Headers for sure if you don't care about originality. I have a set of Hedman Hedders Street Headers with the HTC coating. Great headers made in the USA. They've been in business forever. A set of headers is probably the best bang for your buck in terms of a performance upgrade.
Vette(s): 1980 Black/Black L82 Coupe
1974 Medium Red/Silver coupe
Is there any data on how much performance increase you get with headers I have a base 350 in the new( to me} 74 and have been thinking about storing the stock manifolds if I can find headers which would bolt in without too many changes. The exhaust has been replaced with stainless from the manifolds back, if that makes any difference.
It's all up to you. I sent over a year looking for the original manifolds for my 72. Removed Hooker side pipes and headers. I wented the original look manifolds. I also wented the sound of side pipes so i put on a chambered exhaust system on. It's all in what you went to do to your vett.
Tim, its a shame your not closer as i could fix you up with whichever way you want to go. i have both headers and manifolds for a 72. When i finished my 72 i replaced the manifolds with hedman headers. they are very easy going on so if you go that way its no problem. mine have 800 miles on them but they are coming off to do sidepipes and headers. i think i saw you have AC so you'll need to order that bracket cause it doesnt come with it. headers have always been said to add 10-20 hp depending on type. of course they also usually require some exhaust work to fit up which is more money! but dont worry owning a vette you will get use to spending more money! lol! anyother information i can help with just yell.
I offer a little different viewpoint than many on this site in that I like the original style rams horn manifolds. I think they look cool if you clean 'em up a bit and keep 'em clean with a product like Calyx manifold dressing. And performance wise I contend you wouldn't see much of a gain with headers if you're running a base motor, otherwise unmodified - especially in the torque department. Don't have to deal with so many heat-related issues in the engine compartment either, like fried starters and ignition wires. But since you don't have an existing pair you can work with that shifts the balance a bit, I know. If you do decide to go with manifolds you could find a used pair and port them a bit with a die grinder, or possibly even find a set with 2 1/2" outlets. Good luck, whatever you do.
1976 Silver/Firethorn. L48, 4spd. Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: firstname.lastname@example.org, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.
If you go headers your going to replace the exhaust so with that expense in mind the manifolds seam to be a easier and less expensive choice.Additionally as it appears your not looking for more power i would go with manifolds .
1980 , ZZ430 , 3.92 rear , 700R4 2400 stall NEW EZ EFI
Corvette Fever Mag did a test years ago on a built L48 motor that showed headers to only add about three HP over stock manifolds with the motor putting up 326HP. I do not think that is much for a mostly stock daily driver.
That motor had a lot of internal work done to it to get the 300plus HP's but was meant to look stock on the outside for the NCRS judges.
I still have the article if anyone would like to read it.
Brian - NCM Lifetime Member
73 coupe L48, Flat-top pistons, Performer RPM Heads, Crane Cam and roller rockers, Holley 650 vac sec. Performer intake, 3.55 gear BTO 200-4R trans, Leather seats, F-body seatbelts, Pioneer CD player Magnaflow Exhuast System
There is one option for bolt on headers I noticed in "Summit", there are block hugger headers that have the donut mount on the connection, just make sure you get the ceramic coated type to keep the heat contained. I think "Patriot" was one company that made them and for a reasonable price too.
Jimmy B. Just can't wait to get on the road again.
Vette(s): 1979, Targa Blue (72 Color), Pace Car rear spoiler, L88 hood, Dark blue factory interior, 525HP 406, HD 700R4, 370 gears,Steeroids, composite rear spring, TT IIs wrapped in T/A Radials.
If the headers were free, it would be worth it - I have 2 sets of Hedman ceramics in the shed - And I just happen to be heading in your direction next week. They need some cleaning and the D/S gas been dimpled for a rack and pinion, but they'll get you by for now.
If interested, and care to drive up to Cary, NC, they're yours!!
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