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Headers, lets clear this up....

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by XHitman396, Apr 1, 2003.

  1. XHitman396

    XHitman396 1/2 ton status

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    OK, ive read every header post ive seen for a while now, and am still clueless on which to buy (considering im poor), im putting a cam, intake, and exhaust, and heard that good headers will amplify the power gains from these upgrades, HOWEVER, findin the right one is kickin my ass. ive understood that the Thorley Tri-Y's are among the best, then i saw the price tag and choked on my pop-corn. so here goes, i need best for my BUCK, need them to last, is it simply get what you pay for? does it HAVE to be made for your particular truck (87 K5 Blazer) or can it be in general (i.e. 80-87 1/2 ton 350's)? or does it matter that much? anyones experience with any headers is appreciated. im lookin towards the Hedman, lifetime warranty, but am i getting performance? and what does it mean if it says off road or racing use only? all input welcome... thanks
     
  2. bowtiepower00

    bowtiepower00 1/2 ton status

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    I think if you stick with a major brand you'll be happy, just make sure you buy coated headers or they won't last very long. As far as fitment, call or e-mail the companies you are interested in, or ask the salesman if you go mailorder.
     
  3. TONYP

    TONYP 1/2 ton status

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    I got a set of used Thorley for $100.00, and they cleaned up like new... /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  4. AnthonyG

    AnthonyG 1/2 ton status

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    I like hooker comps they are not expensave and they perform well
     
  5. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    I'm not overly thrilled with the price of the Doug Thorley TRI-Y headers either, but I'd reather run my stock exhaust till I can afford them, then get something else I know I'll end up throwing away once I can afford the TRI-Y's.
     
  6. 4GUNZ4X4Z

    4GUNZ4X4Z 1/2 ton status

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    If it were me I'd just wait till you can afford the tri Y's. Your stock exhaust manifold will be just fine till you can afford what you want. In my experience the tri Y's are the way to go. Wouldn't waist my time on anything else. Just my 2 cents worth.
     
  7. SUBFAN

    SUBFAN 1/2 ton status

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    if you want headers now, hookers work well and last a long time - provided you use your truck a lot. uncouted headers rot twice as fast on an occasionally used vehicle.
    I also believe in waiting until you get just what you want, otherwise you may never be fully satisfied......
     
  8. SUBFAN

    SUBFAN 1/2 ton status

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    i had bought a set of flotech 'coated headers for my 77 K20, and they rusted through in about three years. the Hookers on my car were twice as old to begin with, and i still have them, no problems...
     
  9. roostr3269

    roostr3269 1/2 ton status

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    I bought a set of Hooker super competition and had them coated. I have had them for about a year and happy w/ the headers but not happy w/ the coating. Starting to rust already. Like said before, any major brand should work for ya.
     
  10. chulisohombre

    chulisohombre 1/2 ton status

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    if i had a choice i would get block hugger headers.the regular long headers go too close to my shackles and at full articulation rub against them.at least with block huggers the stock exaust pipes come close to mounting up also.so it wont cost so much to change out the rest of the exhaust system like i had to do.
     
  11. bigmack

    bigmack 1/2 ton status

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    I've got regular Hooker competitions and they have been great. They have a thick flange where they bolt to the head, so I haven't had any problems with header gaskets like I have with some other brands in the past. I don't know how old they are, they were on the truck when I got it about 3 years ago. I've got Heddman's on my 2WD truck, and they have been good also, they have been on for 5 years. But I like the construction of the Hookers better.
     
  12. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    Here's one thing to keep in mind... I have never seen a painted header that had decent paint on it from the factory. I've got an 8+ year old set of Edelbrock TES headers on my S-Jimmy. The directions for them stated that the "coating" that was on them was ONLY to prevent rust during shipping. They suggested sanding and painting them with a good high-temp paint before installation. I sandblasted them and painted them with VHT header paint. They've held up very well! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    Look closely at the gauge of the steel that headers are made from. The cheapies will be made from 16 gauge tubing, while the better ones are made from thicker 14 gauge. This is definitely a place where more IS better. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif If you can find a set in a junkyard, some 1-tons in the late 80's came with factory mini-headers that were made from stainless steel. Those will last for a very long time. /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif The engine in my K5 has factory mini-headers from an '87 Corvette. These are also made from stainless steel, but require some slight modification of the drivers side motor mount bracket for clearance. They dump straight down in the center, similar to block-hugger headers for street rods.
     
  13. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    I put a set of Hooker Comps on my truck when I swapped in my 350 for the 305. When I bumped it up to a 383 via a local shop that builds race cars, they said there was no need to replace the headers. They would work and breath just fine for my application. They take some maintenance to keep the rust and dirt and so forth off them, but the coated ones were a little over twice as much. So I figured these could last half as long as coated ones and still be the same cost in the long run.

    The ones that say "off-road" or "race use only" are usually not emissions approved. That is why they are not considered "street legal". My rig was originally equipped with AIR, which is a tube that connects to the exhaust manifold and an AIR pump and inject exhaust air back into the intake system. Headers for my rig with that provision were around $300 or more. The ones I got didn't have that and were only around $100.

    One final thing, my headers are regular Hooker headers for a 350. But I have seen some that are "long" headers that begin to have clearance issues with shackles and front driveshafts. Just things to watch out for. Finally, if you don't spend the money to get headers specifically for you exact application, you will probably need to do exhaust system mods behind the headers. Most headers are much longer than the stock exhaust manifolds that stop just below the heads. So you will need to consider the cost of these additional mods when considering lower cost generic headers.

    Hope this helps some.
     
  14. Thunder

    Thunder 3/4 ton status

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    If you get a set of non emission headers Labled "For off road use" you will have to weld in a bung for your O2 sensor.
    These dont come with a hole for the O2. Dont just run with the O2 disconnected. Your FI truck wont run right.
    Check that they will fit a 87 Blazer. Some "fit all years" headers might need to be modified a little to fit 87 and up Blazers.

    I think the Thorley or Edelbrock TES are the best for the buck for later model FId trucks. They last a long time and they dont leak. FId trucks run a little hotter exahust temps than Carbed trucks so they will burn out thin walled headers faster and go thru gaskets too. I'll tell ya it gets real old replacing header gaskets on cheapo headers once or twice a year.
    I have Edelbrocks on my K5. Had em around 3 years now. No rust and no leaks. It was worth the extra $$$ they cost to just bolt them on and not have to hassle with them again. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  15. Flexy K20

    Flexy K20 1/2 ton status

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    I have a set of the Hedmen's and love them, they were cheap, east to install, wont hit your shackles, and have not rusted. I did not get the coated ones either. However I drive my truck everyday so that defintly helps. Later
    -fLeXy K20
     
  16. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    I second the paint them comment. I also sanded mine down and repainted with high temp paint before installing them. As far as gaskets go, I was told a trick by an old racing buddy one time. Get two gaskets for each side and soak them in water overnight before installing them. Then use 2 gaskets on each side and torque them down properly. I did this and have yet to have a leak. Another recommendation is using Stage 8 locking bolts. They are a little more expensive, but man do they work. I have NEVER had to tighten mine.
     

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