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Old 02-12-2004, 04:29 PM
GearHead69's Avatar
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Weld-Up kits?

I am considering buying a set of weld-up headers. I would need some info if anyone has bought a set before or how hard they are to build.. First my car is a '70 Chevelle Pro-Street, the engine is a 355 roller motor with dynoed at 548hp, so it needs pretty good sized exhaust. My first plan was to buy a set of Hooker Super Comp 1 3/4 tube headers. But now I see Hedman Hustler weld-up kits and Dynatech weld-up kits for little over $200. Saving $150 would really be worth the extra work. Also what do the terms "strut style headers" and "stahl flange" mean? I'd appreciate any ideas, Thanks

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Old 02-12-2004, 05:02 PM
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My $.02, if there is a header out there that is pre-built and will do what you need it to, I would buy them. Welding up a set of headers is not rocket science but it isn't simple either. If your car is already painted and the engine is done, just buy a set that are bolt on. If not you can take the time to bolt the flange on tack everything pull them off weld them out, test fit , take them of make adjustments, fix leaks, etc.. There is also more to making a set of headers than welding the tubes and flanges. Tube lengths, where they merge, collector size and length all play a big role in how they will perform.

Lets say you save $150 (will actually be less when you pay for the welding supplies and power) and the headers don't perform or come out how you want them, now you get sick of it and go out and buy a set of headers that fit and work right. How much did you really save? Don't get me wrong if it is something you just want to try I say go for it, just don't do it to save a buck or two. I am the last guy to try to discourage someone from doing things themselves, I do all my own work (sometimes two or three times, LOL).

One last thing if you build them you will still want to have them coated, are the ones you were looking at coated? If so there is the $150 you saved.

Royce
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Old 02-12-2004, 05:08 PM
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My uncle welds all his own headers. Uses his own custom bent mandrel pipes for it that he can bend with the machine hes got. I'd personaly just go with summit headers or something.
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Old 02-12-2004, 10:07 PM
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Isn't the Stahl flange the relocated bolt pattern where the bolts are at the corners of the flanges instead of the sides?
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Old 02-13-2004, 03:05 PM
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As far as my welding and fabricating abilities.. that's the least of my concerns, I also have every welding tool you would every need. My real question was if anyone has experience fabricating custom headers? They will not leak I build them. I wish the kits would provide more technical measurements rather than just tube sizes. I could buy a set of $99 summit headers but my engine would not make very good power. I finished the "fabrication" on my car I backhalfed the car with a ladder bar set-up and put a 9" ford narrowed rear, the car is all tubbed out with 33x19.5x15 MT's. I just finished tearing out all the rust ( pannels, floor pans, body mounts..) and patching it in. Now I would like to set the engine/drivetrane in the car before I drop the body on, it's not even close to being done.. I'm hoping in a couple years. I tought a sprint car forum would be a good place to get exhaust info, I know those guys make custom headers. Thanks

Last edited by GearHead69; 02-13-2004 at 03:12 PM.
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Old 02-13-2004, 03:33 PM
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These guys know.
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Old 02-13-2004, 05:07 PM
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Camaroman I have to disagree..... have you seen some of the crap they sell for headers. Yes there are good quality headers, but some of the others are not equal lengther or are just poorly planned.
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Old 02-13-2004, 08:08 PM
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I didn't not say any cheap header was better that a custom header. He is talking about a weld up kit, these are not the same as custom headers. You get the tubes they give you and you can make some minor adjustments. There are headers out there that are good.

I was not doubting your welding or fabrication skills. You asked a question I offered an opinion. My point is if you are strictly wanting to build the headers to save a buck, I think that is the wrong reason. If you think you can build a better performing header for your car than you can buy, then go for it. I was only pointing out that once you get them done and coated the price will be about the same.

Another place to look if you want more of a custom and very nice parts to build the headers is www.cachassisworks.com they have some awesome flanges and any bend you could want.

Good luck.

Royce
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Old 02-13-2004, 09:40 PM
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I just use high temp paint, basically the same thing every black header has from the factory. B buddy of myn bought a set of $400 headers and the first time he started up his car the paint burned off.
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Old 02-13-2004, 10:21 PM
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Myself,if I could fit a quality pre made set in,I would do it in a heartbeat,save the pain for a custom job.
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Old 02-14-2004, 09:27 AM
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There is a BIG difference in paint and high temperature coating. You are right the typical black header paint burns right off, it is really just meant to keep them from rusting before they get to the customer. The stuff I am talking about does NOT burn off. It is not cheap either, if you are going to buy a high dollar set of headers or custom make a set I would think you would want to protect them as best you could. I don't know if I have any pics of my headers on my page I will check, if so I will post what I am talking about..

Royce
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Old 02-14-2004, 09:57 PM
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The stahl flange pattern is a pattern that allows 1 3/4" primaries to stock SBC port locations by relocating the bolts. This allows the use of the big primaries with out having to crush them in around the bolts. Of course everything still needs to be port matched to gain any benefit from it. Strut style is referring to the front suspension. Ie, if you have a Mustang II front suspension the headers designed for your front end won't work. You can't go wrong with either Super Comps or Hustlers. As far as weld up kits go hedmans are a better deal. Personally I think Hooker has everybody beat in the R&D department. If this car is mostly strip I would fabricate based on MY skills. It's hard to go wrong on an engine that is WOT all the time. If it will see a lot of street I would probably buy the Super Comps with the Stahl pattern and install the adapters on my heads.

Coatings are great. I have metallic ceramic coated headers on my truck. 81 chev 3/4 ton Scottsdale 4x4. Thorley Tri Y headers. If you are going to street drive I would get them jet coated or special order mettallic ceramic from Hooker. Hedman does not offer mettallic ceramic unless it's new. There's is an aluminized finish.

Last edited by hemiford; 02-14-2004 at 09:57 PM.
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