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  1. #1
    Sr. Apprentice 77p20's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
    Fayetteville, North Carolina, United States

    Default cheap $99 headers

    question guys....

    i just picked up a 77 p20 step van....

    the exhaust is less then stellar, when i picked it up, the passenger donut was completely burned out, and the drivers side was 1/4 or so burned out with a broken ear on the manifold....

    i broke out the welder(actually my friend did) and started patching and rigging, and we got 98% of the leaks taken care of, but with the broken ear on the driver side manifold there wasnt a lot to work with so it needs to be squared away before the teeny tiny leak it still has gets any worse......

    i priced cheap long tube headers out of several magazines, and was wondering if the $99 specials were any good, i wouldnt need them for more then 6 months maybe a year
    but they would almost certainly have to be better then what im dealing with now right?
    i priced new manifolds, and they are the same price, and i dont want to put another 20-30 year old manifold on there..... some things are ok to re use, but not exhaust stuff IMO

    being a big heavy van like it is, 5000lbs, i can see the performance gains, even with the cheap headers as a bonus, and with the ground clearance of the van, im not worried about scraping the tubes, but how long do you think i can get before they start to burn out (rust through) on me ??

    the van is a 77 grumman 3/4 ton with a 350, and turbo 400, theres a lot of free room under there so i dont think clearance would be an issue either
    the van has no diagnostics or emissions, not even an smog pump

  2. #2
    stephan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Far West, Oregon USA,
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    I once bought a $95 dollar set of headers for my Camaro & got 60,000 miles out of them before I sold it, & they weren't rusted through or leaking. I had gasket issues, leaks etc, but with the gaskets available today, leaks are a thing of the past. All I did to those headers was painted them on the outside, no inside heat coatings. The one thing I would check for is the O.D. of the primary tubes. For 5.7L the max primary tube OD you want is 1 5/8" (& 1 1/2" would be even better but they're rare) or else you won't show as much torque gain & your peak torque will be higher in the RPM band where you probably won't get to use it as much with a street driver. If you buy these & they look really good quality wise, & if you can afford it, you should consider getting them heat coated inside & out because they will last a LOT longer & there are also additional performance gains from keeping the heat "inside".
    1988 Chevy C-3500 2wd (no pic)
    350 c.i. 5.7 L Stock Block, 4 Bolt Mains
    L-31 Vortec Heads, Edelbrock Cam & Intake,
    Holley 650, Flowtech Headers, Magnaflow exh.
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    3" susp. lift kit "shadetree"
    No rev limiter, No speed limiter lol

  3. #3


    I had a cheap set on my 84 Suburban before, they didn't last too long maybe 2 years at the most. But I went through several differrent gaskets and found out that the copper ones worked the best for me.

  4. #4


    where'd you find those cheap headers at? I'm looking for a set for my G20 and haven't found any for less than $200
    1986 Chevy G20 Tow Rig - 5.7 TBI conversion
    1978 Mustang II King Cobra Road Racer - Holley 650, MSD 6AL, 5 speed, 10 point Roll Cage, 9" posi, fuel cell, custom interior.

  5. #5


    If you are looking short term they should be fine. if they are bare you may want to paint/coat the outside. Leaks have always been issues in headers new and old so just need to regularly retorque the bolts and find a good gasket.
    2004 Silverado 2500 Crew Cab 4x4, AMSOIL EA air filter, Granatelli MAF sensor, Throttle body spacer, Magnaflow exhaust (true dual to 2 in 1 out muffler), 6" ProComp lift (add a leaf and 5" superlift rear block), Bilstein shocks, 35's (Cooper Disoverer ST) and 4.10 gears, Rhino Liner, EGRUSA fender Flares and widow visors, extended stainless steel brake lines, firestone airbags w/onboard air compressor, Pioneer Avic X940BT navigation, Accel backup camera.
    1960 Land Rover Series II 88
    2001 Pontiac Sunfire
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  6. #6
    Sr. Apprentice 77p20's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Fayetteville, North Carolina, United States


    thanks guys....... dualdj, lol, 99 dollar long tube headers are a dime a dozen....heres some from summit, it might be your application that causes the price difference

    heres a 99 dollar set of shorties.......
    Last edited by 77p20; 03-12-2011 at 02:36 PM.

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