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I have a 2010 Armada with a little over 100k miles on it, and based on the sound of the engine I have suspected for awhile that the headers were cracked. Today I finally confirmed that with a mechanic. Got two different estimates for replacement, both of them $2500 or more. Ugh.

I am in California so my options are limited here, basically can do OEM, Magnaflow, or JBA shorties w/cats welded on. That third one is probably not an option as I know the labor is going to be $$$.

Based on the comments by @nightowl in the thread below, it appears that the first two options often crack after 6 months!

Is that really true? Other threads say it only happens after 100k miles or so.

If I knew that my replacement headers would get me another 100k miles, I would probably go through with the repair, but if they could break in 6 months, then I am considering just trading it in for a later model Armada without this issue (2nd gen doesn't have the issue, right?).

On top of the header issue, I already did the aux trans cooler bypass mod, fixed the rear gate lock that would stick in the locked position, plus swapped out the difficult-to-reach AC actuator in the center of the dash. The two rear window motors are slow and will probably seize up any time now, that's going to be a PITA to do myself. So this car in many ways has really irritated me and makes me want to cut my losses, but at the same time I love how it drives, it's comfortable, and is great offroading to out of the way places.

Just can't decide until I get some better info on how long replacement headers will last. Any further info is appreciated.
 

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If the existing vehicle is, in your opinion, reliable then it's a no-brainer for me. I'll always stay with the vehicle I know (and that's hopefully fully paid) rather than get into another debt.
 

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If you don't mind me asking but how did the mechanic(s) confirmed the exhaust manifold(s) were cracked? I only ask because to actually see these hairline cracks, it requires removal of the manifold heat shields.
Also, another sign of a cracked manifold(s) is a decrease in mpg. When it happened on my 04 LE, the mileage was a dismal 9-10 mpg.
 
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@primoV8 He did not take the heat shield off (he tried, but some of the bolts seized and he did not want to break them off), but he got under the truck and diagnosed it on sound alone. He said he thinks it happened fairly recently based on how loud it is initially and how quickly it goes away once the engine warms. I have also been hearing the ticking sound for about a year now, and it sounds just like all the craked header youtube vids.

My mileage is still up in the mid/low teens city driving, so I'm not as bad off as you are.

@crazy4trains your logic is sound, but I'd hate to have the specter of potentially cracking headers hanging over me. No way I'm fixing this twice, and would be very upset to throw away $3k only to have them crack again soon.
 

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Unfortunately, those aftermarket OE replacements are hit or miss. If you decide to stick with your current truck, check out Titantalk.com and look for mechanic/shop referrals in CA that maybe within a reasonable distance from you. When I did the JBA LT headers, I did the install myself in the driveway and my 04 was 4WD. I don’t see a shop having anymore trouble than I did doing this fix, especially when the truck will be on a lift.
 
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Mine mechanic confirmed that my QX56 headers cracked, but only after removing the manifold heat shields.

Really, it's depend how do you like your car, how much parts do you changed on this car etc.. i have changed my car all chasis parts, other parts, by myself, so i prefer to keep this car, because i know my car so well, as member crazy4trains says, keep this car. But if you have tired to repair and repair again, and doesn't motivated anymore, then i prefer to change to better year car.
 
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