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XJ exhaust upgrade


 
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mikeuax
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Joined: 26 Jan 2008
Location: Leesburg, Virginia

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 6:01 pm    Post subject: XJ exhaust upgrade Reply with quote

First let me say this forum is asset to XJ owners.

I gotta 98 XJ 4.0L 4WD limited. It has a cracked manifold and the rest is rusting through.

I wanna do a new header, high flow down tube (which i cant find anywhere for my year) high flow cat, and cat-back exhaust. The more I look online the more frustrated I get with different brands and combos.

I there an easy answer to piece this thing together and just bolt it up from the front to the back? Or is this gonna be a whole lotta cutting, welding, and bending?

Thanks in advance. Mike from VA.
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Last edited by mikeuax on Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:26 am; edited 1 time in total
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Toliver09
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Joined: 16 Oct 2007
Location: Central Illinois

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Banks makes good headers, Gibson makes good headers, there are plenty of high output headers on the market for all 4.0L motors 91-01
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Drake69
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Joined: 26 Mar 2004
Location: Stormtroopin....

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should probably start with the Jegs catalog. If I remember correctly, they sell combinations of exhaust systems depending on the make/model of your vehicle (it's been awhile since I thumbed through it...). You can also go to http://www.Jegs.com and see what they have there. We can help you on good name brands.
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DavidXJ
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Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Location: Visalia, CA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The header on my 1998 Classic was cracked, and I searched all over for a header with C.A.R.B. exemption. I just put a Banks on last week, because theirs is 50 state legal. Borla looks like their header probably has better flow and better clearance by the front driveshaft, but they don't have C.A.R.B. exemption past 1996. So I had to Frankenstine mine... Banks header, Flowmaster cat back exhaust (although I could have used a Banks cat back exhaust), and custom bent head pipe. Using the Banks gives me the C.A.R.B. sticker to put under my hood that the smog guy can look up. I had mine smogged just before I changed the header last weekend, and he accused me of having put on a header and I had to prove that the stock 4.0L came with a "header-type" of manifold. So they will notice if you have a header.

The kicker is that nobody, with the exception of Borla, makes a "head pipe" or "down pipe" that goes from the header to the cat. And Borla's only works on their header which is not smog legal for 1997-1999 as of yet. The Banks header and a few others will bolt right up to your stock down pipe. But the stock downpipe is restrictive, so I wanted something better. The catch is that the stock pipe is restrictive because it has a dimple or factory-crushed section in it to make room for the driveshaft when flexing/cornering hard. So the first time I had the muffler shop make the new down pipe, the driveshaft was grinding on the head pipe when I cornered hard. My jeep is now at the muffler shop again so they can try to bend the head pipe over as close to the oil pan as possible to hopefully allow enough room for it not to rub. I'll try and post how it turned out on this thread once I get it back from them on Monday. I only have a 1.75" econo-lift, so I have no idea what the rubbing would be like on a XJ with a 4"-7" lift. Maybe it wouldn't rub at all.

I have read other forum discussions that say if you buy a new head pipe from someplace other than the dealer it doesn't have the factory crush in it. I have looked them up online and that seems to be the case, but it does look like they still restrict down smaller than 2". So there is no perfect solution for those who own the 97+ styles. But the pre-1997, or non-smog state customers, should go with the Borla header, Borla downpipe, and Borla cat-back exhaust. In everything post, forum, and website I have read, the customers have loved the quality, sound, and performance of their Borla system.

The cost for the custom head pipe was only $80, and that included welding the seams on the rest of the exhaust system I had installed. So getting a custom head pipe bent isn't super expensive... but it leaves you at the mercy of the skills of your muffler dude to make a smoother, less restrictive one that is tight to the oil pan with a port for the O2 sensor. Not all of them will be very good at this.

Just a word of warning... I had been contemplating getting a cheaper header than the Banks, but my muffler shop guy said that if I did that I would just end up replacing it in a couple of years because they aren't made with quality materials or design and would crack as bad or worse than the stock. I don't think he was trying to upsell, because he doesn't sell or install headers himself.

