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 Post subject: Shorty Header for V8 Conversion
PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 7:34 pm 
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I finally get the smurf thing
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Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 7:57 pm
Posts: 216
Rockwerx
Posted: April 28 2003,3:05
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I know that these headers will fit the SBC in the 2WD Safari/Astro vans.

Hedman part numbers
#68600 shorty header
#68606 shorty header ceramic coated
#68608 shorty
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Astrocious
Posted: April 28 2003,4:54
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1990 AWD EXT w/LO5 350

I am using the header set from Racecraft, not that they have the tube size I wanted, but because I knew they would fit in there from Racecraft's info. I believe that they are built by FlowTech and the specs are 16 gauge 1 1/2" tubes w/2" collector's & 3/8" flanges. They fit in nice and snug, (after notching the pass shock mount), and exit about where the stock manifolds did, (if I remember right they were about 1/2" - 1" wider at the tips then stock). I was not able to find any other headers that would work in the AWD during my research, that is not to say there are not any out there, just that I could never find a set that someone could come right out and say, "yeah, those will fit!".

The Racecraft/FlowTech's do fit.

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SoCalli V8
Posted: May 02 2003,3:19
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I run Doug Thorley tri Y headers from a `91 Chevy pick-up on my van, they provide extra torque for towing, which is important to me. They fitted fine, and I just had to modify the Y pipe so that it didn’t hit the cross member.

I nervously paid $250 for them, brand new at a swap meet (reg $500+), unknowing at the time if they would fit my V8 Astro, luckily they did.

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5-speed-Astro
Posted: May 02 2003,2:05
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If you're worried about the starter, it's just the solenoid that gets cooked. You can bypass the GM's starter mounted solenoid and use a remote firewall (or fenderwell) one from a Ford. There are quite a few pages on the net on the subject, complete with diagrams. A much better cure than adding a heat shield.

Edit by e7ats 9/20/06

Painless Performance has these remote solenoids. http://www.painlessperformance.com

Image

Another site for info on remote solenoids.

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AstroRS
Posted: May 02 2003,10:53
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I use Gibson SS shortie headers from a chev pick up.
They fit fine...except I cooked the solenoid within a month of installing them...I put on a heat shield wrap from DEI and never had a problem since.

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Lockdoc
Posted: May 11 2003,11:21
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These are the correct headers for the AWD V8. Flowtech 91830FLT

UPDATE: I have them now for my AWD. Hope they work! They come with an adapter so you can still use your flexpipe to heat the intake air and they have a provision for the O2 sensor.

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Astronut
Posted: May 28 2003,11:05
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I have been running the Summit brand 350 V8 Camaro headers for a late 70s Camaro. $79 ,these are long tubes not shorties however,1.5 primaries ,3" collector. Been using the same ones for 4 years (bout 80,000miles) now, still running the original stock V6 starter and solenoid, never cooked anything or failed to start. Works for me..

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ssfari
Posted: July 03 2003,2:24
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I used the cheap flowtech headers for a mid 70's chevelle. After 14,000 miles starting to get the header leaking problem. I am thinking about going to a early mid size chevy stock cast iron manifold. I am tired of the exhaust leaks. But... if I could find a quality manifold, that doesn't leak why not try. That’s what’s it all about. Tweaking here and there.

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Lotsokids
Posted: Sep. 01 2003,7:09
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I've had Hedman 68600 headers installed for just about 30,000 miles now. I even have ABS. The Hedman's come about 1/4 inch from the ABS "box," so now I am guaranteed my brake fluid won't freeze. Ha Ha. A couple things to note here...

1. It would be wise to install some locking header bolts since they tend to loosen with vibration over time.

2. Use copper exhaust gaskets. They are worth the money!

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SafariRob
Posted: Sep. 01 2003,12:03
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When I put the 305 into my 89 Astro I decided to check into headers other than Heddman 68600. The local car parts place had an off brand header set for a 71-89 Camaro so I tried them. Unfortunately, the driver's side header hit the engine mount-- there was no way it could be used.
I see that others are happy with the Heddman 68600 shorty, but I'd still like to have full length headers-- it seems to me that exhaust pipe plumbing would have to be easier with full headers.

