Pontiac GTO Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I have headers on a 69 with #48 cast heads. I do not like headers and these are custom made and sit almost on the cross member. I want to put on the 'factor header' style manifolds and I was looking for recommendations on which to buy. There is a guy on ebay (poncho ... something) and he seems to have a good kit. There are other brands and sellers but I am skeptical of reproductions since my experience with trim and other parts is that the fit can be poor. I guess the 67 manifolds had three studs for the exhaust pipe on both sides and I am told the 68/69 had three studs on one side and two on the other. I guess it matters, but I don't see why, but I will look for the right manifolds for a 69.

So, what manufacturers are proven to fit good?
I recall on my 67, there were steel gaskets to the head, are those remade?
And what about the donut gasket that connect at the flange for the exhaust pipe, does that matter?

Thanks!
Mike
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
780 Posts
Ram Air Restorations is widely known for having the best quality factory headers. Cannot vouch for their exhaust systems but I know their headers are the best. Othere have thin iron, bolt holes off, etc.

Factory Headers - Pontiac

Hope this helps!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,611 Posts
At least 3 different reproduction company's have produced reproduction Pontiac RA manifolds. Have purchased through all of them. In the late 80's, a buddy & I even sold Delfield (RARE) numerous original round port castings to cut up to help develop his round port manifolds, he ended up going with the '73-74 455SD design.

Here are the companys, each has it's own versions.

Classics of Ohio:
Repro RA manifold supplier to PY, Ames, Y1, etc through the 90's & 00's.
Examining used Classics RA manifolds, look for the CM casting on the manifold.
-Pluses: Several of Classics styles of ductile iron RA manifolds are the most authentic looking, correct amount of bolt holes, correct casting numbers. Have ordered several sets over the years & they have held up well.
-Negatives, occasionally will get a manifold where the head pipe mtg holes are not drilled perfectly on center of each boss, have to send it back.

MaxPerformance:
Prev Performance Years founder, C Casperson, his wholesale entity. Distributed by Ames or through Pypes, most likely others now as well.
-Pluses, another quality ductile iron casting, bosses are drilled & tapped correctly, oversized 2.4-2.5" Outlet avail.
The Best pricing.

RARE, Delfield's near 3 decade entity.
Pluses: Quality ductile iron casting. Fairly wide product range. Availabilty of std or oversize 2.4-2.5" outlet.
negatives: not many, though price can be a little high, doing a High End restoration on a round port '68 1/2, 69, or '70-72 Pontiac A-body, RARE's version leaves a bit to be desired.

Last, whatever version you decide to purchase, there is significant power to be gained from having a pair of quality mandrel bent down pipes bolting up to the manifolds. You will leave quite a bit of power running muffler shop bent headpipes that kink down along the bend coming out of the headpipes. This tight bend coming out of the manifold needs to be mandrel bent. RARE currently sell sells a mandrel bent shorty headpipe section, so does PYPEs. For nearly the last 20 years, I've constructed the first foot of over a dozen pair of Pontiac headpipes using commonly avail J bend mandrel tubing. Not that hard to do with access to friendly muffler shop to make the flange, the rest is careful cutoff wheel work & TIG welding. Pontiac actually went the exact same route on the factory headpipes for the '73-74 SD Firebirds: flanged mandrel bent piece, then wire welded to the 2 1/2" diam headpipes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Last, whatever version you decide to purchase, there is significant power to be gained from having a pair of quality mandrel bent down pipes bolting up to the manifolds. You will leave quite a bit of power running muffler shop bent headpipes that kink down along the bend coming out of the headpipes. This tight bend coming out of the manifold needs to be mandrel bent. RARE currently sell sells a mandrel bent shorty headpipe section

PinionHead, do you have a link to this? I looked at RARE site and did not see them, plus I want to be sure I have the right idea of what you are talking about. I had a 67 with these factory and I don't recall a difference in the down pipes.

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,611 Posts
While all the factory '67-72 Pontiac Ram Air manifold equipped vehicles received the freer flowing RA manifolds, the head pipes still necked down some. Below are a few links. You can also purchase full length head pipes or systems from either.

R.A.R.E.

RA manifolds ('68-'70 A-body w 2.45" oversize outlets)
(Requires 3 bolt oversize cast flange for BOTH sides.)

Pontiac Ram Air Manifolds

Mandrel bent 2.5" head pipe extensions:

SHP-6 2.5" Short Mandrel Headpipe - Pipes & X-over Kits - Pontiac


PYPES

RA manifolds noted as '68--77 A-body/ 70-81 F-body 2.5" oversize outlet:

68-81 Pontiac Ram Air Exhaust Manifolds 2.5" RPE652H
(Oversize 2 & 3 bolt cast flange included)

Mandrel bent 2.5" head pipe extensions:

64-81 Pontiac 2.5" Downpipes w/HO-RA 2 & 3 Bolt Flanges DGA20S23
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
I went with the ones from Ram Air Restorations and they make them for the d port heads as well very pleased with them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Chipper, I think the consensus is Ram Air Restorations. I just need to determine if or when I am pulling the motor and kill two birds with one stone.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top