About bolting this thing up from front to back... Using the Banks header and Rusty's flowmaster 2.5" cat back exhaust, I was able to install everything myself (including the head pipe if I had bought one) with pinch u-bolts. Getting the existing muffler parts off was harder than re-installing them. The Banks header is a !@*&%@$ to re-tighten the bolts, but if you have long skinny arms, a lot of patience, a torque wrench, and some "u-joint" socket connections/extensions, any good shade-tree mechanic should be able to do it. It bolts up easily to the stock head pipe. The reason I had the muffler shop weld up the seams I had pinch connected is that I just didn't trust that they wouldn't leak without it and didn't feel like trying to mig-weld them myself. But as far as I could tell, none of them had been leaking.

So, my advice is this... Buy the Banks header and a your favorite cat-back, install them yourself to the existing catalytic converter and stock head-pipe, and then for a reasonable price, have your muffler shop create a new head pipe and put the finishing touches and adjustments on the system.
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rockjock
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Joined: 03 Feb 2008
Location: KY

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've installed a Doug Thorley header on my 99´XJ and couldn´t be happier. Thorley produces a fabulous product in my opinion, it's custom tuned, and performs very well at approx. $350. I din´t try to replace the down pipe though it seems easy enough to have it fabricated as someone else suggested and modified for the drive shaft. I guess you can by a Bank or Borla if you want I just wonder if your getting an extra $100 in performance over the Thorley.

I buy most of my products at "www.SummitRacing.com" they often have the best price and selection, and they don't charge shipping. They've also got Flowmaster, Dynomax Borla, Banks and a host of other exhaust products. Besides I've always been able to call them direct to get questions answered and place my order.
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Brad The Best
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Joined: 14 Jan 2007
Location: Kamloops B.C Canada

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.automotivepartsnetwork.com/store/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=20009

some one recommended this to me off the site , haven't boughten it yet but for 120$ its worth a try .

especially because its 500$ for a banks in Canada , and oaround 3000$ for long arms Rolling Eyes
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DavidXJ
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Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Location: Visalia, CA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is the reason I decided to go with the Banks header...

They made it very clear that their header was C.A.R.B. approved for my 1998, whereas none of the others did. The smog guy can type the code number into is program and it lets him know that the header is legal.

But if you aren't in a !*&%^&!! smog state like I am, and you are on a tight budget, you really can't go wrong with the header that Brad the Best linked to. For that price you could install a header, cat-back and a custom head pipe for the same price as I bought only the header!
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Brad The Best
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Joined: 14 Jan 2007
Location: Kamloops B.C Canada

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

that must suck with the smog thing , i don't even have a cat . it plugged up and got replaced with a straight piece of pipe .

but it sort of resonates .

honestly my friend has a a old chev with a 250 straigh six with true dual's with flow masters ,the thing sounds amazing . if i could figure out what to do with the 02 thats what i would do to mine just modify the current manifold , perhaps if i put in a x joint and stuck the 02 there .

anyway i have never herd a straight six sound that good .
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mikeuax
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Joined: 26 Jan 2008
Location: Leesburg, Virginia

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David (and everyone else) thanks for the help.

You saved me hours upon hours.

I went with the banks from Rusty's. That was the cheapest place at $389.00. I live in VA so that CARB sticker should work for emissions.

I'm gonna intstall the header now. I'll post another follow up when I'm done. Should i go through the hassel of pulling off the fuel rail? By looking at it almost seems I can leave the injectors in and work around it. Is the fuel rail easy to F@#$ up if you don't pull if off right, or is everything pretty much plug and play?

Thanks again guys!!
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Last edited by mikeuax on Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:26 am; edited 1 time in total
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DavidXJ
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Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Location: Visalia, CA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't pull mine off. I just pulled the wire loom rail off the valve cover bolts, and then flipped the air intake manifold over onto the valve cover. It cracked the plastic wire loom all to pieces on each of the wires that goes to each injector, but that is easily redone, and it was starting to crack off anyway. It didn't cause any problems at all, because it started up just as fast as normal with the first turn of the key. In fact, I think you'll have less problems if you leave the fuel rail alone.
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mikeuax
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Joined: 26 Jan 2008
Location: Leesburg, Virginia

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for all the help men. If anyone is considering doing a header on a 4.0L (and doesnt know what the hell theyre doing, like me) I suggest you read this thread.
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