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Astro SS TPI
Posted: Oct. 29 2003,8:45
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I am using Flowtech Corvette long headers 4 to1 with 1,5 '' outlet 3 inch.
Only problem is spark plug change in cylinder 4 and 6, but is it still possible change it.

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ylg
Posted: Oct. 29 2003,6:29
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I use Hooker 2460 made for '90 Camaro.

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SoCalli V8
Posted: Nov. 08 2003,1:54
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Quote (Lotsokids @ Sep. 01 2003,2:09)
Quote:
1. It would be wise to install some locking header bolts since they tend to loosen with vibration over time.

2. Use copper exhaust gaskets. They are worth the money


Actually, the header bolts loosen, due to the expansion and contraction of the header flange, which is at a different rate of the cylinder head.

Locking bolts are a very good choice to use, especially when using aluminum heads.

When comparing header makes, choose the brand that has the thicker mounting flange, << less prone to warp age and distortion.

Copper gaskets are also a good choice, however I haven’t used them myself, because I’ve always had good results with using the Doug Thorley heavy duty gaskets.

When fitting new or especially used headers onto your motor, have the flanges checked for "flatness" and belt sanded or machined FLAT.

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SafariRob
Posted: Nov. 20 2003,11:41
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I can't get the middle ports on either side of my Hedman 68600 shorty headers to seal properly against the 305's heads, and I've tried several gaskets. Grrrr!
Furthermore, some of my web readings on the Hooker header site (and others) have indicated that shorty headers are only slightly better--if that-- than the original exhaust manifolds for increasing torque and horsepower. If I understand what I've read correctly, the only real way to go is with a full length header.
So, I'm going to ditch the 68600 Headmans and run with a full length set.
Of course, there's no application by any header manufacturer that I can find that lists a small block in an Astro.
I decided to drop Hooker a note and ask them if they had any suggestions at all for a full length header. It took a week to get a response, and here's what they said:

>Hello
>Sorry i do not offer a set.
>Thanks

Not what I had hoped for.
So, I've tried again, this time with Dynomax. It will be interesting to see what they say and how long it takes them to respond.
I'll keep you posted.

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Rockwerx
Posted: Nov. 21 2003,12:56
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That is what they told me when I emailed them. Same with Hedman. If you can afford them try a set of Doug Thorley headers. Tri-y's. They work very well. I have always wanted a set for one of my machines.

I have heard of a few van members who have had poor fitting 68600's. Mine sealed perfect at the heads, but it has blown out a few collector gaskets in the past.

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OcP
Posted: Nov. 21 2003,5:10
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I have the hedman 68600's on both my astro and my caprice flanges came real stright and flat I used the gaskets and bolts that came with them on both cars never had a problem yet.

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SafariRob
Posted: Nov. 21 2003,11:56
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Adding the V8 to my van has been my first experience with headers. When I got the Hedman 68600s, I was concerned about the finish on the gasket side of the flange-- it looked to have been done by a shaky guy with a hand grinder. That concerned me but the supplied gasket was thick, so I thought this was the way the headers were supposed to be. Big mistake on my part.
So now, I want to get a set of real headers and I want to see how they're made first before buying. The only problem is that no place around here stocks headers, they have to be ordered. Yeah, I could order and then refuse any header if it didn't look good to me, but it would be nice if a store had a couple of representative header examples from a manufacturer.
Anyway, I've got it in my head that if the header flange isn't machined smooth like the original exhaust manifold was there will be leak problems. Maybe not at first, but eventually.
So, anybody know of a header manufacturer who machines the flange smooth-- no 'welded O rings' as Hooker says.
Oh yeah, Hooker. I had expected more from them when I ask my question. Certainly the topic of small block headers on an Astro has come up many times before I asked them about it. And certainly there are Hooker headers that will fit my application well. I guess I had expected a more 'hot rod' attitude out of them. Something along the line of " We don't have a listing for your application, but we understand that others have used our xxxx header with no problems."
I'm anxious to see what Dynomax has to say.

