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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I decided to get away from my fenderwell headers and move to chassis headers. I chose the Hedman 68168 Ellite headers based on the "most bang for your buck" (coated headers at a decent price). I also thought I did a good job of checking reviews on fitment but, now that I am running into issues, I am finding out I am not alone.

The main issue is on the drivers side and the interference with steering box (the area of the casing just where the pitman shaft exits) and the pitman arm itself (which hits two of the header tubes before getting to full lock in one direction).

I have a rather stock Gen I 350 (that has been decked) with ProMaxx 2169 heads. I did a quick and dirty check of the angle of the exhaust mounting surface in relation to where it mounts to the block, and the angle seems fairly close to my stock double hump 291 heads, which I still have in my possession. The left image below is from Hedman's site and the one to right I modified to help explain what I'm saying (although I'm sure some of you are all too familiar). I realize it wouldn't take much of a difference (in terms of degrees) between my stock and aftermarket heads for it to have a drastic effect on how the header fits through the chassis

404931


Hedman's site says their headers are designed around stock components and they cannot guarantee fitment with aftermarket components, which I do get. But, with how close the header already is to my oil filter (maybe less than an inch away) and the effect it's having on the pitman arm, which isn't even mounted completely to the shaft yet so it will only get worse, I can't see how they would fit, even with stock heads. If anything, I suppose the slight increase in angle on the stock heads (based on my quick check) may eliminate the interference with the steering box but I can't see how it would allow the pitman arm full travel and it may even be so close to my oil filter that oil changes would be a PITA, which I have read about as well

So in conclusion, are these headers designed that much differently than other headers? Has anyone else had a different or even the same experience with this brand or others? Do you have any pics you could share? Thanks so much in advance.


 

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I decided to get away from my fenderwell headers and move to chassis headers. I chose the Hedman 68168 Ellite headers based on the "most bang for your buck" (coated headers at a decent price). I also thought I did a good job of checking reviews on fitment but, now that I am running into issues, I am finding out I am not alone.

The main issue is on the drivers side and the interference with steering box (the area of the casing just where the pitman shaft exits) and the pitman arm itself (which hits two of the header tubes before getting to full lock in one direction).

I have a rather stock Gen I 350 (that has been decked) with ProMaxx 2169 heads. I did a quick and dirty check of the angle of the exhaust mounting surface in relation to where it mounts to the block, and the angle seems fairly close to my stock double hump 291 heads, which I still have in my possession. The left image below is from Hedman's site and the one to right I modified to help explain what I'm saying (although I'm sure some of you are all too familiar). I realize it wouldn't take much of a difference (in terms of degrees) between my stock and aftermarket heads for it to have a drastic effect on how the header fits through the chassis

View attachment 404931

Hedman's site says their headers are designed around stock components and they cannot guarantee fitment with aftermarket components, which I do get. But, with how close the header already is to my oil filter (maybe less than an inch away) and the effect it's having on the pitman arm, which isn't even mounted completely to the shaft yet so it will only get worse, I can't see how they would fit, even with stock heads. If anything, I suppose the slight increase in angle on the stock heads (based on my quick check) may eliminate the interference with the steering box but I can't see how it would allow the pitman arm full travel and it may even be so close to my oil filter that oil changes would be a PITA, which I have read about as well

So in conclusion, are these headers designed that much differently than other headers? Has anyone else had a different or even the same experience with this brand or others? Do you have any pics you could share? Thanks so much in advance.


I forget the brand of headers I purchased, however I do recall the fitment is terrible no matter what brand you choose due to the original geometry of the engine bay!
 

