$projecthp
  • Hooker Side Exhaust Headers or standard headers:
  • Hooker Side Exhaust Headers or standard headers:
  • Hooker Side Exhaust Headers or standard headers:
  • Hooker Side Exhaust Headers or standard headers:

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  1. #1
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    Default Hooker Side Exhaust Headers or standard headers:

    I need some help to make a decision on which to go with. I really like the look of the side exhaust. My concern is how much noise will they be compared to my standard dual exhaust that I have now. I'm sure they will be louder, but my concern will they be to loud for ME. I like to listen to my music and like to be able to carry a conversation when I have a passenger.
    Even if I went with the quitest inserts they make, how much louder do you think they would be over what I have now which is pretty much standard stuff? Twice as loud, more?
    I would appricate any input. Thanks,

    Also, is it true that I should get a little more horsepower gain with a good set of straight back headers versus the side exhaust??

  2. #2
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    I just made the same decision. All of my research on the various sites showed that a good set of side pipes like the hookers can flow very well. The drawback is that to quiet them down you have to put restrictive mufflers in them. For example you can get the Hooker glasspack mufflers that make them quiet but they have shown to kill hp. I have also seen dyno charts that show the hooker Maxflo (the ones i went with) only gave up 10hp on the top end but they are just a little on the loud side. just remember ANY restriction you put in the exhaust flow will rob power. Also look into the STS spiral baffles. Supposedly they make the noise bearable without killing HP too much. very expensive though. Plus you have to get the heat shields to keep from scalding your legs.

  3. #3
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    No question that with Hooker side-mount headers you get a big dose of the C3 road racer look. Combine that with lower ride height and flared fenders and you have a bad looking Corvette, but...

    The sidepipes will be much louder than a "standard" dual exhaust without headers. It is also true that once you add the "slip-in" mufflers to the Hooker's big side pipes, there is significant exhaust restriction and power loss.

    Another aspect that most don't consider is that the primary pipe length on Hooker side exhaust headers is too long for best performance.

    If power is what you want, a good set of under-chassis headers and a 2.5-in exhaust with an X-pipe coupled to some Flowmaster mufflers is the way to go.

  4. #4
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    Thats why I bought the maxflos for my 454HO big block. Every dyno sheet I found on the hooker pipes and maxflo vs open headers showed less than 10 hp lost on the very top end with those. Glass packs or the very quiet reverse flow would show a whole lot more. Might be different for a small block.

  5. #5
    Moderator KANE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 401KVet View Post
    I need some help to make a decision on which to go with. I really like the look of the side exhaust. My concern is how much noise will they be compared to my standard dual exhaust that I have now. I'm sure they will be louder, but my concern will they be to loud for ME. I like to listen to my music and like to be able to carry a conversation when I have a passenger.
    Even if I went with the quitest inserts they make, how much louder do you think they would be over what I have now which is pretty much standard stuff? Twice as loud, more?
    I would appricate any input. Thanks,

    Also, is it true that I should get a little more horsepower gain with a good set of straight back headers versus the side exhaust??
    I found these on Youtube for you...

    82 Vette with Hooker sidepipes-
    YouTube - 1982 crossfire corvette hooker pipes

    Hooker sidepipes vs STS baffles-
    YouTube - Hooker Sidepipes: Glasspacks vs STS Baffles


    Hope this gives you an idea what the sound like.
    1982 Chevrolet Corvette , 350 2k RPM Stall Converter + Updgraded Transmission + Governor Set For 5,450rpm Shifts 3.73 Code 42 Dark Mettalic Blue with a twist

  6. #6
    Member 401KVet's Avatar
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    Ok, let me see if I understand this with the help you guys have given me. If I go with straight back headers and mufflers, I may gain up to 20HP and at the same time I might get a little better gas mileage, Right?
    It I go with the Hooker side exhaust headers, the HP gain and increased MPG will most likely be cut in half. Also at the same time, even if I go with a quite insert, the noise with most likely be at least double.
    Is this correct, or close??
    Thanks again.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 401KVet View Post
    Ok, let me see if I understand this with the help you guys have given me. If I go with straight back headers and mufflers, I may gain up to 20HP and at the same time I might get a little better gas mileage, Right?
    It I go with the Hooker side exhaust headers, the HP gain and increased MPG will most likely be cut in half. Also at the same time, even if I go with a quite insert, the noise with most likely be at least double.
    Is this correct, or close??
    Thanks again.
    JMHO... but it is more of a trade off.

    Under car exhaust with a good crossover pipe (h-pipe, x-pipe), high flow headers, and high flow mufflers will result in better performance.

    On the other hand... side pipes are awesome. And really, really LOUD. Like artillery loud when you get on it.

    So, really... it is up to you, what you like, and what you plan to do with the car.
    1982 Chevrolet Corvette , 350 2k RPM Stall Converter + Updgraded Transmission + Governor Set For 5,450rpm Shifts 3.73 Code 42 Dark Mettalic Blue with a twist

  8. #8
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    Well I plan to look at it, and DRIVE it. LOL I guess I want the best of both worlds, but it sounds like that is not possible. I really like the side exhaust look, but I also want a fair performance gain. I
    I want to be able to listen to music and be able to talk in the car without screaming, and without having the side pipes on and running, I don't know if they are going to be too loud.
    I do take long trips, 1000 miles plus. Will the louder noise drive me crazy on such a trip? I don't know.
    What to do, what to do.

  9. #9
    Moderator KANE's Avatar
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    Once you have side pipes... it is really hard to go back. You get to where you miss the noise- that is, if you liked it!

    I've debated on putting an SLP loudmouth on my Trans Am for those very reasons. After having owned two C3s with sidepipes... I miss the noise. My advice is to invest in a quality stereo so that you can crank it up over the exhaust when you need to.



    Actually, what I'd like is to have a straight pipe running through my crossflow muffler so that it only looks stock.
    1982 Dark Blue Corvette
    Crossfire Injection | .496"/.495" Cam | AFR Eliminator Heads | EBL | 3.73
    0-60mph in four and a half seconds



    1995 Trans Am
    1 of 1 Trans Am | 100% documented | RPOs 48U, MN6, and GU6
    1982 Chevrolet Corvette , 350 2k RPM Stall Converter + Updgraded Transmission + Governor Set For 5,450rpm Shifts 3.73 Code 42 Dark Mettalic Blue with a twist

  10. #10
    Hooker Side Exhaust Headers or standard headers:
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    Quote Originally Posted by 401KVet View Post
    Ok, let me see if I understand this with the help you guys have given me. If I go with straight back headers and mufflers, I may gain up to 20HP and at the same time I might get a little better gas mileage, Right?
    It I go with the Hooker side exhaust headers, the HP gain and increased MPG will most likely be cut in half. Also at the same time, even if I go with a quite insert, the noise with most likely be at least double.
    Is this correct, or close??
    Thanks again.
    You'll be lucky to gain half of that with headers, as long as you have mufflers on the car; headers are designed to be used with open exhausts, and you lose all the beneficial effects of scavenging as system backpressure rises. About all you're going to get is a different sound, more underhood heat, more heat through the firewall, burned plug wires, and the recurring opportunity to change header flange gaskets.

    John
    '67 Convertible

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnZ View Post
    burned plug wires
    And burned legs too! I forgot about that one.
    1982 Chevrolet Corvette , 350 2k RPM Stall Converter + Updgraded Transmission + Governor Set For 5,450rpm Shifts 3.73 Code 42 Dark Mettalic Blue with a twist

  12. #12
    Member lars's Avatar
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    Here are my notes and observations with the Hooker Sidemount System from an earlier post. Take it for what it's worth:

