Cars & Vehicles Auto Racing

How to Install a Header on a 2002 Ford F-150

    • 1). Park the F-150 on a flat level surface and allow the engine to cool for several hours. Exhaust parts are extremely hot. Not allowing the engine to properly cool can lead to burn injury.

    • 2). Apply the emergency brake and put the vehicle in gear (manual transmission) or in "Park" (automatic). Loosen the front wheel lug nuts using a lug wrench.

    • 3). Raise the front of the vehicle up using a floor jack. Place jack stands beneath the front jack points and remove the floor jack. Remove the front wheel lug nuts and remove the front wheels.

    • 4). Open the hood. Locate the factory exhaust manifolds, one on the driver side and one on the passenger side. Spray a generous amount of lubricant on each of the bolts securing the exhaust manifolds to the engine. Climb below the truck and spray lubricant on each of the bolts connecting the exhaust manifolds to the exhaust system. Allow the lubricant to penetrate the bolts for five to 10 minutes before attempting to remove the bolts. Due to exhaust corrosion, the bolts are extremely hard to remove.

    • 5). Remove the bolts securing both the driver and passenger side exhaust manifold to the exhaust system beneath the truck using a wrench and breaker bar. Separate the exhaust system from the exhaust manifolds.

    • 6). Remove the bolt securing the EGR tube to the driver side exhaust manifold using a wrench. Access the EGR tube through the driver side wheel well.

    • 7). Remove the bolts securing the driver's side exhaust manifold to the engine head using a wrench. Access the driver's side exhaust manifold through the driver's side wheel well. Remove the driver side exhaust manifold from beneath the truck.

    • 8). Remove the dipstick mounting bolt from the engine head using a wrench. Access the mounting bolt through the engine compartment. Pull the dipstick directly up to remove it from the engine. Place it aside.

    • 9). Remove the bolts securing the passenger side exhaust manifold to the engine head using a wrench. Access the passenger side exhaust manifold through the passenger's side wheel well. Remove the passenger side exhaust manifold from beneath the truck.

    • 10

      Clean any carbon deposits from the header mounting surface on the engine head using a plastic putty knife.

    • 11

      Apply a small amount of high temperature RTV sealant to the exhaust system connectors (below the vehicle).

    • 12

      Install the new driver side header unit from beneath the vehicle. Be sure to install the supplied gasket between the header and engine head. Install the bolts that secure the header to the engine head and tighten to 23 foot-pounds of torque with a torque wrench. Apply a small amount of anti-seize compound to the threads of the exhaust bolts to make them easier to install and remove.

    • 13

      Connect the EGR tube to the new header unit and tighten using a wrench.

    • 14

      Re-install the dipstick and secure the mounting bolt using a wrench.

    • 15

      Install the new passenger side header unit through the wheel well. Be sure to install the supplied gasket between the header and engine head. Install the bolts that secure the header to the engine head and tighten to 23 foot-pounds of torque with a torque wrench. Apply a small amount of anti-seize compound to the threads of the exhaust bolts to make them easier to install and remove.

    • 16

      Connect the exhaust system to the headers and install the bolts. Tighten until secure.

    • 17

      Reinstall the wheels and lower the truck.



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