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I don't know if this will help you but I recently replaced an exhaust header on my 87 Ford Bronco. The connection from the manifold to the exhaust is a metal to metal connection (no gassket) similar to your sled except it is held together with bolts instead of springs. The connections were clean and looked ok when I put them together but after I finished and tested the job there was a leak. No matter how hard I tightened the flange bolts it still leaked especially at high RPM.

I dropped by my local exhaust shop and talked to their mechanics about this. Their solution, and what they do for their customers is to reinstall the connection with a generous coating if high temp silicon RTV sealent. The brand recommended was called Ultra Copper and it is rated to some crazy temp like 700 deg C./ about 1300 deg F. Way more than enough heat capability. A tube was only a $5 at Canadian Tire.

It worked great for me. Good luck. If it works a much cheaper fix than new.

I currently have my exhaust system off and am painting it with hi temp enamel to bring back that like new finish and will be reinstalling mine with silicone.
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