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AstroRS
Posted: Nov. 21 2003,6:22
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The gibson headers I bought had a smooooth flange...lined up perfectly...at 70,000 kms later, I still have no leaks.

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SafariRob
Posted: Nov. 24 2003,7:08
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Here's my reply from Dynomax concerning the availability of headers for a 305 swapped into an 89 Astro:

"Thank you for your inquiry for Dynomax Exhaust. We appreciate your
interest in our products. Unfortunately we do not offer a header that will
fit in a Chevy Astro van with an engine swap of a 305.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact our tech
line at the number below.

Thank You,

Lisa Kortz
Lisa Kortz
Dynomax Performance Exhaust
Installation Technician

Tech Line Number For a Dynomax Dealer Near You
1-734-384-7806 1-734-384-7807"

Well, definitely better written than the reply from Hooker even if the result is the same.

I've decided to go with exhaust manifolds.

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Rockwerx
Posted: Nov. 27 2003,1:18
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One other thing Rob.

DON'T USE 305 EXHAUST MANIFOLDS ON YOUR 310!

Get some 350 manifolds! I am serious! Those "log" style manifolds are the worst manifold Chevy ever designed!

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SafariRob
Posted: Nov. 27 2003,12:09
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So I've read, too, Rocky. I'm not pleased about using exhaust manifolds but my header experience has been dismal.
I'm not just talking about the leaks I've experienced with the Hedman 68600 headers, either, although that's the biggest reason. It really strikes me wrong that both Hooker and Dynomax are quick to tell me that there is no header application available for a V8 swapped Astro. Both companies have to be aware that people are using their products in a swapped Astro. If either company had made a header suggestion I would have thought higher of them.
I considered just getting a full length header and going with it. But the time and expense (and the cold out in the driveway) just say no.
I think Glenn hit it on the head-- use exhaust manifolds and the crossover from a similar year full size van and build an exhaust system around that. It sounds like something I can do relatively quickly in the driveway. Later, once I've gotten all the bugs out of the engine, I can come back to headers, if I want.

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OcP
Posted: Nov. 28 2003,7:37
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Rob the thing is I bet the people answering the emails at those companys is just some stupid girl (I am not saying all girls are stupid) who drives a honda and never changes the oil. So she looks on the computer and sees it doesnt list a astro and writes you back telling you what you already know.

Take the headers back you got from the summit super store go there and makes sure the new ones have flat flanges. You dont want sucky manifolds.

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SafariRob
Posted: Nov. 29 2003,12:57
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I guess I thought that a header manufacturer would at least make a suggestion as to which header would work even if the application had no listing in their catalogs. I can understand a retail store not being able to do that, but the manufacturer is a different story.

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Rockwerx
Posted: Nov. 29 2003,1:52
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I believe that I know why they do not tell us what they already know. They do not want to be liable for any problems that may or may not happen.

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SafariRob
Posted: Nov. 29 2003,11:01
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Yeah, they're just covering their butts, I know. Still, it's discouraging. I would've loved it if, after I got the official 'no-go' email from Hooker or Dynomax, one of the employees there dropped me a line saying, "This is the header that a lot of guys are running who have the same setup as you. No guarantees, but it might be what you need." Now that would be customer service!
Actually, I wish header manufacturers would give more complete specs about their products. It would be interesting to be able to compare photos and dimensions of the various headers that are made for the Chevy small block.

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Rockwerx
Posted: Nov. 29 2003,2:42
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If you have a set of maniflods that look like "logs" then those are the 305 type manifolds. They do not flow very well. The log style manifolds really cork up any engine that they are on. I have lots of those crappy manifolds here at the ranch...can't even give them away!

The 350 manifolds dip down from each cylider port. The best ones that I have used I took off a '92 Chevy pickup with the LO5 engine. These manifolds have a 2.5 inch outlet. These are better than the ones that I have on my V8 Astro. The 350 manifolds that I used for it were off of an '81 350 Chevy van...only 2 inch outlets...they still flow better than the log style manifolds though.

