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Discussion Starter #1
Okay so I'm going to be starting my Engine "Buff" project shortly, I plan on starting with headers and slowley learning from there and moving on to harder and more "drastic" things. So I'm going to start looking into some Headers, but if you have any suggestions on a specific kind for an 86 that will be street legal (this is my daily driver) please feel free to post, I'm just trying to build from here in this thread. So how hard is it to replace headers?
 

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That depends on your skill level, and the type / brand of headers, as well as how the veh. is equipped. It can be a very frustrating Mod. even for a veteran with years of knowledge / equipment
and Tools. And even harder if you don't have a lift to assist in allot of circumstances.
If you have NO knowledge, rest assured, it will give you a BIG headache, and will take you a while.
BUT it's a GREAT WAY to start learning about turning wrenches. Not much that will get you into trouble, anyways.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
sweet, but Everything in my elky is stock, I'm trying to slowely bring it about but with restoring and upgrading certain parts comes with deep money burning ha ha.
But yeah i Have ZERO experience with cars like that, and I do not have a lift so i guess I'm going to be SOL. Can you replace headers without a lift?
 

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Sure, just sometimes it makes it easier. Don't SWEAT IT, you'll do just fine, then you'll give your self a BIG PAT ON THE BACK, and say ~~~HAY --- I DID THAT !!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yeah I program so when i write programs its kinda the same thing to look back and see hard work put to good use, anyways I'm looking at the edlebrocks and is there anything special i should reallly look for in headers? and whats the difference between long and shorts? besides the obvious fact that one is going to be longer than the other?
 
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Any headers are legal and will not effect anything at all with emissions. The bigger you get the more you let the engine breath and could gain a few extra HP. So call summit and or Jegz or maybe even ElCaminoStore and seewhat they can see you.

Wait I am a little late on this o crap :neutral:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Tuggy dont sweat it ha ha all posts are greatly appreciated as they will add to my knowledge about cars period. But are there any you guys could recommend because I want it to be worth it but within a reasonable price range. I am doing research but I prefer fellow elky owners rathers than someone trying to sell a product.
 

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Generally long tube headers are more for racing aplications when you are trying to squeeze the last ounce of torque from your engine and short headers are generally used by folks that are trying to get good power but are more into convenience---shorties are a lot easier to get on and live with in a street application with fairly good results in the power gained area....if you plan on upgrading the engine to a larger 350 or 383 somewhere down the pike or are just interested in the sound--they are an ok investment but (in my opinion) pretty much a waste on a stock 305...but then I think almost any investment in a 305 is a waste---its a good engine for durability in a daily driver but costs a fortune to get decent power out of...my opinion is drive it as is until you are ready to make a real upgrade---collect the parts for sure to spread the cost out but save the major modifications for some REAL improvements...Just installing headers is a pain because its not just the costs of the headers but also the rest of the pipes have to be modified to accomodate that change--it can get pricy and if you break a minifold bolt off in the head----well thats another game----just not worth that much trouble on a 305 ----again---in my opinion.
 

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Not all headers are street legal. If you need to keep your smog pump and air injection into the exhaust manifolds, you will need headers that accept the steel air injection pipes. Does your location have emissions tests and does your engine still have the computer emission and engine management systems?

Doug
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well thats the thing I would love to get it bored out to a 350 its just i dont have something to drive while the elky is MIA. I mean shoot I am no where close to getting a HUGE REAL improvement due to the fact im on a fixed income and not that old to really be able to afford any REAL HUGE improvments like dropping a new engine or anything like that, for now im trying to keep it under the 1k improvments for now until i can move up in the job i am currently in and make a little more money. But if anyone would like to donate feel free HA HA HA anyways I'll prolly just put some shorts on it as im not trying to make it built soley for the track but to rather turn heads and just be accepted in the "el camino community" =D
 

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Well thats the thing I would love to get it bored out to a 350 its just i dont have something to drive while the elky is MIA. I mean shoot I am no where close to getting a HUGE REAL improvement due to the fact im on a fixed income and not that old to really be able to afford any REAL HUGE improvments like dropping a new engine or anything like that, for now im trying to keep it under the 1k improvments for now until i can move up in the job i am currently in and make a little more money. But if anyone would like to donate feel free HA HA HA anyways I'll prolly just put some shorts on it as im not trying to make it built soley for the track but to rather turn heads and just be accepted in the "el camino community" =D
Shoot---we even accept V6's in here -----Just for your info, you can't bore a 305 to a 350--they have the same stroke but the block is different.
The reason I suggented leaving things as they are for now is you need to learn a bit more before you start changing things so you get the best bang for the bucks you spend---like, if you are going to install headers then the rest of the exhaust needs to be upgraded to take advantage of them---at the very least the downtubes are going to heve to be replaced thats a couple hundred in addition and if you want true duals so you get the sound you are looking for then a new crossmember under the transmission needs to be bought or fabricated to clear the pipe on the drivers side so you can get to a thousand pretty quick and then you won't be able to tell any difference in the car performance wise---it may sound better but thats about it. A change of gears in the rear end would really be an improvement you could feel and about the same price...just depends on what your goals are---if a set of wheels and a louder exhaust is your goal then by all means go for it but if you hate having a Toyota Prius hand you your butt, then gears are a better investment---only you can determine your goals so do a bunch of reading here and ask questions before you spend your hard earned dollars....We love to help and do our best to give good advise...........Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well put old coot (that statement sounds kind of funny ha ha) I understand and to be honest I have already looked into the whole rear gear replacment and it is def on my list. But no wheels and sound arent the only things i want, but i figured you have to start somewhere on the car so i posted and i was told i should start with headers, to get a better feel and to start learning about the car. But Right now i understand that it will get in the 1k's pretty fast but what i ment was 1k parts. I can buy a few parts here and there and it would add up yes and thats not a problem for me to be able to buy a couple things here and there i prefer to do it actually. But yeah thanks for the information on the 305. But are you saying there is nothing you can do to the 305 thats even worth it?
 

