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Discussion Starter #1
So I have a 1985 choo choo custom SS, and as far as i know, everything is stock except the 350 that's currently in it (I recently inherited it). There's a lot i want to do, but the exhaust definitely needs to be taken care of first.
To cut to the chase, i'm looking to install a new exhaust system, and don't know much about these systems in the first place. I really like the Flowmaster American Thunder system from what I've read and heard- but
1) I don't know the difference between header-back system and cat-back system, and
2) I don't know what i will need to do to have one of these installed on my elky

any help/advice?
 

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I'm assuming the exhaust system is completely stock.. Header back would be if you're using headers and a cat back system is from the catylitic converter back. Everything infringed of the converter is left alone. Do you have the cutout cross brace? I'm assuming not but I don't know if the choo choos came with that or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
yeah, i don't think i have the cutout cross brace. so how do i go about doing this? i've heard that header back gives you more performance gain than cat back?
and i'm assuming that if i'm doing header back then i'll need to purchase headers too?

everything is mostly stock right now because this is my starting place for my elky. i'm planning on eventually building a 383, adding a blower, replacing the carb, new springs/struts, etc...but right now the current muffler is trashed and the tailpipe has holes..in the side of it.. not very appealing or reassuring!
 

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This question has been asked and answered many times. There are several questions that must be answered before you start. Do you have headers or stock exhaust manifolds? Do you have to pass smog regulations in your state? Do you want true dual exhaust? If you have smog inspections in your state you must leave the cat in place. So that would be cat back. Or you can do duals with two new cats one on each pipe. The size of the exhaust pipe is also a question. The normal is 2 1/2 inch pipe unless you are going with a big engine. Go over some of these items then look at the Pypes website, they have a great system for the elky.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I will take a look, thank you.
I'm in NC, so no emissions for vehicles before 1996, i have stock exhaust manifolds, i do want true dual exhaust, and i am leaving the 350 in there for now, but i am going to build a 383 in the future. Where does this leave me?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So apparently in NC, your catalytic converter must be within 1 inch of the starting position. So no header back system for me.
I presume that with a cat-back system, I won't need new headers or a new cross member? Would I be correct?
And would new headers be a good idea anyways if I'm willing to shell out the money?
 

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Headers on a street car are useless unless you have a fully tuned exhaust system. If you don't know what that means the just leave the stock manifolds in place. Headers almost always leak.. they make it difficult to change spark plugs.. they burn up spark plug wires.. but they do look good if you buy the expensive coated ones. I had some headers on an old Mustang I used to drive. After the constant leaking I put the manifolds back on. A lot easier to deal with. Of course, this is just my experience. Advice from others will vary. Wait till you build the blown 383 to add headers. I'm having true dual installed on my car this week. I am notching the trans cross member myself. That's a savings of $200.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Wait..one more question. It may be obvious, but I want to be sure.
Flowmaster doesn't have an exhaust system specifically for the el camino. I'm assuming that the system they sell for a 1985 5.0L Monte Carlo will do?
(My elky is an '85)
 

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Wait..one more question. It may be obvious, but I want to be sure.
Flowmaster doesn't have an exhaust system specifically for the el camino. I'm assuming that the system they sell for a 1985 5.0L Monte Carlo will do?
(My elky is an '85)

Here's an 85 with a 350 true duals.





Exhaust: Full length ceramic coated Hooker headers, 2.5in pipe all the way back with x pipe to two stainless 40 series delta flow flowmasters exiting behind both rear wheels with chrome tips
 

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