How to Remove Exhaust Headers

  • 2-4 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50-100
What You'll Need
Jack/ Jack stands or ramps (4 in number)
Reliable socket set
Metric wrenches
Penetrating oil

Exhaust headers can considerably improve the performance of your engine. However, exhaust headers do tend to get old and leaky with use and need to be changed rather regularly. That said; exhaust headers are extremely easy to remove, and therefore, you can do this at home with some simple instructions. Remember, new exhaust headers are easy to install as well. Since exhaust headers are easy to install and remove, they do not require any elaborate tools or training to be worked on. If you like working on your car and have had some experience of it, you can easily remove an exhaust header that has been installed in it. Your exhaust header depends a lot on the model and make of the car you’re working on. For some custom cars, the exhaust headers are put together in a different way, and therefore, they need to be removed differently. Given below are the instructions on how to remove a simple exhaust header.

Step 1 – Preparing the Car

To remove the exhaust header, you will have to raise the car to a level where you can slide under it and work on the exhaust. Ideally, you should have four jacks, installed on each tire, to elevate the car. Reaching the exhaust is much simpler if you have the whole car raised. However, if that is not possible, you can raise the rear end of the car using two jacks. Once the car is raised, you can begin working on the exhaust.

Step 2 – Loosening the Bolts

To begin removing the exhaust, first use the penetrating oil to soak all the bolts that need to be loosened for removing the apparatus of the exhaust. There are usually five bolts in all: three on the catalytic converter and two that hold the rear and the front sections and keep them from falling apart. While this is usually the case, the number and the positioning of the bolts may vary according to the make of the car. After you soak the bolts in penetrating oil, leave them be for a while so that they are easier to loosen up.

Step 3 – Removing the Exhaust

Use the wrench to loosen up and then remove the bolts. You will see a few rubber hangers on the exhaust. These rubber hangers are what are keeping the exhaust apparatus in place. First, undo the rubber hangers in the front of the exhaust. When you finish removing the hangers, the front section will drop. Hold the rear section so that the hangers do not break due to the sudden shift in weight. Now that the front portion has dropped, use a light to look for the catalytic converter bolts. Soak them in penetrating oil and then remove them as you removed the rest of the bolts.

Once all the bolts have been taken out, it will be easy to slide the exhaust header out of its place. Separate the catalytic converter from the exhaust header.