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Installing the new performance header on 5th gen

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Penetrene, wd-40 or other similar products. I suggest spraying on at night and tackling it the next day 

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Don't be intimidated by this job. Especially of you have a second set of hands to help you spread the front pipes to fit the ports. I posted my issues as well as success to show you that there might be tiny problems, but they'll all be easily handled with patience.  From reports so far, I think mine might have been the wobbliest of them -- nobody else has bumped into their fairing and everyone else has been able to get their outlet past the centerstand without dropping it -- so I bet you don't even have the minor hassles I did.

 

4 hours ago, interceptor69 said:

 I was told earlier that I needed to spray something on the old header nuts so that they don't pull the entire bolt out of the engine before I try to take them off. What exactly should I spray on them?
 

Use Anti-Sieze grease. I used this kind:

https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/b/versachem-5169/chemicals---fluids-16461/maintenance-chemicals-16867/grease---lube-16582/anti-seize-17774/31f81cb18df6/versachem-anti-seize-lubricant/13109/4776633?pos=8

 

I chose it because it was available at a local auto parts store and SF had used it as well. I live a few exits down the freeway, so we probably bought it at the same store.

 

I would also be perfectly happy with the Permatex brand Anti Sieze. Comes in a similar tube. My mechanic friend uses a different brand of Copper bearing (maybe Loc-Tite) as well.

 

The problem comes in taking the nuts off after they've been heated up and cooled down many hundreds of degrees over a couple of years. This helps with that.  I used a dab of it on the threads of the o2 sensors, as well. Be careful not to get it near the holes, but I figured it should be used. When you buy an o2 sensor for a car or truck it'll normally come with antisieze already on it and so I assumed it was needed. And in this application it definitely won't hurt anything.
 

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Thanks for the advice-I hope to tackle this job soon.

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+1, +2, +3 on all the compliments for MooseMoose's detailed documentation of his header install odyssey! Great work, and thanks to him for all the extra time he put into sharing so much pertinent information with the community.

 

Here are a couple observations/additions that occurred while reading this thread:

 

- Header stud nuts, torque, and anti-seize

Confirmed - 9ft-lbs is more than enough to hold things together ESPECIALLY if using anti-seize. I bent flanges on the prototype headers when I used anti-seize and torqued the nuts to 9 ft-lbs. I suspect that at 9ft-lbs, the lubrication component of the anti-seize allows greater force to be exerted than 9ft-lbs on 'dry' threads with no anti-seize. I have chosen to wipe the anti-seize from the studs' threads on the 4 VFRs I've been using for the header project. I say 'wipe off' because I just remove what will come off with a rag and do not clean with any cleaner or solvent.

 

CAUTION 6 GEN OWNERS: in the list of torque values on page 2-3 of the 6 gen service manual, Honda states 'exhaust pipe flange nut' 15 ft-lbs. This is NOT the nut NOR the torque value of the header stud nuts we use to hold our headers to our heads. That sounded weird, but this problem with Japanese-to-English translation has caused one owner of new headers to overtorque the header stud nuts. Thankfully, no damage occurred.

 

Honda calls the header stud nuts 'Special Nuts', which sounds like a breakfast cereal one would eat while listening to MooseMoose's fictional band 'Overtorqued Nuts'. [Actually Honda calls them 'exhaust pipe joint special nuts' and specifies their torque value at the aforementioned 9ft-lbs]

 

Later in section 2 of the 6 gen manual the exhaust component torque values shown on the drawings are correct.

 

Be patient with the special nuts. As MooseMoose suggests, make circuits around all the nuts starting when they are all just finger tight. I've had 9-10 shots at removing and installing headers recently, and this procedure works best for me:

