Header Building Advice

Go down

Header Building Advice

Post  wickettoby1 on December 7th 2018, 1:48 am

So I’m looking at taking on the task of building a set of headers for my Galaxie. I own both a mig and tig (id put my tig skills at a 7 of 10) along with multiple ways to cut and manipulate pipe. Metal fabrication isn’t new to me but building exhaust is. The header fitment that I need (non stock engine type, manual trans, big bellhousing) doesn’t exist with "store bought” headers so I can either pay a guy I know to build them ($1500) or take on the task myself.

-Does anyone who’s actually built a set of headers have any advice for a first time header builder?
- How about a supplier for a mandrel bent 2 1/8” universal header kit?
- Is there a vendor selling CJ port flanges?
- Is it worth the extra $$ to buy flanges with stubs already in place?
- Last question stainless vs mild?

Thanks

Justin

wickettoby1

Posts : 133
Join date : 2016-02-02
Location : SE Michigan

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Header Building Advice

Post  DILLIGASDAVE on December 7th 2018, 5:23 am

IMO.....

(1) Flanges with the short starter-stubs already attached work OK if your layout allows a straight shot off the flanges. But if you need a tight bend off the flanges then avoid them. I don't like them/have never used them because they do kinda limit what you can do.

(2) Ms over SS if you're not 100% sure of your Tig skills.

(3) Step headers are a little easier in one sense because some (or all) of the tube weld joints are slip-fit, but get harder to package in the chassis as you progress to the bigger & bigger OD tubes.

(4) Non-step headers are a little harder in one sense because all the tube weld joints are butt-welds that can be hard to line up for a tight fit. You can use hose clamps with a hole (or two) drilled in the side to align the tube's butt-weld joints and tack weld them through the drilled holes.

(5) When attaching the first tube to the flange you basically have 3 choices......

(A) Butt-weld the tube to the outer face of the flange (easier to fit, but more likely to suffer a vibration crack later).

(B) Shape the tube to insert it into the flange deep enough to be flush with the gasket surface. Tig weld the tube to the flange's inner face/gasket surface 100% around with a steel rod, then Tig weld-braze the tube to the flange's outer face with a silicon bronze rod (either stitch weld or 100% around). This way is more work but less likely to suffer a vibration crack at the flange.

(C) Same as "B" except the tube is inserted farther into the flange than just being "flush" with the inner gasket surface (maybe 1/6" to 1/8" past). Then when Tig welding the inner flange/gasket surface side you use a lot larger/taller weld bead 100% around. Doing it this way gives you a slightly raised sealing surface/O-ring to imprint into the gasket surface.

IMO "B" is usually the best way to go. It allows you to use a gasket if you want, or you can just use silicone goop.
avatar
DILLIGASDAVE

Posts : 2198
Join date : 2009-08-08
Location : Texas. pronounced "texASS"

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Header Building Advice

Post  wickettoby1 on December 7th 2018, 7:31 am

Now that's a response Dave, you answered questions before I even had a chance to ask them. Thanks

wickettoby1

Posts : 133
Join date : 2016-02-02
Location : SE Michigan

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Header Building Advice

Post  wickettoby1 on December 7th 2018, 8:28 am

Round 2 of questions

- If doing a stepped header design is there a "rule of thumb" as to the distance from the header flange that you make your first upsize (ie 2 1/8" to 2 1/4")?
- Is there a downside to a 16ga mild steel vs 18ga mild? I know more weight but that would be marginal.

wickettoby1

Posts : 133
Join date : 2016-02-02
Location : SE Michigan

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Header Building Advice

Post  TravisRice on December 7th 2018, 1:54 pm

Step headers you really need something like pipe max to do some calculating. But Something that gets you in the ball park : Determine length of header tubes to where they slip in the collector. Add the distance from the valve seat to the ex. flange to your header tube dimension. Determine number of steps desired ( usually 2 or 3 ), take that number and divide accordingly into the length from valve seat to collector. Start first step from valve seat dimension.

Ex.
Tube length 32"
Valve to Ex. Flange 4"
32+4= 36"
36 divided by 3 steps = 12"
12" - 4" (valve to ex. flange)= 8"
First step is at 8" from face of flange to first step / next step +12" / third step +12"

Good starting point if you don't have pipe max.

