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Stainless headers and exhaust

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by **DONOTDELETE**, May 28, 2003.

    Since my muffler is starting to starting to show signs of wear I figured I should replace the headers and cat also. I would like to use stainless steel from header to tailpipe (minus the goofy tip). I'm thinking I'll go with the flowmaster muffler. Where can I find a stainless cat converter and headers? I've looked at the Borla and Gibson application listings but they don't show anything for an 89 Blazer. Who else makes them? I would prefer headers that don't make spark plug changes a headache and will work with a 4 inch lift. Is there any reason not to use stainless for everything besides the cost? Will heat dissapation be a problem?
     
  1. ChevyCaGal

    ChevyCaGal 3/4 ton status

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    Have you looked into Doug Thorleys yet?
     
  2. 4X4HIGH

    4X4HIGH 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Gibson headers that fit the 87-up truck will work with slight modification to the driver side frame rail and the relocation of the O2 sensor into the exhaust pipe instead of the header itself. I have done this before on a 76 blazer and I loved them.
     
  3. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    stainless headers are great... but if u plan on driving in rocks, I dunno how good an idea it is to spend a lot of $$$$ on stainless pipes under ur rig. Obviously its ur rig and ur $, but for me, exhaust piping is one of those things that gets torn off by rocks... and if i spent a lot of $ on it, I'd just be pissed when it happened. With the cheap stuff, its no biggie, just cut off whatever got bent and drive. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    j
     
  4. MousePowrd

    MousePowrd 1/2 ton status

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    Skip the stainless and get ceramacoated headers. Stainless transfer a lot more heat, and look like crap after a while. Ceramic coated are cheaper, look better and keep the keat inside the header, not the engine bay. Plus stainless can crack after a while
     
  5. BlazerGuy

    BlazerGuy 3/4 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I would prefer headers that don't make spark plug changes a headache

    [/ QUOTE ]
    HA! /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif And I'd like a golden sh!thouse! /forums/images/graemlins/pimp1.gif
     
  6. DukeBoy88

    DukeBoy88 1/2 ton status

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    I would recomend not getting ceramic coated headers, I have (had) them and while they did keep the heat in very well, the coating didn't last near the collector. where I suspect getting immersed in water and mud may have seperated it from the metal or something and shortened its life. I also don't see any reason why a quality header made of stainless would crack before the same of standard steel. My next headers will be stainless and the rest of the exaust aluminized. If you are worried about trail damage to the exaust, check into using a flexable connector near the collector and run the rest of the exaust fixed directly to the frame, (not touching, just no rubber pieces in-between)that way you can tuck it up tight away from grabbing rocks. It should give you more options on your routing since it doesn't need to move. hope this helps.
     
  7. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Personally I say skip the ceramic coated and stainless headers. Get plain steel ones that are nice and thick ($150-200 I believe will net you a decent set of headers) and paint them with some heat resistant paint.

    Believe stainless headers run some $600 (think there may even be a company called stainless steel headers or something like that) and the ceramic coated ones start at around $300. As soon as you have to "clearance" ceramic headers, the coating will more than likely break off anyway.

    As to the stainless, $600 will buy you quite a few years/many sets of mild steel headers. I like the "buy it once and forget it" aspect, but I've known people to use "good" headers for 10+ years and have no problems.
     
  8. MOTORHEAD

    MOTORHEAD Registered Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    I would prefer headers that don't make spark plug changes a headache

    [/ QUOTE ]
    HA! /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif And I'd like a golden sh!thouse! /forums/images/graemlins/pimp1.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]
    No doubt. I'm running two types of spark plugs on the shorties I put on my 88. On the pass. side I had to install two autolites and use AC's in the other holes. The Autolites have a taller bottom end and I can slide a box end wrench over them.
     
  9. wrathORC

    wrathORC 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]

    No doubt. I'm running two types of spark plugs on the shorties I put on my 88. On the pass. side I had to install two autolites and use AC's in the other holes. The Autolites have a taller bottom end and I can slide a box end wrench over them.

    [/ QUOTE ]


    What the heck kind of headers do you have? I have Hooker headers and it's 10x easier to change the plugs with the headers than with the stocker manifolds. The only PITA part is tightening up the back header bolts with a 7/16" crows foot.
     
  10. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I've known people to use "good" headers for 10+ years and have no problems.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Yep. I've had a set of Edelbrock TES headers on my S-Jimmy for 10 years and they're holding up great. But before I installed them, I sandblasted them and painted them with VHT header paint. /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif

    But I also haven't lived in the rust belt in that time. /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  11. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    same with me, Edel TES + sandblasting + VHT that I baked on in the sun. VHT is supposed to work a lot better when u bake it on, and since i didnt have access to a big enuff oven, I just laid them in my driveway during the summer for about 8 hrs. Those things were way to hot to touch during the day, so I just left em out there till sundown. Its worked great so far...

    j
     
  12. MousePowrd

    MousePowrd 1/2 ton status

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    My headers were $260 and the spark plugs are VERY easy to get to. I run stock AC R43ts plugs. I have the headers for TBI p/u's so they stick out an extra inch or two before going down.

    The downside to this setup is I had to notch the frame a little to make them fit.
     
  13. I checked the Thorley website and I don't see a listing for an 89 Blazer for stainless headers ... or am I not looking in the right place.
    The reason for the stainless is because of the inherent properties of the metal, I won't have to worry about any coating cracking or peeling off. I don't mind the slight discoloration. As far as the heat transfer, I always thought that stainless was a poor conductor of heat, so wouldn't that mean that the heat will stay inside the exhaust pipes?
    I'll check into the other headers mention. Thanks for all the input guys and girls. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  14. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    The reason for the stainless is because of the inherent properties of the metal

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I was reading a Corvette article on Stainless Steel exhaust, and it was mentioned that the system length could "grow" by up to 1.5". Not sure what mild steel will "grow" to though.

    I'd like to hear from someone that actually knows though, Does stainless expand and contract more than plain steel? Might be something to consider, since headers tend to typically start leaking at the manifold or collector flange, extreme (more than mild steel) expansion or contraction would eventually wreak havoc with joints/seals I'd imagine. Just speculating though.
     
  15. That never even crossed my mind /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif
    Any metallurgist in the house? /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif
     
  16. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Stainless expansion problems

    Kind of "generic" because I don't know the type of steel this article is about vs. what headers would be made of, but you don't have to read far to see that apparently the Stainless does expand more than the other steels they were joining it to. Kind of interesting reading, although we would be using gaskets as joints instead of welds.

    They are talking micro-inches apparently, the only place I could see a problem is perhaps the exhaust flange area, only because thats a problem even with the cast manifolds. But realistically, you take off the heads hopefully less than every 100,000 miles, and thats typically quite a few years.
     
  17. Leadfoot

    Leadfoot 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I like Dorian's point. I spent some $$$ on Hooker Super Comp Headers and Jet Hot Coating for my pulling truck. The headers have nice thick flanges so the $$ was well spent there, but the coating SUCKS. I sent them back to be recoated and it is still peeling off (started after about 6 months each time). If I do that again I am going to try HPC, [naughty word] Jet Hot!

    On my daily driver, I bought some Cheap steel headers with thick flanges, bought Percy's aluminum header and collector gaskets and have not had a single leak (about 18 months). The key is good gaskets (the one's that come with them suck), and proper torque. Once you overtighten a header (trying to stop a leak with poor gaskets), you warp the flange and then are screwed. Alot of the guys I pull with use the locking header bolts, and seem to have very good luck with them.....(allows proper torque without the worry of vibrating completely loose).
     

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