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Old 09-22-2017, 11:50 PM   #1
Patro46
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C3 LS Swap Header Option Thread

Just like the title says, this thread is to find out what headers will work...and what will not.
First off, Yes. For $800-$1200 bucks, you can have a set that will fit a C3 with an LS engine. Got it.

What about for the rest of us guys that don't want to lay a big one down? You know who we are. We're the same bunch of folks that don't want to lay down $1000 or more for a cooling solution. So there simply HAS to be a cheaper (less expensive) way. After all, a header is a header. Nothing more. Nothing less. So lets not put magic fairy dust on it. Keep it simple.

Areas of concern.

This is a big one, but can be whittled down, it just takes figuring some knowns....and some unknowns. The answer to that lies within the quantified knowledge of this forum, and that is a lot of experience and thinking power, so lets start with what we know (or what little I know).

Seems to me the largest area of concern is the steering box. If I were going to start somewhere, I'd probably start with a set of smallblock Chevy headers designed to fit a Camaro. Then, I'd ask one of you that has already tried this to chime in with whether or not they did fit, and if not, why?
Why a Camaro? Because headers for a smallblock Chevy Camaro are CHEAP! Under 2 bills in stainless cheap. So if it's the steering box, I get it. They either will fit or they won't.

However...a lot of folks like me scrapped the clunky steering box and went with a power rack conversion. There's a reason why most cars are power rack today, but that's another story. What's this have do to the equation? IF header fitment was due to the steering box, and with the box removed a set of say Camaro headers WOULD then fit, then there is no reason to think a set of LS Swap stainless steel headers for an early Camaro wouldn't fit, and these can also be had for around 200 bucks, in stainless as well.

But there's more.

Oil Pan issues. I really cant speak much in this department other than to say in a C3 Corvette, specifically a 1974 model with a Steeriods power rack and pinion conversion, when being used on an LS swap, one CAN take that "oh so wicked" Batwing Oil Pan and it works with the swap. I cam attest to that.

So there you have it. I'm tempted to order a set of Camaro LS Swap headers, but thought I better toss the idea here and get YOUR thoughts.
So without further adue...what say you?
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Old 09-23-2017, 05:28 PM   #2
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I think the steering is a critical component. You need to find someone who has made it work with your steering setup. Just my .02...good luck Pat. I'm sure you will keep us posted.
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Old 09-24-2017, 12:22 AM   #3
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Consider the differences in header pipe separation, small block headers have two of the exhaust tubes in the center. Big block headers are more evenly spaced (like the LS). As recommended to me by others on this forum, why not take a set of big block Corvette headers, cut the flanges off and weld on a LS flanges.

Cheap and functional.
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Old 09-26-2017, 01:05 PM   #4
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I had a set of stainless Kooks either for an '04 gto or a camaro, looked like they were going to fit fine except that they hit the driver floorboard by about 3/4". Looked to clear the steering box though. Real bummer.

Pics on post #2 of my build thread, link below.
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Old 09-26-2017, 02:37 PM   #5
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This may or may not be relevant..........

A friend has been a professional race fabricator for a loooong time. Been doing TIG since the 70s. Really talented.

The only metal I ever saw baffle him was trying to modify a cheap set of imported stainless hot rod hedders. The metal was so ridiculously thin that it just fizzled and warped even with a master at the pedal. Ever since then I've been leery of starting a custom hedder job with cheap stainless hedders.

good luck with your project!
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Old 09-27-2017, 10:31 AM   #6
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98-02 LS fbody long tube headers fit, just have to put a little dimple in the primary near the stock steering box. The passenger side collector angles slightly out, but wouldn't be an issue for an exhaust shop to adapt. Best part is you can find cheap stainless ones on ebay for less than $110.
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Old 09-27-2017, 10:34 AM   #7
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Here's a photo of 98-02 firebird headers that I took a two year ago when I was deciding on which direction to go with my car.
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1979 Corvette L-82 383 stroker (R.I.P.)
1977 Corvette Twin Turbo LS Swap, with MS3X and e85
Old 09-27-2017, 10:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slow & Leaky View Post
This may or may not be relevant..........

A friend has been a professional race fabricator for a loooong time. Been doing TIG since the 70s. Really talented.