TravisRice
BBF CONTRIBUTOR
BBF CONTRIBUTOR

Posts : 1151
Join date : 2009-02-07

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Header Building Advice

Post  cletus66 on December 7th 2018, 2:12 pm

I'd pay the 1500 bucks if I KNEW the guy would make some nice headers.  If I made them, it would take 50 hours, and they would look terrible and leak at every weld. Embarassed
How much is your time worth?
avatar
cletus66

Posts : 825
Join date : 2009-08-08
Age : 52
Location : Charles City, Virginia

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Header Building Advice

Post  wickettoby1 on December 7th 2018, 2:28 pm

Wait a second, no one said that math would be required! Wink

I completely understand what your saying Cletus and one half of my brain agrees with you. The other half (let’s just call it the stupid half) thinks it can’t be that hard and what if the guy I have build them doesn’t make them exactly like I want? I’ve seen some of his work, the guy has a hell of a skill set so I don’t fear him not making a quality set of headers.

wickettoby1

Posts : 133
Join date : 2016-02-02
Location : SE Michigan

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Header Building Advice

Post  cletus66 on December 7th 2018, 2:37 pm

They make some little plastic things that you can use to make the shapes of the tubes, and they sell some kind of little insert that goes at each weld joint. Those things might help.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wIgQeYYLHA
avatar
cletus66

Posts : 825
Join date : 2009-08-08
Age : 52
Location : Charles City, Virginia

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Header Building Advice

Post  wickettoby1 on December 7th 2018, 3:22 pm

I've watched the videos for those mock up kits before, they are pretty cool but not inexpensive.

wickettoby1

Posts : 133
Join date : 2016-02-02
Location : SE Michigan

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Header Building Advice

Post  TravisRice on December 7th 2018, 4:57 pm

If hes supplying materials you better jump on that. There is 500-600 in materials. Collectors and flanges is damn near 300.

I've built a few sets. There is more time than you think to build a nearly equal length system.

Travis

TravisRice
BBF CONTRIBUTOR
BBF CONTRIBUTOR

Posts : 1151
Join date : 2009-02-07

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Header Building Advice

Post  samiam on December 7th 2018, 5:17 pm

I've made a few set's, if you can get a donor engine on a stand sure helps , and just take your time on measuring and fitment
avatar
samiam

Posts : 222
Join date : 2011-12-20

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Header Building Advice

Post  wickettoby1 on December 7th 2018, 6:11 pm

You know Sam I never thought about that but I do have a spare block and heads that I could put on a stand, good idea.

wickettoby1

Posts : 133
Join date : 2016-02-02
Location : SE Michigan

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Header Building Advice

Post  stanger68 on December 7th 2018, 6:21 pm

I was a little intimidated at first since my welding skills are probably a 5. Once you get started it’s really not that bad. I used some of the same principles we use for running conduit. A piece of stiff wire can be used to mock up your angles and visualize the pieces before you cut a bend. A hose clamp works pretty good for drawing a straight line through a bend. Be sure to wiggle it a little just as it starts to snug against the metal, this will help square it up. I actually wore out one and got into the second clamp before I was finished. Start out with a fresh new one that’s not sloppy. I used T-Rex duct tape ti hold the joints while I tacked them together. I tried magnets and clamps but the tape seemed to be more forgiving. I bought a weld up dyno header kit and just cut it up and made side exits. They’re not the prettiest headers but I feel confident the next set will be a whole lot better after what I learned that go around. All in all they’re not bad for a first try. Especially considering I’ve only got about $400 invested.

stanger68

Posts : 242
Join date : 2015-12-05
Location : Birmingham, Al

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Header Building Advice

Post  BBFTorino on December 7th 2018, 8:32 pm

Get a set of cheap big block Chevy headers for about $100 or so from craiglist or the local swap meet, and cut them all up and reconfigure them to fit the chassis, and of course change out the flanges for the correct Ford style.
I've done this a few times with pretty good results, and did'nt even have all of $300 in them!!

