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Author Topic:   Glowing headers
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 19
posted July 15, 2002 10:45 AM
SBC 406 on methanol runs good and cool according to the temp gauge ( will idle at 200 degrees on a hot night, and go down to 185-190 during and after a race) BUT a few people mentioned that my headers are glowing red where the tubes come out of the head. Running 34 degrees timing, a 6AL MSD box and MSD distributer, and haven't changed anything in the carb since last year. It didn't glow then. The only thing that has been changed is it has a new block with the same crank/rods/pistons as last year. What the heck?

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 639
posted July 15, 2002 11:40 AM
i have had this happen on street cars before and have had to jet the carb up as glowing headers are usually a sign of a lean condition regardless of temp gauge. If it is just one side glowing just jet that side up higher.

Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 135
posted July 15, 2002 12:20 PM
Retarded ignition timing will also cause this.

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 295
posted July 15, 2002 12:35 PM
we had this problem once earlier this year and the distributor wasnt advancing like it should.

Brad haddix
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 56
posted July 15, 2002 04:30 PM
seems more often than not its timing or a vacuum leak if nothing else has changed and you have to jet. What do the plugs look like?

Brad haddix
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 56
posted July 15, 2002 04:36 PM
Sorry, I just remembered you run methanol hard to read plugs balancer slip? maybe distributor gear? do both sides glow? I would like to know as I try to bank all the info I can.

[This message has been edited by Brad haddix (edited July 15, 2002).]

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 499
posted July 15, 2002 08:01 PM UIN: 23443678
Have you tried the header wrap, if you cant see it it aint there! Just kidding but i did have a buddy that had that prob on gas and they just wrapped it so they couldnt see it. His car would glow at certain rpms but ran fine otherwise.

Dirt Forum Racer

Total posts: 96
posted July 15, 2002 10:40 PM
Right off the top of my head I can think of 2 posibilities that will make the headers glow. #1: leaning the motor out, major problem such as burning holes through pistons ect. You need to find someone to read the plugs correctly and who can suggest changes to ignition timing and carb jetting to fix it. #2: over jetted or a fat condition, meaning when you are going into the corner or you lift off the throtle all the unburned fuel in the cylider and the intake manifold are not being burned properly and are dumped into the headers which are extremly hot and then it ignites causing the headers to glow red hot. Also not good, because youll wash the motor down. The unburned fuel will wash down the cylider walls bypass the rings and contaminate the oil, also causing other damage.

Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 31
posted July 16, 2002 02:55 AM
Get an exhaust temp gauge. We had one on our sprint car, it will tell you the accurate temp right now whereas the water temp gauge takes a little while to reflect an actual change in engine temp. We ran methanol and our headers always glowed when we came into the pits. It suspect it was because being off the gas to come in caused the methanol to load up into the pipes and cause them to heat up. Before I wrapped the pipes so as to not see them I think I would get a gauge so you can make sure you are not lean. Aluminim melts at about 1100 degrees if I remeber right (?) keep that in mind if your pistons are aluminum. P.S. We did wrap our pipes but the reason was to contain the heat within the pipes which is supposed to make them flow better. TC

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 499
posted July 16, 2002 08:21 PM UIN: 23443678
I have come in from time ins and had the pipes glowing, probally from the excess fuel from running hard then coming right off the track. I have also seem other cars that had float level to high or sticky seat thats would allow excess fuel to get in the pipes. I have leaned a motor out and it didnt take to many laps (like 4) to burn the pistons all the way threw and they were forged. Now i have used cast pistons and found that when you are leaning out just a tad that you can use a magnifine glass and check the plugs for what looks like powder or salt and pepper. I just wanted to try and help some from my smart azz comment. Later

Road Warrior
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 15
posted July 16, 2002 09:43 PM
When headers are glowing, this is a sign of OVERJETTING. There is too much fuel being dumped through the exhaust. Do not jet UP when this condition exists. For engine duration, its probably better to have this problem than to be too lean. The fuel mileage isn't worth a crap, but less harm is being done than leaning out a motor and detonating it. Remember, Red means Rich.

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 215
posted July 17, 2002 11:08 AM
I had this same problem this year. I got all these same suggestions which range all over the spectrum. I bumped the timing up 4-6 degress and the red glowing headers were gone and the engine ran much cooler. Try that first, 38 degrees to around 40.

Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 73
posted July 17, 2002 01:06 PM
I agree with six,we have a prostock that the timing would always back off, because the block was decked too much and the distributor would bottom out on the oil pump shaft, we would set it to 39*, and in 10-15 laps, it would back off to as low as 23* and turn the headers bright red, you could probally put a screwdriver through them with ease. Not to mention it had no power, and sounded like you were making popcorn. So like six said, bump the timing up to around 38 or so, I personally wouldnt go over 40. Just to see if that solves it.

[This message has been edited by DodgeBoy76 (edited July 17, 2002).]

Dirt Roller

Total posts: 19
posted July 17, 2002 03:20 PM
Thanks to all of you for your suggestions and comments.
Tonight among all the million other things we need to do to get ready for Saturday night, I'm going to double check the timing and probably advance it a bit, and check for an intake leak. I can't believe jetting would be the culprit when I'm running the same carb/jets as last year.
I'll let you know how we made out on Monday morning (I only use the computer at work, 'cause the one at home is too slow!)
Thanks guys.

Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 124
posted July 17, 2002 03:35 PM
I know what your problem is ..
you would think it is way to lean..
the actual problem is its to rich
happend to us in a ministock car before we called walsh i beleive it was
the guy said it was to rich
we couldnt beleive it but we tried it
and it worked for us try that i think it will work

Dirt Newbie

Total posts: 1
posted July 20, 2002 02:23 AM
if it is running to lean it will act as if the engine is shutting down, i would say set the timming. to much fuel only smokes, and boggs the engine down also, i run mine on 32 degrees with 96 jets. runs like a dream, till the temp drops then im up to 106 jets

Dirt Roller

Total posts: 19
posted July 22, 2002 09:34 PM
Well fellers, it was the timing. Without taking the heads off and finding true TDC, I can't tell exactly where I am on timing, but advancing it 5 degrees made it quit glowing. So it must have been running at about 26-29 derees in reality. I suspect the fuel was still burning on the way out the exhaust ports. My damper must have slipped a little, but I won't know how much until I find TDC. But because the motor runs so good now, I'm not messing with it till fall.

Thanks for all the advice.

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