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Whats the best way to do Kooks headers with transmission out?

So im researching two different methods of doing the headers on the boss, either raising or lowering. I have the car on jack stands and I will have the trans out for a build and a clutch.

Does anyone have good advice or insight as to which method would be easier 1) with the car on stands and 2)the transmission out. The raising method looks like you need to jack on the transmission which i cant do because the trans wont be in, but i might be able to get away with a large wood padded jacking attempt on the oil pan since the weight of the trans will be removed.

Thoughts?
 
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Drop the cradle...seriously, if you can, drop the cradle. Find a small beam and place it across the top (not on the fenders) and using straps hold the motor in place and drop the cradle. I've had to remove headers in post race tech and it's a PITA. Specifically the driver's side around the front. If you put headers on one of these find some bolts with smaller heads (like the old 3/8 bolts with 7/16 heads we used to use) because there is NO room to spin a wrench on some of those. Maybe even an Allen or star head.
You'll thank me later
 

steveespo

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If you are pulling the trans you might as well drop the engine out on the kmember to make it really simple. Kooks are next to impossible to install with k member in place. A couple furniture dollies and some 2x4s will support the engine/k. I have used engine crane with nylon strap on the front bumper beam (or tow hook) to lift the car up over the engine.


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I can confirm what blacksheep and steveespo said......have to have the K member out. Can't even imagine doing it with it in. I am in the process of adding Kooks LTH and dropped the K member a couple of days ago. Can't say it was difficult except I would have appreciated a second person to assist. But I did it on a Quick Jack which gives me a bit more height than jack stands but is close to the same deal. I used a floor jack and two stands to lower the member. An impact gun, extension and socket (15mm) on a swivel on every header nut except the top right passenger side which required an offset wrench. Putting a Moroso race pan on and solid motor mounts since I have the K member off. Biggest PITA was the stripped bolt at the collector flange on the passenger side. Very little room below and it was angled just enough that going at it up top caused my socket to keep spinning off. Ended up dropping the header with the cat attached....and I still didn't get it off.
 
Ok so do i understand correctly in that i am holding the engine up from the top, not lifting it at all, and just lowering the K member away?

Anyone have a link for a good how to?
 
I didn't lift from the top. Jack under the transmission holding up the motor. Going on 3 weeks that way. No problems. I also keep a jackstand up against the oil pan when I am not working on the car just in case the jack fails. Not saying the hoist method isn't a great idea but not practical for me. I am taking my time with the project. Just started mounting the Kooks.....tedious getting at the upper studs and bolts. I am having a bear of a time getting the steering shaft in place and then tightening the bolt while trying to do it through the header tubes and from above....by myself. Might have to get the wife to assist.
 
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Yes, you don't really lift the engine as much as you leave it where it is, and drop the cradle from around it, If you remove the engine and the cradle, you will still have to mess with routing stuff around the cradle unless you separate the engine from the cradle...which means you'll need a hoist if it's out of the car.
Removing the cradle is not that hard, you may even leave a few things intact , you just need the room to tighten those bolts to the heads. Like I said, use a metal bar or stout piece of wood and strap the engine to it, the bar should rest somewhere around the shock towers not the fender tops, they will dent. Then unbolt the engine mounts, the struts, the steering shaft I think the sway bar and misc electrical connections then unbolt the cradle while supporting it on a jack. The engine stays with the car.
 
Something like this to hold your motor
http://www.maximummotorsports.com/Engine-Support-Beam-2005-2014-Mustang-P1505.aspx

I did my kooks header on jack stand without dropping the K member. You couldn't pay me enough to do it again this way.
You have to jack up the motor as max as it will go, DON'T JACK IT FROM THE PAN. It's going to slightly bend and close the gap between the bottom of the pan and the oil pickup tube.
Then remove the studs and motor mount, both bushing and aluminum part. Then the headers will barely fit and you're going to scratch the shiznit out them.
 
As @blacksheep-1 and @steveespo say, the best approach is to drop the K-member. I used an engine support from above, located inside each of the fenders in the channel either side. Access to the OE engine lift/support points is easier if you remove the intake manifold (easy). Then detach the suspension at the strut towers, engine mounts and steering column, sway bar/links, electrical and engine mounts and you're good to lower the K member.

Two other tips -- I found clearance on the drivers side to the steering column very tight -- had to wiggle the header that side to get enough clearance. Also the Watson solid engine mounts make install/access a lot easier, as well as saving weight and improving response. Wouldn't recommend them on a street car...
 
Harbor Freight, engine bridge or something like that, about $89.00, works like a champ, I can't imagine doing it without it. Drop the K member, not a big deal and it will save you lot's of grief.
 
Also the Watson solid engine mounts make install/access a lot easier, as well as saving weight and improving response. Wouldn't recommend them on a street car...

Black Boss, how bad are the Watson mounts on the street? I had BMR poly mounts ready to go but just bought the Watson mounts from a member here. My car only sees light street use anyway but other than vibration, any other negatives I should expect?
 
OK,

I have no doubt i am not considering something, but is there any reason you couldnt use the OEM boss shock tower brace to hold the engine? Not strong enough?

Also, do you lower onto the K member onto loosened bolts just to gain alittle extra access or remove it all together for extra room?
URL]]
 
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Black Boss, how bad are the Watson mounts on the street? I had BMR poly mounts ready to go but just bought the Watson mounts from a member here. My car only sees light street use anyway but other than vibration, any other negatives I should expect?

Just some vibration, not an issue for occasional use. I had poly mounts fail on the Boss.....
 
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OK,

I have no doubt i am not considering something, but is there any reason you couldnt use the OEM boss shock tower brace to hold the engine? Not strong enough?

Also, do you lower onto the K member onto loosened bolts just to gain alittle extra access or remove it all together for extra room?
URL]]

Depends on the amount of patience you have, sometimes you can work around it, sometimes it pays to just get it out of the way completely. I don't see you getting by with just loosening the bolts, I did a foxbody once by replacing the stock bolts with some long ones I cobbed up, but I only did it once that way.
I don't think the stock boss brace has the guts to hold it, remember you'll be under it.
 
Ok so im attempting today but right off the bat ran into an issue. The straps on a MM engine support bar tension against the OEM header keeping them in place. I imagine this will cause a massive PITA both removing and reinstalling. So im pondering different places to attach the engine to the straps other then what MM recommends.

Can anyone comment on this issue and suggest solutions?

http://www.maximummotorsports.com/Assets/install/pdf/tools/MMT-11.pdf
 

xr7

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Can you get a jackstand under the vibration damper? If you can get the jackstand in place you could pull the straps out to install the headers.
 
Im going to be dropping a set of headers in my 2018 this weekend, i was recently informed of the method dropping the k member by another member. Im thinking of holding the engine on a hoist and taking the k member completely out of the way. How realistic is this for a 1 man 1 day job?
 

ArizonaBOSS

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If you have never done this before, 1 day will be very difficult. Took me two days about 6 hours each with this method. Possible to be done in 1 day but from a mental health perspective, I'd avoid it.

Also remember you'll need to pull out the steering shaft before the headers go in.
 
ArizonaBoss,
Im planning about 8-10 hours a day working on the car as I have very little mental sanity left to loose. I have to drive it back to base on Wednesday morning so I absolutely have to make that deadline. Only thing I can not find is a thread on dropping the k member. I imagine it is fairly straightforward, but I've never dont it before and would like to see some steps so dont overlook something.
 

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