Hope this helps someone! Image

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SafariRob
Posted: Dec. 02 2003,11:22
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Quote (Rockwerx @ Nov. 29 2003,8:42)
Quote:
If you have a set of maniflods that look like "logs" then those are the 305 type manifolds. They do not flow very well. The log style manifolds really cork up any engine that they are on. I have lots of those crappy manifolds here at the ranch...can't even give them away!

The 350 manifolds dip down from each cylider port. The best ones that I have used I took off a '92 Chevy pickup with the LO5 engine. These manifolds have a 2.5 inch outlet. These are better than the ones that I have on my V8 Astro. The 350 manifolds that I used for it were off of an '81 350 Chevy van...only 2 inch outlets...they still flow better than the log style manifolds though.

Hope this helps someone! Image


Rocky, the company mechanic loaned me his Dorman catalog; in it are pictures of the aftermarket exhaust manifolds offered. From what I've gathered so far, there are exhaust manifolds that are shared by the 350 and the 305. These manifolds are the type that dip down between the exhaust ports and empty out the rear. The exhaust manifolds that I was thinking of getting off a 305 equipped full size van at the junkyard also look like this. Must be the better designed style, right?
Oh yeah, the catalog also lists rams horn style exhaust manifolds, but I think there would be clearance problems between the engine mount adapters and the manifold outlets-- especially on the driver's side.

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Rockwerx
Posted: Dec. 03 2003,1:18
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Check out the diameter of the outlet, but I think that you are on the right track with the ones that dip down between the exhaust ports. I just checked the ones off of the '96 Tahoe and I was sad to see that they are quite restrictive. The outlet is only 1 5/8 on these manifolds. The ones on my '85 Astro had two inch outlets. They came out of an '81 full sized Chevy van.

Did you try and return your headers? Maybe they will swap you some better ones.

Did you get the Olds Cutlass yet? It's a two door right? Or you wouldn't be thinking of it. LOL They make a nice project car.

Good luck Rob!

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AstroRS
Posted: Dec. 03 2003,12:29
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Rob..SOrry for the delay in the reply...

THe Gibson headers part #'s I used were GP100S.

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SafariRob
Posted: Dec. 03 2003,12:38
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Doc d'Roc ( I french-fried your name to freak out Peter! Hee, hee),

I'm going to get back out to the junkyard and yank the exhaust manifolds from that full size van and do a little measuring. If I like what I see, I'm going to put them on the Astro. I still like the idea of headers, but I'm 99.9% leaning towards exhaust manifolds.

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Rockwerx
Posted: Dec. 03 2003,1:36
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If you wanted a quieter van then the cast iron manifolds will quiet things down a lot. Even though I have high flow mufflers on my '85 V8 Astro it is a lot quieter to drive than my V8 Safari.

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SafariRob
Posted: Dec. 29 2003,10:17
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Got a set of exhaust manifolds from a 350 sb today at the junkyard; cost me $20 each. I dropped them off at the welders to have the exhaust pipe studs removed with that always subtle, but ever persuasive touch of intense heat that welder types wield so well. I'd like to find stainless studs for this application when I put them on my Astro. Anybody know of a source for 3/8ths-16 x 3inch stainless steel studs?

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SafariRob
Posted: Jan. 11 2004,1:09
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Got the exhaust manifolds back from the welder this weekend; they did a fine job of getting the old studs out. They also had a source for 3/8ths-16 by 2 1/4 inch stainless studs, too.
I took the manifolds to a local engine rebuilding place and ask them to grind the gasket surfaces. I had never seen this done before, so I ask if I could watch. I figured it would be an involved process requiring clamping the manifolds into a special jig, setting up a milling machine, and... Nope, the machine used looked to me to be a big belt sander and the manifold was held by hand against the water cooled belt. Frequent eyeballing told the operator when the gasket surface was ready. It was all kind of a surprise to me, but the manifolds look good.
Now, if the weather will co-operate a bit and I get the time, I'll drop the shorty headers off and install the manifolds. Then it will be time to see how an 89 Astro Y-pipe fits up to the V8 exhaust manifolds.

