08-28-06, 09:51 PM
Hello guys Im new to the FW world. I just purchased a 1994 FW with 100,000 miles. one of the manafold bolts broke off and I would like to just put headers on the car. So what are some good cost effective headers for the FW. Any help would be great.....
08-28-06, 10:26 PM
I bought mine from Clear Image Automotive.. great products, although turn around time is kind of long because Dan is a one man show.
Clear Image Automotive :: The Clear Choice For Performance! (http://www.clearimageautomotive.com)
08-28-06, 10:45 PM
Yep, by far, the best choice out there and one of the best places to deal with is Clear Image. Even their budget headers are a terrific option, if you don't want to spend as big of bucks.
08-28-06, 10:54 PM
I would get headers from clearimage too. Dan has a budget header available the is really good looking and was actually fabbed up on a fleetwood. There is also a header from flowtech called afterburners that fits out cars, but you have to tweak the A/C. You can get the afterburners ceramic coated through JET-HOT. I would just recommend clearimage's budget headers with there hook up pipes. You can do the whole job in your driveway. With the afterburners you will need to make a trip to an exhaust shop to join up your exhaust with the header. Ask me how I know...:crybaby:
Can the headers go in from the top or do they require engine tilting/removal? I have some gasket/manifold bolts to fix, wonder if it is worth the effort to get the maniflolds out of there....
08-29-06, 09:03 AM
With Dan's products (CIA), there is no tilting or removing of the engine bay. Mine were simply plug and play with no modification to anything. I have run them for 3 months and the Chromex coating is still in great shape and no wires have melted :thumbsup:
The old header dilemma. It has been plaguing B and D body owners since the LT1 engine was put in these cars in 1994.
Your options are basically shorties (compromise power) or long tubes (max power potential).
Long tubes are great in theory, but they cause you to reposition the cat converters (trouble for some emissions states like California). This also necessitates exhaust work later, like either new cats with shorter pipes or hookup pipes that delete the cats (back to the emissions issue again). These pipes/cats incur another purchase cost. :(
Also, the initial cost can be crappy: You have options, none of which are cheap when it is said and done.
Clear Image makes the best headers and only header that is/was designed to fit directly in our cars and drops right in. It is also highly regarded as having superior quality, fitment, materials, etc.... as well as making the most power. You get what you pay for (and since it is a specialized market for a limited production vehicle, the cost is high due to low volume). $1000 without cats or pipes hooked up. These are the Tri-Y headers.
Clear Image has budget long tubes with slightly decreased "eye appeal" and quality issues (welds aren't grinded smooth and metal gauge a tad thinner, I believe). After coating, hook-ups, etc you are looking at $700 or so. Still a great header but not top of the line.
Other option is Flowtech AFterburners, as stated already, that are cheap but were built for a CHevelle or something. SO ALMOST a direct fit - but many people have burnt through AC lines or had to notch their frames to make fit. But these are about $350 after coating and o2 bungs added. Very cost effective for full length headers.
There are other companies, but pretty much obsolete now. Used purchases would be necessary and their quality (thickness of metal and ease of installation) is questionable when compared to CLear Image products. Their prices would probably be high.
As for shorty headers, there are tons of options.
Groytohahn (or however you spell it) are discontinued and very hard to find.
SLP shorties are considered one of the best shorties but are discontinued -- need to find a used set.
Edelbrock are considered the worst headers, but I think ARE CARB approved (for Cali guys). Pretty much a Camaro LT1 header marketed for the B-body (doesn't fit very well) IIRC.
There are other shorties that wrap up over the top of the valve covers, which in the event you would have to pull the valve covers, you'd be screwed. Fitment issues and/or QC questionable.
Last option is what ELias and I both use. This is the Clear Image tubular manifold. These may or may not be discontinued last I heard, they run about $550 and are a direct fit into the engine bay from the top. Cats stay in same exact spot. Valve cover and spark plug access is not restricted. These are pretty nice and get the job done.
There is some questionable statements about the power these make, however. They were intended to be a cosmetic upgrade only over the stock manifolds - power increase was secondary and not intended. Before/after dyno runs by others netted peak 12ish RWHP and similar TQ -- but on the other forum it was debated and not believed.
As an owner of the shorties, I would tend to believe the numbers above (slightly more for me since I have a cammed motor).
That's headers in a nutshell. It is a big cluster-hump, and expensive one to boot. I could be wrong about some things, as I was going from memory. It doesn't really matter, though, since all roads basically lead to CLear Image Automotive. Expensive, but true. If you want the best for your car, and want to do it only one time, you gotta pay to play.
Afterburners are a great low cost option but it seems that 50% of those owners eventually get CLear Image products later and mention that they should have just done it right the first time.
Seems almost hit or miss with QC on the AFterburners - either you get a good set that doesn't burn through anything or you get a set that makes life difficult and expensive.
Good advice. Makes me wonder if homemade headers are almost cheaper! If you have access to a pipe bender (mandel) and experience....
08-29-06, 04:52 PM
Considering a good coating job costs around $200.00, and the price of a bender... it would be hardly profitable for anyone to try and make their own headers. The CIA headers are expensive, but so are the stock manifolds at the dealer. In my case, I had one broken manifold bolt, so I just went ahead and snatched up a set of the Chromex Tubular Manifolds from Dan. I ordered them without the Air pump fittings (deleted the system) and they were a perfect easy fit :thumbsup: for under $600.00.
If you buy headers that need tweaking or coating, you risk the loss of electrical wires and a/c lines that can cost $$$, making up the difference between cheap headers and quality.
08-31-06, 03:32 PM
I like the looks of the budget headers. Those behind a slightly cammed (218/224) motor could be pretty nice. I'm currently bidding on the cam actually. It's a solid enough, but streetable cam. The Impie forum's down, but they had a great cam thread.