The only metal I ever saw baffle him was trying to modify a cheap set of imported stainless hot rod hedders. The metal was so ridiculously thin that it just fizzled and warped even with a master at the pedal. Ever since then I've been leery of starting a custom hedder job with cheap stainless hedders.

good luck with your project!
Out of curiosity, how long ago was that? I've modified a few sets of cheap chinese stainless headers and the metal is all fairly workable. Even welded thick V-bands to the ends of fairly thin stainless collectors. This was in the past year or two though, so quality might've gone up a bit.
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1979 Corvette L-82 383 stroker (R.I.P.)
1977 Corvette Twin Turbo LS Swap, with MS3X and e85
Old 10-29-2017, 03:58 AM   #9
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Here is my LS1 Thread

https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...part-list.html


I tried some C5 long headers but they angle aggressively towards the trans. I dont have a 4l60e to bolt on yet to test it.

I cant upload a pic but this is the ones i have.
https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...post1595821274
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Old 10-30-2017, 08:24 PM   #10
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After spending way too much time in the header dept, I've finally pulled the trigger.

First off, you guys are right on a lot of Ebay headers, and I found many more than one that would have fit...except....

I simply MUST have 1 7/8" primaries, and a full 3" collector. I found plenty with 1 5/8" and 1 3/4", but very few that fit the bill with 1 7/8", and still, it's a bit of a guess.

They are do in Friday, and I'll chime in with the results!
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Old 11-04-2017, 08:33 AM   #11
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Well guys, I spent a good week measuring, scaling pictures to the inch, eliminating one set of headers after the next, then finally pulled the trigger with my fingers crossed.
Yesterday, I was in the process of dropping my exhaust and removing cast exhaust manifolds, just getting the drivers side down when FedX showed up with a large package. Headers are in!
Man I've been on pins and needles, fearing having to mod a new set of headers. I simply refuse to pay 1200 smackers on a set of long tubes. Not only that, but if you have the ultra low profile batwing oil pan, even the 1200 dollar solution won't work, as you have to swap the oil pan for a low hanging Fbody pan.
Anyway, moving on. With the car jacked high as I could get her, I slid the drivers side header up into place.
No way! Fits like it was made to fit! Sweet!
Now for the passenger side. Once again, I slid the header into place, but had resistance lining up.
A good gander underneath showed the headers damn near touching the starter, hitting all my thick battery wiring.
Also was hitting where the heater hise return line on header tube #2. Also looks like I need to relocate some computer wiring....BUT....she fits and puts the collectors up high and I even think we can use the factory transmission crossmember running the 3" exhaust pipe through the nifty factory location!

So, what we now know is this.
1. If you no longer have your stock steering box and went with a rack and pinion
2. If you have a batwing oil pan, these headers fit like they were made to fit.
If you meet the above criteria, headers for 82-92 Camaro will fit a LS swapped C3 Corvette, ay least the brand I went with will.?
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Old 12-08-2017, 11:19 AM   #12
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deleted....answered my own question


just ordered a set well see how they fit.


thanks

Last edited by V8 BUG; 01-03-2018 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 01-15-2018, 08:28 PM   #13
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f body oil pan

Patro 46 - is there any reason the headers you bought would not fit with a rack & pinion and an fbody oil pan?
thanks
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Old 01-22-2018, 09:23 AM   #14
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Patro46, thanks for the advice and research. The headers fit great! I have the batwing pan but cannot see why the fbody pan would be a problem. The headers are no where near the pan.
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Old 01-24-2018, 09:08 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curthibbert View Post
Patro 46 - is there any reason the headers you bought would not fit with a rack & pinion and an fbody oil pan?
thanks
Curt
Quote:
Originally Posted by V8 BUG View Post
Patro46, thanks for the advice and research. The headers fit great! I have the batwing pan but cannot see why the fbody pan would be a problem. The headers are no where near the pan.
I have the Steeroids power rack on mine. They fit great. I see NO reason why the LS1 pan wont work, just keep in mind, you don't have much clearance between the ground and the bottom of an LS pan. Im thinking the bottom of the LS1 pan would be the lowest riding component.

Glad they fit! I too was rather amazed at just how well they did fit requiring no mods as well.
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