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Hello All,

I have a Sperry tuned (stage 5) Alfa GTV 2000 that had a Sperry header which unfortunately broke apart & can not be repaired. I am looking for another Sperry header or something equal to it. I currently have an International Auto Parts header under the bonnet but this is only so I can keep driving her until I find a proper replacement. She is definitely no where near as loud and she doesn't seem to pull as hard as w/ the Sperry. I have herd of the Paul Spruell header but I prefer a 4 into 1 config, not saying that he doesn't make an excellent product . I currently have a Stebro exhaust which is absolutely brilliant. My Alfa is set up for fast road & track days, so I need performance!! Saying all this (sorry to bore you all), can anyone PLEASE help out ??

PS I live in the Finger Lakes area of upstate NY, so if there are any talented fabricators that could make me a custom header I would be most interested.

Cheers,

Mick

[email protected]

727 366 3239 Cell
 

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Mick,
The Sperry headers were actually the ones that Shankle Engineering made... Shankle was bought by AR Ricambi, who are still in business (1-800-225-ALFA), although I don't know if they still carry them. There is really nothing mysterious about the headers. In fact, there are several long-time performance outfits who could supply you with equal headers. You should try Alan Ward (Ward & Deane Racing), or Wes Ingram (Ingram Enterprises), or Jack Beck (Orion Motorsports), and I'm sure that Centerline also carries the same design... Do note that the original headers came in 14 ga. steel, and the newer ones are now made of 16 ga. steel.

Best regards,
 

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Dennis at Norman Racing makes very good headers too. Not a stock item, but they make them to order.

Andrew
 

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Hi Mick,

While my friend Enrique may have information on earlier Sperry products, the headers pictured in my 1998 Sperry brochure as "our new headers" are not the style made by Shankle, Ricambi, IAP etc. These are the classical 4 into 2 into 1 design (4-2-1). The Sperry headers are a 4 into 1 design (4-1) which, as you know, are an entirely different style. The description is "Primary tubes that step from 1 5/8 to 1 3/4". Paul Spruell has a very nice 4-1 design header on his current website, so you may want to investigate this.

I have a 4-1 header, made by the late Gary Valent, on my autocross spider but the primary tubes are only 1 7/16 in. diameter and I'm looking for more efficiency. On advice of Wes Ingram, I am installing a Centerline 4-2-1 header with a Burns collector. I'm trying this as a lower cost alternative to a Spruell header, which still apears to be one of the best available. Of course, you could buy an anti-reversion header from Jack Beck, but these are around $1400.

Mick,
The Sperry headers were actually the ones that Shankle Engineering made... Shankle was bought by AR Ricambi, who are still in business (1-800-225-ALFA), although I don't know if they still carry them. There is really nothing mysterious about the headers. In fact, there are several long-time performance outfits who could supply you with equal headers. You should try Alan Ward (Ward & Deane Racing), or Wes Ingram (Ingram Enterprises), or Jack Beck (Orion Motorsports), and I'm sure that Centerline also carries the same design... Do note that the original headers came in 14 ga. steel, and the newer ones are now made of 16 ga. steel.

Best regards,
 

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A downside of the Spruell headers is they give off a lot of heat into the engine bay. Gary Williams has posted about his experiences with them. They are a true racing design that may not be the best choice for road applications.

The IAP headers are said by some people to shroud the exhaust ports causing a loss of power. I have not owned them, so this is just second hand information.
 

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Yeah, but Gary has a GTV while true enthusiasts like us have Spiders where the heat doesn't affect us. Seriously, Mick already has a Sperry 4-1 header, which I believe is very similar to a Spruell 4-1, so he has already addressed the heat issue or it isn't an issue to him. The 4-1 headers I have on my '76 Spider don't seem to cause excessive underhood temperatures.

And, to Mick: You mentioned using a Stebro exhaust which may have a stock pipe diameter. Did you use this with your Sperry Header?. It seems that a larger diameter exhaust would work better with a very efficient 4-1 header (like a Sperry or Spruell). Here's a quote from Paul's website:

"You will love these Spruell headers! I had a set of his headers back in the

middle 90's when he first started producing them, I used them in my

74 GTV going into a street flowmaster and 2.5" out the back. Very

nice sound but was too loud at Lime Rock, their sound limit was

around 93db and I came in at around 95-96db at the end of the

straight, thus the black flag. But I liked the headers so much that

I bought another set for my '67 GTV with a 2.0 engine.
"


A downside of the Spruell headers is they give off a lot of heat into the engine bay. Gary Williams has posted about his experiences with them. They are a true racing design that may not be the best choice for road applications....
 

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Mick,
The Sperry headers were actually the ones that Shankle Engineering made... Shankle was bought by AR Ricambi, who are still in business (1-800-225-ALFA), although I don't know if they still carry them. There is really nothing mysterious about the headers. In fact, there are several long-time performance outfits who could supply you with equal headers. You should try Alan Ward (Ward & Deane Racing), or Wes Ingram (Ingram Enterprises), or Jack Beck (Orion Motorsports), and I'm sure that Centerline also carries the same design... Do note that the original headers came in 14 ga. steel, and the newer ones are now made of 16 ga. steel.

