View Full Version : Anyone else have problems with kooks headers?

12-04-07, 05:58 PM
Hey guys, my header gaskets keep blowing and I took my car in to find out that the headers flanges have been warped beyond repair. The dealership called 3 machine and fabrication shops but none of them are able to fix them. I called kooks and they said to just use a silicone sealant and to torque them tightly so the headers will torque flat but the dealership said the warping is to bad for that. Kooks is closed now so I guess I have to call them tomorrow :(

Fire and Ice
12-04-07, 06:09 PM
We use kooks long tubes on our CTS-V and so far (knock on wood) no problems.


12-04-07, 06:35 PM
I think someone posted a slight warpage or out of flatness that he measured.

Sealant is BS.

If they are not flat enough, get a good machinest to clean them or the one up.

Me Wanna A V
12-04-07, 06:53 PM
My problem with Kooks is that after 2 emails to JR @ Kooks in regards to the high demand for a connection pipe for the guys that have a Magnaflow catback, he seems to not care. I find it amazing that they are an authorized Magnaflow dealer but only see it necessary to make a Corsa and Factory connection pipe.

Not a problem, as I got an instant and intriguing response from Nick at American Racing Headers. It was very simple. I told him there's a high demand and there's an opportunity for them to make $. He said not to worry, when their headers will be available, you can assure they will have a Magnaflow connection pipe.

He estimated around Feb 2008.

We'll see!

The Tony Show
12-04-07, 07:04 PM
I've had a nasty leak at the headers since I installed them- tried both Carbon and Dead soft Percy's gaskets, but my V still sounds like a sewing machine.

Maybe I need to check whether the flanges are true. Thanks for the heads up.

12-04-07, 07:18 PM
Well I ordered the Kooks pipes and I posted that the Header flange was out of flat by .04" and they said this was normal. They would not mate up to the B&B so that was a deal breaker but if I would have kept them I would have taken them to work to get them flat within .01. It can be done but not by 0Kooks.

o.04" is OK - I call :anibs:

One of my original posts about the headers


Bottom line is I work in a machine shop and when the metal starts to warp and it heat cycles it will continue to warp. As far as tightening it down, I don't think the Aluminum heads were meant to take that kind of torque.

Now that I have finised my bitching, did you re-torque after about 500 miels? If you do not you will get a leak. You need to re-torque after a couple of heat cycles.

If you decide to keep the headers take them to a REAL machine shop to get the header flanges flattened within 0.01" and you should be fine after that.

Try and fight with Kooks but it's like trying to argue with a 5 year old, they know everything and you know nothing.


12-04-07, 07:19 PM
B&B Headers much flatter, built better, finish better..... If I had to do over would I get the Kooks headers, what do you think?

12-04-07, 07:39 PM
... As far as tightening it down, I don't think the Aluminum heads were meant to take that kind of torque. ...That was my thought exactly!

Got Kooks here, about 18k on 'em, no fancy studs or gaskets, and no problems whatsoever. But, let me qualify that since I do not drive my car hard at all thus it doesn't see very severe heat cycles.

Sorry you guys are seeing problems with Kooks. Let's hope we can get someone to stand up over there tomorrow and do right by you. Silicone sealant? That's not BS, that's BEYOND BS!

12-04-07, 08:27 PM
I'm sorry to hear about your issues with Kooks. I've had Kooks on my C5 for 3 1/2 years with no problems. Fortunately, I haven't had to put their customer service to the test. It is too bad they don't stand by their product and replace your headers with a set that aren't defective.

Rob Wilson
'04 Black Raven CTS-V
'03 Medium Spiral Gray Metallic Corvette

Crown Vic Owner
12-04-07, 08:31 PM
I know of a guy who has kooks on a modular motor (i know, different game), and has had a issue similar to this when he had them installed. Kooks misdesigned the headers for the car he was working on and it ended upmelting some major screw in the steering column.

Either way, he had the issue with the leaks, the installer felt it may have been his fault, ended up tearing them out (you have to disconnect the motor from the mounts for mod motors), and ended up being something with the headers.

