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westcoasting 04-28-2012 08:09 PM

Truck headers and exhaust configuration
Hey guys what is the best solution to an exhaust system and headers. 1990 truck 350 tbi engine and am thinking long tube headers. Do you just run two exhaust pipes and two mufflers out back and be done with it?

Don't have a catalytic converter now and emission testing does not happen here. I have read about a crossover pipe and also read mention of an x pipe.
Looking for best power and efficiency here. Thanks :)

75gmck25 04-29-2012 06:57 AM

The general suggestion for a truck (fairly heavy vehicle) would be:
-Long tube headers with small primaries; use headers with as thick a flange as possible to make them hold up better if you drive the truck on rough roads
- 2 1/2 exhaust
- H pipe (or balance pipe)
- 2 1/2 inch turbo mufflers or chambered mufflers
- Pipes run to the back of the truck, either side or rear exit

This a is a pretty standard solution for most SBCs. For you the small primary tube headers and H pipe will help low end torque, and should give you a good low-pitched exhaust tone so it really sounds like a V8.


westcoasting 04-29-2012 10:17 AM

Thank you, so for headers i would want ones with a thick flange and 1 5/8 tubes? 1 3/4 inch tubes would be too big i assume?

75gmck25 04-29-2012 02:23 PM

Right. In general the 1 5/8" tubes are a little better for low end torque.

One example of headers with thicker flanges and tubes are the Hedman Elite headers. Standard Hedman headers have 1/4" flange and 18 gauges tubes, while the Elite have 3/8" flanges and 14 gauge tubes. There is nothing wrong with the standard headers, but the heavier ones will stand up better over time, especially on a truck that is driven off road.

However, you also need to consider the cost and how long you will have the truck, since the heavy duty headers are almost twice as expensive.



westcoasting 04-29-2012 08:19 PM

One final question... i have seen trucks with exhaust exiting before the rear tires, after the rear tires and then also straight out the back. Is there any difference where or are we just splitting hairs here?

75gmck25 04-30-2012 04:15 AM

Its mostly just personal preference. The real key is to try and put as few bends as possible, and make the bend radius as wide as you can. With a truck you usually have plenty of space to work with.

Its a little louder in the cab if it exits in front of the tires and you will get more exhaust residue on the side of the truck. I think its legal in most states, but its not done very often.

A straight rear exit is harder to route around the spare tire if its still in the back under the truck. A side exit may be more convenient if you use it as a work truck, since it routes the exhaust away from the tailgate where you are trying to hook up a trailer or load something into the bed.


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