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Fitting cheap ebay tri-y headers to '66 with C4

1502 Views 21 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  fordguy
Just wanted to share my experiences about stainless ebay tri-y headers. They were sold by seller named motor-1 and the item was this: SS Long Tube Tri-Y Exhaust Header Manifold for 64-70 Ford Mustang 5.0 260-302 V8 | eBay. Headers arrived from US to Finland in about 2 weeks. Price was only 250 usd shipped to front door. Very cheap, so you could already expect some fitting problems. Otherwise, no complaints about the quality, they seem very decent.


About fitting next. Flanges are thick but I gave them some sanding because there was about 0.020" flatness deviance. The inlets of the primary pipes had to be given a lot of beating in order to make room to get the mounting bolts and spark plugs in place. Fortunately, I had some spare heads where the headers could be mocked-up.


The co-driver's header went into place easily, only a small dent had to be punched in the pipe near the shock tower. Instead, more attention was needed on the driver's side. About 1 inch piece of aluminum had to be cut from the bell housing. Small dent was again needed in the pipe near the shock tower. One cut of angle grinder and few degree bending of the primary pipe was needed, so that it doesn't hit the drivers floor. Then a small dent near the power steering cylinder, which allowed me to use the stock PS bracket
.

After the headers, it was time to fit it to the exhaust system. I decided to cut off the old piping from the front of the H-pipe and connect headers to old piping with short bend pieces and clamps. In hindsight, old exhaust should have been cut much further back, so it would have been easier to make the contacting pipes. Bend pieces and drivers header look like this when a friend made the final welds with a tig.


I was quite satisfied with the end result, even though there was a lot of fitting work. Well, did the rubber start to burn? Butt-dyno tells there's no dramatic change to power, maybe after 3000 RPM there is some more power, but I will visit the dyno to measure it in next summer. You can read about the rest of the engine from my thread: 289 c code port match + mild cam | Vintage Mustang Forums (vintage-mustang.com) but it's rebuilt 289 with cleaned-up iron heads and small cam. Air-fuel ratios remained approximately the same and there was no need to adjust the carb. The sound is perhaps a little lower tone, but not a big change, no header ticking.
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Bought some a couple of years ago. Only issue i had to dent the #5 tube near spark plug so the wire would not touch header.
 

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Maybe I’m too picky.
When the SD tri-y headers I purchased hit the stock bell housing it was time to pack them up for a return. Of course, the OP is at a disadvantage if he is returning items to another country.

But I’m not hacking up a perfectly good original Ford bell housing to make allowances for a pathetic lack of quality control at SD.

Z
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Maybe I’m too picky.
When the SD tri-y headers I purchased hit the stock bell housing it was time to pack them up for a return. Of course, the OP is at a disadvantage if he is returning items to another country.

But I’m not hacking up a perfectly good original Ford bell housing to make allowances for a pathetic lack of quality control at SD.

Z
That`s a good point. I think same way, I try to keep things in my car somewhat original and avoid irreversible mods. But I didn`t see anything special cutting that piece as it was not needed anywhere in my stang. I guess that piece is to be drilled/threaded in some certain Fomoco applications.
 

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Why is it no one can make these stupid things (original "shelby" tri-Y) that fit right? It just isn't that hard. It really isn't.
I've got Doug Thorley tri's on my '68 and they clear everything, including the small block C6.
And I've got way bigger primary tubes on my '66 standard design 4-tube headers and everything fits fine.
That's because the people who built them knew what they were doing.

Prototype 1608 (circa spring of 1991).......

Automotive tire Tire Automotive exhaust Wheel Pipeline transport

Bicycle part Wood Bumper Art Automotive exterior
 

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Bought some a couple of years ago. Only issue i had to dent the #5 tube near spark plug so the wire would not touch header.
Coincidentally, had to make the same "dipple" #5 on TRIs I purchased in the late 90s from Mustang Unlimited. That was the only mod. I still run the same headers. BTW, when I changed to Twisted Wedges, I would not have needed that "dipple".
 

