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Exhaust Manifolds/Headers GLOWING Red

Discussion in 'Under the Hood' started by Ponyman460, February 18, 2009.

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    1. Ponyman460

      Ponyman460 Active Member

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      I was driving in my Mustang the other night next to my Fiance (who was driving my explorer) and I looked over to see the headers glowing red! i was shocked to see this!

      I have done a search and have found that sometimes clogged cats will cause this symptom....but I am not sure.

      I have the rear cats removed, and the fronts are still in tact.

      The truck is a 1997 XLT with the 5.0 engine and around 5-7k on the new motor/ but about 180k on the rest of the truck.

      anybody have any ideas on what I should be doing?

      Thanks!

      Rick
       
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    3. 35Remmy

      35Remmy Active Member

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      Either cat is clogged or you have an exhaust leak somewhere...combusting fuel where it shouldn't be combusting. Well I guess running super rich or super lean could cause this, too...
       
    4. aldive

      aldive Elite In Memoriam

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      By headers, I assume you are referring to the exhaust manifold(s)?

      How could you see them driving beside the truck?
       
    5. Ponyman460

      Ponyman460 Active Member

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      yes I am referring to the stockers...and I can see them b/c that plastic splash shield is missing....and my mustang is low....
       
    6. Ponyman460

      Ponyman460 Active Member

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      well I know I have an exhaust leak, but didnt think that would cause this. The manifold is cracked in the normal spot, and I have not been able to get replacements yet.
       
    7. aldive

      aldive Elite In Memoriam

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      I would suspect the cat(s).

      Good luck ....
       
    8. Ponyman460

      Ponyman460 Active Member

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      yeah, that is what I was thinking too.....but I hate to delete all the cats! from what I read on here most done reccomend that due to a substantial loss in back pressure.
       
    9. aldive

      aldive Elite In Memoriam

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      ... and don't forget the air we all breath.
       
    10. Ponyman460

      Ponyman460 Active Member

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      yeah....I meant that too.. forgot to write it :cool:
       
    11. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Elite Explorer

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      What is done with the engine beyond stock rebuild stuff? How does it run normally, any other symptoms? I had a broken valve spring in my first car, the springs were too strong, used, and one broke. The one header pipe got cherry red, and it had not run right since it was installed. Regards,
       
    12. Ponyman460

      Ponyman460 Active Member

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      not much...1.6 roller rockers (useless) with upgraded valve springs.....but basically a OEM rebuild otherwise.

      if runs fine I think....but the gas mileage lately has been horrid (12mpg)
       
    13. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Elite Explorer

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      I'd also see about the cats. They can be tested by most exhaust shops, they drill a hole and measure the pressure ahead of them. If that is going to be the answer, just replace them with a pair of universal cats, about $50 or so each.
       
    14. 35Remmy

      35Remmy Active Member

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      BAD gas mileage is 12MPG...and a clogged cat could VERY well do that to you.
       
    15. montegun

      montegun Active Member

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      i agree with the cats but dont delete them replace them
       
    16. techieman33

      techieman33 Explorer Addict

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      They're not to expensive to replace, as long as you don't try to put ford parts back on, those things are around $400 each:eek:
       
    17. 1996explorerxlt

      1996explorerxlt Active Member

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    18. 410Fortune

      410Fortune ELITE BRONCO2ERER Moderator Emeritus

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      12mpg could also be a fuel pressure issue, if your regulator is history and its dumping fuel then you are running very rich, raw fuel will clog cat converters and cause your manifolds to glow

      I would test fuel pressure and consider replacing the primary converters, the secondary converters on the 5.0L trucks are not required for emissions in most states, check your local emissions regulations

      A great exhaust setup for the 5.0L is remove secondary cats, replace with a dual inlet single outlet muffler
       
    19. Ponyman460

      Ponyman460 Active Member

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      I guess checking fuel pressure would be a good idea....never thought about that..thanks
       
    20. Carguy3J

      Carguy3J Well-Known Member

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      Misconceptions.......

      OK, 1st this site's hostility to removal of cats, due to legal issues is, at best, hypocritical. I don't really want to start this discussion just yet, as I don't have time to do so properly right now. But, it does need to be addressd and discussed at a future date. For now, I'll just say this: Many of the mods who have killed cat removal threads, themselves have substantial mods on thier own profiles/vehicles which are just as technically illegal as removing the cats. This is just one of many points on this issue. I do intend to start a seperate thread for just such a discussion/debate at a later time.

