SW LT Header failure / cam replacement

TXBlazer

Original poster
Member
Nov 21, 2011
533
Cypress, TEXAS USA
For any of you that may have Stainless Works LT Headers, please be aware that the welds at the head flange connection could possibly fail. Earlier this month my truck developed an exhaust leak. I thought it was possibly one of the Y-pipe connections or the Y-pipe to muffler flange gasket. It turned out to be the #8 tube to head flange was leaking. The leak was between the tube and the flange, the flange is oversized and the tube is welded on the face towards the head. The weld had no penetration onto the flange, and was only about 3/32" thick. This left me at a crossroad, fix the header and go on my way, or pull the head and make sure I had not started to burn the valve. Of course I took the road less traveled and pulled the heads, so I'm going to swap the cam while I have everything apart, along with lapping all the valves, new valve seals, new lifters, pushrods, valve springs, rockers, chain, gears and of course the cam. I started the teardown Wed night, removing the exhaust, draining the rad and removing the cold air, overflow, plugs, plug wires, coil packs and all the wiring. I had a buddy Tig weld all of the tubes on both of the headers, as well as throwing 2 insurance welds on the outside of each tube. Thursday night I removed the Intake, Valve covers, Heads and water pump.

Failed weld #8 exhaust tube, 270 degree fail
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Failed weld #2 exhaust tube, 180 degree fail
DSC_2606.jpg

I need to add that the #4 & #6 tubes also had hairline cracks in the welds that were at least 90 degrees of weld on each.
Welded back up and insurance welds on outside
DSC_2608.jpg

DSC_2609.jpg

Intake Removed
DSC_2607.jpg

DSC_2610.jpg

Heads Removed
DSC_2611.jpg

Water Pump Removed
DSC_2612.jpg

DSC_2613.jpg

DSC_2614.jpg


More to come as I pull the cam, gears, chain and reassembly, then off for another tune.
 

TXBlazer

Original poster
Member
Nov 21, 2011
533
Cypress, TEXAS USA
I don't have enough time to wait on Stainless Works to try to exchange them....They're fixed better than SW could have made them now. I'm planning on having this back up and running tomorrow evening.
 

ScarabEpic22

Member
Nov 20, 2011
728
Bummer to hear about the SW weld quality, spending that much $$ on headers and having them fail like that Id be pissed. Those new welds look mint though, so at the end of the day they'll work correctly now.

Like your thinking, a little engine refresh and a cam means more power. Full bolt on 5.3s can give an SS a run for its money, if not beat it.
 

Boricua SS

Member
Nov 20, 2011
3,080
Ohio
ahh.. those pics look all to familiar with me :rotfl:.. just had my motor torn down, and ended up getting a new one due to a spun bearing... wish i wouldve had the money to do a cam swap as it was optimal to do one then..

glad to hear you fixed everything.... nice work :thumbsup:
 

TexazReece

Member
Dec 4, 2011
1,341
Sorry to see the sw welds fail but glad you got it fixed with better welds. Wish I woulda known earlier I coulda came by and.helped out
 

TXBlazer

Original poster
Member
Nov 21, 2011
533
Cypress, TEXAS USA
Well.....was busy as all getout Fri (4 hrs) tearing the rest of the truck down......the worst part was removing the crankshaft pulley.....240 ft# from the factory....took all the muscle I had and a bit of help from Justin (Culzero) and a 3/4" ratchet. came right off...I wish!!

Saturday: 8am pulled the timing cover and removed the cam....after spinning the A/c condensor back up and over the top of the block...Cam literally slid right out. Lubed up the new cam, replaced the cam gear, heads, lifters & trays, push rods, rockers......you get the picture.....let me tell you the heads are such a joy to torque down.......3 rounds all at set intervals for the first 10 bolts....then a fourth round on the last 5 bolts, then you get to torque the other head!!!

Needless to say after everyhting was back in place, fluids topped back off, truck was running around 9:30 pm....13.5 hr cam swap!!!! then I got to change the oil and filter.


Finished just in time for the Galveston Cruise on Sunday Morning, then a retune with Luis (Speedmaster747) Truck runs awesome and pulls until you get off the throttle....Life is good!!:biggrin:
 

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