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Project Addicted
363 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Today was our big day! After waiting for what seemed like 5 years for the new headers to be built and arrive and then traveling for 3 weeks, I got the time and my Minion ready for the install. Allie was psyched for the work and while I was doing the grunt work, she pulled out her TIG welder and got busy warming up on some SS pipe for the exhaust build that will come next.

First of all the new headers fit perfectly. There is a sweet spot where they slip right on. I didn't find that of course during my install, gravity took over and the sumbitch fell on my head! I then started to refit it and put a nut on to hold it from falling again. A bit of pushing and pulling and it slipped back on again. I have a lift so most of the work was done from the bottom until it came time to do final tightening.

The top stud hole is in a pocket and the 4 top nuts must be installed before the manifold is pushed back to seat against the head or the other nuts are put on. My studs may be longer then stock and caused the problem. Beware. Once the header is mounted on the top studs, the 4 need to be tightened snug by moving from nut to nut after a few turns to walk them on so the don't jam against the pocket of the flange. Only a 13mm open end wrench will fit these 4 bolts.

Some other install notes:

BLOW the peanuts out!!

I had to loosen the large motor mount bold to lift the engine a bit. This thing fits in like a glove. Your install may be different. I installed a new motor mount and cleaned up the engine bracket in the blast cabinet and shot it with some semi-gloss. The clown that designed the one front hole so a wrench doesn't fit... The motor mount itself a=was TOAST!!

The header installs from the top and almost slides right in. Lifting the engine was the only way to get the header far enough forward to line up with the exhaust bolts on the front cylinder. I do not know if my studs were stock length. It took some prying and pushing to get it to mount.

Empty your swear jar. You will use all your words with this one.


A single bolt to hold the header from testing gravity and the hardness of my head.

A tight fit!

Header touching the frame

Top 4 nuts being tightened. You can see Allie's hand in the blue glove. It's tight in there!!

Top nuts snugged up. You can see how my studs protrude out to almost the top of the pipe.

Spot where the header was hitting the frame member during initial install

In place with all nuts snug

All nuts can be tightened from the top. The 4 top nuts can only be turned with an open end wrench and the other 8 can all be installed and tightened with a ratcheting box end. Small hands are a help working thru the slot and on top of the engine.

Ooooo so comfy!! No intake installed on this install.

Fully installed with all nuts tight. Turbo set in place to try to figure out the strut/bracket install.

The federal cam with the air pump pulley mount is an issue. I think we can modify the Alunox plate/bracket to work around this issue. I started out thinking I could cut the hub off the cam but after install, I have more and maybe better thoughts.

One idea is the use this bolt hole to mount a U bracket for the strut to attach to.

Maybe cut the bracket down a bit and use just the intake cam mount and the threaded hole and a spacer to mount this for the strut.

We shall see, maybe tomorrow.

That's all for tonight. If you have questions, let me know and I will try to answer them.

491 Posts
Looks like you are missing the heat shielding that protects the motor mount under the exhaust manifold. Your new one won't last very long without it.

408 Posts
The procedure I made for installing the alunox exhaust manifold is the following:

- Installed the four primaries loosely into the secondaries, and installed that on the old cast manifold, which is off the car.

- If the 4 primaries are stuck, knock them off with a piece of Wood carefully, and clean up the double walls with brake cleaner, and eventually lightly sand the coupling surfaces, where applicable and finally smear them all with Wera 1400 degree celsius anti seize paste. That is your friend!

- Then I installed the alunox, now with precision adjustment from the old manifold , on to the cylinderhead.

- Attatch the turbo on to the exhaust manifold flange on the secondaries. Let it rest on Loose nuts on the cylinderhead for a day.

- I then went on loosening the 12 nuts on the cylinderhead a bit, say two rounds.

- Then I jiggeled and pushed the secondaries towards the engine, (with a Little help) so they came nearer the primaries.

- I did that successively, while all the time checking how much the turbo came closer to the chargecooler. 4 times in all.

- When I was satisfied with the distance between the turbo and the chargecooler and engine, that is horizontally, I noted that the tyrbo also had come further Down than on the Picture from yesterday (above), as it is angeled: the closer it comes to the engine, the further Down it comes. See piture below.

- Then I tightened up the turbo to manifold, and installed the silicone hose between the chargecooler and the turbo. It fitted as intended.

- Then I went on installing the new free flow cat and it's prolonged tube (void the ebpv), and blocked it's hose, plus installed the new oxygen sensor.

- Then jiggleing everything to take tensions and ensure exhaust gasket (rear) sits correctly. Then tightening the 12 nuts on the cylinderhead.

