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Discussion Starter #1

I have replaced the copper exhaust gaskets and the header now seems more proud of the exhaust ports. I am wary of over tightening the studs.
I don't recall whether the exhaust flanges abutted the cylinder head or stood a little way away.
 

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The flanges should not touch the head, but the gap looks a bit on the large side.

Did you do the header mounting & torque sequence as per service manual (and with a small & accurate torque wrench)?

Are the studs OEM? As in are they threaded all the way, or is there a smooth section in the middle that would prevent nut from tightening further?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
OEM studs.
Unaware of specific sequence.
Will check torque
 

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From 2005 service manual (I do not remember if torque values were revised on later editions):

"Assembly

1. Fit new seals to the cylinder head.
Note: A smear of grease may be used to retain the seals in the cylinder head during assembly

2. Locate the down-pipe and align the flanges to the
cylinder head.

3. Assemble the rear mounting point fixings but do
not tighten at this stage.

4. Tighten the downpipe to cylinder head fixings in
the following sequence:
a) Working from left to right, tighten the upper row of nuts to 19 Nm.
b) Working from left to right, tighten the lower row of nuts to 19 Nm.
c) Working from left to right, re-tighten the upper row of nuts to 19 Nm

5. Tighten the rear mounting point fixing to 15 Nm."
 
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