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Thread: Home Made Healey Exhaust Headers from a BOX

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    Jedi Knight RAC68's Avatar
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    Home Made Healey Exhaust Headers from a BOX

    Hi All,

    Last night a friend called me and described a program on the Velocity Channel showed the application of a number of restoration and upgrade changes to a 1965 BRG BJ8. Among the changes were stainless steel exhaust headers the host mechanic assembled as a replacement of the original cast units. All components for the headers seemed to have been supplied from a box with the host cutting and tack welding the parts to suit.

    Does anyone know if my understanding is correct and there is a supplier of boxed components for design, assembly. and installation? If so, does anyone know the suppliers contact information?

    Thanks and Happy Holidays,
    Ray(64BJ8P1)

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    Yoda
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    Re: Home Made Healey Exhaust Headers from a BOX

    'Wheeler Dealers' season# 14 episode# 8 (I believe it was the 'finale' of the season). I think the muffler and kit Ant used were Magnaflow, but you could probably get similar from Flowmaster or others. I only watch it about 7 times a week, I'll see if I can confirm this info next time I watch it. Show is here, but it looks like you have to set up an account (in episode# 9 the co-host goes ape over the Healey):

    https://www.velocity.com/tv-shows/wheeler-dealers/

    Here's an example kit I got from a quick search:

    http://www.jegs.com/i/JEGS/555/30671/10002/-1?CAWELAID=1710598596&CAGPSPN=pla&CAAGID=397144137 03&CATCI=pla-293995373017&CATARGETID=230006180039220954&cadevic e=c&gclid=EAIaIQobChMInuXE86aX2AIVgtlkCh3ZmQ3QEAQY BSABEgI3ZfD_BwE


    Last edited by Bob_Spidell; 12-19-2017 at 08:18 PM. Reason: add info

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    Jedi Trainee red57's Avatar
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    Re: Home Made Healey Exhaust Headers from a BOX

    Header kits of mandrel bent tubing pieces have been available mail-order since the 50s-60s from JC Whitney and others. Used to see the ads in Hot Rod and other magazines. A lot of them had flanges to match various heads. I remember several guys who bought them but I don't remember anyone actually completing a set of headers..... Basically daydream material.
    Dave

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    Jedi Knight RAC68's Avatar
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    Re: Home Made Healey Exhaust Headers from a BOX

    Hi Bob,

    I was unaware I could get the Velocity Channel and haven't seen the episode. II also didn't know that these kits were available at all and not for Headers for the Healey.

    Thanks Bob and all the best for a Great Holiday,
    Ray(64BJ8P1)

  5. #5

    Re: Home Made Healey Exhaust Headers from a BOX

    Like most things on these shows, it's easier on TV than in real life. First you'll need a flange matching the Healey exhaust outlets. I don't recall ever seeing one available and don't know where Wheeler Dealers got theirs. Second, you'll need to be able to figure out how to lay out all those mandrel bends to get them to meet together in the collector at the bottom. Not that easy. It would be nice to have a good band saw to make all the cuts and finally, you'll need some welding skill to put it all together, particularly if you want to do it in stainless. Personally, buying a set off the shelf would probably be easier if you don't do this kind of thing regularly


    Rick

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    Yoda Randy Forbes's Avatar
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    Re: Home Made Healey Exhaust Headers from a BOX

    It would be an order of magnitude easier, and even if you pay yourself only a quarter ($0.25) an hour, probably cheaper too if you just get store-bought ones instead.

    Sometimes however, there just aren't any headers on a shelf anywhere for your particular application, so make them you must. Be forewarned though, it's not simply a case of choosing some tubing because it is big__the tube diameter chosen should be equal to the area of the port__and then cutting them to some convenient length (the short tube length shown in WD's Healey would have a narrow power band and high up in the rev range, IMHO). In addition, the collector volume is arrived at via a formula as well; in the case of the headers I made for a Buick 3.8 V6 I put in an MGBGT, that volume was equal to two (2) cylinder's worth of displacement. The results are shown below.



    Anybody that wants__or has to__to make their own headers, without scouring this website first, by a true pioneer of performance headers, would be an idiot.
    http://www.headersbyed.com/+hcomments.htm
    http://www.britishcarforum.com/bcf/image.php
    57 Healey BN6L-942 Wine Red/Honey Tan
    99 BMW M Rdstr Cosmos Black Eurosport Twinscrew Supercharger
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    Yoda
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    Re: Home Made Healey Exhaust Headers from a BOX

    Just curious--I'm not (really) in the market for headers--what y'all think of the Denis Welch headers. Supposedly, they are close to what the Works Healeys used. Actually, I might consider some for the BN2, the off-the-shelf downpipes appear to not be bent correctly and the clutch pedal lever hits the downpipe when fully depressed (have been told the OEM ones did this too).

