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          Manifold issues? Want to upgrade to headers? Here's some...

Manifold & Header Discussion

(17 May 08)

Exhaust Manifolds

         In 1937, the exhaust pipe exited the exhaust manifold at the bottom, straight down. Some years later, the design was changed and the exhaust pipe exited the bottom of the manifold, only at an angle pointing to the rear. My question is, what year did this change take place?

Answer from Barry Weeks:

         I have both an early and late set of original Fenton cast iron headers. The early set has " '37-'48 Chev" cast right on the rear header, which comes down straight. The late set has " '49-'54 Chev" cast on the rear header, which comes down at an angle. These headers were made so that the rear one would hook up to your stock exhaust pipe, and then you only had to have a new front pipe made to split the exhaust.

         Both front headers to these sets are identical, just the rear outlet changed from straight to angled in '49. So my vote is for straight outlets for '48 and earlier, angled for '49 and later."


Cast Iron Header Applications

What headers fit my '37-'62 straight six?

Answer from Barry Weeks:

         Any headers made for 1937-62 216, 235, or 261 motors will fit. Stock exhaust manifolds are different from 216 to 235 because of the bolt pattern where they bolt up to the intake manifold. But since headers don't bolt to the intake, this doesn't matter.

        Patrick's Fenton rear header will bolt up to your stock exhaust pipe, if your stock pipe kicked back at an angle, and not straight down like pre-'49 pipes do. You will have to make a new front pipe for the duals. They sound good!

        For more information, check the Engine and Driveline forum or the In-liners web site (6-cylinders nuts).

350 Header Application - I'm replacing my 216/235 with a small block 350. What headers will fit?

Answer from Dave Alama:

         Most headers made for a '67-'69 Camaro fit real well between the frame's rails. Borla's headers tend to be a bit wide for a good fit. Although, you could probably do a little frame grinding near the starter area to get a good fit. Most other brands (Doug's, Hedman) seem to work well without too much modification."

Editor's Note: If you install headers using this excellent advice, you owe Dave a bag of poi. ~ Aloha


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