Why I do not recommend BORLA headers | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Why I do not recommend BORLA headers


Rah no Hans Bwix
November 21, 2002
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City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 XLT 4x4
I've had Borla headers for a few months now, and they've been leaking at the collectors. The reason is because I cannot get the passenger header to slide into the y-pipe. I'm unable to expand or contract the pipe because it was clamped and will not loose up. I also cannot remove the y-pipe because the bottom nut on my cat is severely stripped. I can still get a good grip with a wrench but I think the threads are just horrible. It moves maybe a half turn, then stops. Anyways, I contacted Borla via e-mail twice about my problem. No response within a month, so I gave them a call. They're response is the pipe was inproperly installed and it's a mechanic's problem. I'm not sure if anybody else has had problems with Borla's customer service, but it's pretty bad IMO. Earlier today I tried to fix the leak and couldn't for the life of me budge that pipe over just 1/8". Now I've got an even worse leak then before, no longer a ticking but a lawn mower sound. Tomorrow I will be working on it again. I DEFINITELY regret switching from manifolds to headers. Maybe the JBA headers are better, but $700 for an increase as minimal as 1hp is not a good choice. If anybody has any tips, comments, advice, etc., please just reply here. I'd like to hear of all your experiences with Borla's headers and customer service.

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It does all sound like installation problems, not inherent problems with the product.

i dont know about the V6's, but i assume you have the "ball and socket" type flange. if so, those are VERY picky about how they are installed. if they are over-torqued or not lined up properly on the first install, they will just about leak from then on. not to take Borla's side on this issue, but their telling the truth. you gotta do them right 110% the first time, and be very careful about how you torque them down.

if all else fails, you can do what we did on my friends 99 GT. carry it to a shop that TIG welds and weld up the flanges. it wont ever leak again, but you will have to remove both headers to get the catpipe off. sorry to say but this may be your only option.

I would have it welded also.

Good luck.....

I have the Borlas on my 91 and they seem to be fine. Ive had them for 3 years or so.

I have had leaks at the slip joint - it wasnt tightened correctly after trans was removed- my fix was to double clamp it 180deg apart. I was getting leaks there every spring- my guess was ambient temps change so the expansion,contraction of the metals is not equal after a season. But the dbl clamp eliminated that.

I did the install and it wasnt much harder than many other headers Ive installed, much easier than most actually. The ball and socket joints are fickle no doubt, and if I run into that joint type again I will lap and check the fit before the install to avoid too many problems. It took some adjusting to get them to fit correctly.

I havent had any dealings with Borla so i really cant comment on the CS.

Headers add a PITA factor to any vehicle with some added maintaince etc.

EIDT.: The cat bolts just cut/drill them and replace with some SS bolts,nuts and washers(lock). If the nut is spinning its finished anyway.

Good Luck