How do YOU like your headers?

Discussion in 'Performance, Engine, and Transmission' started by 50 Chevy LS3, Nov 11, 2015.

  1. 50 Chevy LS3

    50 Chevy LS3 Member

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    I need to decide about what headers to buy for my project. I don't want plain steel. Ceramic coated and stainless are not much different in price. What say you guys, and why?
    Could get plain ones coated locally, by a shop that has coated pistons for me before, and for much less than the header companies charge.
    Also, what brand do you like? Why?

    Steve.

    P.S. I need to get the headers before I route the steering.
     
  2. Lakeroadster

    Lakeroadster Member

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    I've used Sanderson headers on my SBF (great quality, fit and finish)... and some cheap block huggers (I modified heavily on my SBC) that I had HPC coated.

    If you are talking long tube headers... IMO... it doesn't get better than Hooker Super Comp's. I've used them on numerous Nova's.

    And Doug Thorley Tri-Y's with ceramic coating on my '69 Camaro.

    Not sure if that helps?

    ____

    John
     
  3. 50 Chevy LS3

    50 Chevy LS3 Member

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    Thanks, John. I also really like Sanderson. Very good quality, they don't even use a gasket! Very high priced, it seems to me.
    I'm leaning towards coated steel, rather than stainless, as stainless seems to crack easier. Stainless would look better, and if I have to use shorty block huggers, I doubt I would have a problem.
    Cousin used Hookers on his '68 Camaro, and, your right, very nice headers. Funny thing is, they still bumped his steering box. Had to be dinged in with a hammer and a piece of pipe. And they are coated, so, he damaged the coating.
    I have yet to find anybody who has found any factory built long tubes, that will fit a custom AD truck.

    Steve.
     
  4. Lakeroadster

    Lakeroadster Member

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    1st Gen Camaro's, Little known fact: lot's of varied motor locations. I had to dimple the Thorley's I bought for my '69 Camaro. It's the nature of the beast.

    I dislike stainless headers, and stainless bolts for high heat applications. Steel and stainless have different thermal expansion rates. For instance if you use stainless bolts on steel headers the bolt leads decrease as the engine gets hotter. Also ther can be issues with galvanic reactions when using dissimilar metals.

    I'd be tempted to use a set of Rams Horns. They are making some that look really nice and flow great. Speedway Motors sells them.

    _____
    John
     
  5. 50 Chevy LS3

    50 Chevy LS3 Member

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    The '68, Camaro, with the dimpled Hookers had the wrong motor mounts when he got it. The big block sat too low, I think. The correct mounts helped a little, but didn't solve the problem completely. Installing those headers was a job!
    I've got some vintage rams horns, but, my truck is getting an LS engine.
    Thanks for the opinion on stainless. Stainless steel also doesn't seem to flex much without cracking either.

    One other un-related comment on vintage Camaros. He was clued-in to the fact that the car was originally a small block car by the heater core location on the firewall, I think. Does that make sense to you?
    The '67 is now a running, driving, surviver. I like it the best of the two.

    Steve.
     
  6. Lakeroadster

    Lakeroadster Member

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    It all depends... If the heater box stamping is original to the car. If it is then, yes, you can tell if the car was "born" with a big block, or a small block.

    [​IMG]
    _____
    John ;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2015
  7. 50 Chevy LS3

    50 Chevy LS3 Member

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    A thread with no rudder...but...that's ok.
    Interesting. Seems to me, GM would make one fit all heater.
    I wonder if there is any factory data available to determine where a 1960s vehicle was originally delivered?

    Steve.
    I know, I'm really drifting now...
     
  8. Lakeroadster

    Lakeroadster Member

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    I've always thought GM heater core design left a lot to be desired. Why the run the heater hoses all the way over against the valve cover seem stupid.

    The big block heater core would have seemed to make sense for every Camaro.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2015
  9. 50 Chevy LS3

    50 Chevy LS3 Member

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    ^^^I would love to have a rust free DRIVER 1st gen. Camaro!^^^
    It looks like the big block version is an after production, "fix". Some engineer designed it and ordered a bazillion of them only to find out it was a poor design. Not all engineers are brilliant.

    Back to the thread subject. Your picture helps, in that those headers are nice looking, with the ceramic coating. I think that is what I will order. I wish someone had real experience with what would work on an "LS" equipped AD truck.

    Steve.
     
  10. Lakeroadster

    Lakeroadster Member

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    I have ceramic coated headers on all 3 of my old rides. HPC coated on the Model A, Sanderson ceramic coated on the Model T and the Camaro has the Thorley's that are ceramic coated.