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Any headers are legal and will not effect anything at all with emissions.
Not true...it depends on where you live and/or year of the vehicle ...installing full length headers on a 5th gen, usually means removing the O2 sensor which is part of the emissions equipment. Welding in an O2 bung into the the header collector and using a heated O2 sensor sometimes will allow you to pass depending on the area you live in. In California any changes to the exhaust system is a no no unless the aftermarket part is CARB approved. Each state has it's own rules and regulations of what you can and cannot do and then those can vary by county or even local requirements (or by zip codes). Check it out first.

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Discussion Starter #15
I know I will be fine with setting up my exhaust (thats all the cars around here have are nice exhausts). I mean i live right next to MIR (Maryland International Raceway) and i can hear the cars down there and there is actually a black el camino that i hear runs some godlike times that not many people can even dream of touching. But anyways I would like to be able to ride over there one time and have the respect of the fellow drivers and thats my main goal with the el camino is to make a point and earn the respect of the older generation (alot of people around here hate teens because of the little rice burners they will set up and i never wanted a car like that).
 

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Before you make any mods, you need to find out exactly what kind of smog inspection your car is required to pass. This will be the deciding factor as to what can be bolted on and what can't. Do you still have to have a visual inspection? If so then you will need to add catalytic converter(s) to your shopping list. If you have to go through a thorough vehicle inspection you'll have to buy parts that have the C.A.R.B. stamp of approval on them. That's the California Air Research Board. They get to tell the rest of the country what is a legal replacement part for smog controlled vehicles. Do your home work first to save your self time, money and aggravation on your project. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well I know that there are plenty of vehicles out there just like mine and i havent heard anything alond those lines (would have because my whole family has a restored car) but my vehicle passed a inspection. And i just asked a friend and there is no inspection to pass (only the first one when you buy the vehicle) and we do not need any catylac converter or resinator. A friend of mine who drives a 06 mustang only has is x pipe and the muffler. so I'm pretty sure im all good now right =D:nanawrench:
 

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"But are you saying there is nothing you can do to the 305 thats even worth it? "

Pretty much----some disagree but thats pretty much my opinion. the 305 is a 145 hp engine in base trim and when pumped up a bit it might get up to 175 or so---a base 350 is close to 250 and can reasonably be taken to 300 and still run on regular---it can go well above those numbers too with better fuel and more expensive parts...buck for buck a 350 will produce near double the HP a 305 can grunt out---even with that being said a 350 alone isn't going to make an elky a ground pounder---its a heavy vehicle and comes from the factory with a rear gear more suited to running on the autobon rather than the drag strip. If I was starting from scratch with a stock elky, my order of modifications would be 1ST rear gear, 2ND overdrive transmission and 3RD make more power from the engine...................Dan
 
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"But are you saying there is nothing you can do to the 305 thats even worth it? "

Pretty much----some disagree but thats pretty much my opinion. the 305 is a 145 hp engine in base trim and when pumped up a bit it might get up to 175 or so---a base 350 is close to 250 and can reasonably be taken to 300 and still run on regular---it can go well above those numbers too with better fuel and more expensive parts...buck for buck a 350 will produce near double the HP a 305 can grunt out---even with that being said a 350 alone isn't going to make an elky a ground pounder---its a heavy vehicle and comes from the factory with a rear gear more suited to running on the autobon rather than the drag strip. If I was starting from scratch with a stock elky, my order of modifications would be 1ST rear gear, 2ND overdrive transmission and 3RD make more power from the engine...................Dan
I actually did the complete opposite from what you said you would do Dan. I first put in a 396 and then a better tranny (other one blew up). right now I am putting in a rearend.
 
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Eric4 what I would do if you want to upgrade your car is get parts you will need down the road like a new rearend, A double dump crossmember, upgraded trans ect... If and when you decide to put a new motor into your El Camino then you will know that your car can handle all the power the new motor is pushing out. If I would of done that in the first place I would of been much better off then what I am now. Doing as thing break is not the right answer when building any car.

If you really just want the car to sound loud then just run open headers. Just like 4 or 5 bolts and turn your exhaust down. Then it will be as loud as can be and you will not have to buy headers.
 
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