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Torque Monster Header (TMH) Gasket Replacement-Pointers needed


celly

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I've found bits and pieces of info out there on replacing the header gaskets used with TMH, but was hoping to put together an all inclusive thread on how to do the job. I got the headers put on in July at Jon's place in July as some will recall. The install was definitely first rate but I have found other cases where leak issues do occur.

I've done my best to tighten down all the bolts and have been doing so since the install, but there is a subtle "tick, tick, tick" coming from under the hood and I've had performance issues with the truck since the install. I get cases where it sounds like it's pinging and chugging at certain revs. I had some exhaust work done about a month ago (removed the rear cats) and the exhaust guy (whom I trust) figured there was a a leak on the driver's side gasket that connects the two pieces together (remember that drive's side is two piece while passenger side is one). He pulled out his stethoscope to come to that conclusion.

I returned home and confirmed that the ticking sound is pretty bad at that junction, but the sound seems to resonate throughout many spots in the headers. There are no obvious leak spots however (carbon deposits etc). All visible bolts are tight as can be. While it may sound like it's coming from that spot, I suspect their may be leaks elsewhere too.

I scored some Percy's gaskets as they seem to be the way to go. Rather than tackle on my own (I just don't feel comfortable doing this on my own), I'm going to pay my exhaust guy to do it. I'm going to get the Percy's installed. Bob Pasquale also sent me a variety of gaskets including the one for the junction between the two driver's side pieces.

I watched Jon remove the failed experiment at using copper gaskets and replacing them with the included gaskets so I know it can be done without removing the headers themselves. I'd really like to get some pointers on how this job can be tackled by those who have done it before (and I know there are others). With the popularity of the headers by members on this site, I'm hoping that it can be an all-inclusive thread (and maybe a sticky) to help people down the road.

Thanks in advance guys and Merry Christmas.

Brad
 


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410Fortune

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celly

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I have replaced the TM gaskets with copper now on bith my trucks

here is a simple BII writeup:

http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=175668&page=2

post #34
Thanks! I'll have a look. We had zero luck with the coppers when we did the install in July. We got them one, fired it up and had multiple leaks. Jonny tightened them up some more and we just couldn't get a seal. I think it was your thread that got me looking at copper in the first place.

I'm just hoping that gaskets solve the problem. I have moments of superb performance since the headers were installed, but the truck has been pretty moody overall. :(

Thanks for the reply.

Brad

EDIT: Direct link to "Post # 34" here. :D
 




celly

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I just read 410's posts on doing the gaskets and he was obviously very thorough and removed the headers completely. I've seen others suggest that the gaskets can be replaced without removing the headers themselves and saw Jon do just that when we swapped out the copper gaskets for the stock gaskets. Any thoughts on that?
 




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I believe I still have a leak on my two part drivers side header, I just live with it.

When I changed my gaskets, I got FelPro soft lead like gaskets, no leaks on the flange from then on.

I didn't do anything special to change them, just remove the flange to block bolts, leaving the header in place, slip out old, in with the new one and re tighten the bolts. I think I pulled the spark plugs and moved the wires for more room.
 




techieman33

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The lead ones lasted about 2 years for me, then started to leak. I liked how the aluminum ones that Jon has been using sealed up, so I'll probably use those when my headers go back on.

Brad the way Jon does it is he leaves the bolts on each end in place, only loosens them up. Then he cuts a tab out where each bolt is so the gasket can slide around the bolts. Doing that shouldn't effect the seal of the headers since that part of the gasket doesn't actually seal anything, and it keeps the headers lined up so you can bolt them right back up. Depending on how the gasket comes out you may have to fully remove them to scrape off whats left of it.
 




celly

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The lead ones lasted about 2 years for me, then started to leak. I liked how the aluminum ones that Jon has been using sealed up, so I'll probably use those when my headers go back on.

Brad the way Jon does it is he leaves the bolts on each end in place, only loosens them up. Then he cuts a tab out where each bolt is so the gasket can slide around the bolts. Doing that shouldn't effect the seal of the headers since that part of the gasket doesn't actually seal anything, and it keeps the headers lined up so you can bolt them right back up. Depending on how the gasket comes out you may have to fully remove them to scrape off whats left of it.
Good stuff Eric. Thanks. That sounds like a great idea. I'll share that tidbit with my exhaust guy. The shop has been a bit quiet lately so I usually get to talk to them about a job in detail before they actually start it. I plan to share a lot of tips I'm getting here. Gary is pretty experienced, but he sort of cringed when he saw how tight it was in there.

What do you think about replacing the gasket between the two driver's side pieces. Seems like such a tight fit when I checked it. Is it possible to have the headers in there so loose so that the two pieces can be loose enough to get the gasket in/out?

Yeah, I went with the Percy's on Jon's recommendation as well as researching them on many non-Explorer sites including that one you told me about. They seem to do the job once and for all so hopefully they do the trick.

I've seen a lot of pics of brittle TMH gaskets that seem to just fall out, so I'm hoping that applies to my situation. :rolleyes:
 








celly

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I believe I still have a leak on my two part drivers side header, I just live with it.

When I changed my gaskets, I got FelPro soft lead like gaskets, no leaks on the flange from then on.

