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OBX-R Headers Write-Up, Photos and Video

So I've been searching for an alternative to the JBA shorties for a long while. I've never been satisfied with their build quality or finish. I emailed every major headers company I could find without any luck (including OBX). I was either told it wasnt worth the R&D time and expense or was just flat up ignored. Our vendor here Stainless Works seems to make a top quality product but I just couldnt drop that sort of coin with my other projects going on and without any customer feedback about their product it was sort of a shot in the dark.

So I was surfing ebay for my usual terms and found a couple of auctions for these hidden amongst the listings for JBA. What are they...? OBX-R Polished Stainless Shorty headers.

About the product: (copied from their ebay listing)

Primary Tube Diameter (in): 1 1/2" Tube Size.
Primary Tube Gauge: 14-gauge
Constructed With High Quality SUS-T304 Stainless Steel For Best Durability.
Mirror Polished Finishing.
CNC Machined Thick Flange


Price: $325 shipped (I received mine 3 days from time of purchase)

About the Install:

Well it was 108* outside and about 30% humidity (?) so yeah... uhmm not fun. It retrospect I really could've used a hand. I did the install in my garage so no lift, no ramps, just some jack stands and little hyrdaulic jack :banghead:. The factory bolts were extremely tight and there is virtually no room to work with on the passenger side thanks to the wiring harness and intake plenum (I have the scrapes and bruises to prove it). Removing the heatshields is probably the biggest pain. You cant get to the header bolts without removing them and it requires a mixture of finesse and a really big pry bar. Once they are off the header bolts are a really tight squeeze that require some major heeman strength and/or a lot of leverage. Its too tight for a breaker bar and for most of them its too tight for a socket/ratchet...even with a swivel-universal. I tried using a 1/4 socket/ratchet since thats all that would fit but yeah...twisted the universal in half. Ended up using a ratcheting wrench (craftsmen thin profile) to fit in there and using a 21mmm closed end wrench as a breaker bar on the end of it for leverage....worked like a charm.

With the stock headers off and the new ones in position its a bit of a balancing act and cuddle party with the engine - particularly the oil pan and block. In 110* heat the motor never really cools down so that made for a steamy adventure. Getting everything lined up and the new bolts threaded in proper while holding the header in place....ugh, not fun. After all was said and done I had some exhaust leaks I had to go back and fix -- I think I still might have a few that I'll have to go back and torque a bit more after a few more heat cycles.

Oh...I had some help from my modding buddy too:






Photos of the headers:
(these photographs were taken for my own purposes and are not within public domain. If any company wishes to use these you must contact me first for copyright and usage terms and compensation)





















Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f83_cgP1Q_Q

Future Possibilities:
I am going to schedule some dyno time soon to see how much power I gained and probably run with them for a month or so to verify quality, durability, etc.
 

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somebody needs gas!! lol, it definetely sounds really beefy for a V6 bro, i like it
 

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OBX-R Headers Write-Up, Photos and Video

So I've been searching for an alternative to the JBA shorties for a long while. I've never been satisfied with their build quality or finish.

they pretty much look exactly like jba's setup. just a different material and more shiny.


as far as build quality goes, they could have done a better job near the exits with the welds. the jba's i just installed didnt have ANY weld reaching the inside race of the pipe runners. (remember most of the gains from headers vs stock exhaust is exhaust flow/velocity and less disruption of the flow from any obstructions) its a small bit, but issue of "quality"... seems like it lacks slightly.

obx is a good company. they usually reverse engineer major companies products or acquire from a mass produced builder. they had a decent header for the chevy j-body. in the case of the j-body it was a direct copy of the pacesetter which had already been out for about 3-4 years at the time.

stainless is good for those who want some shine (as long as you keep the shine up as it dulls slightly over time), coated is a good option for those who want to keep more of the heat in the pipes.


now a stainless coated header would be ideal and best of both worlds.

headers on almost any vehicle should be a desired upgrade though.:bigthumb:;)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The JBA's I saw BritishNate install on his...there was globs of weld all over the collectors and there was no real seam on the exterior, just looked like it was thrown on. The entrance ports weren't true either : / I dunno... hit or miss.
 

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The JBA's I saw BritishNate install on his...there was globs of weld all over the collectors and there was no real seam on the exterior, just looked like it was thrown on. The entrance ports weren't true either : / I dunno... hit or miss.
possibly. i got mine from hhpracing.com. never have had any problems with products from there or any quality of the products bought or installed there.

most companies have robotic to get the general frame and shape together, then human to do fill ins. mine were just as top notch as the pacesetter headers now sitting on my older car from almost a decade ago (testament to how long they have lasted through mid atlantic winters, salt and snow on a daily driver), same as Dc Sports and any other flow coated header i've worked with.

also on the design, many companies have moved away from heavy seams on the outside, mainly to allow for some flex so welds dont crack overtime. they then use a few spot welds on the outside as its all it really needs. saves weight as well as manufacturing time, and just as strong as any other. its been a new design around for years now. (some use the flared pipe end and only weld from the outside, then grind the pipe and plate flat, others use a "beaded around the port" type plate and recessed pipe with outside only welding -theres quite a few designs out there) pacesetter actually redesigned theres around 2001 to use this. the seam is there but its actually welded inside the plate used for mounting. trust me, i've wondered the same back in the day.

as it was explained its like the fitting of a flared end hydraulic line through the plate. it wont pull through. its welded inner and on the outer raised edge of the plate. they have raised edges to eliminate leaks as the pressure is now applied to the gasket via the raised edges and not just a long plate. very sound design compared to many.:bigthumb:

at this stage (mainly preference wise) i'll only go with flowcoated ceramics...at least on the inside, cause i do dig he look of stainless once they blue and brown a bit. but one cant beat the benefits of a coated setup in terms of performance ;)



are the obx headers C.A.R.B approved like the jba's?

either way glad to hear you like em....;)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
are the obx headers C.A.R.B approved like the jba's?

either way glad to hear you like em....;)
Thanks for all the details! I think Nate got his from Adam's at Eastway during their huge sale. I know that was during their transition phase - I hear the business got sold (?..who knows). Pacesetter was the first company I actually contacted when I started looking for a company to produce them especially since they are here in Phoenix. Unfortunately they werent interested :(. Their product always seems to be affordable and top quality.

