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Author Topic: 460 Ford Header Questions  (Read 7841 times)

Four Winds 48

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460 Ford Header Questions
« on: February 05, 2011, 01:31:25 PM »
Hi,

I'm new to the forum.
I know this has been gone over before, but I want to clarify some questions I have....

To start off, I have a 1993 Class C with a Ford 460 motor.
Last year, when I acquired it, i had the exhaust manifold milled, because it was leaking (not sure which side).
I was told by the shop doing the repairs, that this was a common problem. They said it would most likely happen again, and to just bring it back to be repaired again when it happens. They said there are no real good fixes for it.

Well, my exhaust manifold is leaking again (still not sure which side)...could be the one that wasn't repaired.
I was told by my father in law, that headers would cure this problem.
Before i spend the money, I want to ask a couple questions to the RV gurus on this forum.....

1) Will a good set of headers cure this problem?
2) Will i constantly have to re-tighten the header bolts ?(the garage that did the previous repair, told me that headers were no good....said they will keep coming loose).
3) Which brand do you all recommend?
4) Do i need to worry about what gaskets come with the header kit?
5) Will the headers run hotter than the stock exhaust? Do i need to add heat shields?

I'm just looking for something that will last for a long time.
Thanks for reading this.

-Gary

Just Lou

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Re: 460 Ford Header Questions
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2011, 01:48:09 PM »
When I had my 460 exhaust manifold leak(s), I replaced the system with Gibson headers and 3.5" exhaust pipes.

That was in early 2006.  I have had NO problem since.  I have never had to re-tighten them.

I'm not saying that Gibson is the best, because they are not.  Their mating flange is somewhat thinner than either Thorley or Banks and DO require a gasket (which Gibson supplies).  They are, however, less expensive than the two listed above and evidently work well.

There were no heat shields suggested or provided with the Gibson headers, that I recall.  They do provide suggestions about wire routing (re-routing) to avoid potential problems.
'97 Bounder 34V (F53 w/tag), '99 Honda Accord EX

jje1960

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  • Jim
Re: 460 Ford Header Questions
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2011, 02:28:43 PM »
Wow... header talk.  Have not engaged in this since the 70's.  While I can see headers being able to stop exhaust leaks, and possibly give you better performance, with later motors the whole emissions questions come to mind.  Find a motor-head mechanic and see what he thinks, one thing leads to another with later year motors thats for sure.
Jim
2011 Ford F350 DRW 6.7 Diesel
2011 Cougar SRX

Just Lou

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Re: 460 Ford Header Questions
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2011, 02:48:03 PM »
Wow... header talk.  Have not engaged in this since the 70's.  While I can see headers being able to stop exhaust leaks, and possibly give you better performance, with later motors the whole emissions questions come to mind.  Find a motor-head mechanic and see what he thinks, one thing leads to another with later year motors thats for sure.

Not sure what emissions questions the headers might raise.  The Gibson headers did nothing to alter the oxygen sensors in the exhaust system and the F53 motorhome chassis has always (with the possible exception of CA) been exempt from the need for a catalytic converter.  If you check this, and other RV forums, for infromation back when the 460 was a more prevalent and relevant engine, you will find many instances where the exhaust manifolds were replaced in favor of headers with great success in minimizing leaks and improving performance.
'97 Bounder 34V (F53 w/tag), '99 Honda Accord EX

Four Winds 48

  • Posts: 4
Re: 460 Ford Header Questions
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2011, 01:48:53 PM »
Guys,

Thanks for the replies.
It sounds like headers are the way to go.

-Gary

Jim Godward

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Re: 460 Ford Header Questions
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2011, 03:33:55 PM »
Late getting to this but I had a '94 F53 Ford chassis on my SeaBreeze.  I put Turbo Shop, now TTS Power Systems - I think - located in Compton CA, headers and they did fine and were SMOG certified.  However some time between '98 and 2000, the CARB changed the SMOG testing and the 460 would no longer pass the tests without a catalytic converter.  Ford, Gale Banks, the fellows at TTS and Fairway Ford spent a lot of time and money trying to "fix" the problem.  The only answer was the converter.  Not a good solution so we moved to MT and traded the MH for the Dutch Star.  There should be quite a file here from late 1999 and/or Jan 2000 on this.

