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Old 08-15-2004, 06:36 PM   #1
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Question Race header and emissions testing

I am considering whether or not to run a race header on my vehicle. It looks like the EPA is going to force Michigan to bring back emissions testing in 2007 as part of a plan to help it meet ambient emissions standards. So, I know I will fail emissions testing if I run a race header that eliminates the cat.

I can't ignore the gains assocaited with running a race header and eliminating the cat, so I was still thinking of putting one on my Focus. Then, in 2007, when I need to go get tabs, I could temporarily swap the stock header and cat back on to pass the test. I would need to do this every year an inspection was required.

So here are the issues as I see them:

1) Can the threaded holes in the Zetec block take the equivalent of two intake manifold installations per year?

2) I am assuming I would have to replace the rear HEGO each year since it is not used to seeing so many hydrocarbon, NOx, and CO molecules. What do you guys think?

3) Can I disconnect many of the popular plug-and-play O2 cheaters when I need to run the stock system?

4) I know that header bolts are only good for one or two installs before they need to be replaced. The rule at Ford's prototype shops is typically only one use. So I would need to replace the bolts to the block each year.

Do you guys think it is worth the install time and effort to get the gains but still pass emissions tests? Let me know what you think about that and the four issues I pointed out above.


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Old 08-16-2004, 12:43 AM   #2
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All that stuff about the bolts not being able to take more installs, I think all of that is bs. Personally I think they are just saying that to try and get people to not do exactly what you are talking about doing, which is also what I'm going to have to do since I installed my race header today. I don't think you really have to worry about any of the issues that you are talking about. My friend has had his header(FS) on for a while and he had to swap back to stock to pass smog. He passed fine and then swapped the header back, no problems ever, and he hasn't replaced anything. Car runs great, just make sure to swap everything back including all the cpu stuff. I think you'll be fine, hopefully that helps.
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Old 08-16-2004, 02:19 AM   #3
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Actually you'll pass emissions, but not a visual check. Check and see if the visual will be/is done.
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Old 08-16-2004, 07:58 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by spikNspan DAN
All that stuff about the bolts not being able to take more installs, I think all of that is bs. Personally I think they are just saying that to try and get people to not do exactly what you are talking about doing
I am an engineer for Ford in Dearborn, and I know that it is not just BS they tell the public. They force all their techs and mechanics to follow the rule. They swap a header, a cyliner head system, etc., they have to get a new set of bolts. It makes sense from the standpoint that the bolts are torqued down pretty tight and then subject to a ton of thermal loading. To continuously load (and hence stretch) the bolts and then unload (and return as to normal state as possible) puts a decent amount of stress on them. Overtime, the loading and unloading will lead to fatigue and possible failure. I just don't know if it is enough to worry about.

Anyone buy a bunch of bolts from the local dealership to replace some rusty ones when doing a header R&R? Just wondering what they paid for them.

On the other part of your post, thanks for the help. Maybe I will end up getting the race headers then.
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Old 08-16-2004, 12:12 PM   #5
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the bolts that hold the header to the head are only supposed to be torqued 18 ft lbs. That's not too tight, I don't think the threads on the bolt are going to fall apart or anything if you swap the things a few times. And when you get the new header it should come with new bolts anyways, so that solves the problem. Since you'll only be doing it every time you have to smog, which is like a year and a half or 2 years, you shouldn't have a problem. It would be a different story if you were swapping it back and forth a lot, but you aren't so I don't think you should worry too much. Have fun with the header and if you are planning on buying a race header I highly recommend Focus Sport. Great quality welds and everything fit together exactly how it should. Have fun!
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