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Old 11-27-2003, 06:21 PM
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headers or gears?

I'm a new guy here.I want to do some work on my 99 formula
firebird in preparation for 04 drag season.I'm on a limited budget
and have enough money for a ring and pinion or headers.
My question is which do i do first or does it really matter?
My car is stock automatic with bfg drag radials.I'm thining about
3.73 gears or mac headers.Thanks for any reply.

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Old 11-27-2003, 06:41 PM
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What gears you have now? 3.23/3.42?
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Old 11-27-2003, 06:59 PM
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Let it Breath

A good investment would be a K&N air filter kit, they sell for between $114 and $134. You would get a new top-filter and a round filter and added HP. You might want to check but, don't you have to pull the engine to put headers on one of those?? With the ring n pinion you will need to have someone set up the gears and you will need to know at what cost for your everyday driving? Good luck, do a lot of reading and talk to a lot of firebird owners who have already modified their cars, it will save you $$$$$ in the long run.


RAt Rods Rule!
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Old 11-28-2003, 07:46 AM
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Re: headers or gears?

Originally posted by formula
I'm thining about
3.73 gears or mac headers.
Go with the gears first. You will notice a big change in performance by going to lower gears. You will not notice nor gain that much in changing the headers alone with an otherwise stock engine.
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Old 11-28-2003, 09:55 AM
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first of all how much money do you have if your going to put gears in your car do you know how to. its a little bit harder then you might think, true you can buy gears for about 200 for the set but then you need to think of the other expences such as install kit=100 gear lube=20 if you dont plan on doing them yourself the going rate to install gears is about 300-600 dollars

also do you have the correct carrier for the gears a lot of times gm made 2 carriers for the same axle

i highly reccomend doing some reserch before walking down that road.

also the gears will give you one of the most noticeable performance gains then some others with your tranny i wouldnt recomend going higher than 3.73 if this is a daily driver.

-as far as the air filter i've been doing some dyno testing with a LS1 pontiac and i lost power with a K&N drop in but gained about 4hp rear wheels with the airbox. that might be worth the extra $$
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Old 12-05-2003, 08:43 AM
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I have a 1972 Ventura, it originally had a worn out 307 with 130 stock hp (30 years ago). I went to a Vortec headed 355 and probably gained around 250 hp. A first, I had 2.73 gears, I bought and had installed a set of 3.90 gears and a posi. I noticed more improvement from going to the gears after the motor swap than I did with the motor swap itsself. This just shows you how important it is to be in your power range as quickly as possible. I then went to a new exhaust system with hooker comp headers from stock manifolds, and an H pipe 2.5 inch system from a stock 2" dual system, the rest of the way back with dumps. I did notice a difference, but nothing like the gears.

One thing you might want to consider ,though, is that you are going from a 3.42 gear to a 3.73, and I went from a 2.73 to a 3.90 so you arent going to notice as much of a difference as I did. Also I would go with 3.90s or 4.10s. Your car has overdrive, so interstate mileage wont be a problem.

Good luck


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Old 12-05-2003, 11:23 AM
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headers are cheaper than gears, so you could go with headers and a k&n over gears

as mentioned a gear install kit + gear lube adds up, and if you don't know anyone who is good at "setting them up" you may as well forget about price.

if you have X amount of money get headers, if you are looking for a seat of the pants upgrade spending more money go with gears
'74 Gran Torino Project
351W, c6 trans, 9"
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