V8 Vantage Exhaust Manifold Installation
WARNING! This job is not easy. I do not recommend you attempt this DIY unless you are experienced with difficult automotive jobs. This job might be best left to a professional mechanic!
One of the more difficult DIY jobs, this takes several hours and shouldn't be tackled unless you're absolutely sure you want to get into it. I got this beautiful set of exhaust manifolds (aka 'headers') from Stuart at VelocityAP. The headers are equal length and designed to eliminate all the kinks and dents found in the OEM headers. While that helps performance, it does make them more difficult to install. You'll see that the OEM headers have a bunch of dents in them to allow easier access to the studs for installation. Although the VelocityAP headers are more difficult to install, the gains in horsepower and torque are a worthwhile end result.
DISCLAIMER: As always, follow all safety protocols. Don't undertake this task if you aren't comfortable with it and fully understand it. You are ultimately responsible for anything you do. Neither Redpants, LLC or myself is responsible or liable for anything that may occur.
DIY giude coming soon!
There are 8 nuts holding each exhaust manifold to the engine (two per cylinder), so 16 in total. You can see the pattern for where the nuts are located in the picture above - look at the holes staggered along the flange in on the upper portion of the OEM manifold. Getting to them is sometimes simple, and sometimes challenging, but rarely the same for any two nuts. Basically, you'll be mixing and matching extensions, swivel joints, and access points to figure out the best way to get each nut loose.
You can go from the top of the engine bay and reach down to get a couple of the nuts, but it's extremely tight between the engine and the side of the engine bay. In the pic below, you can just barely see my exhaust manifold through that tight space.
You can go through straight from the side, as each side of the engine has an opening to the engine. This is the easiest place to access many of the nuts.
There are some plastic tubes on the passenger side, but these move out of your way pretty easily. Be careful not to break them! They're part of the fuel system.
Or you can go from underneath the car.
You'll likely be using all of these approaches to get to the nuts. The key here is to be patient and be ready to try different combinations of extensions, swivels, and access points for every one of those 16 nuts. Some are easy, some aren't. Be ready.