Once all 8 nuts are finger tight using a socket on extensions but no wrench, go through all 8 nuts in a circuit around the bike, adding 1/2 turn of tension. This takes a fair amount of time, but keeps all the exhaust components gently easing together into their happiest states. As soon as a  1/2 turn begins to require more tension - this will happen on one or two nuts before it happens on the others - switch to the torque wrench and set it at 5 ft-lbs. Go around another circuit of all 8 nuts, adding another 1/2 turn only where necessary until all 8 nuts reach 5 ft-lbs. Change the torque wrench setting to 6 ft-lbs and go around again, taking each nut up to 6 ft-lbs. Change the wrench's setting to 7 ft-lbs, rinse and repeat. On both 5 gen test bikes, going from 7 ft-lbs to 8 ft-lbs required only a tiny bit of wrench rotation, and going from 8 ft-lbs to 9 didn't produce any movement at all - I believe this is because the nuts were tight enough at 8 ft-lbs, and probably would have been safely secure at 7 ft-lbs. On the 8 gen test bike, the nuts stopped moving at 8 ft-lbs instead of 7 ft-lbs. Wade laughs at me when I crawl around the perimeter of a VFR with a torque wrench, carefully setting each nut. He says "Just tighten 'em until they stop crushing the gasket!". I guess with as much experience as he has, he can confidently 'feel' when the gasket stops crushing. I've chosen to stay with the torque wrench...it is my friend.

 

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After test fitting my first header about 10 times so far (I had a clearance issue I will document later) in addition to the above look at the header flanges, and keep them even with the pipe flanges. The crush washers will make up the difference unless the pipes are severely misaligned. I would also recommend thoroughly cleaning your studs, and nuts before assembly. I had one nut that gave me fits. Managed to clean up the threads with the help of multiple cheap bolts, but a tap would have been better. If yours are really nasty you should probably plan on just replacing them.

 

BTW  a 50/50 mix of acetone, and ATF is excellent penetrant. PB Blaster is good as well.

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I was wondering if I should just replace those old crusty nuts- mine have never been off and they look very rusty.

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Where does one order the replacement nuts?

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1 hour ago, interceptor69 said:

Where does one order the replacement nuts?

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Your favorite OEM part supplier. I get mine from Rocky Mountain MC/ATV. YMMV.

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I suppose I have been lucky over the years as I have not needed to order hardly any parts-my VFR has been incredibly reliable. I just assumed that a 21 year old motorcycle might not have a lot of OEM parts still available.

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I'm just now noticing that some parts are getting less available. Compared to a few years ago when I picked up my 5th gen, that is, some stuff that was to be found then is now dropping off. Fairing pieces, hoses, etc.  Still a good selection of parts, though.

 

Anyway The special nuts are part number 90304-HB3-771  and can be had anywhere. Just do a web search. They're about $4.50 each and Honda uses them on all kinds of motorcycles, so there's no problem with them going out of stock any time soon.

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Thanks for the info and the part number Moose.

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Note: This is for a 5th gen. Everything here is MY observation, on my bike, and I have not elided those bits where things didn't go smoothly simply to try and be helpful. Your experience may be different. Your bike may be different. Your headers may be somehow different.  Deal with it yourself.
 
 
OK, I got started on my installation after work today. So far I have removed the old (Delkovic) headers and gotten some things cleaned up. I ran out of light, so I'll put them together after work tomorrow or Saturday morning.
 
Additionally, since you have to pull the exhaust to add or remove the centerstand, I started by pulling the stands off and repainting them. the Delk exhaust has a gazillion slip joints, so I was able to just grab the section behind the heat shield  and get them out enough to get the stand off, but the new headers are one piece. If I want to add or remove in the future I have to remove the whole exhaust, so now was the time. This happened earlier this week (There's a thread elsewhere with pics).
 
Steps I followed for disassembly:
  1. Strip the lower fairings off the bike.
    1. Both sides.
    2. Chin fairing.
  2. Remove the slipon and connector pipe.
    1. Check the fit of the connector pipe before continuing.
      1. My connector doesn't fit over the TBR size exit, so I had a local shop stretch it to fit.
  3. Remove the chainguard.
  4. Remove the heat shield from behind the right foot peg holder.
  5. Remove all sensors (two if stock 00 or 01, mine has a third for my Rapidbike).
  6. Remove the nuts from the studs on the rear cylinders.
  7. With the collector still attached to the mounting bolt underneath, remove the front nuts from the mounting studs.
  8. Remove the mounting bolt holding the collector can.
    1. Delks come apart in pieces, so that was a matter of popping them apart.
    2. Stock (and the new) headers will come apart at the rear downpipes, but the front will come off as one large unit. You'll learn to wrassle it around when you see it.
  9. Remove the old crush gaskets from the exhaust ports.
  10. Clean up and get ready to put it back together.
 
