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GM Ram Horn Exhaust

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Gromit, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. Gromit
    Joined: Oct 13, 2011
    Posts: 726

    Gromit
    Member

    Hey, quick question:

    I have a guy coming in today for a tune up. It's a 55 Stude with a Chev 350. (long story)

    He's a great guy but confesses he does not know much about the engine... as in what it came out of. Thinks it's 70's

    HEI ignition with Rams Horn manifolds. I'm thinking mid/late 70's pickup?

    The reason I ask, I have run into this before and had a hard time getting plug wires that clear the exhaust. ANy ideas so I don't have to "Make up" a set like last time?
     
  2. I usually custom fit mine because the ones "made to fit", never do.

    You usually have one that's stretched 'cause it's too short and 4 that are twice as long as they need to be.
     
  3. bigdav160
    Joined: May 5, 2007
    Posts: 153

    bigdav160
    Member

    Corvettes used ram horns up until at least 1980

    Their wire set goes under and behind the manifolds for a clean look.

    If using Corvette wires you will need some wire holders to prevent burning
     
  4. Gromit
    Joined: Oct 13, 2011
    Posts: 726

    Gromit
    Member

    Thanks Dave.. I guess they could be Vette wires, as they are tucked away on the car (only looked at it for a second yesterday) I recall thinking the wires looked better than most kits I have used. Funny. I don't think I've ever has an older (than '96) Vette in my shop. Didn't know they used those Manifolds so long.
     
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  5. stewdecky
    Joined: Apr 30, 2010
    Posts: 100

    stewdecky
    Member
    from Kansas

    Same thing on my '57 283. Wires go behind the heads and come up to the spark plugs from underneath. Kind of a bastard to thread them through everyting when replacing but keeps everything in place and out of the way of the hot ram horn manifold.
     
  6. larry k
    Joined: Feb 23, 2009
    Posts: 307

    larry k
    Member

    USE A SET OF 1970 TRUCK WIRES THEY ARE LONG AND AS SAID RUN UP FROM THE BOTTOM , NOT OVER THE TOP, IT'S A FACTORY CHEVY SETUP ,,,:cool:
     
  7. Willy301
    Joined: Nov 16, 2007
    Posts: 1,426

    Willy301
    Member

    They are referred to as "under header" wires. Jegs and Summit carry them in sets.
     
  8. Gromit
    Joined: Oct 13, 2011
    Posts: 726

    Gromit
    Member

    Thanks all, some good info here. I think the earlier wire set would be problematic as the car has HEI and fitting the wire retainer with older style wires isn' quite as effective. I'm hoping the wires will test okay, but it has a miss and I suspect it's spark related and not fuel... we'll see. As it sits most of the year I expect to find broccoli growing in the cap.

    If not, I'll order up the '76 Vette wires from Napa. need 'em same day ya know...
     
  9. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,947

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Those won't work with the HEI. The late 70's Corvette wires work and are pretty easy to come up with at the parts house.

    Gromit, there are some 1/4 inch threaded holes in a couple of places to mount small brackets to hold the wires on either the head or the block that help get things routed right.

    If the truck is running Chevy Side mounts the old ramhorn equipped engines with side mounts ran the front two wires on each side between the mount and the block.

    Watch those manifolds when they are hot as they burn your hands really easily as every old Chevy tune up guy will attest to.
     
  10. The holes that 48 mentioned are on the block just below the head about in the middle of the front 2 and the back 2 plugs. Good luck finding the looms if they are not there. I tried and couldn't find them anywhere. You can find them on many SBC, my buddy had a '60 Impala that had them.
     
  11. Big Nick
    Joined: Sep 7, 2005
    Posts: 847

    Big Nick
    Member

    Here is a picture of my 327, I am running ram horns on it, and you can see the wire holder under the head, I would imagine these came up from the bottom also

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Hey, can I have them? :D
     
  13. Gromit
    Joined: Oct 13, 2011
    Posts: 726

    Gromit
    Member

    Good info, and the pic helps, yes I think (taxxing my old man memory) that's what the beastie has now. I shall not order any parts untill I look it over again. By that time the manifolds should be cool enough (been there... try a tune up on a camper van when the guy is not so patiently waiting lol!)
     
  14. What, you don't like forearm tatoos?
     
  15. Stevie Nash
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 2,999

    Stevie Nash
    Member

    Yup, I had to take a set back because of the ram horns. Not even close...
     
  16. I think on my '59 corvette the plug wires also had covers that they ran inside as well as a large (but probably not large enough to clear an HEI) cover over the distributor for RF shielding.
     
  17. Eckler's Corvettes has a bunch of pages showing all the various vette ignition shielding and brackets/looms that might help.
     
  18. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,224

    56sedandelivery
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    On the rams horn manifolds, between the two center ports, is a small "web". I drill a 1/4 inch hole through the web, and bolt a 4 wire loom to it, then run the wires directly over the valve covers/exhaust manifolds, and use wire separators to keep them all tied together, and headed in the right direction. And, they do make an aftermarket HEI distributor cap that groups the wires better than stock for a cleaner look, and they're not all crossed up. Butch/56sedandelivery.
     

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