|How to install long tube headers on a 99 - 04 Mustang V6|
Ford Mustangs are famous for having a very accepting aftermarket. The GT and Cobra Mustangs have always had numerous exhaust kits available through the aftermarket. From Cat-Back kits to mid pipes to headers, a full exhaust on a Mustang will surely make an enthusiast smile from ear to ear and make bystanders turn heads in fascination.
Although the aftermarket has been welcoming the V8 model Mustangs with arms wide open, the V6 model has been slow to gain aftermarket support. However, over the past few years, several companies have been fabricating and producing more involved aftermarket modifications for the V6. One of these companies, Mac, manufactures a set of Long Tube headers for the V6. This kit mates with an off road or prochambered shorty midpipe and a Cat-Back from a GT Mustang. Now V6 Mustang owners who want to get the better flow (up to 38rwhp on modified engines- “MM&FF”) and sound of long tube headers can do so through two different coatings from Mac. The basic coating is called HTS Coated, the higher quality is a Ceramic Coated set.
Expected Materials Needed:
Jack the front of your Mustang
into the air with about 12 inches of space
Pop the hood and disconnect the oil dipstick bracket from the driver’s side of the engine. One bolt holds this in place.
Move to the passenger side of the engine compartment and remove the air inlet pipe from the throttle body to the mass airflow sensor. A flat head screwdriver will suffice here.
Now, disconnect the EGR system. Pull the two hose lines free, and then use the crescent wrench to disconnect the EGR pipe from the passenger exhaust manifold and the EGR pump at the engine.
Remove all 6 spark plug wires and all of the spark plugs on the passenger side. Remember the firing order for 3.8L Mustangs is as follows:
Now, unbolt the stock exhaust manifolds (headers) from the midpipe and drop the midpipe down from the headers. Also remove the oxygen sensors.
Next, unbolt the stock headers from the engine. The headers are held in by 6 bolts each. We used air tools to make this task easier.
The driver’s side exhaust manifold will need to be removed by pulling it down under the engine compartment; the passenger side manifold must come up through the engine compartment.
Now, prepare to install you nice, new long tube headers!
The passenger side is the more difficult of the two, by far. On the passenger side, you must bring the long tubes up from the bottom of the engine compartment and the fitment is tight, to say the least. Place your new manifold gaskets on your headers and utilize your new hardware to bolt on the long tubes.
Tip: Work from back to front of the engine when installing the bolts for the long tubes.
After you get the passenger side header bolted on, reconnect the EGR lines to the header and the EGR pump fixed at the front of the engine. You can also go ahead and reinstall your air inlet pipe and spark plugs/wires at the passenger side at this point.
Now, move on to installing the driver’s side long tube header.
Tip: The oil dipstick line and bracket need to be fixated between the rear-most two pipes of the header.
You will also install this one from the bottom of the engine up. The fitment is much more roomy on the driver’s side, and bolting it up with the same pattern (rear to front) makes this side much easier to do. Be sure to place the gasket on before installing, and utilize the new stainless steel hardware as well.
After bolting on the driver’s side long tube header, you can now reinstall the spark plug wires and all of the oxygen sensors.
Now you can move out of you engine compartment since you have completed the installation of the headers.
For a clean bolt-on look, you can use the Mac Shorty H Pipe, but we just re-fabricated my already custom H pipe.
To get a leak free fit, we cut the flange off of the front of the first catalytic converter and welded it to my H pipe. We cut the pipe back 2 1/2? to line it up perfectly with the long tube headers on the driver’s side.
For the passenger side, we had to cut back 2 1/2? and weld the flange just like the driver’s side, but in addition to that, we had to cut a 1 1/2? section out of the 90degree bend of the H pipe to move it closer to the driveshaft to receive a perfect fit.
After lining up the H pipe segments and bolting the flanges to the collector pipe, we welded it all in place to ensure no leaks.
Now, you are ready for the electrical portion of this project.
Simply plug your MIL Eliminators into the rearmost oxygen sensors and then plug the reverse end of the MIL’s to the harness of the oxygen sensor. This will ensure the check engine light will remain in proper function, but a code for emissions will not be set for the sensors detecting no catalyst in the exhaust.
Now, plug the oxygen sensor extenders into the front two oxygen sensors and then tuck them out of the way of heat.
Now, jack the car up off of the jack stands and remove them from under the car. Next, lower the car and you are ready to test fire and make sure there are no leaks.
Leaks? weld them up or head to a muffler shop to have them weld it for you.
No leaks? fire her up and wake the neighbors! You are now ready to enjoy more power and more sound whether it be on the road or at the track!
There are 9 comments
January 25, 2015 - 07:41 PM
Thank u for the write up your a better man than me for caring about the next man.. Disconnecting the egr pipe from manifold is extremely difficult to get to the flange bolts that disconnect the headers from the exaust u need like 3 extensions and the stock headers are seperated into three unlike the bbk shorty headers (in my case) are one piece so the oil dipstick is impossible to get in i stopped here and im getting professional advice tomorrow my idea is to take out the dipstick cut the dipstick sheath install the headers then put the peices together and deal with it later.. Other than that the write up was great it definitely gave me motivation foresight and courage for what turned out to be the most frustrating mechanic work ive taken on so far.. Cheers ..happy wrenching
May 17, 2012 - 10:18 PM
where do i need to have my high flow cats put in?
January 07, 2012 - 04:03 PM
Subject: neeed help
hey mike, i have a 2000 ford mustang v6 i recently purchased cat back flowmaster exhaust, now im looking to go with headers and high flow cats or midpipe, can this be accomplished without replacing the catback that i recently purchase?
January 24, 2011 - 01:40 PM
Would this scrap the botton if the headers if i plan on lowering it about 1.5 - 2.0 thanks
January 24, 2011 - 01:44 PM
Subject: Re: Question
They shouldn't. Mine do not.
November 26, 2010 - 11:59 PM
first off great write up! i was wondering if the said car above was at stock height? i plan on installing mac longtubes on my 01 v6 but im also planning on lowering the car with 1.5 drop springs. i dont want to scrape and possibly ruin the headers.
October 29, 2010 - 04:27 AM
I did this exact thing to my 2001 V6 mustang today and when i started it it popped (backfire) non stop, whats wrong?
October 31, 2010 - 11:20 PM
Subject: Re: Help!
That's odd. I would check all bolts and connections.
December 09, 2008 - 01:23 PM
Subject: Write up
Very detailed write up, i will follow this when i do long tubes on my friend's v6 stang. thanks for everything man.
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