Well, my exhaust is finally done! It wasn't easy, but it turned out great. The shop I went to does quality stainless steel work and custom installations. They mostly work on C5 Corvettes. They actually hand built my muffler. It is all stainless and is a similar design to the stock, single muffler. It mounts in the stock location and is tucked up behind the gas tank, out of sight. The rest of the system consists of 2-1/2" aluminized pipe with an h-pipe crossover.
The system was custom fabricated, not an off the shelf system. The pipes run on top of the x-brace, with angles mounted to the top of the brace. It turned out great and i'm sure would not have been something the Midas shop could have done too well.
Now the headers. What a pain. After all the reading of posts concerning headers (which to buy, which will fit w/PS and AC, etc) I was all set to buy the ceramic coated Hookers. But- I took a chance on some Dynomax headers. They were thicker gage and were supposed to fit my car no problem. The price was right and I figured I would get them coated after the shop fit them in.
Well guess what- surprise, surprise, they didn't fit. Lucky for me, I didn't have them coated first.
I immediately returned them and ordered the Hookers. The Hookers competition series were here the next day, and fit great. There is about an 1/8"-1/4" between the header and the PS box, but it clears! The AC box has plenty of room. I used the required AC bracket for the rear of the compressor. I'm not sure what some of the others posters were doing to get so tight on the AC box, unless Hooker has changed their tooling or something. I also installed copper gaskets and stainless steel head bolts. It turned out great.
All in all the system sounds and looks great. Its not too loud, just loud enough. 2-1/2" was the perfect size for my car. The Hooker competition series worked for me. The clearance is great, but at first the drivers side header hung a bit low. I replaced my springs, added Koni shocks and went to 15" wheels and that did the trick. I think it was the shocks actually that made the difference, since my car wont dive anymore. Hope this helps those looking for headers…..
You can view my exhaust at my website, go to page 5:
[This message has been edited by mr69 (edited 05-30-2001).]