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rlester
Posted: Jan. 27 2004,3:25
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Which factory V8 exhaust manifolds fit directly to the astro factory exhaust pipes? Sorry if this has been answered already, I'm on a dialup here, it takes forever to go through these posts.

Was it a full size van? What years should I look for? What is a good way to identify these manifolds?

Ryan.

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SafariRob
Posted: Mar. 01 2004,12:28
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Ryan, I never saw your post turn up as 'new'-- sorry about not answering you before now.
I'm not sure what vehicle the exhaust manifolds I got came off of; the junkyard had them on the shelf in their office.
They look like a longer version of the V6 manifolds, though. I'll know more after I get them installed. With the weather finally so accommodating, I yanked the headers off today and began to put the manifolds on. I got as far as the passenger side manifold before dark. Hope to get back at it this week.

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SafariRob
Posted: Mar. 05 2004,2:58
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With the break in the weather, I've gotten back at the Astro sitting out in the driveway and have started to put the exhaust manifolds on in place of the 68600 headers.
You may remember that I've had nothing but trouble with header to head exhaust leaks even though I finally installed copper gaskets. Once the headers were off it wasn't too hard to see what the problem was-- the exhaust port holes in the gaskets were too large to cover all of the header port gasket contact area. I held up a Mr Gasket header gasket against the header flange and it also had the same problem. It never occurred to me to check the flange gasket against the header for proper fit before installation. I guess I should've known better.
However, I also found out something else with the header removal; there wasn't a tight flange bolt anywhere, even though I took pains to get them all as tight as I could during the install. It looks to me like keeping the header flange bolts tight would be an unending job.
So, I'm not at all sorry about installing exhaust manifolds. I've got the passenger side manifold on right now and I would have the driver's side on, too, except for one problem: the heavy duty bracket I made to secure the rear of the power steering pump is right in the way of the manifold. It worked fine with the header, though. Need to indulge in a bit of fabrication, it seems.
Excuse me while I go out and flop around in the driveway.

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SafariRob
Posted: Mar. 05 2004,11:37
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Got in my quota of driveway flopping today and have the steering pump bracket ready to be welded. I'll take it to the welders tomorrow and see if they can weld it while I wait. If so, a coat of paint will be applied (gray, of course!) and the bracket installed. After that the manifold goes on followed by the Y pipe.
Can it be that I'm finally going to make some progress? Gotta work fast though, the weather is supposed to get nasty again.

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SoCalli V8
Posted: Mar. 06 2004,2:57
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I and everyone here appreciates your updates Rob, thank you!

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SafariRob
Posted: Mar. 07 2004,10:31
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Just my luck to get one that doesn't fit so good. I did manage to get the Y-pipe on, but I'm not convinced it'll be leak free at the manifolds. That Y-pipe needs to be tweaked into the proper shape.
Oh, one other thing-- the flange bolt spacing on the V6 Y-pipe is 2.75 inches; the spacing on the V8 manifolds is 3 inches. I fixed that mismatch by hack sawing the Y-pipe flange holes into slots.

Sigh, the weather got nasty and chased me away from the Astro. Maybe next weekend...

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SoCalli V8
Posted: Mar. 20 2004,3:52
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Quote (SafariRob @ Dec. 03 2003,6:38)
Quote:
Doc d'Roc ( I french-fried your name to freak out Peter! Hee, hee),


Haha!.... don`t worry Pete the freaky Greek will never show up here, `cos we are postin` technical stuff!.....

This is good info

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ASTROJOE LT1
Posted: Mar. 20 2004,12:05
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SafariRob, I had the same leaking problems you had with the 68600 Hedders. I to used copper gaskets thinking they would be the best for the application. Boy was I wrong about that. I finally cured my leaking problem by using Doubled up Felpro Gaskets and I retighting the bolts several times after a couple of heat cycles.