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I had the exact same problem. It hit so bad that the header flange was at an angle to the block.. I was taking the car to have the exhaust system installed so, I put the headers on and tightened everything up ( keeping my fingers crossed not to destroy the header) and drove it to the muffler shop. They put a 90 degree bend in the header to clear the steering arm and box. All worked out O.K. I later changed to CBR Rack and Pinion which created it own challenge with that steering set-up. As TokerJoker said headers are usually poor fitting. I'll try to get a pic and send it. Good luck
 

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I had the exact same problem. It hit so bad that the header flange was at an angle to the block.. I was taking the car to have the exhaust system installed so, I put the headers on and tightened everything up ( keeping my fingers crossed not to destroy the header) and drove it to the muffler shop. They put a 90 degree bend in the header to clear the steering arm and box. All worked out O.K. I later changed to CBR Rack and Pinion which created it own challenge with that steering set-up. As TokerJoker said headers are usually poor fitting. I'll try to get a pic and send it. Good luck
Good to know you were able to get it all worked out! Wish I would have found this site years ago, maybe then mine wouldn't have sat for so long!
 

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405241

Hard to tell here with this pic but I minuscule clearance between the exhaust and steering link. And yes my headers are old and rusty!! They have had their share of heat treatments! I will not bother with them till its necessary due to the PITA factor!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone. Thanks for the pics. I realize now that I have no choice but to make some modifications. Booooo...

I loosened up the header bolts and allowed the header to float per se and I still have interference with the pitman arm even with the headers moved as close to the oil filter that I would be comfortable with. Perhaps its not just the angle but the height of the exhaust mounting flanges on these heads that's also causing issues?? I would love to see these headers installed on a fully stock setup. I feel like even then there might be some interference.

Are you guys running a 4 speed? My pitman arm seems like it would make contact with the clutch fork push rod before it gets to full lock. I only realized this after I loosened the headers, which allowed me to play with the angle and swing them closer to the oil filter. I never had this issue before and everything is pretty much how it was before I pulled everything apart, less the new bellhousing (went from a scatter shield back to a stock GM bellhousing). I'm convinced this has to do with my car being up on jack stands and not down on the suspension, where the steering locks would prevent the pitman arm from swinging out that far. But then again, my steering box wouldn't be reaching full lock. I wont know until I set it down and rough in the alignment...

Also, the right side header is hitting the shock tower. And now that I think of it, when I had my fender well headers they were close as well and I don't recall it changing all that much when I removed my stock heads and installed the aftermarket heads. Hmmm....
 

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Common problem on passenger side Here's what I did. Mark the the header as to where it is hitting. Remove header. Get a deep socket and a hammer and work the header hitting the socket with hammer instead of hammering directly on the header. For me it made the dent smoother instead of hammer hacked. Fit check till clears. Remember to use gasket when trial fitting as it will push header out a bit. What starter are you using??. If stock you will have to work header to clear that too. . The gift that keeps on giving.
Some headers, on the passenger side, have the forward most tube (#2 cylinder) going up and over the other 3 tubes. This prevents the issue of hitting the shock tower.
My set up was fully stock when it hit the pitman arm. Did you check to see if the headers you bought are O.K. to use on a car with a stick shift. Quite a few brands are not usable with a stick shift and should say it in the description/instructions. Hope this helps Good luck
 

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Also look into SHORTY HEADERS. These are almost as good as the full length but with a lot less headaches. Check out the EXHAUST & HEADERS forum. I think I saw a "Shorty vs long tube headers" post. Good luck with your 67 SS.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have a mini starter so pretty good with clearance there. I don't recall the headers saying anything about restrictions with a 4 speed.

This might sound ridiculous but I was thinking of taking the headers out of the car, mounting them to a block so the flange stays true, heating up all of the header tubes with a torch (just at the top where they start to bend downward) and then pushing on the collector to create more of an angle. Essentially trying to recreate the angle of a stock head. Easier said than done perhaps. The only thing that sucks is it might destroy the coating in that area. Not sure. We'll see. I suppose the headers get pretty damn hot when the engine is running anyhow so maybe not?

Before I go through all of that trouble, I'm going to wait until I can get the steering all back together and the car back down on the ground and then check the pitman interference with the header loose, as I have it now.

Thanks for the advice. If that trick does not work I'm sure I'll have to beat em up a little bit.
 
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