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My Build — Altering My Headers


I decided yesterday to redo my headers to give the muffler a better approach angle. After searching online about how to properly do this, I came up empty.  So, I made it up as I went.

The first step required removing the headers’ collectors, because I would have to bend each pipe individually to get the right angles.  Since I had previously sawed off the headers’ triangular connection piece, I was also going to have to reattach it.

Here’s the passenger side header with the collector sawed off.  Note how the pipes angle right into the front roll cage mount.  You can also see the bar I inserted into each pipe to help bend the heated pipe downwards.

Now, with the pipe inserted, I proceeded to heat up the lower pipe with Dad’s oxy/acet setup.  I tried my best to heat up each pipe at the bend and then bending the pipe downward carefully.  Below you can see two of the three pipes bent.

All three pipes are now bent. 

Note that the ends of the pipes are now staggered. So, I trimmed them.

Now, I had to clean up the collectors to prepare them to fit back over the pipes.  Here’s the raw collector.  Note the weld in the center and between the pipes.  Before putting the collector back on the pipes, I would need to weld them together.

First, I cut out the center.

Then, I ground down the edges a little farther.  Finally, I carefully used a hammer and punch to work the pipe edges out.

After working it a bit, the collector was finally free of the pipe ends.

With the collector free of the old pipe, I tested slipping it onto the cut headers.  Everything slipped on pretty well, so I pulled off the collector and welded up the interior of the pipes.  Then, I slid on the collector and welded it onto the pipes. After that, I slid on the triangular connector.

Finally, I welded the triangular connector piece.  Below is the final header.  Note that I’ve reduced the collector size a bit and, according to what I’ve read, this will slightly reduce my low end torque.  However, given the buick v6 has great low end torque, I wasn’t too concerned about this.

One more header to go.


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