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Re: Headers for 350 sbc in 56 gmc [Re: nj56gmc] #1288901
Mon Nov 26 2018 11:29 PM
Mon Nov 26 2018 11:29 PM
Y
yar  Offline
Shop Shark
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 757
northern california
Hi Carl,

For the first 5 years (1965-70) that I owned my now restored '36 Chevy PU I ran it as a sbc powered "rat rod". The engine had home made headers that I made copying the Doug's Headers "Tri-Y" design in a quest for streetable torque. There was no unpleasant cab overheating, even in summer time because there was good air flow through the engine bay..

In my experience in the hot climates where I have lived header equipped sbc engines in well ventilated engine bays don't cause any problems. No exhaust leaks, no cooked plug wires, no plug access problems and no cab overheating.

The performance gains are documented in the magazine tests. The example I included documented torque increases of 26-53 lb-ft, a very substantial gain. In street driving torque is what we feel seat of the pants, not horsepower. I'll take it. Others may say "no thanks".

The "eye candy" benefits are questionable, depending on personal preference.

I go to very few shows and cruise ins but at the ones I do go to headers are very popular so they must have some kind of appeal.


Ray
Re: Headers for 350 sbc in 56 gmc [Re: nj56gmc] #1288973
Tue Nov 27 2018 05:15 PM
Tue Nov 27 2018 05:15 PM
R
rfs56trk  Offline
Shop Shark
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,556
Seal Beach, CA
Many of the vehicles that I have worked on that had headers had some of the issues that I mentioned. I have also encountered
starter heat soak issues. In those cases the installation of a mini-starter cured the problem. It's about personal taste. Quality, price & design are also factors to be considered. Many aftermarket parts don't meet standards, headers are only one of them.
Fred

Re: Headers for 350 sbc in 56 gmc [Re: nj56gmc] #1288986
Tue Nov 27 2018 05:49 PM
Tue Nov 27 2018 05:49 PM
Y
yar  Offline
Shop Shark
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 757
northern california
"Quality, price & design are also factors to be considered. Many aftermarket parts don't meet standards, headers are only one of them."

Good morning Fred.

My welding job at Doug's Headers was in the summer of 1967, 51 years ago. There is no question that a lot has changed in that time, especially in the realm of finding quality for sale at any price. But working inside a header building facility taught me that headers that actually fit properly and don't leak can be made and I actually have a set on my sbc powered street roadster right now.

One trick I learned at Doug's was to bolt headers to a head and spot heat a dime sized area on a few of the primary tubes to a dull red heat with an oxy-acetylene torch to relieve any stresses created by the fabrication welding. That relaxes the tubing creating a proper fit. On my roadster all it took to create a long term (15 years now) leak free installation was using quality Fel Pro gaskets, stainless steel socket head bolts and lock washers, and re-tightening the bolts a few times at first as the gaskets compressed. No special bolt locking hardware was used, just the stainless steel lock washers. The heads are aluminum Edelbrock parts and I don't know if those are more or less prone to bolt loosening than iron heads.

Since this is supposed to be an information sharing forum it seems like the original poster on this thread might be interested to know that there are plenty of header success stories. There is no question that quality is a little more expensive and harder to find than it once was, but it's out there.


Ray
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