick up a cheap ford ranger or some truck to drive around, but I would love for this car to stay daily driven (my commute isn't far at all). I know a big part of it all is in the cam and in the tune, so I will likely be ordering a cam from Flowtech Inductions and either having someone like Fastlane tune it, or learning to tune it myself. I have been all for a 347 for 2-3 years now, but my grandpa has mentioned that he thinks a good tune on a stout EFI 408 would be more dependable than a 347. I also toyed with the thought of a coyote motor. With the parts I have acquired, I'd say I am likely to go with a 347. Another thought is that I am scared of the stock 302 blocks. I've looked around for an aftermarket block for a decent price but not much luck so far.

What I have so far for the engine and drivetrain:
-Canfield 195s with some light port work. Farrea valves, just need springs.
-Edelbrock Performer RPM2
-75mm throttle body
-Holley 42lb injectors, 255lph fuel pump
-timing chains, rockers, pushrods, girdle, other odds and ends
-Built 8.8 rear. 4.11 gear with 31 spline 5 lug axles and upgraded posi-trac. I will probably swap my 3.73 in, convert to disc brakes, and find a nice set of 5 lug wheels to go on.
-Grandpa has an old Tremec 3550 that he said I could use. Will probably have to order a rebuild kit for it however.
-Southside machine K member with the removable center section. Would also love to put coilovers on the car while I'm at it or something that's much better than the stock suspension.



The plan is to have 10.5-11:1 compression, run pump gas and be reliable while pushing 400 hp or so. We are going to port match everything.


What I plan to get/install in the future
-Would love to find an aftermarket block for reliability's sake. With this, I might would even go 363. Good quality stroker kit.
-Accufab or another nice quality long tube header for the raised exhaust ports and that flow well.
-Megasquirt/microsquirt tuner or some other good tuner. I have a lot of research to do here.
-Other engine pieces: lifters, studs, oil pan, etc.

Other odds and ends to tackle
-The quarter windows need to trim work, as well as some of the other exterior trim. That sounds like a weekend project at the least.
-Seats. I would love to get some of the new seats out of a wrecked 2015/2016 mustang. Will have to modify brackets, but shouldn't be an issue.
-Pull the dash and install up the firewall to keep some of the engine heat and noise out.
-Wire tuck or find a better solution for the mess of wires in the engine bay.
-New headlights or recover the ones I have now. They look horrible!


More to come soon.
Thanks for looking
-Rand
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Old 08-20-2016, 05:13 PM   #6
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One quick last thing I want to say is I'm very appreciative and lucky to have the family I do. I owe a lot of thanks to my dad, my uncle Steve, and my grandpa for the help over the last few years. My dad is always there to help when I need it, my Uncle Steve (Mole) is a shop foreman at a Ford dealership and VERY knowledgeable of this stuff, and my Grandpa was into drag racing from the 60s up until about 1999. He can damn near tell you anything you want to know about ford engines. Hell, he made his own adjustable control arms under his carport before they were officially created. Yes, I am the one doing all of the work here, but without their knowledge I would be far behind and made mistakes, for example, buying that falsely advertised fox body cobra with rusted through floorboards back when I was 15. I would also still be trying to install that neutral safety switch on my T5 while it was in the car last week had my uncle not showed me how to depin the connector and slide a socket over it.

Just wanted to give credit where it was due, and hopefully me building a car will motivate them to build another nitrous-drinking 408 backyard motor like they had in the 90s running 5.60s. Thanks fellas!
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Old 08-20-2016, 06:44 PM   #7
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Nice write up and cool car and project!
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Old 08-21-2016, 08:19 AM   #8
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Keep up the good work. I would think a stock block would be ok at 400 hp
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Old 08-21-2016, 09:39 AM   #9
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The easiest and cheapest way to get a stronger bottom end and more displacement is to find a 94-97 351.
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Old 08-21-2016, 11:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Keep up the good work. I would think a stock block would be ok at 400 hp
Thanks man. From what I understand, these production 302s are ticking time bombs and it just depends. It's a budget build, but I wouldn't mind having the peace of mind that it isn't going to split. We all know that good machine work and assembly contributes to this as well! I have a few months to decide on the block.

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Cool project! In for updates!
Thanks man! I always enjoy following your projects. Speaking of, this car is probably in need of some paint correction. If that is a side job that interests you, let me know. I also wouldn't be opposed to you looking it over and telling me what needs to be done. I'm all up for learning new skills and this is one I have wanted to learn for a while! Learning to weld is next on my list!

