July 2000 - I have been battling a very annoying header leak since I purchased this car. I finally decided to do something about it, and purchased a set of Mr. Gasket copper Ultra seal header gaskets. The driver's side header had a major leak at the front, and some leakage in the center two ports. I installed the new gasket, along with allen-socket header bolts so I could tighten them better. I fired up the car, and it leaked even worse!

I immediately suspected that there was something wrong with the header itself, since I have had very good luck with the Mr. Gasket brand. I removed the header (this involves removing the oil dipstick tube, too) and laid the gasket on the mating surface of the header. An obvious gap of 1/16" on the front port, and smaller gaps on the other ports confirmed my suspicion. I laid the same gasket against the block, and the openings lined up perfectly, so the fault was definitely with the header.

I now had a choice of replacing the header, and reconfiguring my exhaust, or getting the header repaired. I decided to take it to HP Motorsport and have them build up the mating surface with a weld bead and grind the new surface flat. $80 later, I installed it with a new gasket, and new header studs in the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 6th bolt holes (counting from the front) and the exhaust leak is no more. Fortunately, the passenger side header does not leak.