BBFTorino

Posts : 668
Join date : 2015-12-31

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Header Building Advice

Post  wickettoby1 on December 7th 2018, 10:00 pm

I never thought about cutting up a set of BBC headers, I guess I'm gonna take a look around to see what i can find.

wickettoby1

Posts : 133
Join date : 2016-02-02
Location : SE Michigan

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Header Building Advice

Post  wickettoby1 on December 7th 2018, 10:01 pm

What about flanges? Do any of the vendors or members sell them?

wickettoby1

Posts : 133
Join date : 2016-02-02
Location : SE Michigan

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Header Building Advice

Post  samiam on December 7th 2018, 10:37 pm

BBFTorino wrote:Get a set of cheap big block Chevy headers for about $100 or so from craiglist or the local swap meet, and cut them all up and reconfigure them to fit the chassis, and of course change out the flanges for the correct Ford style.
I've done this a few times with pretty good results, and did'nt even have all of $300 in them!!

I cut up a set of BBF basset boat headers for one build,, its almost like cheating
avatar
samiam

Posts : 222
Join date : 2011-12-20

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Header Building Advice

Post  whatbumper Yesterday at 6:51 pm

coming from someone that builds these things daily. $1500 is cheap

whatbumper

Posts : 3024
Join date : 2009-11-11
Age : 38

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Header Building Advice

Post  wickettoby1 Yesterday at 8:22 pm

I know it's a good price. The guy does prototype work for the big 3 as his normal gig then builds headers and exhaust for "fun".

wickettoby1

Posts : 133
Join date : 2016-02-02
Location : SE Michigan

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Header Building Advice

Post  jasonf Today at 11:20 am

wickettoby1 wrote:So I’m looking at taking on the task of building a set of headers for my Galaxie. I own both a mig and tig (id put my tig skills at a 7 of 10) along with multiple ways to cut and manipulate pipe. Metal fabrication isn’t new to me but building exhaust is. The header fitment that I need (non stock engine type, manual trans, big bellhousing) doesn’t exist with "store bought” headers so I can either pay a guy I know to build them ($1500) or take on the task myself.

-Does anyone who’s actually built a set of headers have any advice for a first time header builder?
- How about a supplier for a mandrel bent 2 1/8” universal header kit?
- Is there a vendor selling CJ port flanges?
- Is it worth the extra $$ to buy flanges with stubs already in place?
- Last question stainless vs mild?

Thanks

Justin

Did you look at Crites or Mad Dog headers? I have Crites for my 56 and they just take awhile as they are built to order. If you want 2 1/8" I'd call Mad Dog seems how they actually build them.

http://maddogheaders.net/products/ford

Galaxie 1960-64
Part #6064

429/460 cid. auto and 4 speed trans. Will fit with power steering. 2" primaries, 3 1/2" collectors.

450.00
avatar
jasonf
BBF CONTRIBUTOR
BBF CONTRIBUTOR

Posts : 2844
Join date : 2009-07-14
Age : 49
Location : Lafayette, LA

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Header Building Advice

Post  wickettoby1 Today at 11:24 am

I had MadDog on it before, I HATE the fact that the two front tubes on each side go under the control arms, also I swiched to a rack n pinon so that complicates things further.

wickettoby1

Posts : 133
Join date : 2016-02-02
Location : SE Michigan

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Header Building Advice

Post  away Today at 11:26 am

I just happen to have a set of BBC headers already coated and stuff. PM me for phone number and pics.
avatar
away

Posts : 213
Join date : 2009-10-08
Age : 40
Location : Harrodsburg KY

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Header Building Advice

Post  jasonf Today at 12:33 pm

wickettoby1 wrote:I had MadDog on it before, I HATE the fact that the two front tubes on each side go under the control arms, also I swiched to a rack n pinon so that complicates things further.

That is the way my Crites are as well along with the Hookers on my Pinto. They definitely get banged up on the bottom. Well I tried to help. Good luck.
avatar
jasonf
BBF CONTRIBUTOR
BBF CONTRIBUTOR

Posts : 2844
Join date : 2009-07-14
Age : 49
Location : Lafayette, LA

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Header Building Advice

Post  wickettoby1 Today at 12:36 pm

If I had to guess id say that MadDog makes Crites headers for them but I don't have proof to support that besides actually going to Crites and seeing their operation.

wickettoby1

Posts : 133
Join date : 2016-02-02
Location : SE Michigan

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum