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Subaru Exhaust headers - Recommendations?
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 4:31 pm    Post subject: Subaru Exhaust headers - Recommendations? Reply with quote

Moderator edit: Additional information to be found at:

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=274753


I have welded up my stainless exhaust (2.5L Subaru) for the last time. Mine started cracking within 9 months, and currently it cracks whenever I drive fast over a mountain pass. Its now 25 months old and has been welded so many times it looks like bamboo.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Note the appearance of Stainless at 22 months. This does not bother me. The cracks bother me.

I suspect Stainless steel exhausts cannot handle the heat. Also the Stainless causes the exhaust nuts/studs to corrode/freeze.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a tested and reliable exhaust for Subaru-Vanagon?
Are there ceramic-coated steel exhausts available?
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Last edited by Sodo on Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:56 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Volksaholic
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you do a search over on the SubaruVanagon Yahoo group you'll find some discussion of different stainless steel alloys that supposedly make a difference in durability. There are also some different design that are supposed to relieve some of the stress in some designs. I'm curious who's system you have now. I've got a Small Car header that's holding up last I crawled under there (about 8 mos. and 10k mls.) but I'm worried that it won't last based on a large number of reports of cracked headers I've read.

Paul
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Vango Conversions
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm building my own out of 14 gauge mild steel with flex joints, I'm considering selling them but only if I can get a hold of the mandrel bends for less. I spent $400 on materials alone!

Burly sells an exhaust for the EJ but I don't think it fits with the small car mount.
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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am unaware of Burley selling any exhaust headers, his website doesn't show them either. RMW sells one but it works with their mount.
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presslab
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the KEP header and it broke over and over too. It's pretty thick steel by the look of it. I put a flex joint in the long pipe between the heads and it hasn't had a problem since.
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Vango Conversions
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the correction, It was RMW that i was thinking of, not burly.
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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Too bad, I was hoping there was another player in the header market. There are too few,especially ones that fit the syncro and last.
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

from: SubaruVanagon.com http://www.subaruvanagon.com/tom/SS%20Exhaust/Exhaust.htm
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

(Edit....) But for me,,,this does NOT fit a Syncro.... (...Edit) The flex joint is interesting.

I tried adding a flex joint HERE but it didn't help at all, had another crop of cracks in 2 months.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


After welding up all the cracks my headers were super-stressed (left to right) could barely get them off the studs. So I extended them 3/8" to slip-on perfectly over the studs. YES 3/8" Now after reading Presslab (above) and SubaruVanagon.com I'm wishing I had put a flex joint in the middle.
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Last edited by Sodo on Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:46 pm; edited 3 times in total
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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That exhaust wouldn't fit a syncro with the skid rail attached. That is why stock syncro vanagon headers are specific and a 2wd version won't fit. It has to go over the skidplate and then back down to clear the tranny on both sides.
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ALIKA T3
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow!

I'm considering modifying my Smallcar with a flexjoint now before it goes bad ,it has 2500 miles,2 months,and already kinda rusted Rolling Eyes

Syncro doka:do you know if the Smallcar stainless headers fit the syncro?I plan to switch all of that engine on the syncro one of these days Wink

Thank you!

Alika
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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, they do fit a syncro. Mine has been in for welding once so far.
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ALIKA T3
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks buddy Cool
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Franklinstower
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the only ones I know of are: Small Car - huge reported problems of cracking, poor fit and rusting extremely fast (sounds like cheap chinese/Korean SS): Kennedy, he does a jet coating to his; Tom Shiels - I know nothing about them but they look nice!; and does RMW make them too? I would think so. All of those are mainly for 2WD.

What I would prefer is someone make a tuned, equal length header out of thicker steel for the conversions. There are a few after market subi tuned length headers that could be adapted and I have been waiting for someone to take that step for a mass production conversion header.

Also I know of a few that used the stock subi header, re-routed and have had zero problems.

Paul
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r39o
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Franklinstower wrote:
What I would prefer is someone make a tuned, equal length header out of thicker steel for the conversions.

X2

Why do we still get this crap?

I have the Small Car header. It looks like a work of art. I am still bolting things together.

So you all are telling me that the beautiful Small Car header is just going to turn out to be a rusted turd in short order?

WTF?
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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't tell my SC stainless j tube and header from the OG ones on my 2WD.
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fatboypaul
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Six year old jet coated Kennedy header on my FrankenSyncro looks very nice, a little brown from desert dirt, zero welding repairs.

Hey Mike, any signs of the SVX headers/ exhaust system?
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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think that KEP makes a syncro header any longer.
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a914622
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you can go a few days with out the vanagon, Take the header off and take it down to Stans headers in Kent. Have him remake it BUT Add the ball style cupler to all the conections. After its done run it down the block to Specalty coating for a header coating.
Stans headers used to make subaru turbo headers but cheap evilbay slowed the market.


http://www.stans-headers.com/


jcl
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting.. Here's what Stan says about Stainless headers
http://www.stans-headers.com/faq.htm

"Stainless steel headers take more heat and, although they discolor, they still look good. A lot of people want a stainless steel header even with their high cost. We make our Stainless steel headers with a "304" stainless flanges 3/8" thick and "409" stainless tubes. The "409" is an exhaust grade stainless and is more "malleable" which means that it will not crack as bad as the "304" tubes tend to do in time."

Here's the ball couplers and flex tubes from Stan's headers.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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Last edited by Sodo on Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:39 pm; edited 3 times in total
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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

and the SC header is made out of.....304
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