    They pretty much stay the same color as when they are new.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Truth be told, my Sanderson headers had a leak in the drivers side back tube to flange weld. I sent the header back to them, they re-welded it and paid for the shipping, both ways.

    Yes they are pricey, but they stand behind their product.

    ______
    John ;)
     
  11. 50 Chevy LS3

    50 Chevy LS3 Member

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    To put a little closure on this meandering thread...
    I ended up ordering Sanderson headers, through Summit, because Summit has things figured out. Order today- they're here tomorrow, or the next day, latest.
    First, ordered their LS-158, headers in plain steel. These were listed in the Sanderson catalog as correct fitting headers for a "LS" equipped, A.D. Chevy pickup.
    As soon as I got them, I ran out for a test fit.
    Left side fits real well.
    100_5422.JPG
    Right side, not at all...
    100_5430.JPG
    So..., What to do...
    Decided to call, Sanderson, and ask them what to do here. They seemed genuinely interested in getting this solved, so they sent me the other set of headers listed in the catalog, for this engine/vehicle combo.
    These were block-huggers, and the right and left fit OK. They suggested I mix or match, however I wanted, just send plenty of pictures back to them.
    100_5442.JPG
    Now, the only problem is, no way, a factory starter, will fit, with these block huggers. So, back to Summit, to order a gear-reduction "mini" starter. It fits, barely, and I will probably have to grind a little off the header collector flange.
    100_5448.JPG
    Now, if I decide this is what I'm going to go with, I will take these in to a shop in Indy, to be coated.
    Hot Rods are fun, plenty of obstacles to deal with...
    Steve.
     
  12. Lakeroadster

    Lakeroadster Member

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    Your last photo reminds me of why I removed the header flange and welded up my own short extensions on my Model A headers. No flange allowed me to run a full size starter, thus moving the flange back to an area where there was more room for it.

    Is that something you might want to try?

    _____
    John #confused#
     
  13. 50 Chevy LS3

    50 Chevy LS3 Member

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    That's a good idea, I had not considered. Probably will live with them the way they are. I might try to find one of those fabric, heat socks, to protect the starter some. 100_5451.JPG
    I think I'll be OK, as long as I never get a exhaust leak at the collector, blowing directly on the starter. Starters should be designed to handle some heat, I would think.

    Steve.
     
  14. Lakeroadster

    Lakeroadster Member

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    Steve, Here are some photos I took of my two old Fords to show starter / header clearances;

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Here's the Chevy Orange 350 SBC in my Model A. It has a stock GM starter and cheap $50 block huggers.

    [​IMG]

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Here's the 1927 Ford Engine Green 1985 5.0 HO SBF in my Model T. It has a mini starter and I cut the flange off the Sanderson Headers and tig welded tubing to make a collector pipe that re-routed the exhaust away from the header.... and wrapped the collector pipe with heat tape near the starter.

    [​IMG]

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Cutting and relocating the flange gives optimal clearance. Is it needed? I'd say no. I've never had any issues with the chevy starter in my Model A... and it's as tight as the set-up you have.

    But the modified set-up looks much better IMO.

    Hope you find this helpful.

    _____
    John ;)
     
  15. 50 Chevy LS3

    50 Chevy LS3 Member

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    That is clean looking work, John.
    Those block huggers of mine dump out a little to the rear of center. The left one will fit on the right side, and dump slightly forward of center.
    This puts the collector somewhat close to my biscuit style mounts.
    I notice your Ford motor has those kind of mounts. How close is the exhaust to your rubber mounts?

    Steve.
     
  16. Lakeroadster

    Lakeroadster Member

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    Thanks Steve.

    Header to motor mount clearance is less than an inch on the right side, about an inch on the left. No hood on my old Fords means it's all hangin' out in the wind though :cool:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. 50 Chevy LS3

    50 Chevy LS3 Member

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    Thanks, John, those pictures are helpful to me.
    Since my headers are new, and un-coated, now would be the time to weld on to them. I will have to think awhile about who I would get to TIG weld these for me.
    I'd like to have those tapered flanges like Phil is using, instead of three bolt collector flanges.

    Steve.
     
  18. Lakeroadster

    Lakeroadster Member

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    A couple more photo's...
    100_5601.jpg
    100_5602.jpg
    _________
    John :cool:
     
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  19. 50 Chevy LS3

    50 Chevy LS3 Member

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    Well, now, you've really set the hook. That looks real good. Not only that, but, adding 12-14 inches of three inch pipe, before the collector, should give a noticeable performance gain. Add to that, wrapping the header tape to keep exhaust temps up, should increase perf. also.
    I think you improved the design, considerably.
    I could weld in my oxy. sensor bungs mid-way down the long, straight section, for an excellent reading.
    Thanks!

    Steve.
     
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