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73-87 headers

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by CAT 245ME, Sep 11, 2006.

  1. CAT 245ME

    CAT 245ME PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,030

    Hi, I was looking for some input on headers.
    I have an 85 K10 4X4 with a 350ci engine and the stock manifold are done, so I think I will go with headers, but not sure on what to get, whats the diffrence between shorty and full length headers.
    Also would the shorty headers bolt right up to my exhaust pipes with no extra exhaust work to be done?
  2. Rick Loncosky

    Rick Loncosky Senior Member
    from 17557
    Messages: 102

    Shorty headers are the type that have the collector facing down and the tubes are only about 12 inches long. These are mainly used in hot rods with engine changes where clearance is a problem. You would be much better off with regular headers and mount your pipes to the collectors. You could do this at home with a hacksaw/sawsall and the right size clamps for the pipe. Can you get by emissions with headers?
  3. joe_padavano

    joe_padavano Member
    Messages: 68

    From a performance standpoint, shorty headers are really no better than factory manifolds. They are designed more for fit than performance improvement. The power output of an engine can be improved by tuning the length of the intake and exhaust runners. This will boost power and torque in a certain RPM range, depending on the lengths - thats what "Tuned Port Injection" means - the intake runner lengths and diameters are picked specifically to boost power in a certain RPM range (fairly low in that case, however).

    Exhaust headers are similar. Longer, smaller diameter pipes will boost low RPM power and torque. Short, large diameter pipes boost top end HP. The pipes want to be as close to equal length as possible, but most headers are far from equal length. It's also a tradeoff of pipe size and length vs. fitting in the engine compartment.
  4. Yaz

    Yaz PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,061

    If you do get them buy good ones. They are so thin that rust fast and leak. By a ceramic coated set.
    For a plow truck I would buy a used stock set that you can sandblast, paint and put on and not touch your exhaust.
  5. CAT 245ME

    CAT 245ME PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,030

    At this time last year, I had new two and a half inch pipes installed a year ago (no cat converters) so emissions is not an issue, but I was wondering about diffrent brands, which is better than the other and not to mention which ones to stay away from. I would rather go with the full length headers though.
  6. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    Don't bother with cheapie steel headers, too much trouble. Two years in the salt and my left one is (currently) broken in half and held together with a band clamp until my new heads show up :cry: which I am getting really tired of waiting for...

    I bought a new pair of stainless headers for mine.
  7. 75gmck25

    75gmck25 Senior Member
    Messages: 119

    I've been looking at Hedman Elite headers for my '75 GMC, since they have thicker flanges and heavier construction. They are about $270 for the cheapest set (no emission fittings) from Summit, but worth it if they last a lot longer and don't have sealing problems at the flange.

  8. fast68

    fast68 Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    coated is the way to go if you live in climate with snow involved especially like well everyone here virtually

    otherwise youll be replacing them often due to rot at the collectors

    you will want long tubes with the 1 5/8" primaries,
    very common and not expensive

    and all fit 67-87 and most '63-66 too
    2wd and 4x4 both same fit and normally same part number

    manual tranny clutch linkage sometimes is a minor issue though on these trucks

    good luck
  9. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    On both my K35 and K30 I ran into front driveshaft/collector interference. The K35 (the now-scrap headers) we cut the flanges off entirely and went with a slip-joint, while the K30, which wasn't quite as bad, got a little creative grinding and bending with the floor and bottle jacks...

    The new stainless headers I bought are shorties, so no they won't flow as well as a full length set but they are still significantly better than our stock iron manifolds--and I get the clearance issues taken care of. Paid about $160 brand new on ebay--offshore but surprisingly nice looking quality-wise. When I install them, hopefully in the next two weeks, I will update on how they fit.