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Discussion Starter #1
I been dealing with an exhaust leak forever. I tried new copper gaskets and instead of having 2 cylinders leaking it became 4. Well I finally figured out that the problem is the headers.

I have a 454 in there with 781 heads. I been buying square port exhaust gaskets because the exhaust ports are square. So today I take the headers loose and hold up my new copper gaskets to the head and they fit like a glove. On the header it is no good. Can see daylight on the bottom while holding the gaskets up to them on # 5,6,7,and 8.. I have the hooker 2457 headers. They appear to be a roundish port design.

So what I am trying to figure out is if I should try round port header gaskets, but would that make my performance suffer because it would block flow. Or should i look for new headers? If so should i go with the hooker 2455 or will there be fit issues? On the summit website it does not have 68 camaro listed for that header.

Thanks for any help.
 

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Buy a set of Percy's dead soft aluminum gaskets for D shaped ports. They work great ! Your copper gaskets should work though. Do you have a picture of the gasket on the headers ?
 

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Discussion Starter #3


Here are the old aluminum ones that blew out.



You can see how they made contact at the top but barely anything at the bottom.
 

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Wow ! Those headers are just plain wrong ! If you wanted to attempt to fix them, you would have to slot the bolt holes to line them up. What happens if you use the gasket from the other side and face the embossed (raised) portion against the header ?
 

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My bad... the gaskets are the same. I was thinking of a mirror image. (which is wrong)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well I've come up with an idea.

I was thinking of having a friend TIG weld the primary tubes on the outside of the flange and then I could grind and file the raised welded ports on the inside of the flange. That would give me a flat and even surface to mate to the heads. Also this would allow me to port match the flange also.

Would it be possible to TIG weld these with all the contamination on the inside from having them in service for about a year?

From what I remember, I dropped these headers in from the top. The only problem I remember having was the flange hitting the headbolts. So I had to pull them out and grind several times.
 

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If the headers are that far off of the exhaust ports they are killing power.

I would buy new headers but if you want to stick with these you may be able to slot the holes in the header flange or fill the holes and drill new holes in the proper location.
 

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I would send those pictures to Hooker and ask them why they made such a bad header ! You can't be the only one with that problem. Maybe you can get a new set at a discounted price or something.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I am just thinking the headers are not for the 781 heads since they are a round port and my heads have a square port.

I'm not opposed to getting a new set of headers. Its just that I spent a long time making the exhaust to connect with those headers. If I get a new set what are the chances that the collectors end up in the same spot?
 

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Your headers look d-shaped or square to me. Hooker should be able to supply you with the same header with the mounting holes in the correct spot.

If you want to fix what you have, lay the gasket on the header as it should be, and mark your new holes and drill them or elongate them !
 

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I had the same problem with some headers on my last 454. I stacked a set of graphite-impregnated facing and a steel-expanded metal core gaskets. Exhaust manifold gaskets on head and header gasket on header. Gasket sandwich worked like a charm no more leaks. You still have to do the heat cycle tighten sequence like any header gasket but once that was done no more leaks. My headers were cheep junk.
 
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