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Nice write up and cool car and project!
Thanks man. Hopefully I can stick with it and keep good updates in the future.

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The easiest and cheapest way to get a stronger bottom end and more displacement is to find a 94-97 351.
Good point. A quick google search showed me that these are roller cams. Interesting idea there. Could punch it out to a 408, but I would think we would have to do some good port work to the Canfield 195s. Porting won't be an issue though. Either port them, or sell them. I've toyed with the idea of picking up a set of the new TFS 11R 205s for a while now anyways.
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Old 09-09-2016, 09:30 PM   #11
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A few updates...

Here is the 8.8 I picked up a few weeks ago from a fellow HPJer. Has a girdle, 31 spline 5 lug axles, 4.11 ring and pinion, and an upgraded posi-trac (I believe Ford true-trac). Ideally, I will convert to disc brakes, 3.73 gear, throw on the steeda solid bushings I have, and paint it. Nice little setup I believe.
[IMG][/IMG]

This past week I picked up a used Accufab 75mm throttle body and spacer along with a TPS. I'll sell the BBK 75 I've had.
[IMG][/IMG]

Over the 3 day weekend, I caught a wild hair and did a wire tuck in the engine bay. It took the better portion of the weekend, seeing as how we had family coming and going the whole time. Honestly, I'm not sure that it really looks that much better now, but a good benefit of it all that I saw was removing the old worn out/brittle tape, checking the wires that I could, and rewrapping them in quality 3M electrical tape. Most of them really weren't in that bad of shape.
Here are a few before pics
[IMG]
[IMG][/IMG]

Here are a few Afters
[IMG][/IMG]


Not having any grommets, I rigged up some vacuum tubing to keep the fenders from cutting any wires.
[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

As you can see, now that I hid wires, I just have a horrid mess of wiring coming through where the windshield washer reservoir was mounted. It hasn't been hooked up since I have had it, so I pulled it and threw it in a box. If I need it one day, its there.

I also took this time to do a little painting. I painted the fender splash shields with plasti-dip. I had some left over and got a little trigger happy, so I sprayed the nasty battery tray, sanded and sprayed part of the windshield wiper motor, the windshield wiper arms, the bracket for the ignition coil, and the bracket for BAP sensor.


As I worked on the wiring, I just kept spotting things I could fix or make look better. That's why it took all weekend. I removed the TAD/TAB solenoids and capped the vacuum lines for the time being. It was all half hooked up before and now that it's removed, the car seems to be running better. Maybe, maybe not.

Projects for the near future
-Restore the quarter windows. They look terrible. I plan to remove them and do them right. Any recommendations? I have done some research online.
-The speedo cable backed out of the transmission this week and was melted up against the exhaust. It was my fault, because I didn't put the pin in to hold it in place. I remember it being a pain in the ass for some reason. So I will order a new one.
-Buy a welder and start practicing. I think it will be a useful skill and tool in the years to come with this project and whatever else I decide to get my hands on.
-Take a look at the electric fan. If the ignition is on, it's always running. So I may take a look at rewiring it soon, as I found a diagram for it online. It has an adjustable thermostat.
-Continue to research the transmission route I want to go so support whatever I build. I don't know how long the stock T5 will hold up. My grandpa has the TR-3550 I mentioned earlier that needs to be rebuilt. I also have thought about a TKO, but the most attractive idea right now is an Astro A5 with a G-force Case. Decisions decisions $$$.
-Still deciding between 347 and 408...still collecting parts. The idea of a turbo has been on the brain lately...

As always, any recommendations or things you may spot that looks questionable, speak up. Thanks

Last edited by Randtheman; 09-09-2016 at 09:43 PM..
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Old 09-09-2016, 09:51 PM   #12
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Looks good with all those wires out of the way.Nice work.
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Old 09-10-2016, 12:38 PM   #13
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The engine bay looks alot better! Nice job on cleaning it up.
Good idea on the vacuum tubing to protect the wiring going through the sheet metal.

