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cheap $99 headers

Discussion in 'General Chevy & GM Tech Questions' started by 77p20, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. 77p20

    77p20 New Member

    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. stephan

    stephan New Member 1000 Posts

    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".
  3. inspectormatt

    inspectormatt New Member

    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. dualdj1

    dualdj1 New Member

    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
  5. dsfloyd

    dsfloyd New Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    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.
  6. 77p20

    77p20 New Member

    Last edited: Mar 12, 2011

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