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Deerhurst 07-22-2014 05:00 AM

Because Headers...
Aug 4, 2014. For anyone wanting to put headers on a VG30i. Yes, VG30e headers do fit with no isses. My y-pipe did not have the right shape and the emissions bungs are in a different spot. Plug the emissions or re-run the lines.

I intend for this to be a short little thread on my header install and process. This is the biggest project I have taken on with a car to date. Should be fun and a good learning process.

Background Info:

I have an 86.5 VG30i powered 4x4 hardbody. It developed an exhaust leak quite a while back. I recently found that the last exhaust stud on the passenger side had broken and to my amazement the bolt, washer and stud piece were all under the manifold shield when I took it off to inspect it and look for a leak. Just shows you how hard I drive my rig.... not very hard.


The only headers that are CARB approved and direct fit to the VG30i are some $500 Doug Thorleys through 4x4parts. The headers I bought are made by Pacesetter and were much cheaper. The only problem, they are for the VG30e. Through several sources, ruggedrocks, various forums and 4x4parts, I have found the VG30e headers will bolt to the VG30i head no issues as they are the same. Possible problems are fitment later down the line with chassis and body clearances. We shall see. The EGR and AIV bungs are also not in the same location, they are further forward.

The PS kit comes with all the needed gaskets, a couple cheapo clamps for header to Y pipe and a Y pipe.

These are the ones I got:

Amazon had them for under $200 shipped. They are now $225 shipped.

Plan of Attack:

-Open box and droll on them.
-Sand blast headers but not Y pipe.
-Paint headers with a real paint not the shipping paint PS puts on them. Paint safe for 2000F should do it.
-Cook the paint on. Probably going to use a BBQ for this.
-Install on truck. Will probably remove the AIV and EGR.
-Giggle in delight about headers on a Nissan mini truck.

The Build:

So far I have gotten a pretty box.

Proceeded to pull everything out, drool on it and then run out to the barn. Set up the sand blaster and took off all the shipping paint. The sand blaster gave them a very weird texture, almost like holding sand on your hand. Got the passenger side stripped of black shipping paint. My OCD couldnt let them sit overnight with no paint so I get the paint out. It is a VHT 2000F paint.

Terrible photo but I didnt want to stir up dust by walking around and it was roughly 10PM at night.

More to come!

87kingcab 07-22-2014 05:07 AM

Looks good so far! :thumb:

Headers are the only part left in my exhaust system that are stock. I plan to change them down the road. Let me know what you think of the PS headers

Deerhurst 07-22-2014 05:17 AM

Will do. The rest of my exhaust is stock...for now. The Pacesetters are designed to bolt to a stock exhaust.

I was surprised about how much the blue popped. Its almost a Calmini blue. Hopefully it stays that way for a while.

Im excited to see how they work. Hopefully everything bolts up easily. If not, I may have a custom exhaust in it.

Anyone got any hints on heat shielding the fuel lines?

Deerhurst 07-23-2014 01:54 AM


Worked on it most of the day today except for the break to go with my dad and buy another AR.

Sand blasted and painted the last header.

Then cured them. Mmm.. headers!

Then fought with the Y pipe. I think I might get the sawzall out. The two bolts where the Y pipe meets the rest of the exhaust hate me and I cant get them to budge.

The bolts to the down pipe from the mani are also a PITA. Broke one, pulled the stud on one and cant budge the 3rd and thats all I tried.

These are the evil ones too:

Good news: Got all of the mani bolts out that were not already broken. One was broken on the passenger side and is the reason for all of this. And one stud decided to come out.

And where I am at now. Work called me and asked me to come in on my planned day off so I may not get a chance to work on it again till saturday.

cadillacdude1975 07-23-2014 01:59 AM

when i changed my passenger manifold, the flange bolts just broke in half. im glad i was changing the manifold anyway. i got under the truck with a few extensions, gave it a good twist, then POP.......

the amusing part was watching my big ass fly out from under the truck as the broken stud, extensions and socket came flying down at warp speed.

Deerhurst 07-23-2014 02:10 AM

I have a diff in the way or I would just put a bunch of additions on. I tried, Im either just too short to clear the chassis or just too ling and cant make the thing strait. If I can get the two bolts at the joint by the O2 sensor out or broken Ill just cut the Y pipe and pull the mani and a short piece of Y pipe out at one time.

OldGreyBeast 07-23-2014 05:10 AM

I had to use a sawzall to get my exhaust apart too. Cut my y pipe into 4 pieces to get that junk out.

Deerhurst 07-23-2014 05:19 AM

Got the 2 bolts for the lower flange off. Broke on and got the other out. Will cut the Y pipe into 3 pieces and pull the manifolds out tomorrow. Gotta get some hardware tomorrow.

jp2code 07-23-2014 11:54 AM

So, new bolt hardware isn't included.

Do you have specs on the exhaust manifold studs and on the lower flange bolts?

The exhaust manifold studs are supposed to be 40mm 8Mx1.25, but I know one side has different pitch threads than the other side.

All I know about the lower flange bolts is they are 10M.

I'd like to get my hands on 2 or 3 full sets of each before tackling it job on mine.

Deerhurst 07-23-2014 02:49 PM

All of my mani stubs are M8x1.5. I havnt measured the length yet. When I go to the store today Ill get more info on the flange bolts. My stock ones were grade 7. The factory flange and PS flanges comes out to 0.6 inches in thickness.

I find it funny that the studs for the down tube are twuce the siz of those for the manifold. The manifold studs are the smallest in the entire exhaust system that Ive found.

The kit comes with exhaust clamps but not mani studs or bolts to bolt the Y pipe in. My connection at the Y pipe is probably different from yours. The PS Y pipe seems to assume the flange has a bolt and nut. My truck had threads in one flange and no nut.

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