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Bending Headers....

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by CenValyCali, Oct 17, 2010.

  1. CenValyCali
    Joined: Nov 30, 2008
    Posts: 149

    from Hanford

    I've got these Cheap summit racing headers on my 62 chevy truck and they hang way to low to the ground, I was wondering what would be a good spot to start heating so that I get a good bend? These are the headers.....
    Also should I bend them while there attached to the motor or should I take them off so I don't blow anything up :D ? Really? Thanks
  2. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 51,458


    That won't end well.
  3. crash11049
    Joined: Aug 31, 2009
    Posts: 136


    I dont see how you could do it with just heat, unless you were only moving them a very small amount. You would need to heat 4 pipes at the same time to bend, and hope they dont kink when you bend them.
    Looks like they would have to be cut and rewelded, to shorten them to me.
  4. i had a customer bring me a header that was hitting clutch linkage. so i bolted the header to a 2x2 tubing, put it in my gas forge, got the pipes cherry red, put it in the vise, hauled on it to where i thought, too far after trial fit, redid the heat took some out, fit perfect. lotsa waiting with a rosebud would work.

  5. nummie
    Joined: Jul 7, 2010
    Posts: 214


    heres something ive wanted to try for a while: when making instruments out of brass the manufacturers freeze a soapy water solution in the pipes to make a mandrel bend. it would require a rediculous amount of force with headers... but its an idea
  6. Diavolo
    Joined: Apr 1, 2009
    Posts: 823


    I agree with paul, LOTS of heat and a gentle hand. I did it with a set a long time ago, still had one tube kink. Don't plan on going very far or very fast with out the tubes glowing in the dark. It shouldn't have to be said, but I can't imagine doing this on the car...
  7. jonnyonedrip
    Joined: Sep 23, 2010
    Posts: 121

    from canada

    cut and weld would prolly work way better
  8. 64cheb
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 74


    Just section the primaries shorter, keep the bend to the flange, and re-weld. I personally would use TIG or Acetylene.
  9. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 51,458


    I'd just find different headers now, then you could sell the ones you have. You're gonna have to buy different ones anyways.
  10. If you can't fix your headers try Tubular Automotive, 248 Weymouth St., Rockland, Mass. 02370, 781 878 9875. They make headers for engine swaps, and header kits. Maybe they can help you.
  11. thatcher
    Joined: Feb 13, 2002
    Posts: 65


    Fill with sand, heat, bend
  12. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,757

    Member Emeritus

    If the headers are angled down so that the collector is closer to the ground, then it MIGHT be possible to bend the header to raise the rear an inch or so but if the primaries are too close then it's cut and reweld or get a set that fit. No bending will fix that.
  13. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 31,267


    I have a set on my truck that are pretty close to the same as those an they do hang down further than a guy would like to have them go but I don't see much in the way of being to bend them around to gain the height you probably want

    I took these photos a few minutes ago


    I don't have a problem with them as the truck is a stock height 3/4 ton but on a truck that was really low or you wanted things to look a lot better they wouldn't cut it. They do let the kids in fart piped lowered Hondas know that I am running headers though.

    If it were me I'd find some that would fit the way I wanted or even go back to stock exhaust manifolds or one of the aftermarket ramhorn manifolds and work at having a set of pipes built that were up out of the way.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2010
  14. Nick Flores
    Joined: Aug 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,357

    Nick Flores

    ... if you try this use VERY DRY sand.
  15. dirty old man
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 8,911

    dirty old man
    Member Emeritus

    Been many years ago, so it's kind of fuzzy, But heres my take on this years past:
    Had a '73 GMC 4wd w/ "granny" 4 speed.When I bought it in '77 it had headers on it already, and they fit just great. (oem sbc)
    When those headers burnt out or cracked, don't recall which, I bought another pair of another make, and DIY installed, then drove 20 miles to my favorite muffler shop at that time. They installed a new set of 2.5" pipes and new 2.5 inch core I.D. X30" glasspacks I supplied, bought from J. C. Whitney turned out to be Mitchell brand, sounded great! But the rightside header pipe they bent up had to bend more sharply downward than the last set in order to get below the engine crossmember than I would have liked.
    Before the next set was bought those first replacements proved their lower initial cost was equal to lower durability, info revealed that to cut cost and save on stocking of part nos.and inventory of designs and jigs, etc., fit was also not as good.
    Looking thru catalogs revealed that most lower price headers were built so they fit more models with an only fair fit around stuff like crossmembers.
    They might produce and sell one model that took two or three models to get an ideal fit on all components. That was the case I had, and it seems to me that the reverse is true if using a pre '73 chassis/body and a header specifically designed for for '73 & later. The pipe will hang too low. Take a look see whether you can find another set from whoever that is more application specific than what is most likely a "one size fits all" product.
    Sell yours and it will help pay for the correct set of application specific set which will be a bit more expensive than yours were.
    Or go ahead and attempt to bend them to fit to your liking. And then when you have managed to destroy them to unsaleability, you'll still have the better ones to buy and no money to help defray the cost, your choice!
  16. pastlane
    Joined: Oct 4, 2007
    Posts: 1,064


    I got lucky with my O/T 80 Chevy pick up (427 powered). Was dropped 8 inches & truck headers were right on the ground. I picked up a set of swap meet headers (Hedman or Cyclone cannot remember) for a Chevelle / Nova and the fit was near perfect with tons of ground clearance.
  17. BCR
    Joined: Dec 11, 2005
    Posts: 1,262


    Funny story,

    Working on an O/T 65 fastback and the motor was a 351 clevor (clevland head on a winsor block)
    The customer bought headers based on a magazine article he read where a guy had a clevor in his mustang.

    When we bolted the headers on the car, the collectors were about 2" off the ground, not a happy situation.

    I looked up the article and called the guy who had his car in the magazine and asked him if he had any problems. He laughed and said yep, I had the same problem when I put them on my car, let me tell you what to do.

    Step one- Find some wood blocks that are the height you want the collectors to be

    Step two- get a jack

    Step three- jack the car as high as it will go and place the blocks under the collectors

    Step four- and I quote " just twist that handle as fast as you can and drop that son of a bitch right on those blocks, seriously man, it will work"

    No I didn't try it, cut and weld was the route I took.
  18. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 51,458


    Headers that are made to fit the Chevy trucks thru the 72 model year are mostly all designed to clear the crossmember that goes under the bellhousing on those trucks. On a dropped truck, they'll be way too low. If you are running an auto trans, you will probably have a crossmember under the back of the trans, and the bellhousing crossmember will be removed, or can be removed. This lets you run headers that fit up much higher, like the ones for cars. If you can find some headers for a Camaro/Nova/Chevelle from the early 70s they will probably fit, and tuck up real nice.
  19. 60 GASSER
    Joined: Sep 26, 2007
    Posts: 530

    60 GASSER

    camaro headers! used them lots of times
  20. highboy_04
    Joined: Feb 5, 2006
    Posts: 245

    from Kansas

    chevelle headers will not fit without modifying. i've tried. why not just run cheap block huggers. arent they only like 45 bucks

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