Headers are definitely the way to go. Gibson's are about 1/3 the price of Banks With minor differences but not enough to make up the difference in price.
Jim
Jim & Pat Godward
2001 Dutch Star
AC7PO & KD7ZDM
Belgrade, MT

rls7201

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Re: 460 Ford Header Questions
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2011, 10:46:40 PM »
Not sure what emissions questions the headers might raise.  The Gibson headers did nothing to alter the oxygen sensors in the exhaust system and the F53 motorhome chassis has always (with the possible exception of CA) been exempt from the need for a catalytic converter.  If you check this, and other RV forums, for infromation back when the 460 was a more prevalent and relevant engine, you will find many instances where the exhaust manifolds were replaced in favor of headers with great success in minimizing leaks and improving performance.

Ford created a lot of confusion with their on/off/on catalytic converters. All F53 from 1988 to 1993 had converters. Due to cylinder head redesign and altered state of tune, all F53 from 1994 to 1997 did not have converters and met 50 states emissions requirements. The resonator on 1994 to 1997 F53 is some times mistaken for a converter. No 1998 model year F53 chassis. All F53 from 1999 to present have converters. No exceptions were made for CA.

Richard
Richard Shields
Gladstone, MO
95 Bounder
32H F53

pmcallahan2269

  • Posts: 1
Re: 460 Ford Header Questions
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2011, 11:20:51 PM »
Gary,
I've been searching a long time for headers that will fit my1993 class C Ford 460 motor home. Been looking for nearly a year,nothing but anguish,If you find a set that will work would you please share the info. My ulcer can take it anymore.:-)
Pat

Update.
Gary I spoke with Sean at Gibson and he feels fairly confident that they have headers that will fit. Also spoke with a person at Thorley headers and they believe they have headers that will fit. The issue with our motors is the 93 is a cross over year with the 460.

Hope this helps, and this is a totally different answer than I received 6 months ago.

Pat
« Last Edit: February 10, 2011, 10:22:10 AM by pmcallahan2269 »

Four Winds 48

  • Posts: 4
Re: 460 Ford Header Questions
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2011, 02:14:58 PM »
Pat,

I will let you know what I find out / or do.
Sounds like the Gibson or Thorley headers are the way to go.
I'm concerned about emissions...I'll have to look into that as well.

Thanks again for all the replies.
 You would think that Ford or the motorhome manufacturers would wise up.
Is this still a problem on newer class C's??
If so, I would lean towards a class A or even a 5th wheel!

- Gary

Gary RV Roamer

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Re: 460 Ford Header Questions
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2011, 05:36:19 PM »
Exhaust manifolds were a problem in all van chassis for awhile - less cooling air flow over the engine, so manifolds got hotter than in cars and pick-ups. Some cars had the problem too - the rearmost portion of the manifold would be sort of tucked under the firewall and got too hot. Generally not a problem with newer gas engines, e.g. the Ford V10 and GM 8.1L. And the big block engines also became less widely used over time, as good performing V6's and small block V8's took over their job.
Gary
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2004 American Tradition
2007 GMC Acadia
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rbell

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Re: 460 Ford Header Questions
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2011, 06:18:27 PM »
I have a friend that bought a used motor home with a 460 in it. It had an exhaust leak when he got it, but he figured he could put a gasket in and fix it, not knowing it's a problem. He had it resurfaced and put a new gasket in. Shortly it started leaking again, only this time the manifold was cracked. So he welded it and put another gasket in. This time he got one of the bolts cross threaded and had to borrow my right angle drill to try to get it out.
Anyway he ended up with a 5th wheel and I think the MH still sits behind his garage.

