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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
been searching for a couple hours and found good info, but I need to be more specific to get the info I may need.

ok bear with me.


About a month ago now, I installed an ebay header, hate myself for cheaping out like that. where the header meets the stock midpipe, the fitment is off a decent bit. still was able to use oem spring bolts, but because the flanges don't line up 100% there's been a decent gap. the donut gasket still kept most of the air from leaking out. it took me longer than I thought to get it on, so by then it was late on a sunday night and doing this by myself i couldn't put the old stock manifold(which is 100% in tact) back on. I had some grey permatex high torque rtv so i filled in the gaps with it and that was that. still had a light leak, but with a hectic schedule, i had to just rock it like that. Also, i never through any code with the header on. 2 weeks later, instead of fixing the header leak problem, i instead replaced my exhaust with a greddy ti-c catback. still a little leak at the header/midpipe but no codes, ran pretty good, but never as good as i thought, but blamed it on my leak. last week, and still cant pinpoint it, i feel like i hear the gusting wind blowing from either under the engine bay, or intake area was my guess, also the greddy muffler had its good tone but if you got right behind the muffler it too sounded like wind was coming through it. still no codes, still header/midpipe leak. always had a spectre filter on my aem ram intake, and it seemed like the rubber coupler that goes around the maf adapter?(silver metal part) was losing its seal on the filter so i replaced it with the aem dryflow that is the replacement for my intake. spectre filter went all the way around the silver metal part and was clamped right up against the flanges on the maf. i could only get this filter to go on about an inch or so on the silver adapter but from pictures on here, im pretty sure that's how its supposed to be. tightened the hose clamp down and that was that. drove for 2 more days car ran how itd been running, still no codes also. today i had the whole day to take a look at everything and took advantage of it. started off by pulling my negative terminal, and took the intake of the manifold to reposition it, never unplugged anything, just undid the clamp turned the intake a little, and tightedned the clamp. then got under the car and took out the spring bolts on the header flange, and ripped out most of the rtv. clamped the flanges together with three mini needle nose vise grips at the best connection i could get the header and midpipe to line up at hoping if i torqued the bolts on turn each at a time, i could get the fitment better. had better luck, but not much, and then took them back out and used some longer bolts i had bought 10X1.25 just like the oem, but didn't use the springs, and added a nylock nut on them to help get them as tight as possible, this was a better fit, but i knew it wasn't smart without the springs, but figured id be ok until tomorrow morning when i have about 3-4 hrs free time. i then added some rtv again bc the leak was pretty bad on the top part, engine side. i then hopped in the car, lit a cig and turned the key to the second position and the ses light blinked a few times then stayed on, which hit me as weird. started the car, light was gone. let it idle for about 5-10 min, turned it off and cleaned up my tools. first, i don't know what iwas thinking doing that with the rtv still fresh, and overall pretty much wasted my day playing with the manifold/ and making it a decent bit worse, but im running out of ideas, and really don't want to run with the stock until i get smogged next. an hour or so later, i again not thinking, drove 15 min to my brothers. got the best mpg ive had all year, also there was no ses light before i started it this time, the light stayed lit and never blinked. no noticeable differences in performance just better mpg, and still no ses. was at my brothers for about 4 hrs, and when i left, light didn't blink in the on position again. while driving home, about 3 min after i get on the highway, boom hey there SES light, but car ran as it had been, and literally 30 seconds before it came on, i had thought it was running a little better.... get back home tried to pedal dance a couple times, but couldn't get it and it was too late to chill in the driveway doing that. let it idle in the driveway and got out just to listen since it was too dark to see, and the muffler exhaust was a little smelly, but been like that since the header install.

my guesses without looking at anything under the hood, are maybe one of the intake hoses came loose from being twisted, since i now have a pretty good leak at the midpipe header connection maybe that tripped something, rtv got sucked into the cat since it never fully set, but the pressure out of the muffler seemed normal, or maybe while at my brothers the rtv set and made a solid connection between the header and midpipe and even though ive driven at least 400-500 miles since first installing it, im just now throwing an o2 sensor code since i never had to do the non-fouler trick before. i understand with no code it could be anything but any ideas might make me sleep tonight/ or know what i could be facing in the morning.

sorry for the essay, just want to be a descriptive as possible with the info i have.
thank you for taking the time to read my problem, any knowledge/ info/ ideas/help would be sweet!!!
 

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did you use a new donut? you might need a new one when you change to a different header/midpipe. the spring act as a flex point for the exhaust, so unless you did your motor mounts, your exhaust might be bouncing around everywhere and will break more easily. also, when you bolt the header to the midpipe, you need to bolt it level, like turn one bolt 5x, then other bolt 5x, and back and forth so it squishes the donut into place evenly. if you screw one bolt all the way, it wont squish the donut straight, and youll need a new donut. if you still have the original spring bolts, and your topping them off and won't go any tighter, you can goto the hardware store and pick up fully threaded bolts for a dollar or three.

as for your ses light, if you didnt use some anti-foulers, you need to do this:
http://www.b15u.com/threads/4124-In...oulers-to-Remove-SES-Light-(o2-Sensor-Spacer)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So there a possibility that after putting 500 miles on it with the header that it would just now throw a code for the o2 sensor?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So I unplugged the battery ( negative ) bought a new donut, scraped out all the rtv and redid the bolts with longer ones I got at Home Depot. It now is almost connected to the mid pipe perfectly, I'd say 90%, but there's no leak. Drove roughly 40 miles after and didn't throw a code. Hopefully my car is happy again
 

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Can someone summarize this? If you have an aftermarket header you need an o2 spacer on the 2nd o2 sensor or you will get a Check Engine light.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
that's not summarizing this man. summarizing it is to stop advising people to buy cheap ebay headers, or at least tell us which seller to buy from. I spent 100$ on one and it was nothing but problems, probably spent upwards of 75$ more on new manifold nuts, spring bolts, gaskets, whatever and no matter how much I tried, the flanges would never sit flush. not to mention, my stock manifold precat was/is 100% intact.. after weeks of dealing with the BS of a header, ditched it andl I bought a brand new genuine nismo header. oh did I mention you can get those still, www.gspec.com.
 
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