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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-03-2017, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
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Catless Header replacement

This is all about replacing your stock header with one that has had the catalytic converter removed.

It's probably been covered before... but here is what I did...

It's really easy... just a few nuts and bolts. 2-3 hours tops.

***********************


First things first. If you are going to do this Mod... You get what you pay for. The best way is to find an experienced welder, cut & gut yourself, then have it welded back together. Secondly ( like I did this time), find a reputable person to buy a pre-gutted unit from.

Be sure they grind, polish , test & weld (TIG is better than MIG)... and they use a jig of some kind.

I have seen some who would ride their bikes to the welder, then cut a window around the CAT, gut it and weld it back together (window technique) all without taking it off the bike.

I guess in some way that would be good, but all that vibration and Particulates floating around could be worrisome.

Then if you took the header off and did the window technique you would get a perfect fit when welding back together. The only thing there is... getting the CAT out is very hard. A lot of chipping and digging...

... I digress... sorry.... In the end I chose the easy way. Buy a pre-gutted CAT Header. Take off the Old... Put on the New.

The one I got was nice and clean inside...



Tools:
1/2" sockets and crescent wrench (muffler hanger, exhaust flanges...)
8mm sockets (heat shields)
14mm wrench (02 bungs)
wire cutters (ties for 02 wires)
small flat screw driver (dig out old exhaust gaskets)
WD40 spray
pliers (remove/install flange springs on header)
9/16 & 7/16 socket wrench (muffler/crossover/main hanger)
tape measure (measure muffler distance off rear)
large allen key wrench for front floor board.
magnet stick (just in case)
anti seize grease for 02 bungs

It is actually easier to do while on the jiffy stand leaned over...




• -Take off the heat shields (only because with them removed you can access exhaust bolts easier. If you did not have the fairing lowers it might be easier just to keep the heat shields on.
• -WD40 all fittings and clamps... makes it a whole lot easier to get things off and on.
• -Remove the mufflers and the cross-over pipe.
• -Take off the exhaust bolts and loosen the main hanger bolt under the tranny.
• -Unplug the 02 sensors from behind the right side cover (black & grey).
• -Remove header pipe... the rear cylinder pipe will fall away slightly, then lift entire header almost to a horizontal position and the front cylinder portion will come right out.
• -The hard part is putting in the new exhaust gaskets. Nothing special but they are press fit and are little buggers to get right without crushing them.
• -The old gaskets come out easy... use a flat head screwdriver to pry an edge up and some needle nose pliers to pull them out.
• -Once the new header is assembled... 02 sensors & retention rings... install header to bike.
• -Put front cylinder pipe up to front cylinder gasket (without the retention ring. This is almost at a 45% angle or less... then align with gasket and slide retention ring up and start the bolts .. loose.
• -Rotate the rear cylinder pipe into position and push retention ring into place. The Main Bracket will slide under the bracket mount. If you wiggle it a little the rear cylinder pops right into place , then loosely fit the bolts on.
• -Mount the cross-over pipe and attach the tranny hanger (loose). Mount mufflers.
• -Secure mufflers with the rear mounting bolts (hangers)... all other bolts are loose
• -Start with the rear cylinder exhaust bolts... tighten lower one first to finger tight (20 inch lbs)... then the top one to about snug tight (100-120 inch lbs)... then the lower one again to the 120 inch lbs.... or as I say... finger tight and snugged up tight.
• -Then do the same to the front cylinder.
• -Tighten the main hanger bolt good and snug. Tighten the crossover pipe clamp, the hanger bolt and the muffler clamps.
• -Fish the 02 wiring back to the plugs and use new ties to snug to frame... plug them into the right plugs under the right side cover.
• -Replace cover... Replace heat shields... Saddlebags...replace foot board.
• -Clean off all chrome to get rid of fingerprints and any oil residue.


Once you first start up the bike, it will smoke (a lot) ... its only burning off the WD40... No Worries.

All in all , at a steady pace ... roughly 2-3 hours... and getting the gaskets in and cleaning up after yourself takes the most time.

But if you take it to a Dealer... be prepared for a 4-6 hour Bill... depending if they charge you for lunch.



So... what is the result??

Here is the before video...
https://youtu.be/qKz18evtqxs

Here is the after
https://youtu.be/Q26GoklMTBI

Can you tell the difference?

**********************************

My weird logic for doing this:
The stock mufflers had a definite 'potatoe-potatoe' sound and just looked skinny.

I got the (almost new) CVO pipes off Ebay for a great price and the sounded mellower but slightly deeper than stock.

The CVO's were even more restrictive than the stock mufflers. Reason being that the CVO pipes are from a 110 motor not a 103. To meet EPA they had to be more restrictive.

I have ran the CVO's for about 10k and checked the plugs. They are fine. Because of the slightly more restrictiveness, the motor might run (ever so slightly) more rich than factory... but it wold be hard to tell.

The logic is... If I remove the Catalytic converter, the 103 would have (slightly) better air flow which would compensate for the CVO's being more restrictive than stock.

The Cat removal would also decrease heat overall as well.

So the experiment is that with the CVO pipes on and gutting the CAT, that the engine should run almost the exact same as stock. Therefore no need for any additional tuners.

I guess we will find out..


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Last edited by gorillaman; 09-03-2017 at 11:34 AM.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-24-2017, 07:55 AM
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Thanks for the write up, I am going to use it to do mine.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-24-2017, 10:19 AM
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I took my pipes off, removed the heat shields, and cut a window in mine to remove the cat. I tried to use a hammer and chisel to get the cat material out, but man, that will take forever. I then grabbed my air chisel and removed everything in about 5 minutes. I had to use my mig welder because my tig is down at the moment to weld the window piece back together, but it did a good job. I painted it with heat paint to keep it from rusting and re-installed the pipe. I'm liking it so far.


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-24-2017, 10:46 AM
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Catless headers replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragon Dude View Post
I took my pipes off, removed the heat shields, and cut a window in mine to remove the cat. I tried to use a hammer and chisel to get the cat material out, but man, that will take forever. I then grabbed my air chisel and removed everything in about 5 minutes. I had to use my mig welder because my tig is down at the moment to weld the window piece back together, but it did a good job. I painted it with heat paint to keep it from rusting and re-installed the pipe. I'm liking it so far.
Looks like you may have stock mufflers on, how much louder did it make your exhaust?

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-24-2017, 11:10 AM
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Great Write Up
Swomack


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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-24-2017, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLTRXS15 View Post
Looks like you may have stock mufflers on, how much louder did it make your exhaust?
I had gutted the stock pipes so without the cat it was extremely loud for me. Didn't run good and i could not hardly hear my radio, which i don't listen to much but would like to hear it when i do. I installed new mufflers with baffles and it runs much better and i can hear the radio now. If i had left the stock mufflers stock, with the cat removed, it would have been fine, not to loud and i would not have lost so much torque. I didn't like the look of the stock mufflers.


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