Just my .02

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SafariRob
Posted: Mar. 21 2004,11:55
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Astrojoe, if my second attempt at sealing the header flanges had worked, I probably would have taken the issue of loosening bolts in stride. This was my first attempt at using headers on anything and it wasn't a good experience. Glad you found something that worked.
I may come back to headers eventually, but for now OEM style single exhaust looks good to me. I've come to realize that swapping in a V8 is easy, it's the exhaust system that makes or breaks the whole project.
By the way, I used Fel-Pro gaskets when installing the exhaust manifolds. Those gaskets really are top notch-- they must have been designed with the limited access of an Astro/Safari in mind! Well done, Fel-Pro.

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peter
Posted: Mar. 13 2005,9:51
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Uhh alright, and? How'd it turn out, fer cryin' out loud?
Geez, it's like taping a movie and losing the last 5 minutes....

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SafariRob
Posted: Mar. 13 2005,10:28
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Hmmm, guess I never did report back in after installing the exhaust manifolds... Well, It's been a year and the manifolds did the trick; there hasn't been any problems with the exhaust system. The Y-pipe, after a bit of massage, sealed fine against the manifold outlets. It all works so well that I don't even think about it--that's when you know you've managed to do something right!

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peter
Posted: Mar. 13 2005,10:53
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Did you notice more/less power after switching to 350 manifolds?

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[b]SafariRob[b]
Posted: Mar. 13 2005,12:19
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It didn't seem to affect the power one way or the other. But you have to take into consideration that the transmission in my Astro is really poor. There's engine RPM flair and slippage between shifts, so I find myself cussing at it a lot. The engine still doesn't come alive until about 2300 RPM; no change there between the headers and the manifolds.
With the headers and turbo mufflers, the van was really loud. It definitely turned heads. But you could still hear the exhaust leaks at the header flange--that's a sound I sure don't like to hear.
This was my first experience with headers and I was surprised to hear the headers ring. Not a bad sound necessarily, but I wasn't expecting it.
So, I'm happy with the manifolds, single exhaust, and the Dynomax muffler the van now has. I love the sound of the Dynomax; it's subtle until I get on the throttle and then it wails. Gotta love that.
I'm not saying that I wouldn't try headers again, but before I reconsider using them I want to have all the niggling engine details worked out. And I won't consider cheap headers next time. The header flange will have to be substantial and machined smooth on any header I think about buying in the future.

_________________
2003 AWD ASTRO Personal van


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 Post subject: Re: Shorty Header for V8 Conversion
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 1:44 am 
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I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van

Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2013 4:46 pm
Posts: 3
Well, I'm not big on headers for the street if decent manifolds are lying around. But the 1980 Chevy V8 I put in my Safari van has real junkers - those over the top restrictive things. To boot, the pass outlet is too close to the starter for my comfort.
You posted good info on the Headman headers that will fit Astro/Safari. The Headman (6800 I think it was) looks similar to the Speedmaster Chrome Headers for Chevy truck, PCE316.1023. The Speedmaster's are listed for only $110 and are Chrome, 16 ga, with 3/8 flanges. Probably a dumb question, but do you think they'd work? I'm not running some fat automatic trans - I'm using an old Monza five speed I've had in stock for years.
JT


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 Post subject: Re: Shorty Header for V8 Conversion
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 2:31 am 
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I have my van tatooed on my cheeks
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Posts: 2795
The Astro T5's are a special off set shifter and bell housing because a the Astro's one of a kind offset driveline.Using anything else places the shifter in a unusable location.

viewtopic.php?f=57&t=146

_________________
1979 Malibu drag race only car
1999 Sonoma 4.3 5 speed-Rufus
1989 Astro-Ole Yellar cancelled-still selling off parts
1985 Astro-shop van R.I.P. my friend
1994 Astro LT RWD W4.3 rod knock RIP
1982 Winnebago single rear wheel-Chevy 350 Scraped 1/28/13-broken dreams......


Rochester,NY


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