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> Jeep Articles > Technical & Installation - Engine / Drivetrain > Borla's 2.5L Stainless Steel Header

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Technical / Installation Articles - Engine / Drivetrain

Borla's 2.5L Stainless Steel Header

Article written by Adventure Bob

Date Added: 05/30/2006

Check out how this "bolt on" installation went. We were a little surprised.

As with any modified Jeep; larger tires, increased height, and overall weight increase, performance is seriously hindered. In pursuit of much needed performance, I decided that some bolt on performance modifications would be the immediate solution to my 2.5 liter's paltry 90 or so squirrels. With that in mind, I will improve breathing through 3 separate stages: exhaust, intake, & throttle body.

With my build up plan set, I called the nice folks at Summit Racing and three days later had a brand new shiny Borla stainless steel header with crossover pipe sitting at my door. While installing these new goodies, I took notes and pictures; but I am not trying to give a step by step install. I want to provide an overview of the install while pointing out some of the not-so-obvious points that were discovered along the way.


1. Pull the air box & tubing out allowing uncluttered access.

2. Disconnect the throttle linkage & the small electrical connector at the rear of the intake manifold. These need to be disconnected to allow enough slack to pull the intake away from the head. This is one of those painful lessons revealed at a most inopportune time.

3. Remove the front driveshaft.

4. After the drive shaft is out of the way remove the O2 sensor from the factory crossover pipe. I recommend you tape it out of the way so as to not damage it.

Prior to pulling the exhaust manifold, you will need to recruit some help (food and beer works well).

6. You're now ready to pull the old exhaust manifold. On the 4 banger this includes pulling the intake. The new gasket is a one piece replacement covering both the header and the intake.

7. Remove the exhaust manifold while your helper holds the intake manifold with attached power steering pump. This is the point that your recruit finds out he just got the short end of the deal (food & beer). While the intake manifold is being held, the old gasket needs to be scraped from the head.

8. After the old gasket is removed and the new one in place, raise the header in from the bottom. Your exhausted helper will have to guide the header in place and onto the front stud. With the header hanging from the front stud, lift the rear of the header and insert the rear lower bolt.

9. Your abused helper can now push the intake back on to the guide pins and put one of the top bolts in to keep it in place.

10. At this point all the bolts can be put in place for both the intake and your new header. This is easier said than done. Installing the header bolts is an exercise of playing human pretzel.

11. Torque the bolts to 23 foot/lbs, again, this is easier said than done. To properly torque the lower bolts I had to use a combination of socket, universal joint, and a 12" extension (in that order) to get a relatively straight path for accurate torque on the bolts.

Installation Issues

With the header in place, a couple of problems became immediately apparent. The outlet pipe contacted the bell housing. Not just touching it, but so tight that the crossover pipe wouldn't go onto the header. With extensive muscling, we were able to get the crossover pipe on to the header; but because of the transmission contact, the pipe was severely angled not allowing the rest of the exhaust system to attach.

At this point there was nothing more I could do to correct or work around these problems. It was obvious a trip to the local exhaust fabrication shop was necessary.

With the Jeep on the lift, a slight bending of the header was necessary, and a new crossover pipe had to be fabricated. And... since the Jeep was already at the shop, I had them finish the exhaust with a new high flow cat and Flowmaster muffler.

Final Thoughts

Overall impression of the header/high flow cat/FlowMaster muffler is positive. The engine revs much easier, has a noticeable power increase, and the sound is excellent.

Would I recommend the Borla Header? At this time I can't say because of the problems with fit. I have contacted Borla advising them of the problems and await their response.


In the first installment of the Adventures of Bob I left you with a hanging decision: would I recommend buying from Borla? Well, an unreasonable effort to be fair and reasonable has been made and the decision pronounced: I would NOT buy from Borla again.

The performance of the product has been first rate, but they have been unresponsive to me as a customer. I?ve attempted to contact them in regards to my fit problem to no avail. I called their tech line and left messages. I?ve e-mailed their ?contact us? address on the web site and even e-mailed the ?sales? e-mail I had previously corresponded with when I was doing my initial research on their header. No response, no return calls, no e-mails, no nothing. Did I leave a message saying ?Hi I?m a writer for a magazine and I?m doing an article on your 2.5L Jeep header?? No, I shouldn?t have to in order to get good customer service and neither should you. It's unacceptable for the average Joe to drop a bunch of hard earned cash on this product, have problems, and then to receive no support. I realize that manufacturing problems exist, but a good company is defined by how they respond to the customer when those problems occur. In this case no response is all too defining.

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