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Discussion Starter #1
I've been reading up a lot on the problem with the pre cats lately and have been trying to figure out the best way to avoid the problem. I know a lot of people either gut them or just get headers to completely eliminate them. So my problem is that I'm not sure which is best. I was thinking about gutting them but I'm not too sure about my capabilities. Then I thought of getting che headers, the only problem with that is that I don't want my car to sound like a dumb ricer and I'm not sure how reliable it is. Any help would be appreciated sorry if i sound like a noob. I have 2001 with about 85,000 miles on it. Thanks in advance
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks to everyone for the quick replies. I won't be installing the headers myself, I would most likely have to take it somewhere for that. I also read that if you run the car so it warms up it will pass tests. I guess I am looking for the best long run solution, I plan on keeping this car for a really long time i love it!:D
 

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THERE was great satisfaction in gutting those things by hand
 

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The hardest part of the process is getting the stock header off. Surgically removing the pre-cats from the header is super easy and very satisfying.

Taking it somewhere to have it done is dicey. Professional mechanics are prohibited by law from modifying the emissions system.
 

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Does the check engine light turn on when you gut them?
Not at all. Just be sure to completely clean out the OEM header with water after breaking up the precat matrix and VERY IMPORTANTLY, wear eye and respiratory protection (like a dust mask) when doing this work. Make sure 100% of the matrix and dust is gone before you reinstall the header.
 

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Taking it somewhere to have it done is dicey. Professional mechanics are prohibited by law from modifying the emissions system.
Sort of depends on how you ask.
Buy a stock manifold from someone here, and gut it. Take it to the shop: "I think my exhaust manifold needs to be replaced, would you please put this one on for me? Thanks"
 

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By the way, I'm minimally mechanically inclined (certainly not a seasoned mechanic)- I did the header swap (TRD header) back in 2005- it was a piece of cake, so I'm sure anyone just a little handy with some tools can do this job easily.
 

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By the way, I'm minimally mechanically inclined (certainly not a seasoned mechanic)- I did the header swap (TRD header) back in 2005- it was a piece of cake, so I'm sure anyone just a little handy with some tools can do this job easily.
I'm no shade tree mechanic either, more of a tiny sapling mechanic. I enjoy driving cars a whole lot more than wrenching on them. Fortunately, I have a son who's quite handy and usually in need of cash. :)
 

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Gut the stock one, the aftermarket header designs are very very poor. They have the same primary size on the engine side as they do on the downpipe side. Its a 1.4" ID pipe going into a 1.75" ID stock downpipe, this is probably why there are tons of leaks on the ebay headers.
 

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I had problems with my aftermarket header, my downpipe flange was slightly warped and due to the poor gasket setup (not the same as stock gaskets, stock gaskets won't work on aftermarket header) my engine ran poorly due to the leak and I ended up gutting and re-installing my original manifold. Strongly recommend gutting original bulletproof and better gasket design stock exhaust manifold.
 

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Never had problems with my che header, but I've bought a new shortblock and had the (gutted) stock header refitted.

I have the che for sale now, I think the gasket could be re-used, but if not, any ideas on where to get a replacement gasket ? I'd hate to sell it without having some kind of solution for the buyer. I seem to recollect that the stock round toyota gaskets didn't fit.
 

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Never had problems with my che header, but I've bought a new shortblock and had the (gutted) stock header refitted.

I have the che for sale now, I think the gasket could be re-used, but if not, any ideas on where to get a replacement gasket ? I'd hate to sell it without having some kind of solution for the buyer. I seem to recollect that the stock round toyota gaskets didn't fit.
Mine was a CHE also, the stock round gaskets won't fit on this one. The round gaskets are far a superior design in my opinion.
 

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Wait, Toyota OEM gaskets don't work with the Che/Ebay/TRD headers?
No they don't, Toyota uses donut style gaskets that fit into machined grooves around the flange opening. The Che headers use a compression type gasket that squeezes flat in between the two flanges (it doesn't have the machined grooves).
 

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No they don't, Toyota uses donut style gaskets that fit into machined grooves around the flange opening. The Che headers use a compression type gasket that squeezes flat in between the two flanges (it doesn't have the machined grooves).
I thought Che supplied Toyota OEM gaskets with his headers though - are the 2 "donut" gaskets he supplies different, or do they just not work as well as the headers don't have the groove that the stock headers do?

Gaskets shown here:

Ebay Link
 

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I thought Che supplied Toyota OEM gaskets with his headers though - are the 2 "donut" gaskets he supplies different, or do they just not work as well as the headers don't have the groove that the stock headers do?

Gaskets shown here:

Ebay Link
Yea, I guess the newer one has the toyota gasket. Bought mine less than a year ago from Monkey Wrench Racing and it had the sh***y gasket system!!
 
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