Headers glowing red

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Cmcintosh721
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Headers glowing red

Post by Cmcintosh721 »

When I'm running at night my headers glow red. Last night I was running dry and my headers glow cherry red and all the way down my flex pipe. While I'm cruising they get a little red and it blows a light blue flame out the exhaust. When I'm WFO they glow all the way out the pipe and they get cherry red and the blue flame blows out prob 6". Don't know why it's getting so hot the coolant is about 190. Timing is set with light at 32* when wide open. Thanks for any help

mcm4
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Re: Headers glowing red

Post by mcm4 »

I have had the same issue in the past.... Needs to be resolved...

This is usually caused by two things. Either you are running real lean (not enough fuel) or your timing is too late (retarded). A lean cylinder makes a lot more heat and causes the headers to heat-up beyond their normal temperatures, thus causing them to glow. Late (retarded) timing will do the same thing because the fire in the cylinder is still burning when the exhaust valve is opening and the fire goes out into the headers, causing them to glow.

Cmcintosh721
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Re: Headers glowing red

Post by Cmcintosh721 »

When you say the timing is late if I have it set at 32* wide open that should be right on the timing ? Not real familiar trying to figure it out before I burn up a cylinder

mcm4
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Re: Headers glowing red

Post by mcm4 »

By the way, too rich of mixture, resulting in unburned fuel firing in the headers and exhaust could also be the issue.

when you advance timing at idle your engine rpm increases

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Re: Headers glowing red

Post by mcm4 »

When in doubt.... find someone that knows... and never let your engine ping or detonate...

your issues could be fuel, too much or too little
air, not enough
spark, bad plugs, timing retarded too much, plug wires
and probably 100 things I never heard of.

are your plugs running rich, lean or about right?

you might advance your timing to 33 or 34 and see if that makes a difference

Cmcintosh721
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Re: Headers glowing red

Post by Cmcintosh721 »

My plugs look good from what I compare them to online it doesn't ping and when I adjust timing the idle does increase and decrease

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Re: Headers glowing red

Post by AirHog »

Could be you don't have enough cam. Check everything out carb and main jets, secondaries are they opening.... Intake leak? Timing as said... Is it stock or was it built. My 372 ran lean till I put enough cam in it. If it's all stock.... It's not the cam.

Good luck

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CactusJack
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Re: Headers glowing red

Post by CactusJack »

I have watched motors on dynos and the headers always glow :dontknow:

How long has this been happening? Have you just noticed it and they didn't glow before? To me, the 6" flame out the exhaust suggests too much fuel, too lean would be more likely to backfire and melt pistons? How long is the distance from the head to the exhaust outlet? If the motor has been doing the same thing all the time for ages and the coolant temp is ok, no burned plugs or holes in pistons.... and it is performing well, and you have short headers and flex, I would expect them to glow. Take a look on youtube at engines on dynos? If it is a new engine, or has just started happening, maybe worry and look into it. Put a camera under your car/truck hood looking at your exhaust and go for a run if you want to see headers or cast manifolds glow....

Maybe take some video of your boat headers next time you are out at night so we can see it? :dontknow:To me, that's just what headers do...... especially under load.... Hp = heat.... hot steel glows :salute: It is highly likely it would have blown up or made some horrible expensive noises by now if anything was really wrong....

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_ ... rs+glowing



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Re: Headers glowing red

Post by ffcracker »

Could be a sheared key on the timing set too.
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Re: Headers glowing red

Post by blow boat »

It's dark at night time,my headers are red
At nite time my truck manifolds are red
At night time that's because it's dark out
2,000 degrees metal turns red it happens
In the day also just harder to see check
Fuel and time n to be safe but remember
It gets hot= red

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Re: Headers glowing red

Post by Packman »

Mine did the same thing and come to find out it was a hole under the header that blew out. You couldn't see it and was about the size of your thumb. replaced the header an all is good.
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Cmcintosh721
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Re: Headers glowing red

Post by Cmcintosh721 »

It's a new motor built 406 and just want to besafe instead of sorry it's only at night that you can see the glow just don't want to burn up a piston. If you hold it wide open for more then 30 secs it will start to break up also so I wonder if not getting enuff fuel

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CactusJack
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Re: Headers glowing red

Post by CactusJack »

Is it injected or carb? I would suggest you check with the builder if you have issues :wink: They all glow, but if they are glowing for the wrong reasons, that can result in unexpected and expensive noises. Check with the builder just to be on the safe side imo
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crowhater
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Re: Headers glowing red

Post by crowhater »

It sounds more like a rich condition then a lean condition if you have fire coming out the end of your exhaust. install a wide band gauge / prob to check your AFR.
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F0zzy2
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Re: Headers glowing red

Post by F0zzy2 »

