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The OBX headers are now AVAILABLE again!

2Krngr

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So it seems most all the negative input I can find on these headers in a ranger or an explorer in the few threads on different forums I've seen basically boil down to how difficult it is to install them, not really complaints on the fitment or quality.

TMH's or any other header I'm sure is hell to install with the engine in the truck, I don't doubt that one bit, these 5.0 in these SLA frame minitrucks are an extremely tight fit on the width and to try to work any set of headers onto the head around the upper control arm mounts, steering shaft, frame, valve covers, and fender is going to be a monumental task. This is not in anyway fault of the these headers or TMH or FMS or whatever, this is a big motor in a small truck issue.

The only other thing that I saw complained about was that a couple of the bolt holes are very tight to the runner, and a bolt can't be used, you must use a stud and nut. I found that test fitting this is a defiantly the case on I believe 5 of the holes a stud would be needed instead of a bolt. This can be a negative I suppose, yeah maybe they should include a new full stud kit with these, but they don't.. Is what it is.

I ordered the full ARP 100-1414 302 3/8" x 1.670" stud/nut kit, I had no intention of reusing the old rusty exhaust bolts in the first place anyway. We will see if the ARP kit fits nicely on the all the runners.

I won't even address the exhaust gasket complaints, they send you some individual per-runner of the typical material that comes with every ebay exhaust, turbo, header, cat, testpipe, manifold, wastegate, whatever item ever sold. Use it or go buy your favorite gasket brand and use them instead.

The bolts and gaskets have zero to do with the quality of the header or the fitment. That is just a personal issue as to if you feel it is a total package or install solution in one box. Personally I don't give a **** about either, the headers fit the block and clear the heads, the welds are as good or better than TMH (which were not impressive anyway), the stainless is 304l and decent thickness, so pricey or not they are pretty damn decent and the only boltin option available anymore.

If it makes one mad because you may need to purchase studs and gaskets and pay a shop 8 hours labor or take your entire weekend to fight them into the assembled truck on top of them being $5xx then maybe they aren't for you, and that's all good.

Otherwise they fit the engine well, the holes all lined up with the block holes and they shipped the next day and arrived in 3 more.

All that being said, I obviously don't have them in the truck, only on the motor, so I can't say they fit the frame/truck as good as they do the motor. So don't take my current position of being happy with them as some guarantee that they are flawless just yet. And since I am Z'd and the motor lowered when I do set it in the truck it's not going to represent what most of the interested guys will have. So it will take someone else purchased and installing them into a unmodified frame to gauge that aspect of them.


Hope this may help some of you guys, and I will be posting more pics as I mess with the truck some more soon.
 
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2Krngr

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Side note, I also can't comment on the EGR tube install that they included, because I have egr deleted on the motor, so I am not sure how well that fits or not either.

So I do apologize that I am fitting in a non-stock frame nor using egr, so I am not able to help you guys with more info of a real-world complete install in your trucks. But I figure any info/pics on these headers can be somewhat helpful at least.
 
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Jbrown1238

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Side note, I also can't comment on the EGR tube install that they included, because I have egr deleted on the motor, so I am not sure how well that fits or not either.

So I do apologize that I am fitting in a non-stock frame nor using egr, so I am not able to help you guys with more info of a real-world complete install in your trucks. But I figure any info/pics on these headers can be somewhat helpful at least.
I might be able to help with a few things although I used the TMH counterpart.

Studs versus bolts: I started with 12 pt ARP header bolts and ended up going to 6 pt ARP header bolts just so a combination wrench could be used if needed versus a socket only option. I did manage to use a bolt in every location but it took a little work. Some bolts had to be "placed" in the header before others could be snugged down. Two or three needed two-three threads nipped off so they were slightly shorter then stock in order to fit into place.

Clearance: Mine were installed after the long block was in place but I admit the engine assembly did need to be lifted slightly off the mounts. The headers went in without separating the two pieces on the driver side. A set of small spacers (approx. 1/8 inch thick) were required between the custom engine plates and the engine block. Without the spacers the passenger side header tube interfered with the engine plate. The plate can be clearanced if needed but that would require removing the plate for tooling.

EGR Tube: A new EGR tube would not fit because of a very tight bend. I was able to bend the original tube and make it fit but it almost kinked the tube beyond a comfortable point.
 
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2Krngr

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I might be able to help with a few things although I used the TMH counterpart.

Studs versus bolts: I started with 12 pt ARP header bolts and ended up going to 6 pt ARP header bolts just so a combination wrench could be used if needed versus a socket only option. I did manage to use a bolt in every location but it took a little work. Some bolts had to be "placed" in the header before others could be snugged down. Two or three needed two-three threads nipped off so they were slightly shorter then stock in order to fit into place.

