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Old 10-12-2018, 01:39 PM   #1
AlexV
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Headers or Manifolds?

I have a 1972 c10 with 2 inch true dual exhaust and a stock 350 I intend on eventually upgrading when I have money, my exhaust needs to get refitted to my manifolds since something is wrong so I figured if they are going to change it is it worth it to upgrade to headers? Mainly used as a weekend/summer cruiser so is it worth the hassle of headers? Also is the fuel mileage increase going to be noticeable?
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Old 10-12-2018, 02:21 PM   #2
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Re: Headers or Manifolds?

Wecome to the forums Alex!

You have asked a question that may very well verge on asking for opinions rather than facts. There are just too many variable to consider and I'm no fine toothed gear head...so I'll give you my opinions...

Headers are just loud. I'm getting older and cell usage in a car back in the day was non-existant...so I want my ride to be on the quiet side. For a cruiser that you do not intend to squeeze all the HP out of, go with quiet, solid, affordable, mani's. Get your wallet out and buy some higher performance mani's, give them a poor man's port job and bolt them on and forget about them. I have had two vehicles with headers, cheaper ones I am sure, and they both require bolt tightening on a yearly basis to avoid pinging leaks and some of the bolts are next to impossible to torque down sufficiently due to the tight area the headers have created that the bolts lives in.

If you want your truck to sound more rugged (louder) and the image is worth your money and you don't mind a little extra maintenance then headers suit your truck. They can certainly up the HP too in conjunction with the intake and carb. The rule..."you get what you pay for" certainly applies.

I can't say what the gas mileage will do, at 10 to 15 mpg with these old trucks there's not much to hope for.
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Old 10-12-2018, 02:53 PM   #3
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Re: Headers or Manifolds?

Headers are not worth it, in my opinion. After years of using headers and dealing with exhaust leaks and the noise, I went back to rams horn manifolds.
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Old 10-12-2018, 02:56 PM   #4
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Re: Headers or Manifolds?

Here we go again....
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Old 10-12-2018, 04:51 PM   #5
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Re: Headers or Manifolds?

Since you're using your truck as a cruiser, stock manifolds will be just fine. However, if you still want go with headers, get a set of tri-y's, like Doug's or Doug Thorley. They'll help where you'll need it and drive it; increased low to midrange rpm torque and increased throttle response. Not a huge increase, you may not even really notice. As long as you get a high quality set of headers, which aren't cheap, you'll have no more problems than you would with stock manifolds. All the problems people describe are from cheap, $99 headers. This is the area where quality really pays off. But again, your stock manifolds will work just fine for your purposes.
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Old 10-12-2018, 05:37 PM   #6
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Re: Headers or Manifolds?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sick472 View Post
You have asked a question that may very well verge on asking for opinions rather than facts. There are just too many variable to consider and I'm no fine toothed gear head...so I'll give you my opinions...

I can't say what the gas mileage will do, at 10 to 15 mpg with these old trucks there's not much to hope for.
Agreed. No real help on fuel mileage, and I'll be happy to add my opinions.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 68 P.O.S. View Post
Since you're using your truck as a cruiser, stock manifolds will be just fine. However, if you still want go with headers, get a set of tri-y's, like Doug's or Doug Thorley. They'll help where you'll need it and drive it; increased low to midrange rpm torque and increased throttle response. Not a huge increase, you may not even really notice. As long as you get a high quality set of headers, which aren't cheap, you'll have no more problems than you would with stock manifolds. All the problems people describe are from cheap, $99 headers. This is the area where quality really pays off. But again, your stock manifolds will work just fine for your purposes.
Agreed again. Stick with manifolds for a cruiser. There's little to no gain from headers, unless your engine is really built for performance.

I have owned exactly one set of headers in my 50 years of driving. I owned a '65 Corvette with a very lively 327, pretty quick car back in the day. I put a set of Hooker headers on it (nice high-quality parts) and they woke the engine up even more (and sounded fantastic to my 19-year-old ears). Never had any trouble with them but sadly, I didn't own that car long enough to know how they would hold up long-term. Insurance rates got the better of me....

Gotta add this tidbit. We installed the headers near Fresno on a weekend and couldn't find anyone to weld up the reducers on Sunday after we had done all we could with wrenches. I had to be in Barstow Monday morning to work. Made the ~240 miles with open headers dumping onto the footwells. Steady cruising wasn't terrible, but any amount of throttle made it really, really LOUD! Backing off the gas resulted in a deep rumbling cackle that only a teenager can fully appreciate. To say that was a memorable trip is an understatement.
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Old 10-12-2018, 06:48 PM   #7
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Talking Re: Headers or Manifolds?

Long term go with RamHorns. You can't beat them for the money.
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Old 10-15-2018, 05:24 AM   #8
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Re: Headers or Manifolds?

On a truck I always go with cast manifolds. Headers are just part of a breathing upgrade that benefits peak rpm hp and torque at the expense of low end power. I don't race my truck...so on an LQ9 swap I went with Hooker cast iron manifolds.
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Old 10-15-2018, 07:07 AM   #9
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Re: Headers or Manifolds?

Took my headers off and installed rams horns 3 months ago. Much more pleasurable to drive. Especially on long trips.
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Old 10-15-2018, 07:34 AM   #10
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Re: Headers or Manifolds?

Do what pleases you. Some (like me) just like the look of headers and prefer changing collector gaskets in 15 minutes over fighting with replacing donut gaskets or broken studs. There may be no real benefit with a mild engine, but no bad benefit either. Any comparison test would yield the same results you feel in the seat of your pants... nothing worth talking about. Headers don't kill stock performance, but you will be ready for what ever upgrades you might do. Just do what you like. I use either. Never had problems with headers to change my mind on them. And over the years I've changed my view on many other things.
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Old 10-15-2018, 12:29 PM   #11
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Re: Headers or Manifolds?

If you are starting out new from the engine, get the covette rams. 2.5 out the flange, then into a single 3'' pipe through your muffler of choice. Good flow, good sound
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Old 10-15-2018, 12:44 PM   #12
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Re: Headers or Manifolds?

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Here we go again....
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Old 10-15-2018, 04:02 PM   #13
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Re: Headers or Manifolds?

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headers are not worth it, in my opinion. After years of using headers and dealing with exhaust leaks and the noise, i went back to rams horn manifolds.
i agree!
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Old 10-16-2018, 11:13 AM   #14
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Re: Headers or Manifolds?

Ok, I'm sold on the stock rams horns. Has anyone purchased new aftermarket? the ones I have are past blasting and refinishing.
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Old 10-16-2018, 12:45 PM   #15
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Re: Headers or Manifolds?

I'll agree with the above! unless taking FULL advantage of the additional flow, not worth it..

I've owned a dozen cars/trucks with headers, two in the driveway now and they can be a royal PITA

noise, leaks, heat, leaks, underhood space consumption, leaks, collateral component heat damage, leaks, etc..

good luck!
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Old 10-16-2018, 01:34 PM   #16
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Re: Headers or Manifolds?

I put Dorman manifolds on last spring when the engine was rebuilt on my 72 half ton with 350.China made so will see.Was going to go with headers but changed my mind.Gas mileage really improved after the engine was rebuilt.
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