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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 09-19-2012, 07:44 PM   #1
tjt131
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Unhappy eBay headers WTH!

Trying to install eBay headers myself into my 5pd 2001 330ci. Ran into the usual problems (access, o2 sensor locations, fit to exhaust pipe, etc) but now I can't get the exhaust to stop leaking past the manifold gasket. I originally tried the gasket that came with the headers. Then I ordered new oem, just tried it and it's pretty bad also. I will try tightening everything down again but is there something I am missing? Is there a sealant I could use to resolve the leak?

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Old 09-19-2012, 07:48 PM   #2
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Also, has anyone had an issue with eBay headers leaking from their welded seams? I hadn't read of anyone having that issue.
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Old 09-19-2012, 08:23 PM   #3
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Should have bought some BimmerBrakes Headers...
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Old 09-19-2012, 08:30 PM   #4
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Just use the high heat permatex gasket sealer. In place of the gaskets.

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Old 09-19-2012, 08:31 PM   #5
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copper sealant has worked for some people I know, but I've never used it


you can put it on both sides of the gasket
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:09 PM   #6
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Your flange surfaces are warped from shoddy "ebay workers" and need to be surface ground at a machine shop. They apparently aren't flat and true all the way across. The warpage won't allow them to seat flat against the gaskets and head. Be careful not to over torque the hardware and strip the studs out of the aluminum head while attempting to get these $100 gems to seal. The extra time and money will pay off if you do it right.

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Old 09-19-2012, 09:21 PM   #7
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Should have bought some BimmerBrakes Headers...
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:53 AM   #8
tjt131
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It appears that I had been putting too much torque on the headers by tring to get them to match up to the exhaust pipes. Once the car was warm, I disconnected the headers from the exhaust, retightened the nuts again and then reconnected the exhaust. Seems like my leaks are gone. I will check one more time today and then put everything back together.

I concluded that getting good headers is probably worth the additional cost because these things used up way too much of my time and I still have to get a new o2 location. Only 1 out of 4 o2 locations was usable. My second precat o2 I had to use a 90degree fitting and now I am getting a "too rich" error code.
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:01 AM   #9
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That's bad. You definatly need both precat sensors in the proper pipe at minimum. I would get that corrected immediately.

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Old 09-24-2012, 01:45 AM   #10
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anyone put highflow cats downstream yet?
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjt131 View Post
Also, has anyone had an issue with eBay headers leaking from their welded seams? I hadn't read of anyone having that issue.
the leaking welds are COMMMMMMON and you should have them welded up before you install (again)

I have a set here for the 325/330 that are already welded if you or anyone else wants them
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:12 AM   #12
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the leaking welds are COMMMMMMON and you should have them welded up before you install (again)

I have a set here for the 325/330 that are already welded if you or anyone else wants them
How much?
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:49 AM   #13
330i ZHP
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$120 shipped

they are used but are guaranteed non leaking (I used them for about 6 months before deciding I couldnt take the O2 related problems anymore)

These fit the best of any of the ebay headers I have ever installed - flanges are really close and you do not have to put strain on the head flanges
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