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  #1  
Old 07-13-2018, 01:51 PM
rang-a-stang's Avatar
rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
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Cutting a header flange to clear dipstick, thoughts?

I just saw a post about dipstick tubes from Ristow and it reminded me of a thought I had when I was swapping off my headers for manifolds, getting ready for smog.

I remember reading in old Car Craft mags where folks would cut a slit in the header flange between cylinders to clear a dipstick or for other reasons. As I was swapping my headers I considered cutting a 1" slot between cyls 5 and 7 just to clear my dipstick but I am not sure what that would do to my ability to seal. I don't see people doing that all over the place and am sure I am not the first person to think of it, so I assume it must be a bad idea.

Anyone ever try it? Any neigh sayers out there?
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  #2  
Old 07-13-2018, 11:57 PM
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Heavy_Metal_Thunder_81 Heavy_Metal_Thunder_81 is offline
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None of my primary tubes are connected in any way (except at the collectors of course). Sometimes they are a pain to get all lined up when installing, but other than that, no ill effects.
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1979 Cherokee Golden Eagle - 7" lift, 35x12.5x15
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  #3  
Old 07-14-2018, 01:27 AM
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rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
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Did they come like that or did you cut them?
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  #4  
Old 07-14-2018, 03:46 AM
wiley-moeracing wiley-moeracing is offline
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why cut the flange, would it not be easier to bend the dipstick tube out of the way and if needed make a little longer support bracket to bolt to valve cover bolt. I think you may weaken the flange by cutting in to it and create a seal problem?
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Old 07-14-2018, 04:30 AM
fsj454 fsj454 is offline
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New vs Old

If the header flange is warped and old you would cut flange to fix leak.. But I WOULD NOT CUT A BRAND NEW HEADER
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  #6  
Old 07-14-2018, 07:03 AM
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Heavy_Metal_Thunder_81 Heavy_Metal_Thunder_81 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rang-a-stang
Did they come like that or did you cut them?
I believe that they came like that.
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1979 Cherokee Golden Eagle - 7" lift, 35x12.5x15
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TH400 - Shift Kit, Deep Pan, Aux Cooler
D20 - Twin Stick'd
F D44 - 3.54, Open
R D44 - 3.54, Lock'd

1979 Cherokee Chief - Parts
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  #7  
Old 07-14-2018, 08:43 AM
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rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wiley-moeracing
why cut the flange, would it not be easier to bend the dipstick tube out of the way and if needed make a little longer support bracket to bolt to valve cover bolt. I think you may weaken the flange by cutting in to it and create a seal problem?
I tried bending my dispstick tube out of the way and it cracked at the bulge.
Quote:
Originally Posted by fsj454
If the header flange is warped and old you would cut flange to fix leak.. But I WOULD NOT CUT A BRAND NEW HEADER
My headers leaked like mad when they were on but I think I did a horrible job staying on top of torquing the bolts so I don't really blame the headers. I got Remflex gaskets this time and am confident they will seal if I don't cut them but am not totally sure they will seal if I cut the flange.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavy_Metal_Thunder_81
I believe that they came like that.
Maybe I'll just risk it. HHhhmmmm... I have the super cheap Hedmans and assume you have better headers with thicker flanges?
My headers at summit
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  #8  
Old 07-14-2018, 08:52 AM
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Heavy_Metal_Thunder_81 Heavy_Metal_Thunder_81 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rang-a-stang
Maybe I'll just risk it. HHhhmmmm... I have the super cheap Hedmans and assume you have better headers with thicker flanges?
My headers at summit
Mine are full length long tube headers, but they are not Hookers nor are they the mid-length Hedmans. They also originally had AIR tubes, but those have been cut off and welded shut. They came with the Jeep when I bought it from Ristow so I'm not sure what they are.
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1979 Cherokee Golden Eagle - 7" lift, 35x12.5x15
AMC 360 - 4180, TFI, Headers, Dual Exhaust
TH400 - Shift Kit, Deep Pan, Aux Cooler
D20 - Twin Stick'd
F D44 - 3.54, Open
R D44 - 3.54, Lock'd

1979 Cherokee Chief - Parts
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  #9  
Old 07-14-2018, 10:25 AM
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babywag babywag is offline
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You can, shouldn’t make difference or leak “if” flanges are straight & flat.
My Thorley’s just slid over the top of the tube when installed.
Same with el cheapy long tubes I put on my CJ5.

The old rotted out CJ5 headers were cut, on there for decades, and never leaked. Just rusted apart so had to go.
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  #10  
Old 07-18-2018, 12:37 PM
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posulli88 posulli88 is offline
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I am glad this thread came up. I am about to install hedman headers on my AMC 360 and the directions say to remove the Oil dipstick tube. Does anyone have any experience with hedman's? Do you actually have to do that? or could I disconnect the dipstick from the valve cover and slide them over? Seems like a huge pain.
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  #11  
Old 07-18-2018, 01:19 PM
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rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
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Mine are hedmans and I tried bending the dipstick out of the way but cracked my dipstick tube. Problem is the space between the valve cover and brake booster is too tight to manipulate the flange around it.

When I re-install it, I plan to cut a space and will risk being able to sea,. You're welcome to wait from word of success/failure from me when this is done but I won't be done with my install and driving it for about 6 more months.
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  #12  
Old 07-18-2018, 01:33 PM
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Thanks for the reply rang-a-stang. Do you think if you remove the brake booster you could get it in without removing the dipstick? I would rather remove the brake booster then the dipstick lol
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  #13  
Old 07-18-2018, 02:01 PM
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Maybe? Haven't removed mine yet...
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  #14  
Old 07-18-2018, 03:06 PM
ShagWagon ShagWagon is offline
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Why Install headers? Doesn't the stock manifolds provide enough airflow and bolt up perfectly? Or is it because of 3" pipes?
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  #15  
Old 07-18-2018, 04:51 PM
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rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
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I installed for 3" pipes, lighter weight, less complicated (air injection went away, heat riser went away, several gaskets/exhaust leaks went away), and better flowing exhaust. My butt dyno said it was a good investment on an otherwise stock 401 (but I still had exhaust leaks, just not as many).
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  #16  
Old 07-19-2018, 09:47 AM
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I cut the section of header flange where the dip stick is. Normally, it is a bear to pull the dip stick tube without breaking it off. If you break it then, you have another mess.
The aftermarket dip stick tubes are too tight and I have been having to ream out the hole in the block and grind the bubbles off of the dip stick tube just to get them in. Cutting the header flange is the best option in my opinion.
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  #17  
Old 08-29-2018, 12:16 PM
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After emailing Rick and asking his advice on this (and his post here) I ended up cutting the flange on my Hedman headers. I just cut the flange between the middle tubes and rear tubes following the flange line on the drivers side header. Just used a cut off wheel on the grinder and filed the edges smooth. It made installation so much easier. Took me 30 minutes to put both headers on.

I have not started it up yet as I have to hook up a collector for my O2 sensor (holley sniper) before I can start it put it on a trailer and take to the exhaust shop for the dual exhaust. But I used remflex gaskets and the headers have a lip that has been machined flat around all the dog leg ports so I think they should seal up really well. Just thought I would update.
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