Headers? - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-22-2015, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
 
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Headers?

I have a beautiful, rare 1973 GTO with one repaint of the original color, perfect interior and a NOM 400 with a mild cam.. Yes, rare. everywhere I go nobody has ever seen one before! About 4000 were made. Is there any reason I shouldn't put headers on this car? I like stock but the 73s were seriously down on power. Is one brand better than another? How about Hooker? Headman? Dougs (OPG)?

TIA
John
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-22-2015, 04:41 PM
 
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Headers won't help much with a full exhaust system. And they can be a hassle. A stroker assembly in your block will increase power and keep it "stock appearing". The balanced Butler assembly is about the best bargain out there. IMO

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-22-2015, 06:18 PM
 
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Nice car, but they are boats and a bit heavy -over 4,000 pounds. I don't know exactly which year had what, but Pontiac began to install all the crash protection pieces on the cars to meet Federal crash standards, like heavy crash bars inside the doors, shock absorbing bumpers, double panel roof, and a front frame that will buckle/collapse when hit.

I have a 1977 2-DR Pontiac Lemans (and I think it was even heavier with all the crash protection built in by then) that I learned a very costly lesson with the hard way. Has the weight of a station wagon and took a lot of pedal to get it rolling at each stop -so gas mileage around town was horrible with the 350/automatic. Had 2.76 rear gears, but up on the highway at steady speeds, I could get a best of 19 MPG's after I installed a Q-jet, open element air cleaner, and tuned it up (single exhaust).

I totaled the front out (and have seen many in junkyards, bought a '77 Can-Am and '75 Lemans in the same condition). The disc/drum brakes work fine and will lock up your tires in a panic stop........and that is the problem. Your tires will lock up, and the car will keep sliding like I learned - right into the car in front of me. I still own the car 20 years later, but it is sad looking now. Never have found a front end locally in the junk yards that was not hit like mine. Bent the frame just like it was designed to do too. Now you just can't find them period.

Trust me on this. Your first investment should be in some wider than stock rims so you can mount wider tires. (factory seems to be the 15x7 with G60 tires) Get a good compound that has a good braking rating. You may not think you will ever have to do a panic stop, but it will be too late when you nail the guy in front of you -even if it is his fault.

Don't know what you have for an engine, but to move all that car around, you need a real torque motor. If you don't have a good torque engine, then headers, in my opinion, would not be where I would spend money and time trying to fit them. Factory exhaust manifolds, dual exhaust with 2 1/2" pipes, and free flowing mufflers would most likely the route I would go.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-23-2015, 08:06 AM Thread Starter
 
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Sure it's a boat, but a boat with attitude. 275 tires all around!

IMHO my proven formula of intake, cam and headers has worked for me for 30+ years. Also has the added bonus of significantly improved fuel economy. Never had a Pontiac 400 before but don't see why it wouldn't work here as all motors are just air pumps. Improved scavaging makes the engine (air pump) more efficient. More faster air/fuel in, more faster exhaust out. Am I right? I'm no professional mechanic but I had a lot of cars back in the day before you had to be a computer geek to hop up a car. And headers (for this car) are cheap (and must precede the A/C fix).

Love the feedback! This is good stuff.

Thanks!
John
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-23-2015, 01:51 PM
 
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If more power is really what you're after, I can assure you that a stroker will produce a MUCH larger power increase than any combo of intake, cam and exhaust, you can put on a streetable low compression 400.

But, if all you want is an exhaust system with more flow, you can go with Doug's big tube headers and a 2 1/2 or 3" exhaust system, with free flowing muffs and a good X-pipe.
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  Pontiac GTO Forum > The 1964-1974 Pontiac Tempest, Lemans & GTO > 1964-1974 Tempest, Lemans & GTO General Discussion

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