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    Yoda Randy Forbes's Avatar
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    Re: Home Made Healey Exhaust Headers from a BOX

    Of all the commercially available headers currently on the market** I would EXPECT that the ones from DW would be the most likely to be field developed (i.,e., produce a substantial improvement in flow). If I was in the market for a set, I'd probably buy them from DW (Dollar is still strong against the Pound...).



    ** used to be, no matter where you bought your 6-cyl Healey headers, they were made in Al Kirk's garage in/near Bessemer, Alabama. He stopped making them not too long after I to replace the original set I had due to a trailer unloading incident around the mid-90s.
    http://www.britishcarforum.com/bcf/image.php
    57 Healey BN6L-942 Wine Red/Honey Tan
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  9. #9

    Re: Home Made Healey Exhaust Headers from a BOX

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Forbes View Post
    Of all the commercially available headers currently on the market** I would EXPECT that the ones from DW would be the most likely to be field developed (i.,e., produce a substantial improvement in flow). If I was in the market for a set, I'd probably buy them from DW (Dollar is still strong against the Pound...).

    ** used to be, no matter where you bought your 6-cyl Healey headers, they were made in Al Kirk's garage in/near Bessemer, Alabama. He stopped making them not too long after I to replace the original set I had due to a trailer unloading incident around the mid-90s.
    I must have his last set. I bought mine used from them in early 2007. They said someone had returned them (they were no longer made) after failing to get them installed. Needless to say, they fit fine. I had them ceramic coated dark gray inside and out and they still look new 10 years later.

    PS - Boy Racer Richard Mayor makes (or did make) a fine set of headers.

    KirkRusty0607 (2).jpgKirkBlack.jpg

    Have to say the DW headers look better. Not sure why Kirk went for the #1 & #6 branches the way they are.
    Last edited by steveg; 12-20-2017 at 09:50 AM.
    Steve Gerow
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    Jedi Knight dougie's Avatar
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    Re: Home Made Healey Exhaust Headers from a BOX

    Quote Originally Posted by steveg View Post
    I must have his last set. I bought mine used from them in early 2007. They said someone had returned them (they were no longer made) after failing to get them installed. Needless to say, they fit fine. I had them ceramic coated dark gray inside and out and they still look new 10 years later.

    PS - Boy Racer Richard Mayor makes (or did make) a fine set of headers.

    KirkRusty0607 (2).jpg

    Have to say the DW headers look better. Not sure why Kirk went for the #1 & #6 branches the way they are.
    Yes, Richard's headers were designed by a NASCAR fabricator and manufactured using a 6-cylinder chassis jig. They have thicker diameter steel tubing, all mandril bends, and beautifully tig welded. I think I got the last pair.

    R. Mayer Race Headers.jpg

    Racer Headers.jpg
    Dougie
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    Re: Home Made Healey Exhaust Headers from a BOX

    a few years ago i had a set of stainless headers made to accommodate a swap i was doing at the time...Porsche 930 with 700 plus hp ls7 motor. i had them built from a kit that was provided by the fabricator....various pvc tubing and some custom metal parts. i then assembled a header system from the various pieces in the kit to accommodate the space, chassis or whatever. the assembled mockup is then shipped back to the header fabricator and the headers are built.. i was very pleased with the result...a little pricey but well worth it to me!
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    1959 bn6 sbc zz4 with aod transmission....... 1959 bn6 inline 6 250 chev engine and tremec 5 speed.......Porsche 911 all aluminum 434 cubic inch dart sbc engine 930 4 spd

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    Yoda Randy Forbes's Avatar
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    Re: Home Made Healey Exhaust Headers from a BOX

    Quote Originally Posted by steveg View Post
    I must have his last set. I bought mine used from them in early 2007. They said someone had returned them (they were no longer made) after failing to get them installed. Needless to say, they fit fine. I had them ceramic coated dark gray inside and out and they still look new 10 years later.

    PS - Boy Racer Richard Mayor makes (or did make) a fine set of headers.

    KirkRusty0607 (2).jpg

    Have to say the DW headers look better. Not sure why Kirk went for the #1 & #6 branches the way they are.
    Steve, sometimes you just get lucky! I referred someone to Kirk, only to find out that he'd stopped making them because he got complaint(s) that they weren't fitting; he'd been using the same jigs for ages! Maybe it went to the owner of a bent car, or the individual was short on imagineering?

    Here's my current set fresh from Jett-Hot (cleaned/blasted & then internal/external coatings applied); except for some slight dulling of the shiny finish, they still look exactly the same.



    I cannot recommend the application of the thermal barriers strongly enough (!) however, I do recommend that you always test-fit them to a car prior to sending out, so if any fine tuning needs to be done, there's no risk to the coating.

