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  1. #1
    Member gedmeyer's Avatar
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    Default '81 Exhaust - Hooker Headers

    I'm starting to lean towards getting my exhaust done for my '81 with a 383. Currently, I'm running a stock exhaust. I have spent a good deal of time going through a mind numbing number of threads about exhaust, but at this point, it'd probably be quicker just to ask.

    I would like to get a good set of headers (ceramic coated) and run true duals to a good set of mufflers out back. I plan on using stainless steel for the pipes and mufflers.

    How are these Hooker Competition Headershttp://store.summitracing.com/partde...67A6344F96C%7D)
    Does anyone have experience installing them? I've got a 4spd with A/C.

    Next question, what's the best approach for the rest of the piping? I was thinking 2.5" all the way back with some kind of crossover. Would it just be prudent to get everything done at a local shop? I can't weld myself.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Member 81 Corvette's Avatar
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    i went with dynomax ceramic headers. I don't know if hooker is better or not, but i'm budget minded. That said, I love em. They sounded sooo sweet before the exaust was bolted on.

    Install is a breeze on an auto, but i'm not sure how a manual tranny will affect it. I'm sure someone can answer that. Plan on 3 hours.

    I have flowmaster 40's on the rear. I like the sound. Not to bad on the inside, but when you stand at the rear of the car, you can really hear them and feel the ground vibrate.

    No matter what header you choose, its an absolute must to get high quality gaskets and bolts. I put on the gaskets and bolts that came with the headers and less then a week after install, i'd burned one gasket up and had bolt after bolt coming loose. Percy's dead alluminum and stage 8 locking bolts took care of that problem.

    here is some info from my install
    http://corvetteforums.net/eve/ubb.x?...1&m=8586048163

  3. #3
    Member gedmeyer's Avatar
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    I see that the dynomax ceramics have been popular too. Is 2.5" pipe the right diameter for the rest of the system?

    As for the mufflers, I DEFINITELY want a strong sound, but I don't want to deal with resonance in the car. I do drive the car regularly and I do not want to have my ears ringing after every time I drive (not to mention being able to talk to ladies I'm trying to impress with the car! ) Also, I want to make sure the muffler fits right underneath. I would like the back end to appear completely stock.
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  4. #4
    Member 81 Corvette's Avatar
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    Lets just say, with the 40's and the windows down, forget about trying to have a conversation on the highway. Mostly wind noise tho. With the windows up, itís not too bad. Personally, I really like the 40's. You can defiantly hear the exhaust at a stop light with the windows up or down, but interior noise isn't bad, but the sound when standing to the rear of the car is excellent imo.

    I just did a quick side by side comparison of the headers, and I did notice that the individual pipes take different routes from the exhaust port to the collector. But I'd be clueless as to which is better.

    I'm sure someone will chime in with a diameter opionion. I'd say 2.5 is enough, but to be honest I don't know.

    As a side note, have you thought about side pipes? In a way, I kind of wish that I would have went this route. The total cost with headers and pipes look to be comparable. Only bad thing is leg burns and the noise.

  5. #5
    Robin7TFour
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    Ged, i would like to add my 1/2 cent. have you thought about a chambered exhaust? a mellow sound really nice tone at slow speeds ,but barks when you nail the throttle.
    my sidepipes are chambered and was quite suprised they were as loud as i was expecting. i am sure the out the back would be even better,since they won't dump right next to your ear

    Robin

  6. #6
    curtis
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    running Hookers on my 76 4-speed.Easy install, but if I remember right the right side had to go in from the bottom. ASk Summit about Hooker mandrel bent dual exhaust. Mine fit nice. No welding.

  7. #7
    Member Vette/Berlina-coupe's Avatar
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    Default Ebay to the rescue....

