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How to Install Kooks Long Tube Headers on any 4V

Discussion in 'How-To' started by FMD, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. FMD

    FMD New Member Established Member

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    Jul 30, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Hello guys, so ill try to keep this brief. This is how to install Kook Long Tubes on any 4v cobra engine (99-04, also for Teksid)

    Ill start by saying, this guide is specifically for Kooks LTs, 1 3/4 x 1 7/8 x 3 (However will work the same on any 1 3/4 style non-stepped or smaller), and will also work on any other brand of header, however since almost every other brand is smaller, Id use this only as a last resort should you not be able to do it any other way. (There are much easier options for the other brands)

    Tools: (some of these can be substituted with others, however this is the best way ive found)

    Engine hoist
    A jack
    4 jack stands
    Varying sockets (between 10-21mm)
    The usual ratchets, should only need 3/8 and 1/2
    Impact gun (if you're too good for hand tools)
    Pry Bars
    Channel locks

    OK, so a general overview of whats going to happen: Connect engine hoist, put jack on the transmission, remove K member completely from car, lower motor/trans together to the floor/near floor, and reverse for install.

    --- NOTE: Im going to assume you have some basic knowledge about being a mechanic, otherwise you should not be attempting this install in the slightest. So I will be skipping most of the redundant stuff, like "Find the jacking points on the car" etc.

    So to begin with, obviously get all four corners jacked up, and put stands on all 4 corners. Im sure this can be done with just the front jacked up, but this makes it much easier. Find a spot to have the hoist connected on the engine, preferably right where the top most pulley goes above the water pump, but anything sturdy and evenly-distributed will suffice. Lift it a bit to relieve some of the pressure on the K member and associated braces. Next, get under the car, and remove the driveshaft, if you dont own a tail plug yet now is the time to get one. Once that is done, place the jack under the trans, and jack that up just a small bit enough to relieve pressure off the rear. Now, in order to disconnect the K you will need to remove these things:
    -Wheels
    -Calipers
    -Cross brace right at the end of the K member
    -Front Sway bar
    -Steering Column
    -Anything else that may get snagged up when you go to lower the motor, like engine ground wire, power steering pump, ac compressor, any hoses (heater core, rad hoses, other misc hoses) etc.

    Once you're done with the removal stage of this job, next comes the drop. There is two ways of doing this part, whichever method you choose is fine, one requires more moving of parts and such, the other requires much tighter clearances and may take the same amount of time. You can completely lower the K member, with the trans and the motor still attached (do not remove the motor mount nuts if you want to do this) to the floor, and then install your headers like that. Personally, there is so little room that its not even funny, but its your choice.

    The method I used, is take the K completely down (Two long bolts on the top portion behind the struts on each side that should be 18mm, two smaller bolts on each side on a small "ear" of the ending of the car facing the rear of the car, should be 15mm), then get that pulled out of the way. Now, with the hoist and the jack, slowly lower the motor and trans (switch between the two so you dont dip anything and lose fluids, like the trans) either to the floor or almost the floor, all you need to see when you look through the wheel well is the very bottom of the valve cover just become clear, then you have enough room. Remove your old manifolds, logs, whatever you have, and clean up the area with a scraper to make sure no old gasket or anything is left, you want it as clean as possible.

    With kooks, you should have been supplied their multiple layer metal gasket, that has 4 OPEN holes on the bottom, 1 OPEN hole on the top (3rd hole in) and 3 CLOSED holes on the top. You will also notice the header flange has this exact same design. So, first put in whatever bolts you're going to use (either kooks supplied, stage 8 locking, etc.) on the bottom 4 holes. just go in a few threads, you want room on them. Take the headers, and at about a 45 degree angle, slide them onto those 4 bolts that are in place. Then put the next bolt into the open hole on the top (3rd hole in), and then the other remaining 3. Do not tighten any of the bolts yet, as some of the holes may not line up perfect (some of the kooks tubes are separate from each other on the flange so they can move). once all bolts are in, obviously torque them down and be done with it, shouldn't need to explain this part to much. Once thats all done, slowly lower the motor up with the trans, so that you can now get the K back in. *Before you put the K up, one last recommendation is to re-attatch the starter and starter wires (Little ground 13mm nut, power 13mm nut, small power 10mm nut). Follow reverse steps of removing the K to re-install it. In case you have never re-installed one before, major tip.. do not tighten any of them into place until youre positive every bolt is in. I personally like to loosely thread in the trans bolts (2 on each side of the trans, believe they are 13mm or 15mm) so that the motor/trans will be as far back as they are supposed to be, then thread in the "ear" 2 on each side (the small 15mm) and lastly install the remaining 2 on each side long 18mm bolts. You WILL have to push and pull the K a tiny bit to get the holes to line up if you tighten any of these bolts before installing them all youre going to get frustrated really fast. I recommend a second hand for getting the K back up, only for the sake of balancing each side is hard with one person. Once thats all done, the fun part begins.