- Then installing the last remaining hoses, waterhoses, oil hoses etc. and connect the plug for the oxygensensor. Need new rubber grommet there.

- Then thightening the cat to turbo and once more on cat to exhaust.

- Prime the oil, Water and then start. Let it heat up to normal driving temp and turn off to cool Down.

- Will retighten all in a few days after a few heat cycles.

- The waterfittings and heatshield do not interfeer and sit's normally and detatchable as intended.

- Everything seems normal at this point. Engine is running smoothly and normal. I'll connect the aldl to my laptop and inspect on that next time I start the engine.

- need new locking clip for the wastegate actuator.

- put back on all the original heat shields for the left side engine Mount. They fit bar one, as the tubular manifold is too close. but they still protect the engine Mount perfectly.

- I also installed a piece of sticky heatshield I bought, on the frame, where the tubular manifold passes the engine frame the closest.

I have not installed the two double slipcoupling bands, and not installed the adjustable support bracket, only the brackets. Will do later, when everything is setteled.

This method is working with the original positions and the opriginal bits and bobs, no need for alteration!

Now that I've used it all this season, soon to be put away till' Spring returns, I can say that it performs very well. 8 Hp and a few Nm nut with a dip on a completely standard SE engine, but once bolted up with a few mods on the engine (I now run genuine Sport300 turbo, memcal, fpr and fuelpump parts), giving 330 Hp and 415 Nm on the dyno, with repeated tests, till' I didn't bother do it any more, but found out I didn't loose power because the intake never get too hot any more. Well worth doing, despite the cramped workspace and the rather bad made alunox manifold.
Not to criticise them, but they could have done it better, more precise, for sure.

I repeat, my installation of this exhaust manifold was not to just crow bar it on, but to make it so, that it fits the car, not make the car fit the manifold. So now, it just slips on and off. I can now undo the turbo and the exhaust manifold in under 1½ hour ;) which is okay'ish. No need for crowbars, prying tubes, ropesolutions etc.
I will also stress, that using new K-nuts (which are a bit smaller outside diameter) greatly helps and they don't fall off (yet).

I will also add that i didn't install the thrid generation support bracket and the slip joint brackets, because they are bad made and don't fit the system (at least mine are). I contacted alunox a few times, and they just ignored me completely. So make of that what you want yourself.

I can add, that taking off the original cast exhaust amnifold, is a bit tedious, and is best done with a ringspanner, grinded thin and opened a bit on the ring. Space enough. The upper nots can best be taken off from above; just sit in the luggage Space. The others from belw. Some when sitting udnerneath, facing the front of the car, some facing the rear of the car. Makes it easier to get your arm up there and undo the nuts Little by Little, around 1/8- 1/16 of a turn at a time. Grab a beer or something else, and rest your arm once in a while. It's doable, without any engine movement or anything else. Somethimes you have to Work in blindness, just feel your way, rest the arm, or take off the Tool, move it, and back on to the nut, and another 1/16'th of a turn. Don't worry, if I can do it, anyone can ;)


ps: eventually, take a look at my thread: Little Red Riding Hood for pics etc. on the other forum.


Project Addicted
363 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
New support bracket fabbed up today. Allie worked on this while I worked on my truck :-(

We decided to cut up the Alunox bracket to use the "U" part of the bracket on the right side instead of the left side. This allowed us to not have to fool with the exhaust cam and the air pump pulley.

First lets use the CAD to get the position of the bolt holes locked in

That's cardboard aided design in our shop :)

Yank out the plasma cutter to remove what isn't needed

Reshaped base bracket to allow up to move the strut mount to it's new position.

Measure and discuss 50 times, cut once!!

Welded shaped and drilling the hole for the M8 bolt to go into the back of the head.

Almost done. Needs a wee bit of finishing and maybe now a coat of paint for something to pretty it up a little.

This is how the bracket looks now

Home for a few beers and football!!

2,709 Posts

Dreaded Prior Owner
665 Posts
All those blurry Photobucket shots all over the web pretty much deter anyone from wanting to sign up with them in the future. The service clearly does not work properly.

Wingless Wonder
5,487 Posts
those blurry Photobucket shots
Whew! I just thought my eyes were failing me... :rolleyes:

Yeah, Photobucket wants MONEY to host pictures these days. Fortunately AutoGuide makes it easy to just attach pictures directly, now.

Premium Member
2,195 Posts
20 years ago storage cost money and bandwidth cost money. Today our phones have more bandwidth than most houses had then. Photobucket has no reason to be and unfortunately it is forums like these that suffer
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