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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since I'm going with a 351 Cleveland, I've got to make my own headers. I picked up flanges with stubs, a bunch of j-bends, and Hooker's alignment sleeves. Although I've seen it done on shows like MuscleCar and in a CarCraft article, I've never built headers before.
Just wondering if anyone had any tips before I dive in.
Thanks.
 

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65cobrabob,

I made a set for my old LAE, with an FE 390, several years ago.

I took careful measurements and made detailed drawings of each tube from the header flange to the 4-into-4 connection to be able to make accurate cuts for each bend and straight piece.

My objective was to have equal length tubes from the header to the collector at the side pipe, and follow the availaable routing space with the tubes.

My original side pipes had 1/4" plate flanges. The mass of the flanges was a big heat sink and caused several cracks in the tubes.

I cut off the flanges, took the side pipes to a muffler shop and had the tubes expanded for a slip fit so the new header tubes would go inside the side pipe tubes.

Three of eight tubes split when expanded. They were easy to re-weld and didn't pose much of a problem.

I fitted the new tubes from the header flanges to the new expanded side pipe tubes and put small tabs, running parallel to the center of the tubes, on each so that I could have a # 10 bolt connect the two tabs together.

After the welding, and filing of the welds, I had the headers ceramic coated. I got a discount from their origonal quoted price because I had done so much prep work on the welds.

The only supports for the new system were the header flanges and a muffler support about mid way down the muffler part of the side pipe. When the tubes were all plugged in and the connecting bolts installed the new pipes worked, and sounded, very well.
 

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I had no choice but to make my headers from scratch. I have the Edlebrock Canfield Glidden heads. Edlebrock supplied the flanges but that was it. I took a set of big block 4 into 1 from Factory Five bought a bunch of U bends from Hooker and started. Attached the side pipes to the car then cut off the top half of the headers about 3/4 way up braced into position. Left side rear cyl first first U bend tacked to flange out 90 deg just kept looking and tack welding as I went along.
The end result perfect had them coated Just had to make gaskets.

Frank Boyce MarkIII
427 winsor stroker.
 

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I made a set for my 1970 Mustang with a 460. I bought a bunch of mandral bends from Summit and carefully tacked them in the pattern I needed. Once everything fit, I finished welded them, ground down the seams, and had them ceramic coated. They looked great. The secret for me was square cuts with no gaps, take your time, and finish weld completely.
 

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65cobrabob,

I am also having to build or have built headers for my 351 Cleveland. I spoke to Sanderson Headers out of San Francisco and Jay stated that he might have a jig for the headers for the Cobra. If not, he stated that he would custom build them for me. You can find at Sandersonheaders.com and ask him questions also. The headers are my stopper at this time but I will prevail.
 

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Hate to say this but it might prevent another rip-off. Sanderson seems to be running on their reputation. Their quality on the custom headers I bought from them at $1500 was very poor; the headers simply did not fit.

They didn't even put the header flange bolt holes in the same places as in the gaskets they sent. We had to move holes, grind clearances for access to bolt heads (some of the bolts would not even go into the holes because the header tubes were welded in the way). It is clear the headers had not been trial-fitted to a head, or even matched to the gaskets. The threaded bungs for the O2 sensors were warped so much I had to buy a tap to make them usable.

All in all, I spent close to twenty hours making their poor workmanship somewhat usable.

Their failure to meet their own schedule put me in a bind for a race date.

Sanderson's response was to ignore my complaints and the subsequent BBB complaint. I had to threaten to sue just to get my original header patterns returned. They refused any adjustment in dollars, saying only "send them back" and they would see what they could do. Alas, I already saw what they did, so that wasn't a realistic option.

At one time Sanderson had a good reputation. Not any more...

Sanderson is NOT recommended!

Sorry - had to be said,

Tom
 

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Contact: www.headersbyed.com
He helped me build several sets of headers for our 351C drag racing car. I bought my parts and pieces from him and then paid for a 30 minute conversation with him. When he explains header design to you you'll say "That makes sense". It took me about 40 man hours for each set to fit and tack weld and then about 2 hours for a welder to tig weld them.
I paid for 2 other sets to be built and put $1,400 in the dumpster because the car slowed down 2/10.
 

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COBRA BOB I JUST FABBED UP HEADERS FOR MY 540 CI CHEVY POWERED COBRA. IF YOU WANT TO STOP OVER TO CHECK OUT I WILL HOOK YOU UP WITH THE SUPPLIER I USED FOR BENDS AND FLANGES AND HELP YOU WITH YOUR HEADERS.IM IN WILLIAMSTOWN N.J. I DONT USE THE COMPUTER MUCH SO CALL ME CELL 609 685 1456 MY NAME IS EARL.
 

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Tom,

Thanks for the thread on Sanderson's. I have not gone with anyone yet, so maybe I will just find someone local here in Reno or build them myself
 

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