J, Ram K Exhaust Header Installation

August, 2019

Carl Bilter writes:
I wanted to share how I installed the exhaust headers on my J with the engine in the car. I have no idea if this is the correct procedure (there are no details in the factory service manual), but it is what worked for me.

First, the passenger side. This one is easy. There is plenty of clearance and installation is straight-forward.

Now to the driver side. Here you have the steering box to contend with, the frame and the driver side torsion bar. Installation is anything but straight-forward.

With the ram intakes off the engine,
1) Remove battery tray
2) Remove negative battery cable
3) Remove #5 and #7 spark plugs
4) Disconnect accelerator pedal rod from the accelerator pedal linkage under the car.
5) Position the header between the power steering gear/frame and the torsion bar.
6) Lift the header into as vertical position as possible (up against the hood pad) and angle it as far as possible towards the valve cover/valley pan in order to clear the accelerator pedal linkage and torsion bar, and the header will slide into the proper position (between the torsion bar and frame).
7) Remove the last two exhaust manifold studs (closest to the firewall) or else the header is impossible to line up with the manifold studs due to interference from the steering gear.
8) With the last two studs removed it is possible to mount the header on the remaining four studs.  I then used bolts instead of studs on those two that I removed so that the next fella can actually remove the header if needed.
I wonder if the factory actually used bolts instead of studs in those last two positions.  My car does not have its original heads and has been messed with; so I have no idea what the factory did. Here are some pictures to illustrate: