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Technical Pinched Flathead Header

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Montechris, Apr 16, 2020.

  1. Montechris
    Joined: Nov 15, 2004
    Posts: 523

    Montechris
    Member

    I have a set of Sanderson FH2 headers I’m putting on a 39 Ford with 8BA. I had to beat the one tube to clear the steering box to the size where my finger barely fits through it. It’s just a stock 8BA but is that too smushed?

    I’ll try to post some pics after I get it back out of the car from my last test fit.

    Chris
     
  2. egads
    Joined: Aug 23, 2011
    Posts: 758

    egads
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    This is kind of interesting;
     
  3. Kiwi 4d
    Joined: Sep 16, 2006
    Posts: 2,839

    Kiwi 4d
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Yep, I remember seeing that a while ago , and David freiburger having a good laugh. Crushed headers to an extent made no difference.
     
    Atwater Mike and egads like this.
  4. That was the video that turned my whole world upside down. I couldn't believe how much they bashed those headers, and it made no difference to the performance.
    Bob
     

  5. tltony
    Joined: Jan 11, 2009
    Posts: 291

    tltony
    Member
    from El Cajon

    Yep, that Freiburger video was my first thought too :)
     
    Boneyard51 and egads like this.
  6. There is a book called Flathead Facts by John Lawson written in 2006. He put a "stock" 8BA on an engine dynamometer and made a variety of mods/changes to get more power from the engine. When he removed the stock exhaust manifolds and ran headers there was no change in torque or horsepower. In other words, no worries to massage those headers into their new home. Happy Motoring!
     
    egads likes this.
  7. CNC-Dude
    Joined: Nov 23, 2007
    Posts: 890

    CNC-Dude
    Member

    That just goes to show how much we sometimes overthink unnecessary things and under think necessary things!
     
    warbird1, Texas Webb and j-jock like this.
  8. I had a very difficult time believing what I was seeing, but that Dodge header, that they bashed the crap out of, made a believer out of me.
    Bob
     
    Boneyard51 and CNC-Dude like this.
  9. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,216

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I am aesthetically against "bashing" headers. There has got to be a better way. On mine (a 1951 Coupe), new motor mounts raised the engine enough to allow me to solve the problem. The rubber in the mounts deteriorate and allow the engine to settle as much as 1/2". A little grinding on the Fenton cast iron headers finished solving the problem.

    I just finished repairing a set of tube headers for an Olds Rocket that someone had "modified" rather than solving the real problem.

    It was very satisfying.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2020
    egads likes this.
  10. don't think mine in a 37-40 frame's beat real bad.....let me look tomorrow.....
     
  11. I am on the third set of headers on my BB powered 55 (not bad, considering that is since 1971), and I have had to cut and re-weld the back two tubes on the left side header to clear the stock steering box.
    Other than the weld lines, a person couldn't tell that the header didn't come from the factory that way.
    I was always crazy about keeping the headers clean looking, so I know what you mean.
    Bob
     
    egads likes this.
  12. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,980

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    My OCD would be driving me nuts, but the proof is in the dyno sheets.
     
    Boneyard51 likes this.
  13. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,216

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    It's not OCD. It's an intrinsic sense of what's right and what's wrong on a "special" car.
     
  14. fordor41
    Joined: Jul 2, 2008
    Posts: 921

    fordor41
    Member

    check out a lot of the new Mustangs. Right out of the factory the headers are flattened to clear stuff
     
    Black Fifty likes this.
  15. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 2,499

    bchctybob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    If you bought the headers new from Sanderson or their dealer you shouldn't have taken a hammer to them before calling them and showing them your problem. If they are the correct part number for the application and they don't fit they need to know so they can fix any problem they may have with their design and/or manufacturing and send you a new one. If they are used, a well placed indentation for additional clearance is fine but if you had to bash the tube closed, you need to rework that tube by cutting out the tube and rerouting it. You can get individual u-bends from Speedway or Jeg's and cut sections out of it to go around the steering box.
     
    Muttley and Nitroholic like this.
  16. Montechris
    Joined: Nov 15, 2004
    Posts: 523

    Montechris
    Member

    Here is how bad they are bashed to fit (and it still does not really fit)

    I think these are too smashed to run but what do you think?

    roadkill beat that header but they didn’t beat it this bad where a single tube is significantly blocked.

    I got these used so a return is not possible.