BTW I think the headers are the best answer. 
Dick
2012 150 Ecoboost
2012 KZ Spree 323CSS

jje1960

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  • Jim
Re: 460 Ford Header Questions
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2011, 06:27:53 PM »
I have a friend that bought a used motor home with a 460 in it. It had an exhaust leak when he got it, but he figured he could put a gasket in and fix it, not knowing it's a problem. He had it resurfaced and put a new gasket in. Shortly it started leaking again, only this time the manifold was cracked. So he welded it and put another gasket in. This time he got one of the bolts cross threaded and had to borrow my right angle drill to try to get it out.
Anyway he ended up with a 5th wheel and I think the MH still sits behind his garage.

BTW I think the headers are the best answer.

Such is the life of working on motors...  Your post went through my mind when considering buying an old motor home vs our 5th wheel!  Tooooo funny.

Jim
2011 Ford F350 DRW 6.7 Diesel
2011 Cougar SRX

Just Lou

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Re: 460 Ford Header Questions
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2011, 09:56:32 PM »
I have a friend that bought a used motor home with a 460 in it. It had an exhaust leak when he got it, but he figured he could put a gasket in and fix it, not knowing it's a problem. He had it resurfaced and put a new gasket in. Shortly it started leaking again, only this time the manifold was cracked. So he welded it and put another gasket in. This time he got one of the bolts cross threaded and had to borrow my right angle drill to try to get it out.
Anyway he ended up with a 5th wheel and I think the MH still sits behind his garage.

BTW I think the headers are the best answer.

Sometimes it's best to let the experts do what made them the experts.
'97 Bounder 34V (F53 w/tag), '99 Honda Accord EX

kaz442

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Re: 460 Ford Header Questions
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2011, 07:45:21 AM »
Any one run Stans headers? They seem to make them for the older stuff,
http://www.stans-headers.com/ford_headers.htm
Only problem I see is that that do not have the bosses on them for the air injection.
JKaz
1989 26' Jayco Ford E350 460ci

Mark R.

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  • 1986 Executive Industries 1967 Ford Fairlane,toad
Re: 460 Ford Header Questions
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2011, 11:55:52 AM »
For what it is worth I noticed no one mentioning noise from tube  headers,there is a reason that most factory engines over the years used cast iron, its quite! Years ago when you put headers on a engine you could hear allot of exhaust noise through the thin tubes, maybe the tubes are thickererer now. Years ago the header flanges that bolt to the head were thin and leaked allot , most used to end in a 3 bolt collector that required a full after market upgrade to the exhaust system, just something to think about
If you do not stand behind our troops please feel free to stand in front of them!

quaddriver

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Re: 460 Ford Header Questions
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2011, 02:20:17 PM »
I too am facing a 460 exhaust issue and this is what I have found:

the exhaust system especially y-pipe was changed in 1993 with the 460 engine.  The ford part number (I have it) is no longer available from ANYONE.

because of clearance issues on the E4OD tranny, no one else touches it.

In my case the manifolds were replaced due to cracks.

From the manu, engines are cut on the head side and the manifold is cut and they bolt it together fresh and it essentially seats in.  This can last for decades - untiol you take it apart.

the PO replaced the manifolds with real pretty ones but used std thinwall gaskets.  they blew out and make the taptap noice.  but the real problem is the passenger side flange - it cracked so they made a new one out of tail pipe (18ga)  it burned out and I have hot exhaust everywhere.

right now it is at a shop getting the flange made from 12-14 ga material and I got some stove pipe to make heat shields as a couple truths exist:  the 460 is meant to run with red hot exhaust.  the mainifolds - even iron ones - are fairly small for the heat generated so at least glow dull red under moderate load.

the 460 rocks a good bit in the van chassis.

the van chassis is one heck of a tight fit for a 385 block.  ford chose to do what GM wold not and shoehorn in a big block into a van but there aint enuf heat shielding.  (yet) - I intend to remedy this.

Unless you are fond of wrapping headers, I would avoid headers in a van chassis, especially with an rv bolted on top - lots of stuff to light on fire.

(and that E4OD - keep it away from heat or open flame  ;-)
I dont know what the world may need, but a V8 engine sounds good to me....