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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Can anyone help by recommending a header that will fit my '66 'malibu with sb 350/350 auto/console? I'm trying to stay away from a full-length design and thought I was wanting a mid-length or shorty for ground clearance in anticipation of lowering the nose with ATS spindles, so ordered the Patriot clipsters from Speedway Motors based on their catalog recommendation that they should fit. N-O-T!!!!! The driver's side header is hitting the pivot on the upper A-arm such that there's no way either the car or the header could be modified to make it work. Any ideas of another brand/model would be greatly appreciated. --- world2xplor
 

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X2 on the Doug's. I have a set on my El Camino though I can't say whether or not they'll be good for a small block application.
 

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I bought Summit's long tube headers. 1 5/8" I think. I'm having the same problem as you in that headers are hitting the upper A-Arm rear chassis mounting bolt. I have to cut the bolt some 1/4" I believe but seriously hesitating to do that. Mine is hitting on the passenger side however.

I know this doesn't help you but at least you know not to buy the Summit headers.
 

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I have had nothing but problems with Header fitments with my 65. I also wanted to run a shorty style header and have been through five different sets until I gave up and made some modifications. I don't know what the big deal is to make a header fit a small block for a Chevelle but I couldn't find one that would fit.
I started off with Headman and then Sanderson (several different styles), and ended up with Doug's headers. None of these fit but I had to make a decision to make some modifications to just move on. I don't know if it is just a problem with the early Chevelle's or not, but this is what several Header company's commented that could be the problem since they don't normally test fit them on those years. Isn't that just great. I hope you find something that will work with no modifications, there is a few other companies out there but not many making a shorty style header.

I still have a set of Sanderson Headers that I will make a good deal on if anyone is interested, maybe they will fit on a different year other than 65.
 

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I think the biggest problem is that most people aren't willing to spend a significant amount of money on headers. When you see headers listed in Summit and Jeg's for less than $150 I'm sure most people find it hard to justify $1200 or more for a good set of headers that actually fit the car and have good spark plug clearance. A few companies come to mind:

http://www.lemonsheaders.com/

http://www.kookscustomheaders.com/index.php

Headers by Ed

Stahl Headers

... just to name a few.
 

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I think the biggest problem is that most people aren't willing to spend a significant amount of money on headers. When you see headers listed in Summit and Jeg's for less than $150 I'm sure most people find it hard to justify $1200 or more for a good set of headers that actually fit the car and have good spark plug clearance. A few companies come to mind:

http://www.lemonsheaders.com/

http://www.kookscustomheaders.com/index.php

Headers by Ed

Stahl Headers

... just to name a few.
Thats right... Hard to justify $1200... Unless they are total custom or some really expenmsive material (how much is Stainless?), $1200 seems very high... If these companies have designs they know will fit, why would they be much more than average (not the $150 headers, but in the $350-$550 range)?

Once a company has a design that will fit, it shouldn't cost any more to reproduce the design with those alterations... Its not like headers don't fit at all, just the clearances are a little tighter...
 

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Thats right... Hard to justify $1200... Unless they are total custom or some really expenmsive material (how much is Stainless?), $1200 seems very high... If these companies have designs they know will fit, why would they be much more than average (not the $150 headers, but in the $350-$550 range)?

Once a company has a design that will fit, it shouldn't cost any more to reproduce the design with those alterations... Its not like headers don't fit at all, just the clearances are a little tighter...
The high cost of a quality header is directly related to the amount of labor required to build it. Cheap headers are usually a one size fits all approach, meaning the same header (regardless of the part number) will supposedly fit Camaros, Chevelles, Novas, G-bodies, etc. On top of that, the cheap headers' primary tubes are usually mandrel bent from a single piece of tubing. The header companies describe mandrel bent tubes as a quality attritube when in reality it's the fastest, cheapest way to put together a header.

A good header is designed to fit a particular chassis/engine combo. To do that, the bends required to properly route the tubes aren't possible in a mandrel bender. This is the main reason why good headers are so expensive - it costs more to have a skilled craftsman weld small pieces of tubing together to form a single properly routed primary pipe. Multiply that by 8 pipes and the time/cost involved goes up dramatically.

Headers by Ed has a lot of great information on their web site that details the design and manufacture of good headers. At the moment their site isn't up but anyone that's interested I highly recommend you take some time to read up on the subject.

From my 26 years of experience using $99 headers up to $1500 headers, the cheapest ones I've found that are actually pretty good are Doug's. Again, I've only used them one time so I can't say how good all of their applications are. The '66 Chevelle/El Camino big block application are nice pieces.
 
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