    Quote Originally Posted by dougie View Post
    Yes, Richard's headers were designed by a NASCAR fabricator and manufactured using a 6-cylinder chassis jig. They have thicker diameter steel tubing, all mandril bends, and beautifully tig welded. I think I got the last pair.

    R. Mayer Race Headers.jpg

    Racer Headers.jpg
    Pure Healey porn Dougie! It's a wonder that Basil didn't ban those lusty images

    Quote Originally Posted by maxwedge5281 View Post
    a few years ago i had a set of stainless headers made to accommodate a swap i was doing at the time...Porsche 930 with 700 plus hp ls7 motor. i had them built from a kit that was provided by the fabricator....various pvc tubing and some custom metal parts. i then assembled a header system from the various pieces in the kit to accommodate the space, chassis or whatever. the assembled mockup is then shipped back to the header fabricator and the headers are built.. i was very pleased with the result...a little pricey but well worth it to me!
    And to continue along those same lines, there's now a readily available "kit" of snap-together PVC pieces (various tubing sizes and quantity of pieces) to speed up the process.

    Very clever, though I've bought readily available headers for much less than these modeling kits cost, so unless you're in the business of custom swaps, not really cost effective. Although, if used carefully for ones own needs, there may be a demand for "lightly used" kits, passing between diy builder types.



    V8 kit for 1-5/8" tube @ $775.00! http://www.trick-tools.com/icenginew...e-1625pro-7850

    See the Trick Tools 2:42 minute video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wIgQeYYLHA

    When I made the headers seen in my initial post, I used some scrap pieces (32" long, as I recall) of CLX cable assemblies (offshore/marine grade aluminum-clad/PVC vinyl-covered electrical multiple conductor) that was the same 1-1/2" O.D. as the tubing I was planning to use. Once bent, it would retain its shape, and I screwed these to some mock-up flanges (9-layer marine plywood) and used screw-type hose-clamps to keep it all together. I towed the car and took my "models" to the local muffler shop and the guy came as close as he could to replicating the bends in aluminized tubing. Some of the back to back bends couldn't be done in his machine, so he came as close as he could, and then I cut, trimmed/mitered and welded them back together.

    While it's not impossible to make homemade headers from a box of parts, you've got to really want to do it! There is no savings of time or money to be had by doing so, and it's a little above the average individual's natural skill set (not to mention the amount of patience required). Don't forget, besides the tubing work, you still need a set of flanges cut/milled (though I suppose a laser-cutter could make short work of that) plus collectors/transitions, connecting flanges, etc., etc., etc. It's a pain in can!

    Now all that said, HOW do you suppose headers like these, made of stainless steel with gorgeous TIG-welded joints can be available__for BMWs no less__on ebay for around $100.00?!?! It bewilders me...



    http://www.britishcarforum.com/bcf/image.php
    57 Healey BN6L-942 Wine Red/Honey Tan
    99 BMW M Rdstr Cosmos Black Eurosport Twinscrew Supercharger
    01 BMW M Rdstr Steel Gray Performance Center (factory) Delivery
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  13. #13

    Re: Home Made Healey Exhaust Headers from a BOX

    To follow up on Randy's post, here's another option for building your own headers and you can even have them fab your custom design for you: http://www.stainlessheaders.com/customheaders But, it's pricey and is still going to be more expensive than something you purchase ready-made. I'm running some Sunbeam Tiger cast iron manifolds on my V8 swap and I know they are stealing a good amount of power, but nobody is making an off-the-shelf header for a V8 in a Healey. When I started looking at prices for a set of custom builts, I decided I could live with the loss of power.


    Rick

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    Jedi Warrior maxwedge5281's Avatar
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    Re: Home Made Healey Exhaust Headers from a BOX

    rick that is where i had my headers fabricated. excellent workmanship and headers fit great....but expensive!!!
    1959 bn6 sbc zz4 with aod transmission....... 1959 bn6 inline 6 250 chev engine and tremec 5 speed.......Porsche 911 all aluminum 434 cubic inch dart sbc engine 930 4 spd

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    Jedi Knight RAC68's Avatar
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    Re: Home Made Healey Exhaust Headers from a BOX

    Hi All and Happy Holidays,

    Thank you for your responses and the discussion. Just prior to my posting, my laptop seemed to have developed a short and burned the mother (board). I had used my granddaughter's Pink Atom powered 10" PC and she took it back (thank God).

    Have a great Holiday,
    Ray(64BJ8P1)

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    Re: Home Made Healey Exhaust Headers from a BOX

    These are definitely not from a BOX.

    Picture is of a set copied from a period race car. Originals were damaged.

    TFR1
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