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DIY Explorer 302 Headers

I just picked up my oxy acetylene rig from an estate sale, 2 regulators, a torch, a bunch of welding cutting and rosebud tips, and 2 hoses for $120 so might want to watch those, they have an app (estatesales.net). I check most weekends and end up going to sales maybe a few times a year when I see one with tools or reloading / fishing / shooting stuff, but I have made some great scores at the sales. Farm sales are the best.
 



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That's incredible! I have a coworker who hits the auction circuit (online and in-person) around here and it seems every oxy setup brings $400+. At $120, you scored for sure.
 






I paid $150 for my oxy torch setup victor gauges nothing fancy just gotta watch the local Craigslist!
 






I had my coworker take a TIG torch to the driver's side TMH this week. He was able to fill a lot of the holes, but couldn't get them completely as the holes are just too deep to access with the shielding nozzle. He even bent some custom electrodes to get in further, but then the welds started turning out very porous due to the shielding gas not being focused at the electrode tip.
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I'm going to try my best to finish what's left with my MIG. It's going to be a lot of welding what I can't see, then grinding it back to check if the hole got filled, rinse & repeat. I made a copper backer/heat sink to help avoid burning through -- hopefully it works okay because I now know I have to put a lot of heat into the welds for the MIG to seal anything up.

His work on my flange delete looks great though!
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I've put in a couple hours a night this weekend (that's about all the time I can find these days) and made some progress. I'm feeling okay about my welds, but I'll see what kind of pits show up as I smooth things out with the grinder. It is very slow going with burrs, grinding wheels, and cartridge rolls.
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Go man! I am going make downs in the least and may modify my TMH's based on yer werk!
 






I've got the driver's side patched up to the point I'm satisfied. You may note that I bolted it to another old header to make sure the #5 primary didn't droop while I welded.
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The passenger's side has been giving me trouble. I could tell the fab shop didn't take the time to blast the old welds clean on both sides and trying to weld over rust obviously doesn't work. So last night I went for it and ground back all the pinholes that kept reappearing and then opened each one up with a carbide burr.
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I want to blast through all these holes before welding them. I think after that, I'll be able to burn it all together. Luckily only one of the holes is "in the open" and all the others have a neighboring tube behind them. I made a little copper backer tool to help me not burn through when welding the holes out in free space.

Once I finally get these holes sealed, my coworker will TIG the collectors back on for me. Then nickel plating, then clear ceramic.
 






So glad to see! Look at all the header pieces lying around! Super cool
 






So glad to see! Look at all the header pieces lying around! Super cool
My shed is a mess right now (you can also see an M5R2 and a Navigator driveshaft in the background) but at least there's no shortage of headers to take inspiration from or scraps to practice welding.
 






Flux core wire might penetrate better too? I don't have much experience with mig, I have a mig I just bought out in the garage, but I am waiting on a part to repair it before I get to play with it. I do know with stick welding you can use 6011 rod to weld over rust and get a decent penetration still. That's why they call it the farmer electrode.
 






Your gonna pick-up almost 20 horses but more importantly, 40ftlbs of torque! Maybe a bit more with a better muffler and other restrictions removed.
 






Flux core wire might penetrate better too? I don't have much experience with mig, I have a mig I just bought out in the garage, but I am waiting on a part to repair it before I get to play with it. I do know with stick welding you can use 6011 rod to weld over rust and get a decent penetration still. That's why they call it the farmer electrode.
Now that I've ground back to solid metal, I think the MIG will do just fine. A little blasting will only help clean out the crevices further before they're filled in with weld. Someday I do want to get back into stick welding though, it would be great around the farm!

Your gonna pick-up almost 20 horses but more importantly, 40ftlbs of torque! Maybe a bit more with a better muffler and other restrictions removed.
Not to put the cart in front of the horse, but I have a plan for the rest of the exhaust already. Just need to sawzall a tailpipe or two from the salvage yard and pick up a couple straight-through mufflers.
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i can say that the passengers side had a pretty good "tick" coming from it when it was on. nice job on fixing them! i also think the reason why that one was as bad as it was because every time i would wash the truck, i would wash the motor and water would get trapped in the collector. as well as i had a problem at one time where the block heater would get pushed out of the bock, and spray antifreeze all over it (it also killed a starter at one point).
 






Yeah, the passenger side was rustier for sure. I would've thought the driver's side would hold more moisture though since that side is straight up and down. Hopefully I get some good mileage out of these once they're all welded and then plated.
 






I really like the spintec mufflers once you hold one in your hand and then hear them… you will be sold. They are heavy duty!!!
 






I was just going to get some inexpensive AP Xlerator mufflers of RockAuto, but I'll check out Spintec!
 






The Spintechs came down in price a bunch. I considered them in the past and scoffed at the price of them, still not cheap but worth about $100 each. They are heavy duty and will last for years vs some of the cheaper ones I have bought and used.

I miss the pick in pull I recently moved away from. However, I was pleased to find Walker tailpipes for a 5.0 for around $65 and I got free shipping. It would be hard to go to the pick in pull for that price new. They are 2-1/4" and should work fine as dual with some mods. I got one, am waiting on one and then I will post-up what I do with them.

That said, if I had time I was often saving money at the pick n pull. You might find couple of used mufflers, cats off a Mustang and the tailpipes are relatively easy to pull.
 






The exhaust in my 03 sport trax was cobbled together from a factory mustang cobra and a 96 explorer lol it sounds awesome
 






Yeah the local JY here only charges $9.90 for a tailpipe. I think I can make my whole dual setup and the H with just two of them.

If I go with two $28 AP mufflers, I may be able to break even on the whole system when I sell the secondary cats.
 



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Got everything blasted, I'll be back to welding tonight hopefully.

I'm going to need to track down a new EGR fitting and re-tap the bung because both are very galled.
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Does anyone have a fitting laying around to check whether it's M22-1.5 or 7/8-18 thread? From what I can measure, I'm thinking it has to be one of those, but it's hard to tell given how damaged the threads on my fitting are.
 






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