Clearance: Mine were installed after the long block was in place but I admit the engine assembly did need to be lifted slightly off the mounts. The headers went in without separating the two pieces on the driver side. A set of small spacers (approx. 1/8 inch thick) were required between the custom engine plates and the engine block. Without the spacers the passenger side header tube interfered with the engine plate. The plate can be clearanced if needed but that would require removing the plate for tooling.

EGR Tube: A new EGR tube would not fit because of a very tight bend. I was able to bend the original tube and make it fit but it almost kinked the tube beyond a comfortable point.
Thanks for the input.

Are you using the common style conversion plates that bolt to the 4.0 mounts? Those have a bend in them maybe that's why you needed spacers? I am using the stock flat plates and there is about 1/4" clearance between the bottom of the tube and the plate on the passenger side and about 1/2" on the driver.

I've read your whole sick build thread previously, but I don't recall what mounts/plates you used.
 

Jbrown1238

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Thanks for the input.

Are you using the common style conversion plates that bolt to the 4.0 mounts? Those have a bend in them maybe that's why you needed spacers? I am using the stock flat plates and there is about 1/4" clearance between the bottom of the tube and the plate on the passenger side and about 1/2" on the driver.

I've read your whole sick build thread previously, but I don't recall what mounts/plates you used.
I did use the common plates with the bend in them. The one tube on the passenger side just barely made contact with the plate. It probably would have been fine to leave it but I made a slight adjustment.
 

oddball101

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I was expecting issues with EGR but to my surprise, the supplied EGR tube went in without a problem. Instead of using multiple studs, I used only one under the one that is truly buried, but the others, I just fed the 1" arp bolts through the flange first and then mounted the header, screwing in each one (there are two outside of the stud that need to be addressed if you don't feel like trimming the thread) just a little bit to get them all started. once that was done, I just got the rest started as well, then got the EGR tube connected while everything was still lose but in place. At that point it was just a matter of tightening things down. A really big help for me was obtaining two snubnose open ended wrenches. One for the engine mount bolts (18mm) and one for the buried header flange stud/nut. The rest I was able to get to with a regular socket or wrench. The 1" arp bolts I went with have an 8mm head to them which helped I think.

I will admit though that I have an exhaust leak on the passenger side and I will have to redo the install. I was pretty careful to begin with but apparently got something off just enough to be a problem. I cannot stand that paper-hitting-a-fan sound. Not the standard tick-tick-tick. Anyhow, after the install it was a beautiful change, even with the exhaust leak. The pick up in earlier rpm's, the motor seemingly revs a lot more freely and the sound is great (at idle only right now due to my exhaust leak that will be remedied very shortly).

So all in all, it was a straight forward install with no real snags or issues about quality or anything. I like them quite a bit. Didn't expect the sound under the hood to change as much as it did for me. I expected the sound at the rear to be different, which it is, but only a little bit. Under full acceleration though, under the hood is where I notice the real difference in sound. Come to think of it, I did mod the intake box a bit for better flow, but otherwise it is all stock so that may have had something to do with it.

Being the only option, I am thankful this product is good to go.

**edit
Also, I went to the junkyard and picked up the heat shield pieces from another 5.0 explorer. they have a harder fiberglass piece that is molded perfectly to the a/c box, then another separate thicker aluminum sheet plate stuffed with fiberglass that attaches to it midway down. It covers up the a/c box and lines perfectly as it is moldable. My clearance from the a/c box is maybe half an inch. I can take pics once I dig back into that side to re-seat the header with a new manifold gaskets if anyone is interested in what I am talking about.
 
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2Krngr

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I was expecting issues with EGR but to my surprise, the supplied EGR tube went in without a problem. Instead of using multiple studs, I used only one under the one that is truly buried, but the others, I just fed the 1" arp bolts through the flange first and then mounted the header, screwing in each one (there are two outside of the stud that need to be addressed if you don't feel like trimming the thread) just a little bit to get them all started. once that was done, I just got the rest started as well, then got the EGR tube connected while everything was still lose but in place. At that point it was just a matter of tightening things down. A really big help for me was obtaining two snubnose open ended wrenches. One for the engine mount bolts (18mm) and one for the buried header flange stud/nut. The rest I was able to get to with a regular socket or wrench. The 1" arp bolts I went with have an 8mm head to them which helped I think.

I will admit though that I have an exhaust leak on the passenger side and I will have to redo the install. I was pretty careful to begin with but apparently got something off just enough to be a problem. I cannot stand that paper-hitting-a-fan sound. Not the standard tick-tick-tick. Anyhow, after the install it was a beautiful change, even with the exhaust leak. The pick up in earlier rpm's, the motor seemingly revs a lot more freely and the sound is great (at idle only right now due to my exhaust leak that will be remedied very shortly).