    Chris
     

    Attached Files:

  17. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 6,869

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    That's the center tube? It is already doing the job of two cylinders due to the Siamese exhaust ports, I wouldn't run it.
     
  18. Montechris
    Joined: Nov 15, 2004
    Posts: 523

    Montechris
    Member

    Yes, and that’s a good point I didn’t consider.

    not sure how Sanderson is getting 550$ for these things... the only thought i have is that maybe you could run a taller motor mount to get the engine up.

    Chris
     
  19. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 6,518

    BJR
    Member

    I wouldn't run them smashed like that.
     
  20. If I was in this situation, and didn't want to run the header like that, I would buy a couple of mandrel bends, or in a pinch, go to an exhaust specialist with a bender, and bend a tighter angle starting closer to the header flange.
    Doing some judicial cutting and welding, (torch, TIG, or MIG), and you could easily overcome the problem with the bends. If you have ever looked at hugger headers, they are bent very aggressively right off the flange for maximum frame clearance.
    I have had to make a modification like that several times, and on my BB powered 55, the modification looks like it came that way from the manufacturer.
    Isn't that hotrodding? A succession of problems looking for an out of the box solution?
    Bob
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  21. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,263

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Read @j-jock's post and open your mind. My son just did this to a 'new' pair of BBC headers, cut them loose from their flanges and massaged them to go onto F-E Ford header flanges!
    I took some cuts to a pair of Sanderson tubes for my bud's 392 Chryslr in his Model 'A' Coupe.
    BEWARE of headers too close to the steering box. My pal 'Bluto' had me rebuild his 'Carry-In' '56 F100 box to go in his '30 'A' roadster. (SBC, headers inside frame)
    He brought the car back after a long 'run' they made to Southern CA.
    "Steering box's leaking...you musta f'ked up the seal..." I said, "Let's look."
    Opened the hood, the header was 3/16" from the cast iron F100 box. BOILED the 90wt. gear oil right past the seal!
    I coulda cooked a steak on it! Well done, yet! (although I eat 'em Rare!)
    Bluto asked what I'd do, so I told him. Re-route 2 tubes, gain an inch clearance. Easy, but it looked hard.
    Lucky thing was I could remove the header without pulling the engine...then cut, fit a new piece in, weld, file. VHT paint.
     
    j-jock and kidcampbell71 like this.
  22. Toast! :(
     
  23. CNC-Dude
    Joined: Nov 23, 2007
    Posts: 890

    CNC-Dude
    Member

    Did you confirm it was the right header part number shipped to you that you ordered? Since you had to cave it in so much and it still needs more clearancing.....
     
  24. Montechris
    Joined: Nov 15, 2004
    Posts: 523

    Montechris
    Member

    I’m going to see what Sanderson has to say.

    I’m the meantime I’m going to put these on the shelf until I have some time to fix them and run exhaust manifolds. Guess I won’t get up to 103 HP like I was hoping :).
     
    s55mercury66 likes this.
  25. sorry....my purchased frame has a non-stock stearing box....think it's a Corvair.....
     
  26. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 4,974

    sunbeam
    Member

    [​IMG] If you look at what the exhaust has to go through just to get out of the block, headers are like a 4 inch fart can on a ricer.
     
  27. I’d put the manifolds back on it. There is no real gain in the headers over the manifolds. None that you will feel driving it anyway. Flat heads flow like a brick anyway. Putting the header on it doesn’t do much to help with flow over the twits and turns the exhaust gas has to do to get out of the block.
     
    Tri-power37 likes this.
  28. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 4,346

    Boneyard51
    Member

    Well, I saw this post and immediately thought of the video and how I should mention it! Ha! Johnny come lately! But like mentioned here, that Video had a dramatic effect on me unlike any video I had ever seen! If you haven’t seen it watch it!!! It’s incredible! I have never been a header guy, to start with, they sound like a tin can, leak, rust......trouble! I have always heard how much power the give an engine! Well......
    Back years ago, Hot Rod Magazine would buy a current used “ hot” car and drive it directly to the drag strip and get a time. Then come back to the shop and do improvements to it. Usually first they would do was just set everything thing right, tune up! It always improved the ET. Then they would start changing things, one , usually first was a set of headers. And everytime, with just headers, it would increase the ET at the drag strip!! I saw it time and time again with those test. Now, after they put a cam, intake, bigger carb, it indicated that they helped. But I for one have always though headers were over rated compared to a good stock exhaust!








    Bones
     

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