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Discussion Starter #1
All this tri-y/long tube fitment drama has me thinking about a good mid-length. Any tips?
 

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Russtang, exhaust is all about tuning. For ease of fitment, reliability, and least amount of noise, stock manifolds work best. They are also the worst performing, being both restrictive, and causing the exhaust pulses to 'bunch up'. The old Hi-Po cast iron headers are a little better, but not much. Shorty headers still don't create any scavenging effect, but they fit easy, and they allow more flow.

Then you get to 'tuned headers'. With long-tube headers or Tri-Y's, the tube lengths are carefully tuned to create a scavenging effect. Tri-Y headers create two 'medium' boosts for your car; one at midrange and one on the top end. They typically stop being effective somewhere in the neighborhood of 6k RPMs, and then you're back to just being a free-flowing exhaust that doesn't bunch up the pulses. They are considered to be the 'easiest' full-length headers to install. If you've got a Z-bar linkage, you'll probably think otherwise. They're excellent for street cars where you want good torque delivery throughout a normal RPM range.

Long-tube headers offer no benefit beyond being free-flowing, until you get over 5k RPMs or more. Many are tuned to kick in more like 5500-6k. When they hit their powerband, they have a very powerful scavenging effect that can really boost your engine on the top end. They are the least friendly when it comes to fitment, but for 'maximum horsepower' there is no substitute.

Anything else is going to be a compromise. No manifold or shorty will offer you any significant benefit to scavenging, so they won't care about RPM ranges. If you decide on 'real' headers, pay attention to what kind of horsepower you're expecting, and match your primary diameters accordingly, as this will make a difference. Too much diameter can kill velocity, killing your scavenging effect. Too little will restrict flow and hurt your peak horsepower even more. Most 289's and 302's like 1 5/8" diameter primaries. If you're over 400 horsepower, you might consider 1 3/4".
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It’s a Solomon-esque dilemma. Cast irons fit right, don’t flow or scavenge well. Mids fit right, flow a little better, still don’t scavenge. Longs or tri-ys flow and scavenge, but unless you pay big bucks can cause a myriad of fitment issues. Tri-ys fit my 289 and C4 with no issues before, guess I’ll try a set again, but planning on T5 and Z bar, so I may get into issues. It’s always something I guess.
 

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I really like Sanderson. They are a very well made shortie header. They fit my car as promised. They are in San Fransisco, so they are easy to call and ask about fitment. The link I have attached is a tech. article they wrote about how primary size and header length affects horsepower and torque on the same engine. https://www.sandersonheaders.com/lets-get-technical.html
 

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I really like Sanderson. They are a very well made shortie header. They fit my car as promised. They are in San Fransisco, so they are easy to call and ask about fitment. The link I have attached is a tech. article they wrote about how primary size and header length affects horsepower and torque on the same engine. https://www.sandersonheaders.com/lets-get-technical.html
I'll give them two thumbs up also. Have them on my 70 w/351C 4V and an AOD.
 

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I have had 3 sets of long tubes. First set was of unknown manufacture. All fit with 289 and C4. Current set is Hedman Elite with clutch cable for the T5.
 

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Headman Elite is what I used when we built my two son's 67 and 68.
67 is 289 w/ T5 Hyd. Clutch
68 is orig. 302 w/ C4
Both fit fine no issues. Seem to be good quality pieces.

Headman long tubes might be my next try to end my header drama.
I know someone is going to say that I should just put some shortys on if I liked them so well for the son's cars.
 

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Putting shorties on my own car would always feel to me as though I 'settled' for something less than it could, or should be. I can justify stock log manifolds, as it just means I haven't had the money to put on something better, but to spend anything on a set of mid-length headers when I could get some tri-y's for about the same price would always bother me! I'm weird that way I guess. =)
 

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Putting shorties on my own car would always feel to me as though I 'settled' for something less than it could, or should be. I can justify stock log manifolds, as it just means I haven't had the money to put on something better, but to spend anything on a set of mid-length headers when I could get some tri-y's for about the same price would always bother me! I'm weird that way I guess. =)
Sounds like Sanderson says mid length are a 'significant improvement' over stock manifolds, for whatever that's worth? I went with cheap non-ceramic Hedman shortys because of space, previous X pipe system, cable clutch (soon to be hydro) and ground clearance, and also because there was a chance I'd have to mod the headers for my setup, Borgeson ps box, etc. Thought if I loved them, I'd get them Jet Hot coated after the mods.