I didn't do anything special to change them, just remove the flange to block bolts, leaving the header in place, slip out old, in with the new one and re tighten the bolts. I think I pulled the spark plugs and moved the wires for more room.
I can live with the ticking sound because it's not that bad. It's the chugging at lower revs that gets to me because it really is power robbing. After I got back from Kansas I swapped out a lot of things hoping it would solve the problem from a new MAF to TPS, new plugs and wires and even an alternator (I was having some electrical issues, but did see a few threads that suggested symptoms like I was having are alternator related). I'm really hoping it's the gaskets. My exhaust guy is convinced it is so I'm going to grill him as to why before we start the job. He diagnosed a leak as soon as he started it up and I hadn't even told him about the problems I was having yet (I was just there to get the cats taken out).

Thankfully the 5.0 has such accessible plugs and wires even with the wheel liners in place (even I can swap them out quickly with just the smaller splash shields out of the way).

Does the steering shaft or oil filler tube need to go anywhere with an "in place" gasket replacement?

Thanks for the reply. :thumbsup:
 




celly

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if the header is loose at the head he can get the little gasket just fine. It actually has to be replaced with the header there, since the whole header won't fit back in if you pull it out to replace it.
Cool. He seems to think the main gasket is fine as he inspected both sides and said there is no obvious sign of leakage. I may just have him go for the small gasket alone as he suggests to save some time and money. If the original TMH gaskets are holding out, I can always keep the Percy's for future use after all.

When I got the Percy's from Summit, I also got a sheet of Percy's gasket material that's supposed to be pretty good. I can't remember what the material is off hand, but it's rated to fairly high temps. I'd use the gasket Bob sent me as a template and cut out my own gasket. The guy at the shop said he could make a gasket from scratch anyhow, but I wanted to get the original gasket from Bob, "just in case".

EDIT: Here is the gasket material I scored. Carbon fibre.
 




Turdle

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You guys have it covered I think.
It might help to first remove the 2 end bolts, then thread then back in about 2 turns, just enough to hold the header up when you remove the remaining bolts.
You may need to pry the header back to get the gasket up and out. Just be patient. You'll get it.
 




htrdlncn

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Unless I am missing something the TM headers must have something off somewhere if everyone is having problems with leaking.
Using normal felpro gaskets I never had any leakage problems on my 5.0s using quality headers.
 




Turdle

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Well, it could be just me. Maybe I am the moron --
serious. I always have a little issue. Once they are sealed it is good, but it did take me a while to get them sealed good on my truck
 




celly

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Using normal felpro gaskets I never had any leakage problems on my 5.0s using quality headers.
Not to sound rude, but define "quality headers". The whole reason Bob brought TMH to market is that Ford's design is so flawed when it comes to exhaust manifolds for 5.0 Explorers. I've never heard or seen any headers for our trucks, OEM or aftermarket that compare to the TMH in quality or performance boost.
 




celly

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You guys have it covered I think.
It might help to first remove the 2 end bolts, then thread then back in about 2 turns, just enough to hold the header up when you remove the remaining bolts.
You may need to pry the header back to get the gasket up and out. Just be patient. You'll get it.
Jon, this is good stuff. What about passenger side if I do get the entire gasket replaced? I assume the EGR tube needs to be disconnnected?
 




htrdlncn

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Im not here to argue about headers,just that if most are having leaking problems there is something not right regardless whose headers they are. Take it for what its worth.

Not to sound rude, but define "quality headers". The whole reason Bob brought TMH to market is that Ford's design is so flawed when it comes to exhaust manifolds for 5.0 Explorers. I've never heard or seen any headers for our trucks, OEM or aftermarket that compare to the TMH in quality or performance boost.
 




celly

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Im not here to argue about headers,just that if most are having leaking problems there is something not right regardless whose headers they are. Take it for what its worth.
Wasn't meant to be an argumentative question at all. I've never heard the term "quality" when describing any exhaust manifold option for our 5.0, including the FMS option. It's bad enough there are Made in China options out there.
 




htrdlncn

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I never mentioned Explorers anywhere in my post ,
I said 5.0s ,
there are many quality headers available for 5.0s in other vehicles.
This all has nothing to do with the fact many are having leaking issues
or sealing issues with the TMs
at least from what I have seen posting on this forum..
 




celly

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I never mentioned Explorers anywhere in my post ,
I said 5.0s ,
there are many quality headers available for 5.0s in other vehicles.
Well, this is an Explorer site and all. It was implied. :p:

I beg to differ though. I decided on Percy's after scouring a lot of websites (mostly with a focus on Mustangs) who complain a LOT about leaky gaskets on their rides. Percy's seem to be a popular choice for replacement gaskets on these applications as well. Lots of good press out there on Felpro. I looked at those and Remflex before deciding on Percy's.

All I'm getting at is leaky gaskets seem to be an issue on more than just TMH in comparable applications on other vehicles.
 


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htrdlncn

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Maybe people just arent prepping their install correctly, like I said I never had any sealing problems with good ole felpro gaskets but I do make sure both surfaces are even
and clean before I install, use locking bolts and never had problems.
I do know there are a lot of crappy headers for Mustangs which might explain some of the complaints not to mention a lot of people who just throw them on any ole way and expect them to seal .
 




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