Primary tube size? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 17, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
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Primary tube size?

I've been searching the archives for header fitment and there are a ton of posts to weed through and everyone's fit seems to be different with similar set-ups.
When I bought the car, somebody before me had swapped out the 327 and installed a 454 but 30+ years ago without the internet, I didn't know about the difference in frame towers, cross-members, bell cranks etc... which weren't changed out as well. At some point back then I put in some Hooker 2 1/8" headers which fit fine and cleared everything great. Flash forward to the present, and after having the bent sub-frame switched out and all the SBC parts corrected with the proper BBC parts (Bell crank, Cross-member, Frame towers/Mounts) the shop that did the work dented the hell out of them to get them to fit.
So after researching the archives, I figured my best place to start would be determining the primary tube size that would best fit my combination before looking for header fitment.
427/4 speed/3.90 rear-end gears/10-1 compression
What is the formula for determining header size?
Thanks in advance, Jim
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 17, 11:04 AM
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Re: Primary tube size?

I'd stick with the 2-1/8". I have a 572 and went with Lemon's. When I called, I spoke with Dan Lemon himself - great guy and spent some time with me on the phone answering every question I had. Car is getting primed right now so it isn't together, but when I did a mock up, had lots of room even with my manual z-bar set-up.

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Tremec T-56 Magnum 6 speed
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 17, 11:13 AM
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Re: Primary tube size?

Are you running the car ??? If not, IMHO I wouldn't get too caught up in primary tube size. Fitment is a major concern with our cars. Lemons are great headers but be prepared to take out a mortgage LOL I have the Hookers 2457 and yes it is very tight by the steering box.

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 17, 11:19 AM
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Re: Primary tube size?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DT View Post
Are you running the car ??? If not, IMHO I wouldn't get too caught up in primary tube size. Fitment is a major concern with our cars. Lemons are great headers but be prepared to take out a mortgage LOL I have the Hookers and yes it is very tight by the steering box.
I wouldn't go as far as mortgage - maybe a couple Land Rover or BMW car payments
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'68 Camaro with RS conversion
Moser 9" with 4:11
Martz Chassis 4-link and Front Sub-frame
Tremec T-56 Magnum 6 speed
572 BB - CM Engines
Wilwood 6 piston front and 4 piston rear disc
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 17, 11:24 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Primary tube size?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DT View Post
Are you running the car ??? If not, IMHO I wouldn't get too caught up in primary tube size. Fitment is a major concern with our cars. Lemons are great headers but be prepared to take out a mortgage LOL I have the Hookers and yes it is very tight by the steering box.
Car isn't running yet but close. I've heard of Lemon's and checked some of their pricing a while back and if I recall they were over a grand. That's quite a bit. And as I recall they needed to be pieced together in the car or something?
I also understand from looking around that the motor needs to be broken in already because the break-in process possibly overheats the headers and voids the warranty? At least that's what the Hooker warranty says I believe.
So primary tube size isn't a big concern?
Thanks, Jim
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 17, 12:00 PM
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Re: Primary tube size?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Speed67CamaroRS View Post
Car isn't running yet but close. I've heard of Lemon's and checked some of their pricing a while back and if I recall they were over a grand. That's quite a bit. And as I recall they needed to be pieced together in the car or something?
I also understand from looking around that the motor needs to be broken in already because the break-in process possibly overheats the headers and voids the warranty? At least that's what the Hooker warranty says I believe.
So primary tube size isn't a big concern?
Thanks, Jim
If your motor isn't big enough, you'll lose low end torque with primary tubes that are too big.
If yours it set up like a stock big block car, Doug's D320 have one of the best fits. There was plenty of room in my car except on the passenger side. I had to move my fuel lines to the top of the subframe.

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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 17, 12:59 PM
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Re: Primary tube size?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Speed67CamaroRS View Post
Car isn't running yet but close. I've heard of Lemon's and checked some of their pricing a while back and if I recall they were over a grand. That's quite a bit. And as I recall they needed to be pieced together in the car or something?
I also understand from looking around that the motor needs to be broken in already because the break-in process possibly overheats the headers and voids the warranty? At least that's what the Hooker warranty says I believe.
So primary tube size isn't a big concern?
Thanks, Jim
My 396 has a custom hyd roller, yada, yada yada, LOL, (just trying to make a point here) Engine is rated at 540 hp. The 2 inch primaries (Hooker 2457) seem just fine to me. Also, I'm in no way trying to sway you the Hooker route. Just making a point about primary size. As far as warranty, I installed the headers (Ceramic Coated ) on my new rebuilt engine and never had any problems and or issues with the coating. Yes, there was something about break-in and the coating not being covered. Again, I had no issues. So to re-cap, you will be fine with 2 inch. 2 1/8 is usually competition headers.

