A fender apron will prevent...
A fender apron will prevent belt buckle scratches and also provides a good surface for resting tools. Nitrile gloves will keep you from getting "grease monkey" paws while working.
The exhaust system is responsible for evacuating the spent gases and other byproducts of combustion from the engine. If you consider the intake system, be it carburetion or fuel injection, as the "inhale," then the exhaust system is the "exhale" when it comes to engine breathing. And easier breathing equates to more power and a better running engine.
Changing the exhaust manifold or installing tubular exhaust headers on a big-block engine may, at first, seem to be a daunting task. Really, it's not that hard if you do things in a logical order, have the right tools, and take your time. In this article I'll show you how to install both of these exhaust solutions on a '67 427 coupe.
Corvette Central was our source for the high-quality foreign reproduction exhaust manifolds and the superb custom-welded tubular headers along with the gaskets, studs, and other requisite hardware.
Before we go on to the installation procedures, a few words about safety: An integral part of this installation involves getting under your Corvette to disconnect the exhaust system from the manifolds and then reconnect the exhaust system to the new manifolds or headers. Never get under your Corvette (or any other vehicle) unless it is properly supported with jackstands. The hydraulic trolley jack is meant to elevate the vehicle, not support it once it is elevated. Nothing can ruin your day as quickly as having your Corvette come crashing down on you while you're underneath it!
Regardless of whether you're replacing manifolds or installing headers, the installation procedures for both are similar, and both are shown here.
|Difficulty Index - 2 Wrenches|
|Anyone’s Project: no tools required||1 Wrench|
|Beginner: basic tools||2 Wrenches|
|Experienced: special tools||3 Wrenches|
|Accomplished: special tools and outside help||4 Wrenches|
|Professionals Only: send this work out||5 Wrenches|What You Need
Here is the reproduction exhaust...
Here is the reproduction exhaust manifold and the tubular headers (for the driver-side) from Corvette Central manufactured by McJack's Corvettes. Corvette Central was also our source for the manifold gaskets, studs, bolts, and other hardware for this article. The 2-inch primary tube, 16-gauge headers are handmade and welded at McJack's. A big plus with these headers is that the steering box, A-arms, frame rails, idler arm, and A/C boxes all clear them and-very important since the project car is a four-speed-the clutch jack-shaft clears them, too. The headers have 21/2-inch collectors, exactly the same as the stock cast iron manifolds.
Hydraulic trolley jack
Spark plug boot pliers
7/16-, 1/2-, 9/16-inch sockets and combination wrenches
Mat or creeper
I like using a magnetic tray...
I like using a magnetic tray while working to hold nuts, bolts, and other pieces during the disassembly, as well as any new hardware that will be used for the installation. It holds everything securely and is located right where you need it.
After elevating your Corvette...
After elevating your Corvette and supporting it securely with jackstands, go underneath it and disconnect the exhaust pipes from both exhaust manifolds using a 1/2-inch socket. One of the three studs (with the green arrow pointing to it) is broken on this manifold.
Here's the stock passenger-side...
Here's the stock passenger-side manifold with the broken stud. Refurbishing this manifold and replacing the stud will be a future project.