    After waiting 2-1/2 months for Hooker to deliver a set of polished SS Sidemount Headers (after promising each week that they were shipping the next week), I have finally taken delivery of these little gems.
    I guess I should realize that if I'm only paying $1,000 for a set of headers, I shouldn't get my hopes up in terms of fit and quality... I mean, what could you possibly expect for only a grand..? A small block in a Vette chassis must be a pretty rare combination since Hooker can't figure out how to make them fit. Nor do they care.
    My engine is a 400 small block in a fully rebuilt '64 frame/chassis. Engine mounts are new, the engine is in the correct location (which I have verified dimensionally), and all chassis parts are stock. Building a set of headers that fit this engine/chassis combination is not a difficult thing to do. Nor is verifying product quality and fit of the end product.
    Here are my factual observations of this manufacturing joke and travesty (Hooker Sidemount headers are built in Mexico):
    The appearance of the headers as received was marginal. The welds are wire-fed MIG welds, and look like they were done by my 12-year-old grand daughter on career day at school (actually, her TIG welds look better than these Hooker MIG welds). The polish job is inferior to what I do on my "Eastwood" polish wheel setup in my garage, so I re-did the entire polish job before mounting the headers.
    The headers don't come close to fitting. They bolt up to the heads just fine, but they interfere with chassis components by as much as a full 1/4 inch. No kidding. Hooker can't build a small block Chevy header that fits within a freakin' quarter of an inch. Do they not have a jig...? There is a full 1/4 interference with the steering box, the pitman arm, and the idler arm. 3 header tubes have a 1/4" interference and have to be modified to avoid the chassis components. There are several inches of free space on the opposite sides of the tubes - it's not a tight fit at all - Hooker just plain ran the tubes in the wrong place and ran them right into the suspension and steering components. Simply garbage design and manufacturing. No excuse for this.
    Once the tubes were modified to avoid massive chassis contact, it was apparent that my Hooker sidepipes (for an additional $430) were not going to fit: The exit point of the headers did not match the bracket configuration of the pipes, resulting in the pipes hanging at a severe angle to the body: they did not run parallel to the centerline of the car in the vertical or horizontal axis. Not even close. Upon measuring the location of the left and right header collectors, the right collector was 1" (ONE INCH) higher than the left collector. Further, the right collector was 1/2" further outboard from the frame than the left collector, for a total dissimilar displacement from right to left of an inch and a half. You gotta be kidding me.
    I have now fabricated new frame standoffs for mounting the sidepipes so they run parallel with the frame and with the collectors. I have used a Porta-Power, concrete anchors, and hydraulic rams with chains to bend the collectors into their proper location so they point straight aft. I have modified my header tubes to avoid chassis contact. And I have polished my tubes and headers. I have thrown away the garbage gaskets that were supplied with the headers (after all, I only paid $1000, why should I expect good quality gaskets for that price..?) and I have installed good gaskets that don't leak.
    When I finally went to install the sidepipe clamp bolts that secure the sidepipes to the header collectors, I found that Hooker had welded the bolt clamp hole closed during their sloppy welding - I guess the 7-year-old on field day at the factory that day was not properly supervised. I removed the pipe and opened up the hole, removing the weld slag, on my drill press. Upon attempting to install the hardware, I found that Hooker had supplied fine thread bolts with coarse thread locknuts. They really did not need to spend the money on locknuts since the coarse thread bolts will lock themselves onto the fine threads bolts with no problem.
    Hooker and Holley should be ashamed of themselves. This type of "product quality" is a disgrace to those of us paying hard-earned money for an expected standard of quality.
    Shame on you Hooker & Holley. I hope Barry Grant and the custom header builders kick your butt. (Hooker is owned by Holley, for those who don't know)

    Follow-up post:
    The Hooker system looks very good when mounted – don’t get me wrong. The point is that the installation, “tweaking” and mounting can be a tedious process requiring more than a few wrenches and a screwdriver. I used a Port-a-Power, concrete floor anchors, a chainfall, floor jack, hammers, a drill press, tap-and-die set, and a ton of patience and fabrication ability to remove and install the headers 5 times before they fit right. The sidepipe mounting hardware supplied was junk and did not allow alignment of the sidepipes, so I fabricated all new mounting hardware including thick, ¼” stainless threaded frame inserts and adjustable stainless mounting studs to interface with the supplied rubber cushion mounts. Here are the final results:
    Here are the headers mounted to the engine after being “tweaked” a bit:


