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Topic Review (Newest First)
10-06-2012 11:21 AM
BOBCRMAN@aol.com
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4 Jaw Chuck View Post
You sure hit the nail on the head with that one Jim, I too have had numerous problems with headers. Here are some of the things I have done to solve some of them.

-Leaks, after finally having enough of header exhaust flange leaks on my 69 Mustang (the drivers side was an absolute nightmare to replace) I finally removed them and cut off the flange and fabricated some 5/8" thick ones using the originals as templates, this completely solved the leaks and I then went to a reusable copper gasket. Funny thing happened as a side effect the bolts no longer loosened up with normal use?!

-Low ground clearance, After dragging around those headers for one winter and freezing the carb and air filter from the steam more than once I put on a skid plate, not pretty but it saved them from certain destruction. There was just no room for a full length header on this car and having them under the car was not ideal. After I had seen a friends Dodge Dart with fender well headers, I now think this is the ideal solution, to bad not many MFG's make them.

-Noise, At first the sound of headers under the hood was a novelty but after a while it became an annoyance, the under hood heat was a major problem as well. The belts and hoses seemed to need replacing regularily from the heat bake. Those header blankets seem like a good idea although I have not used one before, the wrap type over insulate the steel and the carbon in the steel is consumed leading to brittle fracture from decarbonization. The stainless steel versions are better in this regard but still not immune. I have heard nothing but great reviews from people who had their headers Jet Hot coated and if I buy another set of quality headers they will get this treatment after the flange modification.

I now consider a set of headers an unfinished product that requires finishing before I am satisfied with them, I wish you luck with your next set.
I think all the older rodders can relate.

Fender well headers are far from ideal also. Steam! from the rain/road water makes for interesting moments. In my climate snow/slush still packs up into the well even tho the pipes are hot. tends to rot out the pipes. Engine gets drowned from the header exit holes.

Back in the day. I ran the drag the pavement, low to clear the front end parts, headers. Thats what we had..

An old style "T" bucket with outside pipes down about six inches from the top of the bucket.. Still have the left inner arm burn scars

Also the burn the back of your legs. Kustom Equipment Co. outside the rocker panel full length 4" tubes. BBC in a 65 442 Olds.

Tighten the flanges/paint the pipes was weekly maintainence. Winter. Frozen lines and carburetors from bad/cobbled heat choke stoves was norm.
10-06-2012 07:40 AM
hpete Headers are a pain but their still step one in any serious hop-up. Every thing else you can do (cam,induction,ignition) works better with headers and free flowing exhaust. I'm pretty sure that the manifolds on newer vehicles flow pretty good but I don't think they'll beat full length headers.
10-05-2012 07:28 PM
against all odds Discuss possibly mpg increases with the use of headers.

Also, will using wrap provide any benefits?
05-14-2002 05:56 PM
Studebaker I have had good luck with Sanderson Brand headers. They have a thicker flange and fit OK, but still nothing to write home about. Sanderson also makes a cast iron manifold but they are very expensive, about $425-450. From now on I will use factory cast iron manifolds with dual exhaust, for the trade off in performance they work well with no headaches of tubular headers. Below 5000 rpm I think the tradeoff between performance versus reliability is worth it.
05-13-2002 05:58 PM
jimm my header experience includes a pair i had jet hot coated then installed them on my 84 blazer[ the one thats currently in more pieces than even chuck can put back together!]after running them about two years with lots of serious offroad use,mud cooked on etc. ,as well as being driven 4/5 times aweek i tore the whole mess aPART TO DO IT AGAIN!aka the marquis de masochist[is that right?]anyway the jethot coated headers had enough grunge[chuck told me that grunge is 1 part dirt/1 1/2 parts street oil/a lot o' parts heat/some parts oil coming out of that engine[is that right chuck?or is it motor?] that in spite of heroic efforts on your part still leaks like a sieve! man ! those things were nasty. so i sprayed them with some autostrip ,let them set a few, then washed them off with a water hose and they looked like the day i got them back from jethot!!NOTTT!!! just kidding , i did spray them wit autostrip but then i had to scrub them with 4/0steel wool till my hands bled[hey! this was two years of offroading!]that is to say about an hour and voila! they looked great!,not freshly coated ,but great! i heartily recommend a coating like jethot[i had mine done inside and out] your investment will be around a lot longer.see ya! jimm p.s. i've seen other coatings [hpc,ete.] they look the same to me,just dont know about the longevity but probably all are created equal!

