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Homemade headers installed on the 383

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The jig I built to fabricate these headers out of the car worked right-on. The headers went in (very tight, so that part was not easy, nor was it expected to be) fine, and surprisingly, all clearances were exactly as was on the jig.

The driver's side header

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Passenger side header

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standard.jpg

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The jig I built to fabricate these headers out of the car worked right-on. The headers went in (very tight, so that part was not easy, nor was it expected to be) fine, and surprisingly, all clearances were exactly as was on the jig.

The driver's side header

standard.jpg

 

Passenger side header

standard.jpg

 

standard.jpg

 

Very nice TErry, is there anything you dont do yourself?:-)

 

Terry

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I'm too lazy to reset the date on the camera after replacing the battery, but you're not the only one to bring that up. I guess it's time update it.

 

The jig was two 2x4s bolted to the crossmember, and to the rear plate as the engine sat on the engine stand. I used some thinwall conduit as the steering rod on the jig. On the below photo, you barely see the conduit angled up as it goes rearward over the top of the 2x4.

 

standard.jpg

 

standard.jpg

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I'm going to try to build up my first exhaust system (from the header back). I am going to use mandrel bends. Looking at your work I am wondering how to keep the sections square as I cut them to size. I want to cut several sections out of U and J bends that I am buying to get !5, 22.5, 30 and 45 degree bend sections. Thanks. -- Matt

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I have used hose clamps clamped onto the primary tubes, to be a guide for a line or saw blade.

I have also used a large tube cutter where I could, to get a square cut.

 

Even if you have a ragged or not so square cut, you can use a belt sander (preferably a vertical) to square up the cut, before fitting it to the next piece.

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Matt, I have had good luck putting a hose clamp around the pipe and then tracing it with a sharpie. I think I got that from Austin Hoke if memory serves.

 

What a great idea! Now I remember that pipe fitters use a flexible metal belt to do the same thing, but I have only seen them use it on straight sections of large flue pipes. Thanks -- Matt

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To add to the "hose clamp" discussion, I also used hose clamps to hold the various bends together after cutting them. If tightened well, I could hold 3 separate joints together using hose clamps placed directly over the tubing joints. The larger the bend radius, the better this worked. The short-radius bends caused a little problem with this (e.g up next to the flange stubs), but still held the tubes together. This way I was able to have all four primary tubes adjustable as I built the header. The use of the clamps then allowed me to tweak, correct, rotate, and shift the tubes around a small amount to perfect the close fit.

 

Then I drilled two 1/4" holes in the hose clamps and used that hole as a "port" for tacking the tube sections together. Once the tacking was done, I removed the clamp and TIG'd the rest of the weld.

 

standard.jpg

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To add to the "hose clamp" discussion, I also used hose clamps to hold the various bends together after cutting them. If tightened well, I could hold 3 separate joints together using hose clamps placed directly over the tubing joints. The larger the bend radius, the better this worked. The short-radius bends caused a little problem with this (e.g up next to the flange stubs), but still held the tubes together. This way I was able to have all four primary tubes adjustable as I built the header. The use of the clamps then allowed me to tweak, correct, rotate, and shift the tubes around a small amount to perfect the close fit.

 

Then I drilled two 1/4" holes in the hose clamps and used that hole as a "port" for tacking the tube sections together. Once the tacking was done, I removed the clamp and TIG'd the rest of the weld.

 

standard.jpg

 

 

Terry, thats exactly how I did my downpipe. I held it together with hose clamps. It worked pretty well, but I ended up with too much weight so the damn thing kept falling apart! lol.

 

Excellent idea on the hole for tack welding though!

 

Evan

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I had one hose clamp, that I have no idea where it came from, that was actually two hose clamps with a short piece of metal attached between, that I would use to hold the tubes together. I've been contemplating making some out of different sized hose clamps to hold an entire primary (or 6) together, before any tacking.

 

BOZ; did you get some wide hose clamps? The ones I can find are pretty narrow and don't allow for drilling a hole like that, tried it, only worked marginally.

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I had one hose clamp, that I have no idea where it came from, that was actually two hose clamps with a short piece of metal attached between, that I would use to hold the tubes together. I've been contemplating making some out of different sized hose clamps to hold an entire primary (or 6) together, before any tacking.

 

BOZ; did you get some wide hose clamps? The ones I can find are pretty narrow and don't allow for drilling a hole like that, tried it, only worked marginally.

 

The ones I used were 1/2" wide. They were old, so I don't know if its just because they are old, or that the new ones are more narrow.

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Mine worked (and I did have a couple of the more narrow ones, but I didn't drill holes in them) pretty well on anything larger than a 3" radius. When the radius dropped to 2.5 or less, positioning of the clamp required more time and skill in keeping the joint held together.

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That's great. thanks for sharing that tip guys.

 

Now, as for the material used. Can you shed some light on your choice of alloys and why it was used, as well as preferred methods/settings for welding?

 

I have a 225 amp welder that can weld stainless and aluminum but it's a mig, and it uses the spray arc. Is this suitable at all? I would really like to try my hand at doing this. I read here that doing stainless welding with welding rod/stick is even easier and looks great. I'm not too concerned about looks really, but i'd like the headers I make to be radiused nicely with not too many straight cuts that interfere with positioning of other things in the engine bay.

 

I am pretty good at mig welding, and I'd obviously practice, but I'm wondering if welding them this way would suffice and hold up to a high-comp N/A application.

 

I'm sorry if this doesn't fit in this thread, but I'm sure some people are looking for some of the same information in regards to your own work here.

 

 

I was thinking of going for a small set of these blocks here:

http://www.icengineworks.com/icewmain.htm

 

they look good and I wouldn't mind making and getting paid for fabbing some headers up.

Thanks

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