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flathead-style exhaust manifold for 302?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by BuiltFerComfort, Jan 6, 2008.

  1. BuiltFerComfort
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 1,620

    BuiltFerComfort
    Member

    I'm having serious exhaust manifold clearance problems trying to get a Ford 302 into a 39 Chrysler with the stock steering box. It hits no matter where I move the engine, and no matter what pre-built solutions I try - early Falcon 260 manifold won't fit, Headman block huggers won't fit, etc. Steering box is by the middle cylinders, and fairly big. Fancy custom headers might work, but they'd need a few break joints and perhaps be installed in several pieces - they'd need to loop around the steering box.

    So I was thinking of making up a header on the driver's side like an old stock Flathead Ford unit - one pipe that runs straight down the exhaust ports and exits in the back. Has anyone done this? Any tips or tube size advice? Would it burn valves or damage the motor?

    I know it wouldn't help power, but that's not my chief worry. Motor is stock, Holley 600 and Holley dual-plane intake manifold. Car will be a cruiser, it weighs 4000 pounds.

    Thanks,
    -- Tom
     
  2. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,309

    R Pope
    Member

    No reason it won't work, if you can put up with a bit of restriction. I'd try to build an "up-and-around" shorty header, myself. Or try one of your "Won't fit" manifolds upside down?
    If you do make a tube along the head, be sure it's a lot heavier metal than a header. The hot gases hitting square on a 90 degree bend will torch through a thin pipe in no time.
     
  3. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,309

    R Pope
    Member

    have you considered a steering box swap? R&P, maybe?
     
  4. Tom,,, maybe some pics might help us come up with some idea's for you? a lot of the mid-late eighties mustang GT factory headers are very tight to the block, a lot of shoebox guys (including myself) use them to clear the steering box on sbf swaps.
     

  5. BuiltFerComfort
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 1,620

    BuiltFerComfort
    Member

    A friend of mine sent me a link to this which has possibilities - still looks like it would interfere, but maybe could be reworked:
    [​IMG]

    from this site:
    http://www.northwestoffroad.com/parts/engineswap.html

    Rack and Pinion a good idea, but not just yet. It is a possible next step, and would fix the exhaust clearance issues too, but budget issues say 'not right now'. Trying to get the car on the road.

    Hmmm, I wonder where I can find thick-wall pipe with a 'D' cross section... that would be the best starting point.
    --Tom
     
  6. tedster
    Joined: Mar 20, 2005
    Posts: 519

    tedster
    Member

    A Ford in a Chrysler is just wrong.
     
  7. metalman
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,279

    metalman
    Member

    If I have the right pic in my head the box is centered right at the middle ports. I have a factory headers off an Australian 302 (backwards to the American version. Might work, not sure but I'll take a look tommorrow when I get to the shop. If it looks possible I'll send you a pic, I'd be glad to donate them, wouldn't cost a thing other then shipping.
     
  8. BuiltFerComfort
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 1,620

    BuiltFerComfort
    Member

    Steering box centered near middle ports is about right - and it's a fairly large box too. Trying to figure out where to mount the motor - need to figure out the manifold first. I'll try to get a pic or two. The aussie ones sound interesting. Maybe I can run the backwards or upside down or something :)

    re: 'A Ford in a Chrysler is just wrong.' - Yeah, but whatcha gonna do when it gets dropped in your lap for a third the price of any other motor? ($300 w/ AOD). I'd swap it for a complete rebuilt mopar 340 or 360 and Chrysler AOD (or maybe even a 350 / 700r4) in a heartbeat - but no one has offered that trade :)
     
  9. BuiltFerComfort
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 1,620

    BuiltFerComfort
    Member

    Camera problems right now, but here is an earlier shot of the engine bay with the flathead still installed. Lower left shows the steering box. More later when I get a chance.
    engine-left.JPG
     
  10. DualQuad55
    Joined: Mar 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,377

    DualQuad55
    Member
    from Epsom, NH

    Are you thinking of something like the Y-Block headers sold by Reds Headers? one main tube running from front to back with the other ports dumping into the main? If so, I ran a set like this on my Nailhead for several years, the work ok-as well as stock manifolds, maybe a little better, but obviously not like tuned equal length headers. They are cheap and easy to build, I use Schoenfeld Headers flanges and U-bends for my more common builds such as SBC, SBMopar etc... I am sure there are several other sources, possibly some alliance vendors?
     
  11. BuiltFerComfort
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 1,620

    BuiltFerComfort
    Member

    Yep, good find, thanks. Those Y-block headers look like this :
    [​IMG]
    For clearance, I might need to start with each cyl. pointing down first, then another bend pointing back and joining the header - or some such shenanigans, but this is a good start visually. Thanks.
    Image source : http://www.reds-headers.com/html/y-block_headers.html
     
  12. Mizlplix
    Joined: Jan 8, 2007
    Posts: 170

    Mizlplix
    Member
    from S/W USA

    I've used a stock right hand cast iron manifold on the left side. It goes up high and still dumps to the rear. You must do some port matching on the bottom (old top), but they work nicely. GL
     
  13. tjm73
    Joined: Feb 17, 2006
    Posts: 3,381

    tjm73
    Member

    Look at the headers/manifolds for the last vehicle the 302 came in. Ford Explorer/Mercury Mountainer.... late 90's. Very tight engine compartments. Ford Racing Performance Parts makes headers for them still (to the best of my knowledge). Even factory manifolds are not too bad. Weird looking, but not too bad.

    Here's a pic. FYI I just checked and it looks like Ford stopped making these. Summit looks like they still might have them.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. curtiswyant
    Joined: Feb 6, 2005
    Posts: 461

    curtiswyant
    Member

    Have you tried 5.0 Mustang factory headers? They worked when I swapped a 302 into a shoebox...
     
  15. tjm73
    Joined: Feb 17, 2006
    Posts: 3,381

    tjm73
    Member

    You might be further ahead to swap in a R&P from a Fox body Mustang or some other car and make the headers fit that you like. Otherwise you might be doing this dance twice....and paying twice...and twice the labor....

    Don't mad rush just to get it on the road. Do it right once. Wait an extra week or two.

    Something to think about.
     
  16. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,309

    R Pope
    Member

    The Ford is narrower than any other common V8, if anything will fit in there, it will. Have you tried moving the engine off-center a few inches? Or raising it up a bit? Lots of factory installations are offset quite a bit with no problems.
    The steering box is the main reason the old Chrysler products were avoided back in the day. Rack and pinion solved a lot of problems.
     
  17. Ole don
    Joined: Dec 16, 2005
    Posts: 2,915

    Ole don
    Member

    When a motor as light as a 302 Ford in used, move it over as much as four inches. Ford did that in some vans.
     
  18. hoop
    Joined: Mar 21, 2007
    Posts: 594

    hoop
    Member

    Have you thought of angle milling the back side of the stock manifold to tip it closer to the block. I did this 30 years ago to put an 800 GM power steering box in my 40 Ford with a 289 ,Worked great. Good Luck
     
  19. DualQuad55
    Joined: Mar 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,377

    DualQuad55
    Member
    from Epsom, NH

    Yup, the pic of the headers from Reds are the style I was talking about.

    Those headers for the Explorers look like they could solve many concerns for hot rodders too.
     

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