Who out there is a LT1 "expert." I'm getting ready to install one in my '50 3100. I would like to install headers for the "cool" factor... I don't care whether they increase performance or not. I know the history of the engine...got it on the cheap. Without any research at this time, what issues will I encounter by doing so? That question comes about due to the factory "plumbing" that is attached to the exhaust manifolds. I would like to eliminate as much as possible any or all of the stock connections without disturbing engine performance. I'm not going as far as removing the opti-spark in favor of a conventional distributor. Hey, just throwing the question out there...If I didn't ask I wouldn't know.
As far as plumbing/smog removal, it depends on the year of the motor. Nice to know what vehicle it came from also.
As far as physical fit of motor and what headers fit. You need to mock up the motor install, and see where the problems are in your particular case. You need to mock it up for all kinds of reasons, not just exhaust. So that is the next step. You are going to install it anyway, so take off front clip and begin. There is a LT-1 (LT dash 1) 1970-1972.....no smog. Then LT1 in 1991 and up...........smog By mocking the motor into place you will be able to ask specific questions and some of your questions will be answered by observation. The available space for headers will be identified. Your question about what you will encounter is hard to answer. I assume it means issues regarding overall install of motor. If someone has put the same generation LT1 in the same basic truck, they will respond I guess.
"Without any research at this time" I would recommend searching SBC into an AD on here. Been done many times. The plumbing is a separate issue.
I'm away on an ego trip. Will be back on Feb 30. I'm not an Auto Mechanic, but I play one on TV. I charge $0.02 for every opinion and I take Paypal. Plan B is always better than plan A, by definition.
bartamos...the engine is a '95 out of a Buick Roadmaster. I just finished installing a bolt-in crossmember from Speedway. The IFS is suppose to deliver 7/3. The only thing north of the firewall are the frame rails and now the crossmember. I purchased a set of SBC engine mounts and have them loosely attached. Once I get the IFS installed, I'll bring my engine and tranny out of storage and start the mock-up. Work around right now is as easy as it will ever get! I've seen photos of LT1's with headers. I would be surprised if they were all of the '70-'72 vintage but I'm only guessing. I hope you're right that previous bolters who have done this will respond.
Thanks John Milliman for interpreting my original post with an open mind.
One of my sons has that same motor in his daily driver pickup and he found a nice performance bump from a mild camshaft from Competition Cams and it still passes a California smog check no sweat.
He also has a resto-mod '66 Chevy PU and I made him this exhaust system for it. The "H" pipe makes the engine practically silent at low throttle openings. He likes the "Eye candy" benefit of the headers too. Another "Eye candy" upgrade is engine turning some of the metal panels if you're willing to learn a tedious skill. Here are a couple of examples of engine turning on my roadster.
Thanks for the compliment Dragsix. One of my neighbors is a big fan of vintage auto racing and several years ago he took me to one of those vintage race meets. There I saw a huge variety of race cars, some over 100 years old. I was struck by the beauty of the engine turned metal parts on some of them and set out to learn how to do it.
There is a lot of "how to" information online and I tried several of the recommended techniques. The one that worked for me was using Cratex abrasive rods spun in my drill press and milling machine at about 1000 RPM. There is an infinite variety of patterns available to be made by engine turning depending on the diameter of the abrasive used and the "X" and "Y" offset between rows.
Here are a couple of other examples on my roadster, the top of the air cleaner housing and the home made cold air intake plenum and the metal support where the steering column passes through the firewall.
I got so into it for a time that people were teasing my wife about being an "Engine turning widow".