[ May 13, 2002: Message edited by: jimm ]</p>
05-13-2002 04:06 PM
F-1Rodder Agree, but what's the alternative? You will probably be best served, if you want the performance to buy the better name brands. Some are just made better...Sanderson comes to mind. Or maybe you are thinking about raising your car....no. A lot of hotrod stuff is just not practical. This is why your neighbor isn't interested in doing this.
05-13-2002 08:58 AM
dmorris1200 Yes I too have had some lousy experiences with headers. I finally just decided to use manifolds for street use when I can. I have had z-bar clearance problems on older Fords with clutches, leak issues, premature rust through, etc., etc.. What works nice on a windsor is a factory performance manifold from ford motorsports, looks like a shorty header and bolts to front pipes like stock manifolds. Headers are nice but unless we're talking serious machine or something going to the track every weekend I'll stick with manifolds. I opened up my front pipes to 2 1/2 inches into a pair of flowmasters, over the rear end, then to 3 inch out the back, with manifolds. Sounds great, never leaks, and that little 302 has no problem smokin' the tires and chirpin' second out of a C4 trans. Just another opinion.

[ May 13, 2002: Message edited by: dmorris1200 ]</p>
05-12-2002 05:43 PM
51gmc I've had goo experiences with hedders but mostly bad. Stock exhaust manifolds are good if you get the right ones. I'm building my own hedders for my current project: a 401 Buick Nailhead in a 51 gmc pickup truck. But the truck is far from stock, having a jag XJ6 front suspension that buick motor and well, my own design frame.
Anyway, equal length, the correct diameter, smooth flowing tubes with enough spacing for the spark plugs, routed away from all the bumps ie: steering column, rack, starter, block fenderwells and frame rails, i'll write you all about my masochistic design and fabrication. If I'm really smart I'll take pictures.

Here's a tip:
Use oem exhaust donuts between the collector and the rest of the system in place of the flat p.o.s. gaskets
05-12-2002 04:57 PM
4 Jaw Chuck You sure hit the nail on the head with that one Jim, I too have had numerous problems with headers. Here are some of the things I have done to solve some of them.

-Leaks, after finally having enough of header exhaust flange leaks on my 69 Mustang (the drivers side was an absolute nightmare to replace) I finally removed them and cut off the flange and fabricated some 5/8" thick ones using the originals as templates, this completely solved the leaks and I then went to a reusable copper gasket. Funny thing happened as a side effect the bolts no longer loosened up with normal use?!

-Low ground clearance, After dragging around those headers for one winter and freezing the carb and air filter from the steam more than once I put on a skid plate, not pretty but it saved them from certain destruction. There was just no room for a full length header on this car and having them under the car was not ideal. After I had seen a friends Dodge Dart with fender well headers, I now think this is the ideal solution, to bad not many MFG's make them.

-Noise, At first the sound of headers under the hood was a novelty but after a while it became an annoyance, the under hood heat was a major problem as well. The belts and hoses seemed to need replacing regularily from the heat bake. Those header blankets seem like a good idea although I have not used one before, the wrap type over insulate the steel and the carbon in the steel is consumed leading to brittle fracture from decarbonization. The stainless steel versions are better in this regard but still not immune. I have heard nothing but great reviews from people who had their headers Jet Hot coated and if I buy another set of quality headers they will get this treatment after the flange modification.

I now consider a set of headers an unfinished product that requires finishing before I am satisfied with them, I wish you luck with your next set.
05-12-2002 03:35 PM
Tom anytime I install headders I check for road clearence,if I dont like it I take them right off and get another set,when I get a set that fits good I weld the collectors to the exhaust.I've had headders on everything with no problems except a mid 80s T/A(an abandoned project because of the exhaust).Remember headders a just tubes and dont last forever. Much care in the installation is what matters.If they don't fit don't use them.For the starter problem try a small air duct to bring cool air in while driving
05-12-2002 02:18 PM
Jim Weeks
What has been your experience with headers compaired to stock exhaust manifolds??

I have had three cars with headers and I have had bad experiences with all three of them.

The first car I had was a 66 Mustang. It had stock manifold with a single exhaust pipe. I converted over to dual exhaust pipes and the difference was astounding. Later, I installed headers and from 0 to 50 mph the performance was about the same. I really didn't notice and exceleration increase until after 50 mph on top end. The headers hung so low every time a hit a dip in the road the headers would bang on the pavement, so it was very stressfull. (This was all you could get in the early 70's) Eventually took the headers off and replaced them with the stock manifolds.

The second car was a Corvette with headers and side pipes. The headers came apart after 2 years of normal use and leaked around the collector. Nothing buy trouble, again replaced them with stock manifolds.

The third car is a model A with a 327 V-8. I put the block huggers in to avoid the road clearance problems, and bought the heavy 16 gauge tubing to avoid blow outs. Surely I will have no trouble with this set up. WRONG The headers came close to the starter which overheated and would not start the car after you drove for about 45 minutes. I had to install a remote starter selenoid just to start the car and I still have to replace the starter every 3 or 4 years because it is slowly getting fried even with a heat shield.

I would like to hear about the experiences our other members have had good or bad with headers on a daily driver????

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