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Why is it no one can make these stupid things (original "shelby" tri-Y) that fit right? It just isn't that hard. It really isn't.
I've got Doug Thorley tri's on my '68 and they clear everything, including the small block C6.
And I've got way bigger primary tubes on my '66 standard design 4-tube headers and everything fits fine.
That's because the people who built them knew what they were doing.

Prototype 1608 (circa spring of 1991).......

View attachment 870312
View attachment 870311

Somebody has... 1965/1966 Shelby Tri-Y Headers - Pair - $2,950 + shipping

They just are not realistic on pricing...
 

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I have done the R&R on original Tri-Y's, and they did indeed fit very well.

I have also used Scott Fuller items, and the fit and finish is superb. And where else could you go to get mufflers with the debossed FoMoCo and date code?

Sure, it's not for everybody. But if you have a car worth $125,000 (or more), why complain about a few grand for the exhaust system? SF earns it.
 

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I have done the R&R on original Tri-Y's, and they did indeed fit very well.

I have also used Scott Fuller items, and the fit and finish is superb. And where else could you go to get mufflers with the debossed FoMoCo and date code?

Sure, it's not for everybody. But if you have a car worth $125,000 (or more), why complain about a few grand for the exhaust system? SF earns it.
....and there was NO dimpling of #5 exhaust tube near the plug on a 289 head? LOL!
 

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I have done the R&R on original Tri-Y's, and they did indeed fit very well.

I have also used Scott Fuller items, and the fit and finish is superb. And where else could you go to get mufflers with the debossed FoMoCo and date code?

Sure, it's not for everybody. But if you have a car worth $125,000 (or more), why complain about a few grand for the exhaust system? SF earns it.
I am not doubting the quality of the exhaust, and agree that date codes on muffler make sense for a $125,000 car. I am speaking in regards to the Tri-Y headers for $2,950 a set. Someone had no issue building them for Shelby back in the day and Scott Fuller copied them with success... the price of material is negligible but I stand by $2,950 being a little steep for a duplicate... but I get it... I am sure original headers on a GT350 are a little thin by now and he has a captured market, they are going to pay $2,950 to keep their car original
 

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Yeah. That’s out of control on the price. They’re not that expensive to do correctly. Plenty of original 65/
66 shelby gt-350 headers out there to jig up and make copies…… it’s all about who you know with that stuff.
Well, if Fuller could do it for half the price I'm sure he would. It's easy to say they could be done well at a relatively low price, but in the 40 or so years I have been involved in restoration, no one has.
 

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Come on now. I was born at night but it wasn't last night.
I did the cost analysis for JBA back in the day on header/exhaust fab. Even with inflation there's a pretty significant markup with Fuller.

I'm third from the left in the photo below.

Photograph Vehicle Motor vehicle Car Font
 
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Is "Fuller" a small custom shop? My early 65 (D code) was born with Pwr. Brakes & Steering and a C4. My first mod was adding a set of TRI-Ys purchased (mentioned above) from Mustang Unlimited for $169 +shipping. Yeah, I had to add that troublesome PWR steering drop bracket to allow for the collector. At that time, I had to "dimple" #5 exhaust tube near the plug to allow a socket on the plug. All else about the headers was perfect. Since that early install, I have removed the PWR steering, the PWR booster and converted to a T5z. Oh, and have changed heads too with no other modifications. The point being, these 90s TRIs must have been pretty darn good, when my only modification was to make clearance for the #5 plug. I've been reading about so many other fitment problems guys have been reporting. Production quality has sorely suffered since my purchase.
 

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So I was wondering how these Ebay headers were holding up? Anyone care to share their experience? I was thinking about getting a set and Cerakoting them. I currently have some old patriot exhaust ceramic coated headers, but the rust as beaten them up.

I found these and was thinking about seeing how they would fit on my build.


 
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