    If you bought cheapo headers, congrats because most likely they did not care about flow to much and make youre headers very tight fitting, with everything going AROUND the headers. However, if you bought kooks, you get the benefit of your steering shaft going THROUGH the headers. I have to give credit where its due, Marv Z., was immensely helpful when even kooks turned me away saying I had to buy a new steering shaft to fit their headers that they claim fit everything stock. If you require pictures, let me know as I dont have a photobucket or anything to post them here, but I will gladly explain the process if you need it. So get down on the floor, and look straight through where your rack and pinion sits, where the steering shaft would go, were going to be working in this area. Firstly, get inside the car, and right where the shaft enters, its got a bearing there. It should be 2 10mm nuts, remove that and the bearing. You will see why shortly. Now, in some cases its stuck (like mine was) but both ends of your steering shaft are telescopic, not just the bottom or top. If the top is stuck (typically, it is) youre going to want to get a rubber mallet and lightly tap it until it becomes un-stuck and completely collapses. With both ends collapse, put the shaft through the bottom opening like you normally would, and insert it into the only opening in the headers. The U joint will now become stuck... or not. Now get further under the car, and you should be able to get your left hand in near where the oil pan is (depending on your type, I have a large canton and still could get in there) and bend the top half of the shaft vertically, at about 50-60 degrees upwards, sometimes you can do this from the starting hole as well with just one hand. Once its upright, jam it in there good so it doesnt move in the meantime. Get back to where you can get your left hand in there, and you should be able to see the very bottom of the U joint now with a huge flat area. Take a long or multiple long extensions, and give it a few light taps with a hammer. I used a small single hand sledge, and with 4 or 5 light blows it slid right in between like butter. Keep going until you can freely jiggle around the shaft with no problem. Typically this is when I like connecting it to the rack and pinion again as well while its still very flexible. Now, you are going to push the shaft further, until it is almost touching the booster above you, however once it gets close, it will completely drop down into the engine bay as the U joint has shifted. Now you should have just enough room to wiggle it lower and into the firewall hole. Once in the firewall, get a set of channel locks, and re-extend the top portion of the shaft, and reinstall the bearing on top of that. Reinstall anything else that was taken off to drop the K and motor fully. Congrats, youve now saved close to a grand and didnt go crazy!

    Before anybody comments it, if you have never done such large headers as these kooks were, do not comment with different methods. I Tried to install with the motor from the top, tried to install with only loosening the K, tried it with leaving the K but raising the motor and laying the headers down, literally nothing worked. This was the only way I was able to. Like stated earlier, unless you are working with Kooks, or some other similar brand (like american racing, or anything else very high end, however this is just speculation) there are MUCH easier ways of installing them without having to do half of the work listed here. I wrote this because while I was trying to get everything done, not many or anybody thats online has worked with such large headers and when I needed help, it was hard to find, so hopefully whenever other mechanics out there ever need to drop these in, they have a direction to go in without 90% of the hassle I did. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask as I have a good amount of pictures and id be more than happy to help walk you through the job. I accept Arizona regular as payment by the way :rolling:

    -Frank

    Note: If there are any errors in my writing here, or if you have further tips youd like me to expand on, please let me know so i can correct it. Thanks!!
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2016
  2. MG0h3

    MG0h3 Well-Known Member Premium Member Established Member

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    Id say youre pretty spot on. I did all above for my ARH install and just realized that to get the engine low enough to access some of the upper bolts, you have to pull the trans mount as well.
     
  3. FMD

    FMD New Member Established Member

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    Jul 30, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Yep, pretty much drop everything. Was quite annoying trying literally every other method first and ruining the coating on the headers, but at least I now know the correct way, and you can never learn enough. Never had ARH as I had my heart set on Kooks after hearing them on a buddies goat, after all this trouble and not getting much support from them (they also took a little over 3 months to make them), id probably try ARH next time. But for now im just happy they are all said and done. However if they leak ill probably be ripping my hair out haha. Thank you for the input MG0h3!
     
  4. FMD

    FMD New Member Established Member

    Messages:
    77
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey
    *EDIT: Added note about starter/starter wires going in before K is re-installed just to clarify
     

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