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Discussion Starter #1
I was writing up my tale of bad luck with these headers, and it was getting too long. Instead, I'll just put the question out there. I have a new set of Hooker 2451-1HKR headers. Is it possible to bend the header tubes in toward the transmission about two inches? The driver side is almost touching the fuel line and the brake balancer. It was also touching the lower control arm, but the doofus mechanic who installed them solved that problem by torching off a piece of the control arm. :banghead:
 

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I.M.H.O. (Worthless Opinion)
Headers + Street = Pain in the A_ _

The gaskets leak, the spark plugs & wires are in the way, all sorts of "Fit" issues with starters / transmissions / frame and everything in between...and they are noisy and release lots of heat under the hood...

Are they really worth the pain?

I put on a new set of cast iron manifolds on my 350, ran 2 1/2" stainless all the way back...I'll bet on the street you could not find a lost HP in the seat of your pants! They are quiet, don't leak, I can change plugs with ease and the wires don't fry...

Besides when racing you tune the exhaust for an RPM range...So if you are racing with street headers or driving the neighborhood with race pipes you have lost all the magic anyway...

I have been down this road for a long time, and can guarantee that not many know how to set up the cam / intake / exhaust to see the real benefits, and would be shocked if they saw the dyno results of what they bolted on at random has really done to performance...

Just mt 3 cents....
 

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when faced with replacing a cracked manifold on my 350 Rocket in 71 Cutlass I found these cast iron manifolds from Thornton.... no more loose header bolts for me



Thornton claims these will work on other GM 350's as well, not sure about getting plugs installed with these on the elco, the Olds motor gives you great access to plugs - no Accel shorties needed there.

http://thorntonmusclecars.com/products/manifolds/350-jr-exhaust-manifolds
 

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when faced with replacing a cracked manifold on my 350 Rocket in 71 Cutlass I found these cast iron manifolds from Thornton.... no more loose header bolts for me

[url]http://i1234.photobucket.com/albums/ff406/jpmzone/71%20Olds%20Cutlass/DSC_3806_zps636d9c47.jpg[/URL]

Thornton claims these will work on other GM 350's as well, not sure about getting plugs installed with these on the elco, the Olds motor gives you great access to plugs - no Accel shorties needed there.

http://thorntonmusclecars.com/products/manifolds/350-jr-exhaust-manifolds


Ceramic coat them for heat.

Sweet
 

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Sanderson makes a nice set of performance cast headers, don't even need gaskets at the head. Have your cake and eat it too...
 

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I think your problem is that Hooker headers has gotten lazy. Look at the range of vehicles this one set of full length headers supposedly fits.

Competition Headers
265-400 Chevy Small Block V8
1967-81 Camaro/Firebird (2 generations)
1964-87 Chevelle/El Camino (4 generations across 2 body platforms)
1970-87 Monte Carlo (3 generation across 2 body platforms)
1968-79 Nova (I don't even know how many here)
1.625'' x 30'' Primary Tubes
3'' x 8'' Collector

So these headers are supposed to fit F-bodies, A-bodies, G-bodies and X-bodies across several generations and I'm not buying it.

If you look at manufacturers you find some that are just as broad and some that are much more specific. In my opinion what a lot of these mfrs are doing is taking one set of headers, designed to fit a particular chassis and then selling them for the chassis that they are really close to fitting. It simplifies the manufacturing process for them as they reduce the number of jigs, the number of different bends and tube lengths that they have to stock, they don't have to reduce the price at all and they take no responsibility for fit.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have to agree, headers are not a great idea. I actually thought it would be less expensive. The full set of headers cost less than one side factory exhaust manifold. Adding new pipes would result in breaking even. Now, in addition to headers that will probably cause vapor lock worse than a 1963 VW Beetle in Summer, I also have a cross pipe that blocks the transmission pan. I tried for two hours and can't get the pan to clear whatever that is in the front of the pan. Now I can't install the filter and the shift kit.
Enough griping, back to my question.
Can headers be bent while they are mounted without causing leaks?
 

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I.M.H.O. (Worthless Opinion)
Headers + Street = Pain in the A_ _

The gaskets leak, the spark plugs & wires are in the way, all sorts of "Fit" issues with starters / transmissions / frame and everything in between...and they are noisy and release lots of heat under the hood...

Are they really worth the pain?

I put on a new set of cast iron manifolds on my 350, ran 2 1/2" stainless all the way back...I'll bet on the street you could not find a lost HP in the seat of your pants! They are quiet, don't leak, I can change plugs with ease and the wires don't fry...

Besides when racing you tune the exhaust for an RPM range...So if you are racing with street headers or driving the neighborhood with race pipes you have lost all the magic anyway...

I have been down this road for a long time, and can guarantee that not many know how to set up the cam / intake / exhaust to see the real benefits, and would be shocked if they saw the dyno results of what they bolted on at random has really done to performance...

Just mt 3 cents....
I agree 100% I had headers on my 66 and when I finish restoring it I am going back with cast iron manifolds,
 

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I agree with HKDUP87 heat issue easily mitigated by ceramic coating the headers. I have ceramic coated Hooker headers on my Elco, ceramic coated Tri-ys on my SS, most recently ceramic coated Dynatech headers on the LS engine on my Silverado.

The headers on my SS have been installed for over 5 years with no issues. Elco have been in for a couple years no issues. Silverado are going in as we speak. It's a great mod when installed correctly.






 

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I agree with HKDUP87 heat issue easily mitigated by ceramic coating the headers. I have ceramic coated Hooker headers on my Elco, ceramic coated Tri-ys on my SS, most recently ceramic coated Dynatech headers on the LS engine on my Silverado.

The headers on my SS have been installed for over 5 years with no issues. Elco have been in for a couple years no issues. Silverado are going in as we speak. It's a great mod when installed correctly.

[url]http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n282/vazquejs/ResizedDSC03401.jpg[/URL]

[/IMG][/URL]



[url]http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n282/vazquejs/Silverado/20130916_164904_zps9a928da3.jpg[/URL]

[url]http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n282/vazquejs/Silverado/20130916_164546_zps66f90602.jpg[/URL]



Same here about $400.00 total. Also I scuffed them before installing with the cheap 3 piece manifold gaskets. That's the only way I could get them sealed!!!!!!!




 

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I paid about 200.00 in Florida. Paid just under 300.00 here in Washington. Those other pieces look good. You didn't want to polish or chrome?
 
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