So, on my quest to fixing my car I thought- maybe my cats are clogged, and thats what is causing my car to run so rich and shitty. I thought, rather than buy new cats, I could just remove them entirely (my state gives no fucks about cats apparently) so, i'd need something to take its place and I thought: header.
99% of the choices for a Header for our cars is utter crap. I could give a shit for the "boxer rumble" if it costs sacrificing performance for a cool sound. Thats just plain silly, as if these cars weren't slow enough. And thats what you get for the majority of aftermarket header option, the UEL borla, and its many replicas, which are imo not worth buying at all. I searched and searched, and while an amazing buy, the TWE headers are just too expensive for me. I searched through years of forums and saw many great options, but being as our cars are old as f***, many weren't being produced any more.
I bought OBX headers, that although they wrote UEL on the fleabay ad, look pretty darn EL to me.
They were sold for the ej25 97-04 years, for the Leg gt, and forester. But, they were a fit for my dual port ej22.
-The build quality of the pieces (Header, catless pipe) were well worth the $360. No shotty welding, shiny, decent weight Stainless Steel.
- The fit would be a 7/10
I suppose that on the heads if my nuts werent so rusted, the head thread would stay on the head making the install a bit easier on that part- but i did need to wiggle it around a bit to fit. The Header it self ends where the first cat would end. And the O2 sensor bung is in a great spot- no extension required.
-The second piece that is to replace the second Cat was the right length to fit between the end of the first cat and the rest of the exhaust pipe if yours is still stock. My only complaints are that a bolt that holds the heat shield in place will bump against the empty cat, causing it to rattle, and can be detrimental if not fixed. I'm just going to remove it. And, the holes on the rear flange where it hooks up to the rest of the piping aren't large enough to fit the Spring bolts that help the exhaust system flex with motion. You can still install them facing the other way though, but they lose some effectiveness. You can fix that by drilling the holes on the flange, but I don't have the tools to do so.
*IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU KEEP USING THE SPRING BOLTS* you don't your system will rattle A LOT. It is important to the exhaust setup of the car. Mine had to be sawed off because they were rusted to shit. (thanks, Alaska) but the tiny springs were good, $17 at the scoob dealer.
-With no cats you'll trigger the p0420. You'll need an o2 spacer. Theyre like $6 on fleaBay, or you can buy some sparkplug non foulers at your auto parts store, drill one out, and use that. You may need two, depends on what your car likes. If its too tall, you'll have to cut a little piece off your heat shield. Like the front o2, no extension was required.
My car is still running rich, I guess that it'll be fixed when I do the timing belt stuff.
BUT, the difference in performance is amazing! So much more free flowing, I swear it even helps me shift smoother. From 2-3k I sound a bit like a ricer, but I'll quiet that down later. 4 cylinders are known for their sound, if you care that much for sound buy a v8. the tone became noticeably raspier, but I'm sure a better resonator and a quietflow exhaust will do the trick. Aside from this, the rest of my system is bone stock.
- the gaskets they come with aren't very good. Well, they aren't bad. I bought Victor Reinz/ Mahle gaskets for the heads and they looked just like the Originals. For the rest I used Walker Gaskets. I'm sure you could buy some from the Scoob dealer though, for around $30. You may however have to sand the inside of the donut gasket to make it fit around the end of the second piece, where the second cat would end.
I'd recommend these over UEL headers anyday. The performance is worth any sound upgrade. Enjoy the review.
The box is really huge, so that makes things exciting, plus it came with two free shifter knobs
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OBX Exhaust Header Manifold Fits 97-04 Legacy/GT/Impreza 2.5L