Not trying to hi jack the thread but what kinda AFR do you like to see Marshal? I've been tuning a new carb this year. I have about 14:1 at 3500 cruising and 13:1 @ 4200 when my secondaries kick in to WOT. My headers were glowing red last year and I washed out two pistons from running to rich, 10:1 for about 30 miles. I'm learning a lot about tuning this year.
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CactusJack
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Re: Headers glowing red

Post by CactusJack »

Any news from the builder? I agree it seems to be rich rather than lean... if it were lean, you would have known by after the first time you saw them glow on the hill.... the pistons would have turned to gravy :shock: Of course, the perfect gas/air ratio is always desirable.... but I always would rather err on the side of rich, rather than lean :scratch: lean is usually much more instant and expensive. A friend of an friend (auto electrician) was tuning a car with a laptop from the passengers seat on the road (actual road, not dyno) and the laptop stopped with a glitch, he lowered the number in the window at that stage, but the screen didn't show the new number, he tapped it again, still no result.... then the laptop came too and went down a whole heap to way lean.... in the bright sunlight, he couldn't see that it was saying 10 instead of 100 or something like that.... :banghead: ..... several thousand $$$ later.... that's why I like good ol' carbs :?
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Waterthunder
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Re: Headers glowing red

Post by Waterthunder »

If the flame is excessive its Usually because your running rich and there is a leak in your exhaust allowing oxygen in causing the unburnt fuel start's burning.
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crowhater
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Re: Headers glowing red

Post by crowhater »

F0zzy2 wrote:Not trying to hi jack the thread but what kinda AFR do you like to see Marshal? I've been tuning a new carb this year. I have about 14:1 at 3500 cruising and 13:1 @ 4200 when my secondaries kick in to WOT. My headers were glowing red last year and I washed out two pistons from running to rich, 10:1 for about 30 miles. I'm learning a lot about tuning this year.

I have had the same thing happen on a Very Expensive 530CI Cadillac with a custom build Holey Carb. I knew the carb could not be right because it had 89 /92 jets in it and the engine would foul plugs in 10 miles. The builder kept telling me that the carb was a custom built Stan Justice carb, I don't even know who that is. Well it washed the rings and the engine had to be gone through again. This time however I ignored the builder and contacted Allen Bills at S&S Performance. Allen went through my carb, adjusted the engine, threw away their custom carb spacer, and my engine purred like a kitten.


As for a wide band the way they do it in the dyno room is to install an AFR sensor in each primary tube of your headers. My suggestion to you is to call Allen Bills and talk with him. Allen has been doing carbs for YEARS and he is the best I have ever seen. Many people on Southern Airboat have sent carbs to Allen and they can back up my claims as to his ability. I am not saying send him your carb but I would call him and ask his thoughts as to your Jet sizes, air bleeds, power valve, etc. Based off your engine specs and the carb you are running, Allen can tell you what should be in the carb and how it should be set up if the carb is working correctly. He is a member of the site, you can search him

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Cmcintosh721
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Re: Headers glowing red

Post by Cmcintosh721 »

I haven't had time to mess with it yet but the builder is myself I put the engine together I build diesel motors at work and putting the motor together any idiot can do, but I'm learning now what a pain in the a** this thing is. My headers have the evacuation valves welded in them but I don't use them because I think they were put in the wrong spots, because they blow back into the hose in the valve cover. The flame that comes out is very small and light blue almost like a torch flame and only see it at night not red or orange.

One Eyed Gator
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Re: Headers glowing red

Post by One Eyed Gator »

Where you located??

Cmcintosh721
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Re: Headers glowing red

Post by Cmcintosh721 »

Volusia county fl

loudmouse
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Re: Headers glowing red

Post by loudmouse »

Looks like it may be a lil rich with low timing will send burning fuel into the headers causing them to glow. Check plugs for timing and fuel and adjust as needed. Flames out exhaust can also be an indication of a leak. If u need help I'm in Ocala.
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Cmcintosh721
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Re: Headers glowing red

Post by Cmcintosh721 »

Took it to a friends house tonight and we checked timing and plugs the plug were white on the ends and the timing was only at 27* wide open so we set it to 34* and added a little fuel with def jets I still have a slight hestitation off idle but not near as bad and the plugs seem to darken up a little bit I have to go ride andsee if that fixed the header glow

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crowhater
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Re: Headers glowing red

Post by crowhater »

Cmcintosh721 wrote:Took it to a friends house tonight and we checked timing and plugs the plug were white on the ends and the timing was only at 27* wide open so we set it to 34* and added a little fuel with def jets I still have a slight hestitation off idle but not near as bad and the plugs seem to darken up a little bit I have to go ride andsee if that fixed the header glow

Listen! Call Allen!!! Hesitation off idle is a transition issue, it could be air bleeds or the power valve. The correct way to take a plug reading is to go full power for at least 5 seconds and shut down without letting the engine idle. You should also be using at least a 5x magnifying glass,, I use the tool the doctor uses to look into ears. Take several close up pics of your plugs and post the pics for us to look at.
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Re: Headers glowing red

Post by air spook »

Go to a higher octane fuel

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