My experience is the stock L6s respond well to targeted upgrades - ignition, exhaust, proper tuning. Exactly how an exhaust manifolding change is going to impact a particular motor will depend on cam, induction system, exhaust system after the header, etc. If you free up the exhaust but it still has the stock 1bbl and points distributor, you may not realize the full gain potential. And there is always the chance it does nothing, since it can't get enough air in to make the better exhaust perform.
I think the cast headers will only have a benefit if you are trying to get more air/fuel mixture IN and exhaust out quickly. 4bbl intake, lump ported heads, maybe a small compression ratio bump then you would likely see good results. But higher performance 6's have a number of tweaks that get the numbers up, not just one.
Your biggest handicap is probably the 194 itself. The cast headers and other upgrades will give it a little pep. But, they will be money well spent if you plan to upgrade to a 250. As long as you aren't doing a numbers matching resto, a 250 is visually identical to your 194 and has significantly more hp and torque. Get all your upgrades working well then upgrade to the 250 and you will be pleasantly surprised. The other big drawback is trans. A powerglide is a poor match for a six, a 3, 4, or 5 speed will really wake them up.
taters . . . . . I agree with all the above ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ .
I have those "Langdon's cast headers" . . . . . . but . . . . . . I am using my stock 250 GM exhaust manifold ,
at this time. (which gives me - carb heat , too my Holley 390 carb) . (and , I do also have "Langdons
under intake heat - plate " to be added on / with the headers ) .
I'm wanting too get my 'cast headers' & new pipes installed . . . . called money . . . . I should have done
this , before I retired . (i'm wanting to hot-coat my headers ; and buy 2 new mufflers) , before installing .
NOW , what Dave says (chevy2inreno) = I'd dump the 194 - - - - - because, the 250ci motor is just
'over-all better' engine (if keeping any L-6 engine) ; and could be found pretty easy . You can even make
u'r 250 LOOK like a 194ci , and enjoy your car much much more. Not many people would tell any
difference , between the two motors.
- - - - (only reason to keep any 194ci engine - - - - - - - is if you are doing a "Restore back too stock . . . . . .
. . . . . like AllyMcReal (Frank) has done with his "stock 62 convertible" = look @ Frank's Chev II here :
Plus , look here @ this post ; SNS Member = theycallmelarami , Joe Rose - 63 SS Nova , with a
250ci engine ; with all th' good stuff . . . . and , with pictures (the pic's will work , just slow to load-up ,
give them a few moments) .
and , for your "cast-headers question" . . . . . . . I do think those headers would HELP u'r engine . . . . . .
just by them - self , but , other things will add even more , easier , driving performance too .
If you were to use a 250ci motor in a 1st or 2nd gen car . . . . . . you can still use the 3rd gen type ,
rear oil pan "sump" (in those 1 & 2 gen cars) . That makes things a WHOLE LOT Easier . . . . . . . . . .
Thus , solving the 250ci " oil Dip - Stick " issue - - you do-not have too drill out the block (for re-locating
the oil dip-stick ) .
note : If you have power steering , on your 1st or 2nd gen Nova . . . . . then , the rear oil pan - type -
............ will NOT - Work (with p/s ) . You could " swap to the - Front sump oil pan" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
and , therefore have the oil dip-stick issue .
When I look around the 'web' ; I find "interesting pictures" (and most of that time = I do-not know just
who the pictures belong too (in order to give proper credit) ....................
These are a couple of those pictures - - -
# 1. - - " notching a rear sump Chevy Six oil - pan , to fit into a 1st & 2nd gen - -
Nova (Chevy II ) ;
# 2. - -
# 3. - - finished - notch too clear the "steering linkage" (for the 1 & 2 gen Novas ) .
tater - - - - also if you look at theycallmelarami - Joe's post (linked above) . . .
he shows great "cast iron headers mounted (pictures) on his engine (250ci) . . . . . .
AND . . . . . he also shows how they = Fit on the motor . . . . and how you need
too Notch Around your intake manifold . In order to make
each item mount onto your Head . ( Joe is using an aluminum
intake manifold) . But , I'm sure the same "issues" would apply to the stock
GM intake manifold ) .
note # 2 : Look at Joe's pic's . . . . he notched the "exhaust manifolds" . . . . .
. . . . . . . . ( not the intake manifold ) . . . . . . but , the install should be the same . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . using a stock cast-iron "intake manifold . . . . (using the cast - iron
. . . . . . . . split - exhaust manifolds ) .
note # 3 : He also shows pictures of his "under car exhaust pipes & mufflers"
. . . . . . . . which you never get too see .
note # 4 : If you were using a "stick shift trans" . . . . and , using a "clutch Z-bar
. . . . . . . . linkage . . . . Look a "hbanger 's post " - - Brain's pictures of his split headers =
. . . . . . . . exhaust "header pipes - going around his Z-bar linkage - - - - (seen in one of
. . . . . . . . the above links) . . . . . Very good pictures , from someone that has that
. . . . . . . . experience .
This just makes "searching for Great L-6 info" , much easier . For all those that like
the Chevy L-6 engines .
I hope I've helped . . . . . .