I once had unknown long tubes but they hung down below the subframe rails and scraped the ground occasionally. It seems like many of the SBF tri-y's out there were super cheap like china quality. If I knew of a good quality set of tri-y's or LT's that FOR SURE didn't hang below my '68's frame, and could be had with ceramic coating for less than a small fortune, I'd consider them. Any solid recommendations?
 

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So, if I had a dollar for every forum member that tried a couple other headers before getting the FPA headers and finally being happy I'd be able to afford a new set of Bridgstone Poneza RE71's. I learned from their posts, spent a grand on the FPA long tubes, they fit without issue, Done!!!

Why does this show up every other week? You tweek other headers to fit, or they just don't. I spent the bucks for the FPA that are ridiculously priced. Yet, somehow I feel I saved money because I just did it just once. One of the few things on my car I did right the first or even second time.
 

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I don't have a clutch to worry about, and believe the Doug's headers to be even better, quality wise, so they'd be my first choice. If I had a clutch, I'd probably go FPA.


If I really had my druthers, I'd find an old set of Blackjack Aluma-Kote headers, just out of nostalgia, like my first Cougar had. =)
 

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Yeah, but those aren't the "Aluma-Kote" version! Man, that much for a rough looking painted header set? Whew. Not that hard to buy cheap headers and paint 'em white. lol


Honestly, it's not like the rough and scratchy aluminum coating was that nice. I sure banged up my knuckles getting 'em bolted up, and changing plugs! But I loved them. First set of headers I ever bought. They fit well too.
 

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Just put the new Hooker Darkside Ceramic coated full length on my 65 289. I have a hydraulic clutch, but the headers went in without touching anything, I was shocked, and they fit up tight under the car.
 

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I had a set of JBA tuned long tube headers for a 351 in a '66. They fit beautifully with a couple of light hammer whacks to get an extra 1/4". No Z bar issues. There is no sound on Gods green earth like a set of tuned headers off throttle up in the RPM Range. That resonant BAAAAAAAAA was epic and I cannot tell you how many times I came off an autocross course to someone remarking on the sound of my car!


That said, I hated working on my car below the valve covers and the power steering had issues with the extension they told me would work. It finally pulled the frame plugs loose due to the extra leverage after a day on Sears Point Raceway. I went to Sanderson ceramic shorties - first thing I noticed was the BAAAAAAA was gone ALAS. I barely noticed a compromise at the top end but I do run a 6k chip in my rev Limiter as i cannot afford a blown anything.



I have absolutely loved the access to my motor below the headers, access to motor mounts, z bar, oil pan, starter, bell housing etc is a monster enhancement in quality of life. From the top it looks like you have full headers, gives that serious look to the motor. When I chose to lower my motor 1" for better angles on my Tremec install, it would not have been possible with long tubes.
 

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So, if I had a dollar for every forum member that tried a couple other headers before getting the FPA headers and finally being happy I'd be able to afford a new set of Bridgstone Poneza RE71's. I learned from their posts, spent a grand on the FPA long tubes, they fit without issue, Done!!!

Why does this show up every other week? You tweek other headers to fit, or they just don't. I spent the bucks for the FPA that are ridiculously priced. Yet, somehow I feel I saved money because I just did it just once. One of the few things on my car I did right the first or even second time.
Please tell about the FPA's you went with @Nailbender? I was reluctantly thinkin' the same thing you're preaching; headers look like one thing you can't skimp on. Do you recall the exact LT's you went with or is there only one for aftermarket heads, the #2 on the list with the big rectangular inlet port? Says for 'DART, AFR, std heads with Lakewood' (Bellhs)? Did you go for the stepped option? Also, what steering setup are you running? I'm running Borgeson PS. If you paid a grand, I'm guessing you went ceramic? Which coating and how has it held up? These are the details that really makes the difference between cheap and quality, but the FPA site really has minimum info.

I've got those 170 TW heads too, 61cc chambers, and T5z (internal hydro clutch), as well so if it worked on yours, depending on your steering, it ought to work on mine, a '68. You got stock or adjustable motor mounts and do the headers tuck up above the subframe rails? I thought I'd break in my rebuilt motor on junk LT's or mid headers, I've got a few options, then go to whatever quality ceramic headers FIT/PERFORM best for street and occasional track.
 

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Just put the new Hooker Darkside Ceramic coated full length on my 65 289. I have a hydraulic clutch, but the headers went in without touching anything, I was shocked, and they fit up tight under the car.
Nice Dhemple, so how is that dark ceramic, I'm guessing, holding up and how do you like it vs polished sliver ceramic? Lol does it feel cooler underhood ;)? What steering you running? Are they completely tucked above the main subframe rails, or partially?
 
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