    The sidepipes were mounted on custom made standoffs to make the pipes run level and parallel to the frame rails:


    I was lucky to be working on this with the body off the chassis – I can’t imagine doing this amount of work from the bottom of a complete car:


    So, after an extensive wrestling match between me and the Hooker SuperComp Sidemount Headers & Sidepipes as outlined in this post, I have finally managed to get the system installed on the car, eliminate all the interference points using a Port-A-Power, floor anchors, a chain fall, and 2 hydraulic rams, I have fabricated custom sidepipe standoffs to get the pipes parallel to the frame, bent the collectors to equalize the height from left to right sides, cut my rocker panel moldings, and polish them out along with a little painting. Here are the final shots of the end results:
    2 more days of cutting, tweaking, and polishing of the rockers produced the finished product:

    Sidepipes installed with modified rocker moldings – moldings were cut, sanded and polished on the top surfaces, and given a satin black epoxy coating below the polished surfaces. This accented the polished pipes nicely. The adjustable pipe mounts were used to make the pipes perfectly parallel to the modified rockers:


    Lars
    Lars in Denver

  13. #13
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    I put Hooker sidepipes onto my 81 which should be very close to the 80 the OP has; I had no fitment problem. My wife and I put them in about two hours; an extras set of hands is good to have, but not required.

    Noise level:
    I have the Hooker Maxflo and they are are not too bad except when winding out 1st gear. Forget about talking or a conservation when doing this. Once into 2nd and on...not a problem. Cruise is fine.

    You must get heat shields for the side tubes....this is a MUST. With heat shields there is no burning of legs. And working on your engine with it running you quickly learn where the collectors are at behind the front tires and where to put your feet.

    You can be loud if you want....if not...do not wind-out 1st gear and you are fine.

    I have black ones that match the trim panels as I did not want something else to keep polished.

    Trouble with my 81 and I think your 80 is the routing of the exhaust. Left side comes over to right, becomes one through the cat and then back into two in front of the differential. So much for equal length following that route.
    The deep seat pans of the 80-82 makes routing straight back from headers a challenge. I have seen it done, but they are low.

    Good luck with you decision.

  14. #14
    Member 401KVet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LannyL81 View Post
    I put Hooker sidepipes onto my 81 which should be very close to the 80 the OP has; I had no fitment problem. My wife and I put them in about two hours; an extras set of hands is good to have, but not required.

    Noise level:
    I have the Hooker Maxflo and they are are not too bad except when winding out 1st gear. Forget about talking or a conservation when doing this. Once into 2nd and on...not a problem. Cruise is fine.

    You must get heat shields for the side tubes....this is a MUST. With heat shields there is no burning of legs. And working on your engine with it running you quickly learn where the collectors are at behind the front tires and where to put your feet.

    You can be loud if you want....if not...do not wind-out 1st gear and you are fine.

    I have black ones that match the trim panels as I did not want something else to keep polished.

    Trouble with my 81 and I think your 80 is the routing of the exhaust. Left side comes over to right, becomes one through the cat and then back into two in front of the differential. So much for equal length following that route.
    The deep seat pans of the 80-82 makes routing straight back from headers a challenge. I have seen it done, but they are low.

    Good luck with you decision.
    Thanks for your input. It sounds like Lars may have had a pair of defective pipes, maybe the reason he had such trouble with the fit.
    What type of Horsepower gain do you think you gained? Any gain on gas mileage??
    Thanks again, Glenn

  15. #15
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    Good reading. Thanks for starting the post.
    I've been tossing the same question with my '82. With the info provided, think going headers and straight back pipes under the car is the way for me.
    Cheers!
    -MOo!
    Miss Evette
    Likes fitter81 liked this post

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