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simple headers for Chev V-6

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Xoot, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. Xoot
    Joined: Jul 12, 2008
    Posts: 63

    from PNW

    A friend purchased a '30's hoodless car running a Chev V-6 (4.3 liter) and would like to know if a set for a SBC V-8 can be easily modified to fit on his V-6. He always goes with swap meet items and likes to go DIY and low buck. Anyone know if this is the way to go?
  2. The short answer is no!
  3. Swifster
    Joined: Dec 16, 2006
    Posts: 1,449


    What's his time worth? Headers go for under $200.
  4. Dan Timberlake
    Joined: Apr 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,233

    Dan Timberlake

    I'd look in one of the older Chevy Power books. I think they had dimensioned drawings of the cylinder heads including port size, location, and stud size and location.
    Then again holding a V8 header gasket up to his cylinder head would make it obvious if they'd bolt on, requiring just a tube-ectomy. Anything more complicated would be not EZ without moderately serious fabricating skills.
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  5. greybeard360
    Joined: Feb 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,334


    Sanderson makes some flanges for the 4.3, get those and some J bends and start building !

    They also make some shorty headers for different applications, you might find some that will work out of the box.
  6. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 2,722


    Hmmm. A 4.3 is a 305 with 2 cyls. cut off. 2 ports are together, 1 by itself. Maybe you could get a pair of v-8 and chop one pipe off. If you don't have a pair of header gaskets from a v-8 to compare with the v-6, get some cardboarb and make a template. I would bet smallblock headers are cheap enough new to be worth the labor to chop off a pipe if it works.
  7. badshifter
    Joined: Apr 28, 2006
    Posts: 3,107


    Instead of headers, buy a hood.
  8. I have a 4.3 in my 26 Tudor, bought the flanges from Sanderson, bends and collectors from Summit or Jegs (I forget which now) and got to wire feed welding, fish mouthing, and grinding...I put the extra dummy pipe on because it just looked WRONG having 3 pipes on each side..I didn't do it to fool anyone, as soon as I start the car you KNOW it's not a V-8, but I'll admit, it's been kinda fun at shows when the "head scratchers" come by, look, keep going, stop, back up, take another look, and then ask the question "WTF kinda motor is that?" I think next time the headers come off, I am going to drill and tap on the flange on each side of the dummy pipe, shorten some header bolts, and screw 'em in, just to keep the charade going, and the questions coming... 8=)

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 25, 2013
  9. greybeard360
    Joined: Feb 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,334


    26Tudor... that is cool !!!

    Oldolds... Chevy wasn't thinking ahead for us. The 2 ports that are close together aren't as close as they are on a SBC... they are spaced far enough apart to have bolts on the side of all of the ports ( see 29Tudors pic)
  10. raidmagic
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,432


    In theory that is what the 4.3 is but it isn't like that in real life. The tube spacing is different.

    Whoops, I didn't read all the responses before posting. Greybeard covered it.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2013
  11. upspirate
    Joined: Apr 15, 2012
    Posts: 1,979


    I thought the 4.3 was a 350 w/o 2 cyl, and the 3.8 (229 c.i.) was the 305 w/o 2 cyl

    Well they shared the pistons, valve train etc anyway.

    I have a 229 in the garage to go in something someday and had an '81 El Camino with a 229 and a 4 spd
  12. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,368


  13. The 4.3/262 CID IS a 350 without the 2 back cylinders and the later, roller lifter "VorVec" version doesn't have adjustable rockers like the SBC does.
  14. pprather
    Joined: Jan 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,301


    Sanderson makes a couple different style headers for the 4.3.
  15. Xoot
    Joined: Jul 12, 2008
    Posts: 63

    from PNW

    He's really going to appreciate all your help. Thanks
  16. J scow
    Joined: Mar 3, 2010
    Posts: 489

    J scow
    from Seattle

    Just because the 4.3 has a shortened v8 block doesnt mean it has shortened v8 heads. Not sayin I know... just sayin.
  17. Check out a Hedman header P/N 69400 made for an S-10 2wd Pickup
    with a 4.3L 90degree V6. These might work. Google the P/N and
    it will pull up a picture of them for you.

  18. jazz1
    Joined: Apr 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,462


    I think your time is worth more than the aggravation of trying to make some when you can get a set of shorties for a couple hundred dollars however I have noticed the pre 92 4.3 use different headers.
    I have a 4.3 in my 41 IHC using a y-pipe and a 36" cherry bomb
  19. correction , the fun of making them. These are for my rail. Not a vee but a slant 6. Tuned for 6000RPM when finished and built from off the shelf EMT elbows from Lowes at $6.56 a bend. They weld nicely and bends are darn near perfect. I made one primary per day which took about an hour or so then left it till the next day. Wasn't really that hard. In fact kinda interesting. Got to add the cloverleafs and collectors plus a bit of clean up with the grinder.

    Attached Files:

  20. Model A Vette
    Joined: Mar 8, 2002
    Posts: 1,053

    Model A Vette

    The 4.3 is a 350 with center cyls removed. There are no siamesed exhaust ports.
    I'm running the factory headers from the '88 MonteCarlo I got the engine from.
    Similar headers were used on the same era Impalas and pickups.
    The headers are made from stainless but are not shiney.
    My headers had single fittings on each for air injection.
  21. fortynut
    Joined: Jul 16, 2008
    Posts: 814


    Check with Doug Robinson, here:
    Horsepower Engineering 47 Fulton Ave. Pasadena, CA 91107 626-440-0440. Fax #: (626) 440-9740. Email us at
    They make headers for about every make and model. Tell him Carl sent you.

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