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Premium Member
6,956 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I bought the JBA stainless shorty headers with Titanium ceramic coating a long time ago and finished my install literally minutes before I left for the Summit about two weeks ago. Yeah, they sat for a while but I had some things to contemplate about my install. Here's a little background and story on this mod and the way I did it if you are interested. My goals were minimum downtime, maximum effort done by me, and thus minimum cost, along with maximum performance gains.

The Headers:

Here they are as out of the box (except mine were Titanium ceramic coated while these are just plain stainless steel, you can see the actual color in the pics a little later):

These come complete with gaskets and instructions (which I didn't follow... you'll see why my install is Kustom!)

Note: Titanium ceramic describes the color of the ceramic coating, and the product contains none of the element Titanium. Kinda like Titanium painted FJ's have no Titanium in them and Voodoo FJ's contain no Voodoo. :p

They also offer Silver ceramic which is a chrome like coating. Guess what! No silver... just a describing word for the color. ;) Ceramic coating is a process much like powder coat but it adheres at MUCH higher temperatures which allows it to be used on exhaust parts.

Ceramic coating is also believed to keep engine bay temps down by allowing less of the heat from the air pump (engine) to escape through the header tubing. In the case of mild steel headers, it also prevents corrosion. JBA only uses stainless steel so the coating is really not necessary, but with a compressor, cold air intake, and another battery among other goodies planning to dominate realty under my hood, I felt it was a good option.

The Accomplices:

This is where it gets a little Kustom. The instructions have you weld on the old OEM cats and flanges, but I wanted a little better flow from some higher grade materials...

2.25" stainless steel flanges and gaskets:

These aren't the exact ones I used but close. Just got a pair from ebay and a pair of gaskets from the same seller.

Magnaflow High Flow Pre-Catalytic Converters:

Part number 50005. Yes, these are actually designated as PRE-CATS just like the ones I replaced with them. :D

2.25" in/out.

Now, I know what I want. But how to get them all welded together to OEM specs? I know I can't weld stainless like a pro, and I want this done properly, but I can do the rest!

The Jig:

I started to make a Jig off the OEM manifolds I traded some parts with another member for. This forum rocks! So I pitched out the holes on the OEM manifolds, and checked them to the JBA header flange. Close enough. ;)

I then drilled a plate of aluminum, by laying it out old school with scribe lines. After center-punching, center-drilling, drilling and tapping, I had a plate that I could stick some metric bolts into.

I didn't take a pic of me hand-tapping the holes... I did start them square though. :p

I made two, as I planned to make two jigs. A left and a right. but it worked out that I could use one and make both jigs off the same plate.

They fit!!!

I intentionally had the bolts very close to the edges of the plate, so that I could weld the jig up from the bolts themselves. My little bro, FJared, did most of the welding of the jig along with a good friend of the family, Ethan. I was working on some other mods and making parts for customers when it came time to weld.

Here is the final result:

It doesn't look like much, but it was very accurate to the OEM manifolds, and was braced quite well. The plate I made located the header flange perfectly, and we welded in some pieces of angle iron in a position so that they held the 2.25" flanges flush where we needed them and at the correct angle. The Toyota manifolds are quite "weird" in their geometry...

The Weld-up:

Like I said before, I can't weld stainless like a pro, so I took the parts and jig to Racing Greed at the suggestion of my friend Duane Stephens. Duane has a 900HP Supra, and knows quality. I was very impressed by the quality even still.

I don't know if you can tell, but Lowell, the welder, even put a couple little pie cuts at the bottom in order to get the bend before the 2.25" flange and optimize the flow, when he could have just done a miter cut. The welds are mint!

The Result:

WOW! She pulls and pulls and pulls! My MPG increased a little too (noticed this mostly on the freeway to the Summit with my ScanGuage to monitor), but only when I kept my foot out of it or Melanie drove :lol:.

One hiccup:


Many people using their Toyota trucks in sanctioned off-road racing or rally events install an aftermarket headers, high flow catalytic converter for added performance. Some of these aftermarket high flow units seem to flow like there is no catalytic converter at all. These high flow cats or (off road) lack of a cat may cause that annoying check engine light to activate.

Our rear O2 sensor simulator is a device that conditions the signal from the rear O2 sensor and keeps that signal in the proper range the ECU is expecting to see from a properly functioning and healthy catalytic converter. Our device takes a slightly different approach than most of the other devices on the market. It is designed to work with the O2 sensor that is installed down stream of the catalytic converter. It does not replace it. The rear O2 sensor must remain in contact with the exhaust stream. This way the vehicle will looks stock. If you do a diagnostic hook up, you will see a proper signal from the rear O2 sensor.

The device is very small and there is a very simple five-wire hook up. The wire carrying the signal from the rear O2 sensor is located and cut. That wire is run through the device and then there is a single wire that needs to be connected to ground. It is about the size of a small box of matches and is best installed in the dash near the ECU.

Underdog has installation guides available for the 4.0 liter 1GR engines.

This device may not be legal for use on pollution-controlled vehicles operated on public roads and is intended for off-road use only.
At random intervals, and not all the time either, I would get P0420 and P0430 (cat inefficiency left and right bank) codes thrown on my scanguage. This seemed to be after long accelerations onto the freeway, but again not every time. The power was there, the MPG was there, I wasn't too worried. I drove the entire summit trip resetting every once in a while. I love my scanguage.

When I got internet access I posted this:

So I ordered the little black box and all should be well! I will update this when it comes in. Thanks Gadget, for your help. :D

Was it worth it?

He!! yes!

I paid:

$250 for the beautiful welding
$20 for flanges and gaskets
$180 for the converters
$462.91 for the headers in the group buy

and $100 shipped for the little URD O2 sensor simulator.

While some people paid $600 just for the install, I got a killer custom job done for $550. I didn't save as much as I thought I would doing it this way, but the performance and sound is awesome. The JBA's and their accomplices will not rust for a LONG time either (sorry Racer001...)

The wrenching in itself was not bad either as long as you consider you are working on exhaust (aka LOTS OF WD-40!) but leaving for the Summit trip did stress me a little as we cut it close.

If anyone wants to make use of the jig I don't mind. You'd have to pay the shipping to you though or be local.


Now I am thinking about a Unichip... ;)

Premium Member
6,956 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys!

With these, the S/C and TRD CAI you'll be really putting down the HP, Victor. I'm really looking at a Unichip now though to retune everything and see if it gets everything working together even better. You may have to as well with that S/C.

Sorry Racer001... :p

I'm glad you got it worked out though. The Doug Thorley's do sounds GREAT!

Premium Member
6,956 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Great post!!! Yep, your FJ did sound very sweet! My wish list of mods just got longer...


:lol: This forum is bad for that... you think you have all your mods planned out and the list keeps growing! Thanks Dale.

Very nice Joel. :bigthumb:

I wish I got to see it in person at the summit.
Thanks jeshua.

I had the hood open for a while but with no S/C I didn't get much attention. It's kind of a low profile engine mod, you have to be looking for it! There is always next year. :cheers:

Premium Member
6,956 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Oh yeah... I got the "BLACK BOX" in from URD to stop my high flow cats from triggering codes, but have yet to install it. Looking to do that today! Will update after the test drive when install is complete. :cheers:
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