    -here's a source i found on Ebay whereby you get a beautiful pair of Holley/FlowTech's(BowllingGreen, Ky.) silver-ceramic inside/outside-coated 16-gauge/Headers made just for pre-C4-Vettes (click on pix below), ---for $200 !!! (-say you're from CAC-forum, -that may even include shipping!)
    contact Seller(MikeWaller): " headersforless@hotmail.com "
    ~Bob Vonheck (have NO association, -am awaiting shipment of my order; --later: -the pair just arrived, they certainly appear to be very nicely made, clean welds, and the sweep-back formations actually look nicer than Hookers!) Note also, that if you fabricate an H-pipe proximal the tailpipes attachment point (close as possible), it will quiet-down any adverse 4-cyl.-throbbing sound, -whereby you'll hear a smoother 8-cyl's. from each pipe instead of a cobbly-sounding 4-cyl's. !!


  8. #8
    Member CyberVette81's Avatar
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    I just installed Hedman HTC ceramic coated headers, removed the cat, ran true duals and ended with SS Magnaflow mufflers. It is a great set up. Sounds sweet and improved the performance. This car sounds the way a Vette is supposed to. Hedman was the first company to come out with the ceramic coat so the quality is top notch. Hooker is a great brand but kind of pricey.
    I actually did not do the work myself. I had an exhaust guy do the installation. He ran 2-1/4 pipe and said 2-1/2 would actually diminish a little HP. Just my 2 cents. Good luck with the change.

  9. #9
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    how is your motor built?? a mellow build will do better with 2 1/4" exhaust, and a higher HP build will like the 2 1/2" duals. Headman, Dynomax, Hooker, etc. are about the same except for the price. i had Dynomax headers in my dual system, no complaints. you may want to look at the Dynomax Ultra Turbo Flow mufflers. they are stainless and fit better than stock. the sound is deep and soft at idle and cruising speeds, a little loud at wide open throttle, but nowhere near as obnoxious as Flowmaster 40's. remember the old police cars of the early 70's?? that is the way the Ultras sound. i think they will suit your needs perfectly. mid-pipe kits are getting harder to find, so an exhaust shop may be cheaper than ordering a kit. Brian

  10. #10
    Member gedmeyer's Avatar
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    My motor is a 383 stroker now. The basics: stock heads, 9.6:1 compression, Comp Cams Magnum 270H cam. The engine should be in the mid 300hp range. I don't know if I would call it a higher HP build, but it isn't mild either.

    As for the old police car sounds of the early '70s... Can't say as I had the pleasure of witnessing any of the '70s! (I'm a young'en)

    To spread out the cost a bit, I am debating getting the headers this summer and just adapting them to the current exhaust. Then I can finish the job in the spring or early next summer.

  11. #11
    '81 Exhaust - Hooker Headers Bob Chadwick's Avatar
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    I have the Flowmaster Delta 50's with Dynomax headers. I went with 2 /14 inch pipe becuase of the low HP of the car. I was told that this size was good up into the high 300's. Any bigger with my setup and I ran the risk of loosing low end torque.

    Good sound with just the slightest amount of resonance at around 1,500 rpm.

  12. #12
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    Tim,

    with that build i would lean to 2 1/4" exhaust. it will give you better throttle reponse and more low end torque. clearing the rear diff is an added bonus of smaller pipe. if you plan on replacing the heads and turning the motor to 6000 rpm, then look to the 2 1/2" system. as for mufflers, i like the Dynomax Ultraturbos. they flow about double what Flowmasters are rated for with a more mellow sound. Flowmasters will give a good muscle sound, but they are more prone to resonate. either way is a far cry better than stock. Brian

  13. #13
    Member 81 Corvette's Avatar
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    as for muffler noise, I had someone at work comment that they could always tell where my car was.

    I still don't think its too loud in the cockpit, but maybe i'm just deaf

  14. #14
    Fishman
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    I have the Hooker Super Comp cermanic coated headers, true-dual 2.5" pipes, and Flowmaster 30 Series mufflers. On the front end is the ZZ crate motor with loads of power. It all seems to work well together.

  15. #15
    Member Space Cowboy's Avatar
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    I contacted Hot-Jet directly and ordered a set of Hooker Super Comp. 3" and had them apply they're process. The set shipped in a week ago and THEY ARE SEXY! They're not called Hookers for nothing! LOL! I can't wait to get them in with the new block.

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