BMW E36 V8 Headers for LSxBMW-401
Why You Might Want Them. Unlike most others, our long-tube headers can be used with the stock BMW steering shaft. (Aftermarket steering shafts can cause noise and vibration to enter the car due to a lack of a rubber isolator.) In addition, our headers have longer primary tube lengths, which improves power within the normal RPM ranges of LSx engines. Our headers also have the straightest exit from the cylinders heads, which improves performance.
The headers come with 3" collectors and V-band clamps. Primary tubes are 1-3/4". All our headers are available with either mild steel or ceramic coating. Ceramic coating adds $200 per pair, which we believe is money well spent because of the better appearance and the greater durability (ceramic headers will not change in appearance or rust or turn blue).
Installation Notes. The steering shaft must be removed to install the header on the driver side; upon reinstallation, it fits between the header tubes, as shown.
Begin by slotting the hole in the firewall that the steering shaft goes through, and slotting the mounting holes that hold the steering column to the firewall, which allows the steering shaft to be moved downwards and towards the driver's side to improve clearance between the exhaust header and the steering shaft u-joint.
Remove the welded on bolts from the firewall by drilling out the spot welds from inside the car. These are on the engine side of the firewall.
After removing the welded-on bolts, the firewall will look something like this:
Use a die grinder and/or file to modify the original big hole so that it can accommodate the new position of the steering column.
For the LSX engine swap, move the steering column down 3/8" and towards the center of the car 3/8" as shown below. Note that with the older-style Chevrolet small-block, the steering column will be moved in a different direction.
Below are the steering shafts from an E46 (top) and the E36 (bottom).
The E46 steering shaft is smaller in diameter and provides more room for the header tubes that go between the frame rail and the steering shaft. It can be easily modified to make it the same length as the E36 steering shaft.
Using a file and a hacksaw, file another slot with a round file, about 1/2" rearward of the original slot, and then cut the small tab off the front of the shaft, as shown below.
If you want a little more adjustability in the shaft, you can file the slot wider.
After the modifications, the E46 shaft will be the same length as the E36 shaft, as shown below.
It is a pain to install the steering shaft the first time, but it shouldn't take more than ten minutes.
Note: O2 sensors will have to be installed after the headers.