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First of all, I searched for "installing header", "header install", "installing headers", and a bunch more stuff to that effect, so i did search :)

I found my exhaust leak on my 1980 Toyota with the 20R. It's leaking where the header bolts to the head. This pisses me off cause I've done it twice before, and it's just not sealing. When I pulled the header this time though the bolts were pretty loose, and I didn't know that I needed to re-torque them after driving a day/week/month then check em, so that could be the culprit.

So, I need tips. I have two good gaskets and my dad recommended I use both of them this time, as he's had good luck with that. We believe the head may be slightly warped. Today I'm going to clean both of the surfaces (head and header) then put it back on, tightening the nuts in a criss cross pattern going back and forth about five times.

Any other suggestions?
 

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On my 22re with a Downey Header I use a Fel pro gasket sprayed with copper coat sealer and it usally holds pretty well. The nuts loosen up quite often on mine so I check them every so often. Seems to do the trick. :cool2:
 

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What FINALLY worked for me was
1 pull the studs and use NEW bolts with new lock washers. (might get away with just new nuts and washers, but some of my threads were toast)
2 NeverSeize on the hardware
3 stock gasket
4 re-tighten after running getting it hot, and repeat.

Finally solved exhaust issues... then the head gasket blew! Stupid gutless 4 banger anyway!:flipoff2:
 

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Yep I agree. Straight edge the exhaust manifold. If it's warped it will never seal.

Also make sure the exaust system has come movement available. When the truck is twisted up or the motor is under hard load the exhause has to have some give or it's going to start torqing on that manifold.

You sure your exhaust bolts are not stripping out? Some dickhead over torqued mine before I bought it and I will be putting a Heli coil in at least three of the holes and possibly more.

Toyotas use a locking style nut that doesn't loosen up if you still have them and they are not worn out. If your using those nuts and its still getting loose the studs may be pulling out of the head.
 

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Jeff S said:
Yep, Get some high temp sealer and use a torque wrench. You DON'T want to strip the head where the stud go in.. Might try some loctite too, or get locking nuts.

Jeff
I had trouble in the past with my stock exhaust manifold and the studs. I finally just switched to hex nuts and lock washers. The stock self-locking nuts tend to gall the threads on the studs and that causes the stud to spin inside the alloy head. I would NOT recommend using Locktite on the nuts, first, you can't retighten, which you will most likely need to do with a new gasket, and also you may cause the stud to spin in the head! If you are sure your header is flat, and your studs are tight, use a good gasket with some high temp sealer. Use lots of anti-seize on the nuts. Tighten then down very snug, but not over tightened and not torqued to spec. Remember, the studs are notorious for spinning inside the head. Start the engine and let it run the 15 to 20 minutes. Retighten the nuts. Drive the truck for 30 minutes or so and then recheck the nuts, and then again the next day. I had to retighten the nuts about 4 tiimes before I was satisfied that they were NOT coming loose and the gasket had compressed and sealed up.
Gnarls.
 

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Are you running a header or stock manifold? On my old four banger I had to use a doug thorley header gasket with ultra copper. Never had another problem. If your using the stock manifold you need to keep your nuts torqued!
 

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I have never put a torque wrench on the header bolts, no particular reason, I just felt better using my "hand feel" method. I think the 35 lbs is too much. That's just my humble opinion.
Gnarls.
 

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I have put a torque wrench on my exhuast manifold nuts and I agree with Gnarls, 35 is probably right on the edge of being too tight, but I did get them to all torque down. I replaced all my studs with ARP studs from LC Engineering.

If your having sealing issues check both surfaces (head and manifold) for warping. It's also a good idea just to go ahead and get your manifold surfaced at a machine shop before you put it back on. Then you know you'll have at least one perfect surface.
 

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I HATE ALUMINUM HEADS (Mostly just the threads)

That being said, be WAY careful with those nuts.. Don't torque em down too much. I do about 30, retorque at 35 after its hot. Had to get new studs, nuts, etc when I did it. Then the stud on the lower flange tore in half upon attempting to remove it :shaking:
 
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