I'll have pictures below of a few things I found on disassembly.
 
Steps I will follow to assemble (Note, they aren't the same as in the service manual):
  1. Attach the centerstand.
  2. Insert the 42mm round crush washers in the rear ports.
    1. Use Delkovic round 42mm washers.
    2. These are the only ones to use! They are proven to work, anything else is likely to give bad results.
  3. Loosly attach the rear downpipes.
    1. Use high temp Antisieze on the studs before you put the nuts on.
    2. Do NOT Torque the nuts!
      1. At this stage you want the ends holding the crush washers in, but the pipes should have a little wiggle room.
  4. Insert the crush washers in the front ports.
  5. Put antisieze on the front studs.
  6. Wrestle the larger headers into place.
    1. Line up the ends with the slip joints and put them together loosely.
    2. Get the front downpipes lined up with the ports.
    3. Put nuts over studs finger tight on the front.
    4. Make sure the rear slip fittings are tight, then put springs on.
  7. Torque the nuts down
    1. Go slowly -- this pushes the crush washer into its seat
    2. Toque is NOT much -- 9ft/lbs or 12Nm according to the manual
  8. Reinstall the sensors.
    1. These don't seem to have consistent torque specs... I've seen everywhere from 15-30 lbs.
      1. hand tight and a quarter turn like an oil drain plug is conventional wisdom.
      2. They have a crush washer and threads, they're not going to leak with reasonable, 20lbs torque.
      3. You can't fit a socket over them anyway, so it's all just a well calibrated elbow and a wrench.
    2. Use antisieze.
  9. Give a brief prayer to your deity of choice that the connector pipe will line up adequately, and fit the connector and slipon.
    1. Get a snug fit.
    2. Line up the can in the clamp/holder behind the rear pegs.
    3. Tighten the clamp over the connector at the headers.
    4. Tighten the bolt holding the canister.
 
 
So far, I got the old stuff off.  I didn't install the Delkovic system, the previous owner did. He told me he had problems with leaks and he wasn't a great mechanic. Handy with tools, but overtorqued everything and didn't understand anything beyond the step by step instructions, so I have redone a lot of really bad work he did.   However, he didn't overtorque the exhaust nuts!
 
That said, he used incorrect washers and held them in place with high temp gasket maker goop.  Everything is coated in the copper Permatex. Heh. Anyway, I have it all off now.
 
First, I got the the slipon and connector off, then I got to work on the sensors:
Removal_190425_171704.jpg&key=956e2ad4f11e459270d69aa8f30842f637f0d743bacc455c3065486877379df7
 
I want to note that this is the ONLY time I ever use that wrench for actual wrenching. Though I use it a lot. It's the perfect lever for popping the left side of the throttlebody out of the boots, and I've done that more than a few times. But now I get to use it as designed!
 
 
Removal_190425_171846.jpg&key=ce0d55c7b2a849873f9dba290045b050e826373c756c47565916538e960bb2f6
 
Removal_190425_174512.jpg&key=a5c371b62ebc716315aa6379a8bbb58174358e37f661c453f5c19086a272a3ef
 
So, now the muffler is off and the sensors are out.   I suggest you start the bike at this point and rev your engine for at least 10 minutes. This will both make sure all the exhaust is blazing hot AND will assert your authority over all your neighbors. Chicks dig a man who can handle 500 degree metal, and love confidence. The glorious, unmuffled noise will let lesser men know that you are dominant. The equivalent of being the baboon with the biggest, reddest ass.  There's no downside here.
 
 
Next, I took the back downpipes off and got a look at the ports:
Removal_190425_155825.jpg&key=6c5fbd1db6c3c0b067c5206e22715bbed3616d8c8ecf6d03e1c7c52d0ffd4fe0
Removal_190425_160049.jpg&key=6f8675c52df7d2a4ba8f294488887f003f7ffbaacd3cc3f19df788db67f84577
 
Yes, he did hold the crush washers in place with copper permatex.  He's a nice man. Enough said.
 