      2nd, there is a HUGE misconception that "our" motors, "need" backpressure. NO motor EVER NEEDS backpressure. What they do need is adequate exhaust gas flow velocity. Using grossly oversized, or poorly designed exhaust systems can substanstially reduce power output, in one of two ways. One is killing flow velocity, and the attendant scavenging effects. The second is excessive backpressure, due to pipes which are too small, have too many bends, or other restrictions in the system (such as CATS). While OEM cats have improved significantly in the last couple of decades, they are still, and always will be, a restiction which hurts performance. Ofcourse, that statement requires a bit of qualification. Simply "gutting" your cats is bad. It creates a big open chamber, and almost always creates weird flow patterns that reduce flow velocity and scavenging, and hence reduces performance. However, removing the cat, and replacing it with a properly sized lenght of straight pipe will almost always improve performance,by increasing volumetric effeciency of the engine ( just a big air pump: more out=more can get in=better performance), especially if it accompanied by supporting mods.

      As for Al's comment regarding air quality, it is quite possible that a vehicle w/o cats could be tuned such that it actually produces lower emmissions than it had in stock form. I certainly don't want to pick a fight with Aldive, as he is a well respected member here, and he has a lot of great ideas and opinions, but we're right back to the whole hypocrit thing mentioned above. How? Well, several of the mods al has done and spoken of here are just as much a violation of the clean air act as removing the cats. Take the "custom" tuning for example; I doubt his Ex has been submitted to the EPA for emmissions recertification. I also suspect that, even with his cats in place, his tuning mods probably result in higher tailpipe emmissions, at least in certain categories. I would guess Nox, for one. Why? Well, to get the kind of mileage he claims (and I don't dispute), one would have to run leaner than stoich at cruise, and certainly less power enrichment. Leaner equals hotter exhaust which tends to increase Nox emmissions, though it probably lowers unburnt hydrocarbons. Of course this is academic, as even if these mods resulted in pure oxygen and bubblegum coming out of the tailpipe, they are still illegal tampering.

      You can either cower in fear, and do what the jackbooted thugs of the government want, or do what you believe is best for YOU and YOUR vehicle.

      So...... to the original poster, my advice is this: If it is in fact your cats, and you already have or wish to buy an xcal,etc... w/ custom tuning, then cut them out, replace it with straight pipe (disguised w/ the heat shields from the old cats), have your rear o2's and the associated trouble codes disabled in the tunes and motor along your happy way. (it should pass both visual and the computer portion your inspection process, provided they just plug into the computer,as they do here.) Buying a tuner is cheaper then replacing them, and you'll have better performance.

      Or not.......... It's up to you
      America... Land of the Free?????????
       
    21. 4x4xbrian.com

      4x4xbrian.com Active Member

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      I agree with a fuel pressure issue or atleast a rich condition, the excess fuel is combusting in the exhaust being why it is glowing. there is likely no problem with the cats. I've been a mechanic for 10+ years and have never found a bad one other than physical damage. I say fix the fuel problem and go on with life, keep the cats I ditched mine once on my B II and hated it.
       
    22. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Elite Explorer

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      Catalytic converters alter the gases coming out of an engine. The resulting gases are only tested for two chemical compounds. Some group and the government in the 70's decided that only those tow compounds were dangerous to the environment. All other compounds and elements by omission have been assumed to be safe for the environment.

      I do not believe that the rest of the exhaust besides the only two looked for are desirable. The chemicals in a catalytic converter are dangerous for the environment. I submit that it is far past time to revisit the dangerous gases in the exhaust. I believe that the result of cats is just as harmful as an engine without them. A properly tuned engine running as efficiently as possible will burn up more chemicals, resulting in less pollutants.

      I believe in obeying laws, but I also recognize that there are a massive number of stupid laws. Let's change the type of freon used in automobiles, R134 is much better for the environment.(sarcasm)
       
    23. BIGHVM

      BIGHVM Well-Known Member

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      Cant say! but you cant drive with glowing headers! That is just a serious risk!
       

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