So all in all, it was a straight forward install with no real snags or issues about quality or anything. I like them quite a bit. Didn't expect the sound under the hood to change as much as it did for me. I expected the sound at the rear to be different, which it is, but only a little bit. Under full acceleration though, under the hood is where I notice the real difference in sound. Come to think of it, I did mod the intake box a bit for better flow, but otherwise it is all stock so that may have had something to do with it.

Being the only option, I am thankful this product is good to go.

**edit
Also, I went to the junkyard and picked up the heat shield pieces from another 5.0 explorer. they have a harder fiberglass piece that is molded perfectly to the a/c box, then another separate thicker aluminum sheet plate stuffed with fiberglass that attaches to it midway down. It covers up the a/c box and lines perfectly as it is moldable. My clearance from the a/c box is maybe half an inch. I can take pics once I dig back into that side to re-seat the header with a new manifold gaskets if anyone is interested in what I am talking about.
Thanks for all the input that's great! I would love to see some pics of the a/c box area and heat shielding done there. Although most guys with a Z and/or bodydrop ditch the a/c I will be keeping it all and know I already need to notch the blower for the wheels, but wonder if I'm better of modifying the firewall and just raising the entire assembly up if the headers are already that close before the cab drops.
 

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I am not sure how much interference will be there after your drop, but ideally, if you'll already be modding the blower to begin with, just do it to compensate for the wheels and the headers combined if possible. If it allows, that would be perfect and save you a ton of time dealing with all the prep for, welding, etc.
 

2Krngr

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And, so now all those ebay auctions have been closed, and no other obx 5.0 headers are listed on ebay currently...
 

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And, so now all those ebay auctions have been closed, and no other obx 5.0 headers are listed on ebay currently...
Yep, seems there were some defects found in the last batch so they recalled them all. My order was cancelled and they refunded my money! They did say there were more currently in production and would be available in 6-8 weeks. They said they would honor the sale price and notify me when the headers were available again. My motor won't be ready by then so I'm cool with it. I find it quite respectable that that recalled them rather than just let them go to see who would notice or complain! :icon_thumby:
 

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Do you know what these defects were? I ask because I am getting ready to dive back in to fix my exhaust leak. If that is one of the symptoms (warped flange, bad welds, etc) of these defects you are talking about, I'd rather avoid all the trouble of burning my time away trying to remedy an issue that isn't even on my side (install side) and get a corrected set instead .
 

2Krngr

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Yep, seems there were some defects found in the last batch so they recalled them all. My order was cancelled and they refunded my money! They did say there were more currently in production and would be available in 6-8 weeks. They said they would honor the sale price and notify me when the headers were available again. My motor won't be ready by then so I'm cool with it. I find it quite respectable that that recalled them rather than just let them go to see who would notice or complain! :icon_thumby:
What was the current sale price you ordered at, $529 +$45 ship?

Do you know what these defects were? I ask because I am getting ready to dive back in to fix my exhaust leak. If that is one of the symptoms (warped flange, bad welds, etc) of these defects you are talking about, I'd rather avoid all the trouble of burning my time away trying to remedy an issue that isn't even on my side (install side) and get a corrected set instead .
I am also interested in what these apparent defects where?
 

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Oh well. Was hoping to get some kind of feedback on whatever defects were seen with this "last batch", if there were any. I'll be digging back into it this weekend. I do like these headers and I am pretty confident I will be able to get this leak issue resolved.
 

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Sorry it took a while! I emailed them about it and they took a while to get back and then couldn't tell me anything exact. They "think" it had something to do with the welds.And yes, that was the sale price.
 

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I also tried reaching them about this for about a week and a half, but they finally called me back yesterday. The guy was decent and offered a return for just about any reason I wanted without hassle. He said the headers were a difficult build and that mistakes are possible, but that there hadn't been any recall for a general defect.

I gave him my position being within a few days of the return policy and he said that because I was almost at my 30 day mark, to just file for a return, and if there is another issue after this try and I am not satisfied, that I will be allowed to complete the return being that I started it before that 30 mark was up.

Anyway, I am not convinced that it is the fault of the headers that i have an exhaust leak. That would be like me blaming the pool stick for missing a simple shot lol. I will attack it this weekend and see what comes of it. The guy was straight up and I really don't think he's trying to pull anything.

I just picked up a little $20 angle die grinder that I'll throw a couple scotch bright pads to and clean up the mating surfaces more thoroughly this time. Already have my new gaskets too, so it'll be pretty simple I think.

Clean surfaces
Gaskets
Locktite
Torque bolts to 30 lbs
Pray
 
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