Classic Mustangs (Tech)Technical discussions about the Mustangs of yester-year.
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Just picked up a 69 and had some wiring and starting issues. got them all fixed up and had to put in a new starter. WOW that was a pain! headers and sway bar had it blocked in something fierce! Anyways the headers on the car are older and sounds like they leak a bit at the gaskets and they are long tubes and have a few flat spots on the bottoms from pot holes. so I want to replace them. what headers will give me the best clearence to work on car as far as starter plugs and stuff. and what kind of performance difference am I looking at between long tubes shortys etc??? engine is a built 302.
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i have been wonder the same thing. i had hedman headers on my '67 with power steering. the power steering lines would always fall into the headers and get holes burned in them. i will be looking for headers at some point too and am looking for something with good clearances. how about shorties?
I run JBA shorties, they breathe well and have plenty of clearance. You'll give up a bit of power over LT's, but gain a lot of clearance. Also depends on how you want to use the car, 1 reason I run shorties is it's set up for autox and open track....so it's lower and needs better ground clearance. If you're going around a track then losing 5-10hp to gain better handling from improved ride height is a huge win. If it's just drag racing and occasional weekend stuff, or not lowered very much then LT's work well if you are willing to deal with clearance issues.
There's no one "best" header to use. It's like that with anything, there's no 1 "best" part per se, it depends on what you plan to do.
Who cares how much horsepower it has, all that matters is how fast it goes!
Untested 331, lots of suspension, chewing up corners.
I run a set of Headman headers in my 302. No issues with anything hitting them (besides me melting a speedo cable on them a few years back, but that was my fault). I run rack-in-pinion and have a cable clutch...so there is plenty of room for them. My only small complaint is that, because of my aluminum heads, the header bolts loosen up every four or so months (my daily driver..+8k miles a year) and it's a pain to get to some of the bolts because of the way the tubes are angled. Also, my spark plug wire wear out prematurely and start to arc to the headers because of some of the tubing angles, the back driver side two, I think plug number 6 and 8?
I picked up set of Dougs headers for my FE 428 PI, they not only look awesome but look like they will have better space issues in relation to my plugs and header bolts (I have aluminum heads on the 428 as well).
You didn't indicate what tranny you were running. If you have A/T, headers offer very little performance gain, since the tranny limits you to a somewhat lower RPM operating range than a standard. Headers will generally give you whatever gain they offer in the higher ranges. A set of cast iron HiPo manifolds will give trouble-free long life service without giving up any noticeable power. No power steering hose clearance issues. No constant tightening to stop leaks. No starter heat up issues. No ground clearance issues. It all depends on what you want to put up with.
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