Best regards,

the shankle headers are nothing like the "bundle of snake" 105 sperry headers. so im not sure where your getting that info from.

a couple of months ago i went to tried to get a batch sperry headers made without any luck. yes i do have access to the original jigs.
 

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the shankle headers are nothing like the "bundle of snake" 105 sperry headers. so im not sure where your getting that info from.
I getting this from my personal experience, as I do have a Sperry Stage V head, headers, and I also met John Shankle and Mike Sperry in person, to discuss and implement the mods in my Spider... This was in the 1980s... From reading the post from fellow BBers it is obvious that Sperry sold two types of headers; the 4-2-1 design and the 4-1 design... As others have pointed out, it does look like Mick needs the 4-1, and not the 4-2-1 as I had originally surmised...

Best regards,
 

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I thought this went out yesterday. I was wrong about the Spruell header being a 4-1. It is a 4-2-1, as the image illustrates. FWIW, I also have an old Sperry brochure with a picture of his header. I will see if this will scan, and post later today.

The Spruell header is NOT a 4-1 design FYI, it is a 4-2-1.
 

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Aren't virtually all Alfa headers 4-2-1 (other than Giulietta Berlina and some smog-era spiders)? That's the best for extraction, is it not, on a single-plane four-cylinder engine, pairing 1-4 and 2-3?

4-1 is common on American V8s with dual-plan cranks.

Andrew
 

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Well, apparently Mike Sperry thought 4-1 was best. Here's the image I promised:

Aren't virtually all Alfa headers 4-2-1 (other than Giulietta Berlina and some smog-era spiders)? That's the best for extraction, is it not, on a single-plane four-cylinder engine, pairing 1-4 and 2-3?

4-1 is common on American V8s with dual-plan cranks.

Andrew
 

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Hello, George.

In your earlier post you mentioned a "Burns collector." Could you explain what this is?

Thanks.

-David
 

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I getting this from my personal experience, as I do have a Sperry Stage V head, headers, and I also met John Shankle and Mike Sperry in person, to discuss and implement the mods in my Spider... This was in the 1980s... From reading the post from fellow BBers it is obvious that Sperry sold two types of headers; the 4-2-1 design and the 4-1 design... As others have pointed out, it does look like Mick needs the 4-1, and not the 4-2-1 as I had originally surmised...

Best regards,
so are your still claiming the shankle and sperry headers are the same?

well i used to visit mike and stewart at his signal hill shop, paid shankle a visit a few times too when they where way out in chatsworth and then in glendale. im not sure what this has to do with anything unless they have specifically stated they are the same headers.


years ago i use to have shankle headers on my spider and a few months ago had a set of sperry headers and sperry jigs in my hands to see if i can get a batch made. if memory serves, the shankles i had on my car dont look anything like sperrys. the sperrys have a lot more segments welded togther hence the higher cost of fabrication.


please advise if shankle have a version the sperry "bundle of snake" headers. it can save us alot of hassle trying to get more made.

cheers

db
 

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I have Shankle headers on my Spider and I have the original documentation for them. They look a lot like Centerline headers. I also have old Shankle catalogs and there is no sign of "bundle of snakes" headers. I doubt that Shankle ever sold anything like them.
 

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A downside of the Spruell headers is they give off a lot of heat into the engine bay. Gary Williams has posted about his experiences with them. They are a true racing design that may not be the best choice for road applications.
QUOTE]

I think most performance exhaust headers let out a fair bit more heat.......
the material used is thinner (i.e. 304 stainless steel).
the ones I have fitted have a few spots of my skin left on them from checking bits and pieces.
Had to fit some heat protection over some of my wiring to the battery etc to stop my new headers melting them up.
 

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The best way to reduce heat from headers is to have them JET-HOT coated. The process seals both the inside and outside, keeping the heat in. The finish looks good, and under hood temps stay down. I was thinking that the stock manifolds produce a huge amount of heat, far more than what I get off my JET-HOT coated headers on my track car who's exhaust temps are greater than 1200 degrees (caused the ceramic coating to change colors, but it still works well.)

You could wrap them, but then any moisture gets caught in the material and will rust the headers anyway. Plus when it gets a little old, it starts to look ugly.

Just my $.02,
Will
 

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Hi David,

The Burns collector will replace the 2-1 joint in a 4-2-1 Centerline header I am installing on my '76 Spider. This is claimed to offer more power and torque. Burns Stainless The collector is fabricated after filling out a detailed spec sheet for your individual engine and its modifications. I was fortunate to be able to use someone else's spec sheet. The merge joint between the two inlet pipes appears to be very carefully crafted, and there is a slight megaphone section at the outlet. I plan to do some chassis dyno runs after installation.

Hello, George.

In your earlier post you mentioned a "Burns collector." Could you explain what this is?

Thanks.

-David
 

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