I was worried the washers would be frozen in place, but he used too small a washer so there was a lip I could hook and pop them out:
Removal_190425_160648.jpg&key=8e6db4b05423c3324216e80e280d4d442e78d3ac8c1625c3d0af763c6b4d262b
Removal_190425_160652.jpg&key=33fca6870efc0de7d2a541bf74b9faeebd436323ec30edffd2e16bc0a356da81
Removal_190425_160657.jpg&key=0ba43c8c5b4beb7718d9d3533dc58a3d4a512251a13f77efbb6d0c9ddbd4a649
 
More about that lip later.
 
I pulled the  front off and was also greeted with not overtorqued nuts. Thankfully.  I was able to just pop the downpipes out of the slip connectors (you won't be able to do this for stock or the new system)  and got a look at the front ports:
 
The front of the engine is really grungy.
Removal_190425_174102.jpg&key=f16970730c979659429d50090e2b1ba0924e6a88e9b0238e0ee9e3c1eda4d3e6
 
Lots of permatex:
Removal_190425_174205.jpg&key=166daccd1759341a726a3fd6ac05470176eb8a01059682c4731c4cc19fbb6adc
 
 
 
Again, I was able to pop these washers out because they had a goodly lip on them.
 
And here's why we use the 42mm Delkevic washers that SFDownhill has proven work properly.  Take a good look at the black part of this crush washer:
 
Removal_190425_175029.jpg&key=c3fed86df2b8adc2c328d5204672e069d5ae86633d08382c5bd0cdeee26d74e5
 
That's all INSIDE of the inner diameter of the Delk downpipe. That pipe is osensibly 34mm id, but this crushed out washer is a couple mm less id. The black parts actually stick in to the port a bit, so there's about a mm lip I could feel, and was able to hook to easily pull  this washer out. On the one on the right you can see it formed INSIDE the header, but not outside. Lance's photos show the crush ring smooshed into the corners of the ports, wrapped around the pipe, and not restricting the pipe or the port itself.
 
It's amazing what a difference a couple of mm here and there can make.
 
 
 
 
So here's some comparison pics before I put the new pipes on. The port ends are actually pretty close to the new ones. The Delks are 1mm less inside and outside diameter:
Removal_190425_163549.jpg&key=fec7b83773acb2253375f5722ad4a5251065c0ee3ca8a6c88404f172a6813721
Removal_190425_163600.jpg&key=179409b992e20cbc72ab2caa11bfd77940499acc7c5d796f816bd59f761fc792
The new ones are beeflier farther down, though:
Removal_190425_163645.jpg&key=b4fdc8f04303ee6f858ebf5299d932b6667f711008138c855f08e06d94d49fb9
 
 
Removal_190425_175422.jpg&key=8ad7e5efe4e64a5a2b22f1405b2f97b8b70e2326ed6e4e566f8e699d1b6d376f
 
here's the fugly merge on the Delks:
Removal_190425_175349.jpg&key=ad8aa9fae9682caef43789a5bfc4457f2ad6837e51816cc6c6ceb487af38c30a
 
I'm sure between the gaskets sticking into the ports and this clusterfuck of a collector I was giving away a couple of horsepower, just from workmanship.
 
I cleaned that permatex crap out of the ports and was out of light, so I put the bike in its shed for the night.
Removal_190425_180652.jpg&key=838254d43ea3ccd29f8a9b5de0440fefa9b995099537eb4936c66adac656b3f0
 
 
 
 
 
 
More coming in a later post when it all comes together.
 
 
Here's the roommate's dog who was taking his afternoon constitutional while was photographing exhaust gaskets. He's ugly on the inside, too.
Removal_190425_175041.jpg&key=e325c3b23fb433142f97568ed343c793bb4edeb5ba0c0d1a1d0dc6e5eca7f108
 
Moose I want to thank you for this step by step instruction- my nephew and I installed mine and it wasn't a lot of fun but without your instructions it would have been a disaster. They look good and I believe it bumped the hp and torque above around 5k rpm. Plus they're not covered in rust like my original ones. Again, thank you!4a8e78de597356678cedd0054f7c2147.jpge0a8d088d8f220e6c6e905063f570abf.jpg

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