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Hot Rods Homemade headers for a 409

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Gus68, Nov 30, 2020.

  1. Gus68
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 438

    Gus68
    Member
    from Minnesota

    Ok so here's the deal. I've searched and googled and youtubed. Ive found info on building your own headers but I'm thinking of building headers for my 62 bel air with a 409. I'm looking for any advice and tips on this. I know it's kinda specific, but a 58 to 64 chevy with a 348 or 409 should be pretty close. I'm thinking the good thing about it is the spark plugs are above the exhaust ports, so trying to work around them won't be an issue like in a small block. I think I could pull it off, looking for help. Thanks
     
  2. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 5,925

    Boneyard51
    Member

    They make “ header kits” that have bends straights and the like. I would start with one of those.






    Bones
     
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  3. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 4,020

    bchctybob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Look for pictures online or in catalogs and decide which style you would like. Do you want a fenderwell header or under the car exit? Do you want a block hugger/shorty? A long 4 tube? maybe a Tri-y? Do you need a big tube performance oriented header or just a street header for a mild 409? The frame on the '58-64 Chevys makes the exhaust system a little more difficult. IIRC, Hedman used to make a header where the collectors actually pointed outward under the frame instead of straight back like most headers. Speedway has U-bends and J-bends as well as a box of random bends. I think there are several sources for flanges. I would use 1 7/8" or 2" tube for a 409, maybe 2"- 2 1/8" if it's a high rpm drag racer or a 500" stroker.
    Building headers used to be a magical specialty but these days lots of talented car builders do it themselves, go for it.
     
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  4. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 4,020

    bchctybob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER


  5. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 7,160

    Marty Strode
    Member

    I built these for a 32 Roadster. IMG_1475.JPG IMG_1623.JPG
     
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  6. The only advice I can give you is to make your cuts straight (I use a chop saw) and get a good picture in your mind as to how you want them to run.

    Tack them together in the car if you have two pipes running close together and they need to be welded tack them good and remove them from the car weld them and put them back.
     
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  7. Gus68
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 438

    Gus68
    Member
    from Minnesota

    Those are nice marty! I hope I can do half as good
     
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  8. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 4,020

    bchctybob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Beautiful work Marty. Do you remember where the flanges and collectors came from? The OP could use them.
     
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  9. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 7,160

    Marty Strode
    Member

    Thanks guys, the customer furnished the flanges, I got the bends and collectors from Patriot, that was about 10 years ago.
     
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  10. mohead1
    Joined: Jan 18, 2013
    Posts: 596

    mohead1
    Member

  11. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 7,160

    Marty Strode
    Member

    Scratch with J and U-bends.
     
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  12. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 2,188

    Elcohaulic
    Member

    Douglass used to sell the most beautiful looking set of headers for the big Chevrolet...

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 11,482

    saltflats
    Member
    from Missouri

  14. AHotRod
    Joined: Jul 27, 2001
    Posts: 11,986

    AHotRod
    Member

  15. Mike Colemire
    Joined: May 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,404

    Mike Colemire
    Member

    I've seen kits for the 409, just don't remember where. Marty those are a work of art.
     
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  16. Mike Colemire
    Joined: May 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,404

    Mike Colemire
    Member

    Racemuffler.com
     
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  17. In the '70's my cousin bought a stripped out SS396 with no engine. He put a 409/425 in it and I got the job of building the headers. Looked like a can of fishing worms all crawling out at the same time.
     
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  18. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 31,852

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

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  19. Gus68
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 438

    Gus68
    Member
    from Minnesota

    Wow. Those headers look REALLY nice. But I hate to say it, but the price is why I'm considering building my own. I have looked around and that price is about right. I know nothing about a 409 is cheap, but I have been saving and collecting parts and money for this build for quite a while. Im putting the motor together right now, and I'm saving for an intake. I've always wanted to try building headers, so I figured why not.
     
  20. Paulz
    Joined: Dec 30, 2018
    Posts: 95

    Paulz
    Member

    Small tip. I made a set of headers this summer for my project and made a little tool to help mark my cut lines when cutting bends to fit. It's just a block cut to fit the inside radius of the mandrel bends I was using with a piece of bent welding rod planted in the center.
    IMG_20200308_162010471.jpg IMG_20200304_192517395.jpg
     
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  21. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,506

    wvenfield
    Member

    I bought Speedway bends and straights. We made our collector out of a piece of 4 inch pipe and a hammer and a torch.

    Not as slick as the pair above but they work and no one that I could find made Pontiac fenderwell headers. At least not that I could afford.

    IMG_20200205_164252.jpg
     
  22. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 7,160

    Marty Strode
    Member

    In all reality, that was a pretty simple set to make, compared to lying on your back doing under car headers. That's tough on an old man !
     
  23. AHotRod
    Joined: Jul 27, 2001
    Posts: 11,986

    AHotRod
    Member

    Gus ... just do it man. I built these from scratch for my Buick Nailhead and they came out great, all MIG welded and sanded, then heat coated.

    1972322_1377987499144710_1004702200_n.jpg
     
  24. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 7,160

    Marty Strode
    Member

    Good idea on the tool, even simpler than others I have seen. Now I need to spend a day and make several, for the various tube sizes and radius bends.
     
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  25. X-cpe
    Joined: Mar 9, 2018
    Posts: 1,548

    X-cpe

    Tri-Y's I am building for the coupster. Flanges from an old set of headers, bends from Speedway and the collectors are made from a piece of 2 1/2" tube and a Speedway collector flange. (I would suggest buying an extra bend or two. Shipping is right pricey when all you need is one more.) I made a jig similar to Paulz's and used 3M green tape, tightly wrapped, to hold the pieces together when I was fitting them up. Witness marks help. When I was ready to weld I cut a couple of 1/4"-3/8' wide strips of the tape out across the joint and tacked.

    DSC00199.JPG DSC00199.JPG DSC00200.JPG
     
  26. WB69
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,876

    WB69
    Member

    IMG_4607.JPG I made these for the 351 Cleveland in my 29. Just a kit from Speedway and flanges from another set of Hooker Headers that I had setting around. Ceramic coated them. Muffler inserts inside of the extended turnouts. Not quiet but not loud. Depends how far I bury the right foot.
     
  27. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 4,414

    southcross2631
    Member

    Here are some on mr 409 himself 33 willy's. Rob Walden's gasser 20201120_154331.jpeg

    Sent from my SM-A505U using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  28. Homemade Chrysler Hemi headers. Flanges from Ed, tubing & collectors from Summit. All MIG welded.
    20200212_190112~2.jpg 20200212_193203~3.jpg
     
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  29. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 18,625

    alchemy
    Member

    My Dad has a 32 he's putting a 409 in and I'm hoping he lets me recreate some vintage look Hedman hedders. I've got the original lower extensions from some Hedman's, so I'd probably make the top section as tri-Y.

    I'll be watching this thread for tips.
     
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  30. Check out the S.P.D. Exhaust sight. Best bends I've ever bought. They aren't thin on the outside of the bends. I use a drop arm band saw but it's not a H.F. P.O.S. and I had a pal (Gilbertson Machine) machine the gap in the drop gate (where the blade finishes) opening exactly the same on both sides of the blade. Makes for perfect cuts every time. Quick and easy no fussing around. Yes you can do it but your first set won't be your best set. Plan ahead before starting. My best advice if it's worth anything is this, If you don't have a Tig welder then Gas Weld them. Mig welds in general look like KRAP and have way to much fall through.
     
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