As far as the technical metal works and build techniques - There was a small bead of welds on the inside of the tube and the bead around the outside like you see in the photos. The bead on the inside was pretty much flush to the surface.

I dunno if they are carb approved or not. My car is full of hardware that isnt and AZ isnt to concerned about all that. If I was in Cali...that would be a different story lol.
 

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Thanks for all the details! I think Nate got his from Adam's at Eastway during their huge sale. I know that was during their transition phase - I hear the business got sold (?..who knows). Pacesetter was the first company I actually contacted when I started looking for a company to produce them especially since they are here in Phoenix. Unfortunately they werent interested :(. Their product always seems to be affordable and top quality.

As far as the technical metal works and build techniques - There was a small bead of welds on the inside of the tube and the bead around the outside like you see in the photos. The bead on the inside was pretty much flush to the surface.

I dunno if they are carb approved or not. My car is full of hardware that isnt and AZ isnt to concerned about all that. If I was in Cali...that would be a different story lol.


not sure if they were sold or not, i've been away for some time now...

but pacesetter would def be a good place to get em from IF they made em. sadly like my last car, its seeming this platform will start to get all the goods just in time for the platform to not exist anymore;)

doesnt help with the econ as it is where buying is slow either.
 

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Transition from OBX headers to down pipes

Ryan,

How did you resolve the transition from the shorty headers to the downpipes. I got my headers in last week and planned to install them this past weekend... only to find that the headers and the down pipes to the CAT were not the same size.

I am assuming, based on your pictures that you ran into that as well. How did you fix this?

Thanks,

Joe O
 

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Ryan,

How did you resolve the transition from the shorty headers to the downpipes. I got my headers in last week and planned to install them this past weekend... only to find that the headers and the down pipes to the CAT were not the same size.

I am assuming, based on your pictures that you ran into that as well. How did you fix this?

Thanks,

Joe O
might wanna check his post on the LX forums...

the OBX headers eventually developed leaks and problems. customer service to get it fixed didnt go so well.... he's since switched to JBA Coated headers....

he has a post called: OBX 3.5L Headers: PRODUCT FAILURE - Bad Customer Service
 

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Hmmmm..

Well I think I may have learned a $324 lesson on this one. Research, research, research.

He must have had those leaks from the start as the ball flange on the header collector is ridiculously small... it's probably over a half inch smaller in diameter than the stock head pipe cone that it's supposed to mate to.

I installed these things and did not check the mating tolerance before installing everything. I started the car up and knew immediately that I had an exhaust leak. I located the leak coming from the header collector ball flange connection to the head pipe. Pulled it all apart and got it out to where I could put the 2 together and inspect it... Viola! There it was big as day. It just spun around in the head pipe cone. There was no way to mate the 2 up without at least a 16th inch gap ... couldn't even use a gasket. (not that I wanted to).

Oh man this is an expensive lesson. I bought mine from Tuning Depot and have sent them and OBX and email. Here is the email thread:

From Tuning Depot:
--------------------------------------
Hi Joe,

If possible, please take a picture of the issues you are having with the metalic ball joint / flange gasket design that you are having issues with a comparison picture against the OEM one. I'll make sure OBX looks into this right away for you, but to my knowledge we have not had issues like this thus far regarding the flange design.

My Original Message;
-------------------------------------
From: "Joseph ONeil" <[email protected]>
To: <[email protected]>; <[email protected]>
Sent: Monday, March 29, 2010 9:22 AM
Subject: OBX Shorty Headers for Dodge Charger 3.5L

> To Whom it may concern,
>
> I recently purchase one of your products from an authorized dealer of
> yours (The Tuning Depot) that is listed in your dealer list on your web
> site. I received the headers and attempted the installation this past
> weekend only to find that the ball flange on your header collector is
> much smaller than that of the stock Head Pipe.
>
> The 2 will not work together. Do you have any suggestions on how to make
> this work or do you perhaps sell some adapter that will allow me to use
> the shorty headers I purchased and cannot return?
>
> I am, as you may expect, rather disappointed that I now have a pair of
> rather nice looking shorty headers but no way to use them in the
> application that they were sold to me for. I don't know who is to blame
> for this oversight as they are clearly advertised as headers for a 2006
> Dodge Charger 3.5 L V6 but obviously have an incorrect sized ball flange
> joint on the header collector.
>
> I would gladly return them for a pair that fits.... I am not looking for
> my money back just something that works.
>
> I hope you can help me as I am impressed with the header quality other
> than this major issue and would like to install them.
>
> Thanks,
>
> Joseph M. O'Neil
---------------------------------------------

This sucks!!
 

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Ouch. Good luck on a resolution; it took Ryan quite a bit to get his money back, including financial institutions stepping in. I haven't re-read the thread where he disputed their return policy, but if I recall from reading it originally he got them from OBX directly. Since you're going through a reseller hopefully they will take better care of you.
 

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damn bro good work !!
 

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get em coated.... its more a performance thing, but also a longevity and efficiency thing. well worth it.
 

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Curious, did the obx flange mate directly up to the oem flange? In other words, did you just put a gasket between the two and tighten the bolts? I am thinking about giving this a try but want to know what i can first without need for welding or saw zawing anything.
 
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