The one shot shows wiring in the wheel well area, is that getting covered up by something else? I would be worried about debris and water being thrown at the wires there... Maybe wrap the whole bundle with a larger piece of the convoluted tubing.
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Old 09-10-2016, 01:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcktpwrd View Post
The one shot shows wiring in the wheel well area, is that getting covered up by something else? I would be worried about debris and water being thrown at the wires there... Maybe wrap the whole bundle with a larger piece of the convoluted tubing.
Besides the fenderwell splash guards, no. What you said has crossed my mind, and that is a good idea. Thanks for pointing that out. When I get some free time in the coming weeks, I will probably pull the splash guards again and put on some convoluted tubing or come up with something else. I would like to go back and re-adjust some of that wiring anyways.
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Old 09-10-2016, 03:56 PM   #15
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If the splash guards cover that area, it will probably be fine then. But a little extra protection never hurts either...
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Old 09-15-2016, 03:23 PM   #16
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My long tubes came into today. These are the Hooker 6225s. They came with the adapter plates and are for raised exhaust ports. Got them on the corral and the guy had an interesting way of shipping them. Or maybe this is the normal way, as I have never ordered headers. They are painted black. Would stripping them and having them coated be worth it?
[IMG][/IMG]


In the picture below, you can see that some of the tubing is in sections. Will this be a potential exhaust leak? Will they need to be welded up?
[IMG][/IMG]

Also, are there many mid-pipes to fit these 3-bolt collector flange? Or would it be better to cut and weld a new flange onto it?
[IMG][/IMG]

I guess these 8.2 long tubes rule out a turbo and a 351 based motor as I mentioned previously.
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Old 09-25-2016, 10:49 AM   #17
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Took some time this weekend to pull the headlights. I sanded them, got 3 coats of clear on them, polished, 2 coats of wax, and put them back in. They're not brand new looking, but they look much better than they did. I had hoped to run by a local body shop and have them mix up some clear coat for me or either spray them for me, but time got tight and I had to resort to duplicolor. Hopefully this will hold up for a while.

Before
[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

After

[IMG][/IMG]
[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 09-25-2016, 03:57 PM   #18
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lights look much better!
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Old 09-25-2016, 04:42 PM   #19
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Cant see a single picture but looks awesome in my mind
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Old 09-26-2016, 05:58 AM   #20
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can't trust a camel, but nice project
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Old 01-05-2017, 09:44 AM   #21
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A few updates...A tough semester at school has kept me from working on the car.

1. I dropped the fuel tank and installed a new walbro 255lph fuel pump, motorcraft fuel filter, and rubber seals. I joked with my uncle before dropping the tank that I was going to pull the fuel pump out and it would be the exact same. It turns out that I was right. However, the fuel pump slid right off of the rubber hose when I unfastened the brackets that hold it into place. I believe this is the explanation for the problems I have been experiencing. Since installing, the car pulls much better, idles better, and I couldn't be happier. Finally this thing is driving like it's supposed to.

2. I ordered a headlight harness from David Stern. The harness utilizes relays and fuses for a better overall system. I installed the harness along with GE Nighthawk Platinum bulbs and have been very pleased with the results. Now I just need to get them aligned or align them myself.

The new engine is still slowly coming together. I picked up a set of Lunati link bar lifters. I believe that is the only new engine part to add to my parts pile. My next project will be to pull the quarter windows and work on the rubber trim. I am not looking forward to it. I also may be picking up an 03 explorer 4wd soon to daily drive so I can put less miles on this car.
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Old 01-05-2017, 10:24 AM   #22
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I have the bigger primary Super Comp headers and the slip joints don't need to be welded. If they do leak, it will be minimal and you shouldn't notice it.

I have the slip fit ends on mine, instead of the flange. My last headers had the flange; I had the exhaust shop, put mating flanges on my existing H-pipe when they did my exhaust. I never had a problem with the flange, just was a pain unbolting the exhaust, compared to the slip style.
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Damn! Ford Motors are so awesome!

Last edited by Heater; 01-05-2017 at 10:27 AM..
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Old 01-05-2017, 02:57 PM   #23
fairmont357
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fairmont357 is without a doubt too mature for this placefairmont357 is without a doubt too mature for this placefairmont357 is without a doubt too mature for this placefairmont357 is without a doubt too mature for this placefairmont357 is without a doubt too mature for this placefairmont357 is without a doubt too mature for this place
Nice build!!
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Old 01-05-2017, 07:10 PM   #24
TooFast98Cobra
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Nice job. Im a fan
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Old 01-05-2017, 09:40 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heater View Post
I have the bigger primary Super Comp headers and the slip joints don't need to be welded. If they do leak, it will be minimal and you shouldn't notice it.

I have the slip fit ends on mine, instead of the flange. My last headers had the flange; I had the exhaust shop, put mating flanges on my existing H-pipe when they did my exhaust. I never had a problem with the flange, just was a pain unbolting the exhaust, compared to the slip style.
Thanks man. I will be sure to keep all of this in mind when the time comes to put all of this together.

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Nice build!!
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Nice job. Im a fan
Thanks fellas!
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