1969 X66 396 LeMans Blue, M20, 373 (Sold)
1969 Convertible LS3 TKO 600, 373

Last edited by DT; Feb 2nd, 17 at 01:16 PM.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 17, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Primary tube size?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DT View Post
My 396 has a custom hyd roller, yada, yada yada, LOL, (just trying to make a point here) Engine is rated at 540 hp. The 2 inch primaries (Hooker 2457) seem just fine to me. Also, I'm in no way trying to sway you the Hooker route. Just making a point about primary size. As far as warranty, I installed the headers (Ceramic Coated ) on my new rebuilt engine and never had any problems and or issues with the coating. Yes, there was something about break-in and the coating not being covered. Again, I had no issues.
What's strange is after looking closely at the pic I posted, it seems I have Hooker 2457's. These were bought 25+ years ago. Not sure if they changed at all or that they offered different sizes with the same model number but I swore mine were 2 1/8". If you look closely between primary tube 3 and 5, you can see the stamping with 2457 on the flange.
I have a 67 but am using 69 BBC frame mounts/motor mounts which I understand work fine so long as they're both the frame towers and mounts are 69. I did run into a problem with my 3 groove crank pulley (3937787) sitting too close the sub-frame and went with a two groove 69 BBC crank pulley (3955291) to solve that issue. Could it be that the engine is sitting lower than it should? I can't imagine since 67-69 sub-frames are essentially the same.
I can't quite understand why 2457's work for some and not for others.
Thanks, Jim
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 17, 02:43 PM
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Re: Primary tube size?

Jim it does seem that there are variables with each car. Could it be the headers themselves as they are mass produced?? I bet yes. Having said that, many guys are not 100% sure what frame stands they have, reproduction or genuine GM etc. My car is an original X66 car with the original frame stands and the correct motor mounts. Are you absolutely certain you have the correct frame stands ?? BB cars are offset to the passenger side. Pass fender to center of air cleaner stud is usually around 24 1/2 inches.

Another option Jim is you can send your drivers side header to this place , they can rework the tubes. http://www.stainlessheaders.com/headerrepairmod

1969 X66 396 LeMans Blue, M20, 373 (Sold)
1969 Convertible LS3 TKO 600, 373

Last edited by DT; Feb 2nd, 17 at 02:55 PM.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 17, 03:08 PM
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Re: Primary tube size?

I think DT just nailed it. In the first post Jim stated that somebody else swapped in the big block 30 years ago. It's a pretty good bet they didn't put in the right frame pedestals.

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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 17, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Primary tube size?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DT View Post
Jim it does seem that there are variables with each car. Could it be the headers themselves as they are mass produced?? I bet yes. Having said that, many guys are not 100% sure what frame stands they have, reproduction or genuine GM etc. My car is an original X66 car with the original frame stands and the correct motor mounts. Are you absolutely certain you have the correct frame stands ?? BB cars are offset to the passenger side. Pass fender to center of air cleaner stud is usually around 24 1/2 inches.
Somewhere along the line when the car was running many many years ago I had swapped out to what I thought were BBC frame towers, before all the after market stuff was able to be purchased and before the internet where I could determine what they were (basically I took someone's word for it). I gave the shop these frame mounts to use after determining from the part #'s that they were BBC 69 Camaro towers. I suggested to him that I would get 67/68 BBC towers but he mentioned that so long as I have 69 motor mounts that it wouldn't make a difference. I also confirmed that with guys on this message board who gave me the same answer so that's why I decided to use them.
I'll check to see if it's offset when I get home. Somebody posted pics of how to determine the offset by using the center bolt on the fan shroud to the center of the peak on the windshield wiper cowling. From there wherever the air cleaner stud lines up, you can get a rough estimate. I'll try that as a starting point. I'll also measure as you've suggested.
Thanks, Jim
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 17, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Primary tube size?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Speed67CamaroRS View Post
Somewhere along the line when the car was running many many years ago I had swapped out to what I thought were BBC frame towers, before all the after market stuff was able to be purchased and before the internet where I could determine what they were (basically I took someone's word for it). I gave the shop these frame mounts to use after determining from the part #'s that they were BBC 69 Camaro towers. I suggested to him that I would get 67/68 BBC towers but he mentioned that so long as I have 69 motor mounts that it wouldn't make a difference. I also confirmed that with guys on this message board who gave me the same answer so that's why I decided to use them.
I'll check to see if it's offset when I get home. Somebody posted pics of how to determine the offset by using the center bolt on the fan shroud to the center of the peak on the windshield wiper cowling. From there wherever the air cleaner stud lines up, you can get a rough estimate. I'll try that as a starting point. I'll also measure as you've suggested.
Thanks, Jim

Here is the thread where I had asked that question a couple years ago.
https://www.camaros.net/forums/33-cam...nt-towers.html


Thanks, Jim
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 17, 03:53 PM
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Re: Primary tube size?

I've had , Dougs, Hookers, and Lemons. By far the best fitting header is the Lemon, especially in the case of ground clearance.


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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 17, 05:49 PM
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Re: Primary tube size?

The GM part#'s for a 69 BB are # 3950113 and 3950114

1969 X66 396 LeMans Blue, M20, 373 (Sold)
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 17, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Primary tube size?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DT View Post
The GM part#'s for a 69 BB are # 3950113 and 3950114
I'm finding that those numbers you've posted as early 69 BB frame mounts and the ones I have as later 69 BB frame mounts and also 69/70 Nova
Thanks, Jim
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