Guy fought with kooks and just took them to a machine shop to get fixed. Kooks is a joke to deal with.

12-04-07, 08:33 PM

12-04-07, 09:43 PM
The kits I am getting from Kooks have new style gaskets in them.
I use medium strength loctite on the bolt threads, torque them to 18 lb. ft. from the center out.
I haven't had any customers coming back complaining about leaking as of yet.
I am installing 4 sets of them this week.

12-04-07, 09:47 PM
Good luck Bill, I hope it all goes well.

12-04-07, 09:57 PM
Anyone else have problems with kooks headers?


Don't want to pile on but I have had my share of issues.

12-05-07, 07:02 AM
Actually I am having all sorts of issues... lol
Bolts are breaking, O2 sensors are sticking... ugh!
Fortunately all the stuff that is breaking is getting replaced.

We have one in that is getting powder coated calipers, grilles, and wheels, headers, exhaust, and some other things. That is the one I am concentrating on right now.
I had one yesterday that got headers, exhaust, a shifter, a BMR anti hop kit, tie rods, and link arms. I was almost done with that but a spark plug cracked so I have to finish it up and get it aligned today.
I also have an XLR that is pinging really bad so I have to deal with that.
I have one more V getting headers and a bunch of work done to it, but that one is almost done. I just have to bleed the brakes and send it up for alignment also.
I have all 3 of my lifts tied up and so much work to do it isn't funny.
Better than standing around I guess.
I just hope these guys are patient, I really want to get all this work done right.

Oh yeah, and one more came in yesterday... for headers! (and some other work)

You guys must be getting Christmas money from your wives!! LOL

12-05-07, 10:17 AM
Damn! I didn't even know this was an issue!

Hey Bill, not that I'm doubting your install on my V (I'm really not, I promise!), but *IF* I had a problem with the Kooks what should I look out for?

BTW everything is still awesome... Love the car more with each passing day. Thanks again.


The Tony Show
12-05-07, 10:17 AM
The bolts that Kooks sends with the headers are crap- I reused the stock header bolts, as they're a higher quality metal and won't stretch or break.

12-05-07, 11:22 AM
The bolts that Kooks sends with the headers are crap- I reused the stock header bolts, as they're a higher quality metal and won't stretch or break.Maybe that's why I'm not having any problems ... I reused the stockers. :highfive:

The Tony Show
12-05-07, 11:59 AM
Nope- I reused them and mine leak like Chernobyl.

12-05-07, 01:15 PM
Wow, I was thinking about going with Kooks but with all the leaks and this being my DD I think I look into something else. How are Stainless Works?

The Tony Show
12-05-07, 02:04 PM
The Kooks are a nice piece, I just wish I knew about the leaks before installing them so I could have them checked and planed if necessary. I assumed (based on the price) that flanges would be true, but I've already pulled them off twice and tried different gaskets. I'm not only sick of paying a tech, but I also fear stripping the threads on the aluminum heads so I'm just living with it.

12-05-07, 02:17 PM
Replace with studs (ARP) then. :rolleyes:

12-05-07, 02:45 PM
^ Heavy's been testy lately. Did the strain on no Urbanski for a few weeks get to him? Or did Rick send him a laced pop-tart?


I keed, I keed.

12-05-07, 02:49 PM
ARP Studs are great I installed them myself. Also used the aluminum gaskets that were called out in the faq and I have had zero problems.

No Kooks though, I have the B&B.

The Kooks are good headers and there are things about the Kooks that are better then the B&B. Now the fact that they could care less about the flatness burned me up so I will not buy another set unless I get them used then I will clean them up and make them right. Does not make sense to pay that much and then pay again to get them flattened.

on the Stainless Works headers I would talk with Lunarx, he is getting rid of his and going with the B&B's but I am not sure why he is getting rid of them.

If your installing Headers yourself then do not use the Kooks unless your used to dealing with these kinds of problems.

1- Pull the Headers off an send them to a machine shop get the things Flat! (My MAJOR beef with Kooks.)
2- Get the Studs, much easier to install and less chance of damaging the gasket With the 12 point head it was nice when it came to torquing them down.
3- Get the Aluminum crush gaskets. They are very soft and seal well but will not damage the Heads.

I did 2- and 3- and it worked out well. I did not need to do 1- Because I went with the B&B.

BTW, I have nothing to do with B&B, they are just superior when it comes to fit and installation.

12-05-07, 03:00 PM
Nope- I reused them and mine leak like Chernobyl.Oh. Yikes!

You know, I have to confess. I was having problems with my torque wrench when I installed them, got impatient, and just torqued them by feel ... carefully, I might add, but without a quantitative torque setting. Thinking back, I suspect mine might be ever-so-slightly over-torqued. I wonder if that was a good thing from a leak point of view.

(Just FYI, I did use the Kooks gaskets as supplied with the headers, too.)

12-05-07, 03:16 PM
Justin, if you have any problems just let me know and I'll tell you what to do.
If it is an installation issue we'll handle it, if it is a parts issue we'll try to help you resolve it with Kooks.
Hard to say what a problem might be if you aren't having one yet.

12-05-07, 03:38 PM
Thanks Bill. I appreciate everything.

12-05-07, 04:32 PM
Im gona have to pay to have em taken out and sent to kooks to have them machined, theres no shops around that are willing to do it

12-05-07, 05:35 PM
Im gona have to pay to have em taken out and sent to kooks to have them machined, theres no shops around that are willing to do it

Where do you live?

Amish land?:histeric:

Black Sunshine
12-05-07, 08:43 PM
Just got a set of used Kooks this week. Will be taking them to the machine shop to be checked when I get home from Orlando tomorrow.

12-09-07, 05:21 AM
Hi Guys......Have not been posting for a while......I was one of the first to get Kooks 1 7/8 headers back in Dec of '05. I've had to change the left bank gasket twice so far and it's leaking again. The flange is not even close to flat "LIKE IT SHOULD BE" and all I ever got from Jr.was the headers were not torqued right. I'll be putting AFR Heads on soon so I guess I need to find a good machine shop to plain them flat! I expected better quality from Kooks Headers. That's why I waited so long to get a set of headers!!! :thehand:

12-09-07, 11:08 AM
I wish someone could convince Kooks that this IS important.

they must be flat or they will leak.

Love my B&B's.

12-09-07, 11:10 AM
Mine were fine for the 8000 miles I drove on them. No issues.

12-09-07, 11:24 AM
Lucky, got a good set.

It doesn't mean they don't have a problem.

12-09-07, 11:27 AM
Lucky, got a good set.

It doesn't mean they don't have a problem.

Why would this fact be different than for any other item out there, be it headers, cars, or wives :D

12-09-07, 11:28 AM

good point.

12-09-07, 12:08 PM
Why would this fact be different than for ... wives :DUh-h ... not a good idea to go there. :helpless:

Especially if Flyboy is around. :hide:

12-09-07, 12:35 PM
I would like to start with apologizing to the OP for going off topic but I'm sorry I cannot resist.

Do tell...

Don't know the flyboy story.

12-09-07, 03:22 PM
... the flyboy story.Always looking for the next ex-Mrs. Flyboy. :suspense:

(j/k, Jimmy... btw, where are you?)

12-09-07, 03:28 PM

12-09-07, 11:06 PM
Where do you live?

Amish land?:histeric:

haha nah ft lauderdale, the dealership called 4 shops here in fort laud and had no luck(even the shops that do all their fabing for heads ect said they wouldnt do it) and I couldnt get any shops in miami to do it either...they all said the stainless would be too hard to work with which is BS because shops out of the area are willing to do it

12-21-07, 05:01 PM
Sorry guys I have not been on the forum. I will address this problem ASAP. I did not know that there was that many issue's. Who ever has a problem please PM me and tell me whats going on. Thanks

12-22-07, 04:04 PM
I haven't heard any complaints from people I have installed them for.
Like I said, I use whatever gaskets are in the kit, use medium strength loctite on the bolts and torque to factory specs.
So far so good.

The Tony Show
12-22-07, 04:31 PM
Thanks, George. I sent you a PM.