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Is my Borla Header collector ball joint trashed?

868 Views 7 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Black_Dog
About 6 weeks ago, I had enough of the constant leak between Borla header to cat joints. After about 2 years of tightening the bolts every 2-3 weeks, it seems like the leak is louder than ever and never goes away anymore no matter how tight I get the bolts. The leak is terrible at highway speed.

I removed everything, replaced the gasket (it was blown out) with a Fel-Pro gasket. It improved things but their is still a large leak between the rear collector connection. You can feel the air coming out on your hand. After taking the pipe off about four times and adjusting it countless times without improvement I took it into a local shop. They said that I had enlarged the sockets on my cats / Y pipe from over tightening it and/or it constantly coming loose and moving around.

Just got done installing my new OEM y-pipe and what do you know, the rear collector connection still leaks like a SOB! I'm stumped at this point. Please help me with a few questions.

1) Is it possible that the ball joint on my Borla is worn down enough to no longer provide a tight seal?

2) Is it possible to over tighten the 4 collector bolts?

3) Should I just buy new header? (Looking at JBA or Edelbrock)

Like I said, I'm stumped and frustrated and hate to think about taking it to a stealership. I can see it now, "sir, the problem is your aftermarket exhaust, we need to replace it with new OEM manifolds which are $562 each plus about 10 hours labor so plan on about $2k."
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I have never heard of one overtightening the collector bolts and causing the damage you are refering to. Doesn't mean it isn't possible, but that is a new scenario for me! Can't say that I have heard of that being a cause of damage. I think if I were you & given their reputation and warranty... I would be calling Borla and talking to their tech people. Can't hurt!
Thanks SweetPee!
I tried to call Borla today but kept getting forwarded to a voicemail box. It was probably after closing. I plan to call them tomorrow morning. I'll post what they say.
I agree with SweetPee-never heard of overtightening and causing damage you refer to. I've had a few rigs in the past running headers with leaks at the collector and had to tighten all the time due to leaks. I finally ended up going with a copper gasket on those and that lengthened the time between tightenings, but still never totally eliminated it. On the Jeep with the old stock cat setups, I had to tighten those bolts about every good wheeling trip. Replaced with an entirely new cat setup and these haven't needed tightening-yet, but I fully expect to be back in the routene before too long.

Best of Luck,

Being warrantied by 4WD. They are giving me full credit which I used to order the JBA silver ceramic coated header. It's one piece instead of two which should also make it easier to install. Shipping from California so should be here by Tuesday or Wednesday. Hope this solves the problem because I may still have enough left to get Kooks long tubes for my stang before it hibernates for the winter.
New JBA silver ceramic coated header schedule to be delivered on 11/3 by my favorite UPS guy. Will be sitting on porch all day waiting. He will also be bringing 4 Rancho RS9000 shocks. The rebate form for the free MyRide from Rancho will be in the mail the same day.

I just wish the header was good for 30hp like the long tubes this money was supposed to buy for my mustang!
Re: Is my Borla Header collector ball joint trashed? - Update

Finished installing the JBA header on Tuesday. It's much easier to install being one piece rather than two. First thing you notice is how much tighter the tolerances are compared to the Borla or stock pieces. The ball and socket joint was tight as soon as I aligned the pipes whereas there was much play with the Borla.

Sorry, no pictures. It was cold and I was trying to get done before going out of town for Thanksgiving.

1) Fits like a well made glove.
2) Single piece makes installing and aligning the intake manifold a few second job.
3) The bolt holes on the collector end are repositioned to make it easier to get at the four bolts.
4) Pipes are bent to allow you to get at the lower second from the front bolt with a socket using a long extension going through the mud cover behind the tire. No more contorting to get to the bolt, it's now a straight shot.
4) Looks bigger and more impressive which always works for me!

1) The bolt holes at each end that slide over the threaded guide bolts were too tight to slide over both bolts at once. My brother and I tried slowly aligning then equally sliding over the bolts at same time. Wasn't working. Don't waste your time, drill the holes a size larger.
2) The bend of these pipes is such that they fit very close to the block where your factory block heater is located. The block heater must be removed to install the pipes.

I can't comment on the gasket as I used a new one from Jeep. ($32)

A this point, the jeep is quieter than I can ever remember it. I would highly recommend the JBA's to anyone.

On a side note, I noticed the rubber exhaust hanger located at the front of the transmission was extremely pliable and allowed alot of movement in the cat pipe before it was tightened down up front. Has anyone else noticed this? I'm thinking about trying to replace it to see if it helps stop the exhaust from loosening up. The noise or vibrations might increase but it would be worth it to not have to keep tightening the bolts every couple weeks.

I know pictures would have helped but I'm trying to give back to this awesome forum as much as possible.
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