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I know this subject has been discussed a million times but!!!!

My engine has been modified - Webers, High Compression Pistons, Large Valves, ported head, distributor from Centerline (with a more aggressive advance curve!!!). According to Jim K's book - the next is thing is headers. Got the cast iron European pre '75 exhaust manifold on there now.

Should I not buy my wife a Christmas present and splurge on headers from Paul Spruell (any where else to buy equal length headers?) or stop this crazy "Got Have" condition that Alfa owners seem to have?????

Any advice would be most welcomed.
 

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LOL - yeah, that'll stop your "Gotta Have" condition for your Alfa when you suddenly "gotta have" someplace other than the doghouse to sleep.

If momma ain't happy, NOBODY's happy!
 

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John, John, John. Buy your wife a nice gift and save yourself some grief at the same time. I didn't listen to the wizards several years ago and am now living with the consequences of too much heat in the engine bay. Tri-Y headers sure look nice (as shown here: New Page 1 ), but they're a giant pain in a street-driven car. People told me that before I splurged. I didn't listen.

If you really feel the need for headers, though, take a look at the complete Alfaholics exhaust system. That's what I would have bought if it were available when I was in the market.
 

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Unless you car "lives" at 5500 - 6000 RPM like race cars do, then they would not be worth it. Take a step back and think about what is going on with your performance engine. As your engine speeds up, it begins to produce more and more "pulses" of spent gases. At very high speeds, the pipes that allow the gases to flow out quicker are more beneficial. At low speeds, there aren't even enough spent gases to fill up the pipes, and there isn't much back pressure, which you actually need. All headers are a compromise, and will work most effectively in only one RPM range. In all others, they are not ideal, but we've not been able to figure out how to increase and decrease the diameter of the pipes to keep them ideally matched to the engine's production of spent gases. The factory design is very good. You would only benefit from the race design, if you are going to be driving your car like a race car more often than not. (I really don't think you're going to drive around concentrating hard on ensuring that your RPMs don't drop below 5500-6000 through every corner or straight section of public pavement, and imagine what would happen if you come upon a stop sign or street light!)

Best regards,
 

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My personal experience with headers is leave them in the box. The Euro manifolds are pretty good. I would leave them in place and treat the wife to the ballet. Ballet!! Well maybe not me but you should.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Marital advice and Alfa advice - what more can a person ask for!!

Garry - after looking at the picture of your GTV, it looks so great that I am thinking I should install one, drive about two miles down the road to the AutoZone parking lot, open the hood, put a grin on my face and yell out "LOOK WHAT I GOT"!!!!

Thanks guys.
 

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About 1.5 square feet of sheet steel or alumninum, a few custom fabbed brackets, and some worm-screw hose clamps will greatly aid in reducing the in-bay heat issue. Kinda like what was once the stock shield, only different. The heat radiated from either type eventually equals out. (yes, headers undeniably heat up quicker because they are thinner material, but they don't end up getting any hotter than the stock stuff. They also cool faster for that very same reason. 5-10 minutes after shutdown they are cool enough to touch, while the stock iron sits there for much longer making heat soak. 6 of one, half dozen of the other :shrug: )

The leaks at the head generally comes from most headers not having the transmission support bracket built on/incorporated by design or otherwise into the setup as a whole which in turn allows all the header components to twist against things and eventually loosen up the head nuts and/or crush the copper gaskets into uselessness and letting the leaks begin. (not to mention the collector on the more common/cheaper aftermarket assemblies comes as a slip fit, which definitely should be welded or at least clamped very well if you're to expect any real sealing along with reduced flex of the upper tubes)

Doing a bit of harmonic pulse numbers crunching to get around your desired rpm range will help one deal with whether or not the under-body part of the header just before it goes to the collector needs to be shortened or lengthened will help deal with the 'they only work at high rpm' issues.

Just remember: the stock exhaust isn't all that bad to begin with (well, there is that bit in the S3 series that's rumored to be kinda junk in both durability and runner length) and headers are going to need some kind of effort besides just pulling them out of the box and slapping them on. (well, the more generic types anyway. I presume the Spruell type are much more highly engineered)

I got 'em. I like 'em. I wouldn't go back to any much heavier cast iron just to get rid of them.

Still, not going to try and twist any arms one way or t'other. Use what you desire or decide is best for your purposes.
 

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I didn't expect the high temps with the headers and ended up cooking two brake masters before getting the shielding right. I still need to add more to protect the steering box, alternator, and the guy in the Camaro at the stoplight next to me.

The headers I have seem to put the heat right where it will do the most damage. I'm sure not all headers create the same issues, because they are not all fabricated with the same bends, tube lengths, etc.

I'm not too worried about the weight of cast iron headers. If saving weight were the issue, I'd work harder to lose 30 pounds, which is about 28 more than the headers save. Now THAT would make both me and the car faster! Think I'll go get a cookie and plan my next diet.
 

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If saving weight were the issue, I'd work harder to lose 30 pounds, which is about 28 more than the headers save. Now THAT would make both me and the car faster! Think I'll go get a cookie and plan my next diet.
I got one of those exercise videos. I've been watching it every day for two months now - and I haven't lost ANY weight. What a rip-off!
 
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