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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
From my bf who did the install:

First of all the install is pretty straight forward. The instructions
that Hot Shot provides are OK. Tools we used were an air gun, air wrench, couple of misc wrenches and sockets, ratchet, floor jack, rubber mallet, O2 sensor socket and razor blade . This install was done on a 96' 1st gen 5-speed.
First disclaimer: This is going to be a somewhat condesensed version of the install with a few pix just so you can get a basic idea. Again, the instructions are pretty straight forward that are provided to you with the header. I'm adding a few pix along with each paragraph and they are all different.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
First, The things you receive in the box shipped from HotShot is going to be the actual header, the downpipe, a bolt with nut, directions and 2 snazzy HS Performance stickers. I would recommend spraying your header bolts down and your exhaust bolts with WD-40 or something because some of them can be pretty tough to get off even with the air tools.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
One thing I noticed about the header that we received that differentiates from the previous 1st gen headers is that I believe these were machined a bit differently. The most current headers have a more solid base across the flanges and they have
a newly stamped "HS PERFORMANCE" on that area where the flange. I'll include a close shot. Now onto the install.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
First thing to do is remove the splash guards from the bottom
of the car. There are 2 halves, about 4 bolts each side taken
off with a socket. Next, we started off by removing the O2 sensor so that we could get the heat shield off. The O2 sensor socket I believe is universal and can be found at any local auto parts store for buy or for rent. It's a pretty tall socket that has 2 slits up the sides so that your wire at the end of the O2 can stick out. Kinda looks like a finger splint. Take the O2 off and be extremely careful with it, it's very sensitive. You may or may not want to do this next step but for space and simplicity purposes you may want to loosen the top guiding bolt to the alternator completely to give you plenty of access. You will need it later when putting the header on. Just let that belt come off and pull the alternator as far towards the front of the car as it will go. Next remove the heatshield. This should be just a few bolt around the heat shield. (**The pic is a little ahead in the process but you can note that the alternator is moved way towards the front of the car.**)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Next, we jacked the car up on the passenger's side to gain access to the exhaust.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Next step was to begin removing all the shielding and loosening bolts connected to clamps for the exhaust under the car. There are a few heat shields and connectors. Next was to loosen the exhaust pipe from the cat. These bolts were still a little bit hard. And these required a swivel socket to get into the tight fit for the
bolt on the right hand side. We then got that part loose and let it hang.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Next was to disconnect this exhaust pipe from the old header. We then got that piece removed and set it aside. Next came the removing of the old exhaust manifold. Make sure your O2's are removed at this time. This old header is very very heavy
compared to the new HotShot header. Remove this and set it aside. Make sure to keep your nuts. I am not sure if HS sent new nuts, they may have been at the bottom of the box wrapped up or something, but we used the old ones. I have heard "they"
recommend you use new bolts. The old ones were still good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
You will need new header gaskets. You can check the FAQ also for pic and part #'s. I am including it here as well. Keep in mind you will need 4 gaskets. It's not a one piece gasket like your typical V8. You will see what I'm talking about. Also, you should get a new cat to exhaust gasket. I forgot to get one so I don't
have a pic or part # for that gasket. Mine was still OK. No exhaust leak so far. I will update when I get the high flow cat put on and buy the new gasket. Pic has the part #.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Next, we began to get the new down pipe fitted back onto the cat, but just finger tight. Next was to use the razor blade to cut off all the old gasket. Make it nice and clean and make sure you don't get any shavings of that into your chambers. We then at this point test fitted the new Hot Shot header to make sure it would line up and go on without a hitch. This is when we went ahead and moved the alternator because the header would not go on without us doing so. We then put the gaskets on and proceded with putting the header on. At this point your gonna want to start fitting the bottom portion of the header into the
downpipe to make sure it's nice and snug and that it's lining up. I got at the bottom of the car and guided it while my buddy was at the top guiding the header in and down. You can use the little hole on the ends where your bolt will go in to make sure they are in line. We took a rubber mallet to the pieces just for safety to make sure the fittings were nice and snug. At this point we began getting the nuts and washers back on the header and starting to tighten them down. Make sure the gaskets are lined up nicely. You will see that there are 4 seperate gaskets.
Hot Shot includes a bolt and nut to secure your header to your down pipe. It looks pretty cheap and it's a real pain to get it torqued down. Get that bolt on and tighten it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Lastly, tighten everything up. Put your splash guards back on. Make sure you tuck the front portion of the splash guard into the lower portion of your bumper. You'll see what I mean. Make sure you haven't left any bolts laying around. Reinstall your O2 sensors and put your belt back on and tighten up your alternator. Let your car down. Start the car and let it just idle for several minutes. This serves 2 purposes. One for the ECU to adjust to the new header and adjust idle, etc. Two, to let your gaskets seed to the block. Header install should be complete.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
We have noticed alot more torque/power in the mid and upper RPM's. I would say the only drawback so far is that the tires will spin like crazy without the correct launch. At the Texas Meet Saturday in a run, I spun the tires all the way through first gear till 6000 something RPM's, and then power shifted to 2nd spinning the tires into 2nd as well. Good mod power wise coupled with other mods especially and looks freakin awesome. Hope this helps you a little with some guidance. -By Jerry.
 
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