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Keeth, your headers look like Shankles which are good. They helped my Spider make 170 HP on pump gas with little 40DCOE Webers.
Shankle published HP at 1000 rpm increments for the stock manifold and his headers. There was improvement throughout the range and was greater at higher rpm.
 

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Replaced my cat on my 82 with Flowmonster(gone now), and I do have a header, but replacing my cat was the best improvement. That's the Achilles! They are over 30 years old.
 

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I agree about cats. They are not required in South Carolina.
 

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What a great thread- I always learn so much. Living in California you can only make modification to the exhaust on cars from 1975 and older do to our smog laws. Change out exhaust every two years is not a task I think anyone would want to do! For us California’s with S3 spiders we just have to live with it. What a fun form!


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Discussion Starter #26 (Edited)
Even though I live in California I think I am going to do it. A 2 hour job every two years doesn't seem so bad.
When alfaparticle mentioned that they looked like Shankle headers I was convinced. My first Spider was a '74 I bought new in '76 and I lived in L.A. Shankle engineering was about a 30 minute drive away. Spent a lot of time and money there! Good people, great products. I think at one point my '74 had more Shankle parts than Alfa parts!
 

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They are very well constructed. Mine have been in continuous use for over 20 years. They are designed for a wide torque band with relatively long secondary pipes.
 

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But will I notice THAT much of a difference?
You might notice more under hood noise and heat but that's about it.

There seems to be something in the male genome that's says must...…….have...…….more...…….horsepower. Problem is, engine mods have by far the worst return on investment in making any car faster (if that's what one's goal is in the first place). For average Joes like you and me driving around in decades old 4 cylinder road cars, the best return on investment, BY FAR, is honing the operators driving skills.
Then, other mods in order of improvement gains include, brakes, tires, suspension and alignment. Engine mods are at the bottom of the list.

Would I mind a few more horsepower in the GTV? Probably not. But I also know that it won't get me anywhere any faster. So it'd probably just be for bragging rights.
Bottom line is, if I feel the need to get from the house to the corner store 1.6 seconds faster, I'll take the late model econobox which accelerates faster, steers better, has more lateral acceleration AND better brakes than the 50 year old Alfa.
 

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Discussion Starter #29 (Edited)
Jim...all good points.
My take on it is this. Here in northern California this car will spend 80% of it's time on windy forest/mountain roads.
Having spent 15 years racing Formula Vee, Formula Ford, and Formula Atlantic, I still live for the torque induced "power to the ground" exit from the corner.
Yes, I should have bought my neighor's Lotus Europa for the handling, but entry and exit for a 69 year old man was becoming an issue. So Alfa #5 was my best choice.
The car already has upgraded springs and shocks. Feels fine to me. Which in my thinking means that it keeps up with me.
Would I pay for a set of headers? No. But then, they are just sitting here.......
 

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Discussion Starter #30
One more question before I close up this thread...
If I get lazy and decide not to install these, and can confirm that they are Shankle, does anyone have a ball-park figure I should expect t on eBay?
 

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One option would be to sell this car and buy an earlier Spider with the better from factory exhaust manifold ...
Pete
 

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Having spent 15 years racing Formula Vee, Formula Ford, and Formula Atlantic, I still live for the torque induced "power to the ground" exit from the corner.
The car already has upgraded springs and shocks. Feels fine to me. Which in my thinking means that it keeps up with me.
Certainly not an average Joe then!
So, just invoke the 'tinker rule'. This rule states that anyone, anywhere, can tinker with anything they choose whether it needs tinkering with or not.

My personal experience with our 1989 S3 Spider was the stock exhaust manifold cracked at one of the downpipe studs. I replaced the manifold with a pre-1975 two-piece Alfa manifold. The new downpipe had an O2 fitting and a freeflow cat was fitted.
And in a word, WOW! The phycological performance gain was off the charts!! The actual performance gain was, well, I thought from then on that the car felt slower at times. Of course, I've zero supporting data here; it was just a 'feeling'.
My thought for this lack of performance increase was the Bosch L-Jetronic EFI system. While it was (is) a pretty darn good analog system, it was designed to run within a very strict set of values. It is not sophisticated enough to adjust fueling outside of it's programed values. Changing exhaust backpressure may have been outside of the value for which the L-Jet could compensate. Hence, too lean a mixture at larger throttle openings.

If you do decide to tinker, please let us know!
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Papajam...once again, you provide the level headed, unemotional, voice of logic and reason. I think you are on to something there. It seems that these cars were always designed as an integrated system, and if you touch here, you effect there!
And I am going to admit some of my issue is cosmetic. When the PO had to replace the headers here, he bought a used manifold from alfaparts.
#4 had a crack and the repair weld is ugly. And the manifold has surface rust.
So I am going to pull it off, grind down the weld, repaint the stock manifold and put it back on.
If I can sell the headers it will go a long way towards getting new carpets in the car and that will make my wife happy!

Anyone need some headers? :smile2:
 

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L-Jetronic can cope with significant improvements to engine efficiency. Rich Hanning posted his experiences about a year ago. He replaced the stock manifold with the two piece type, he changed pistons to Motronics and he changed camshafts to a pair of Richard Jemison's performance cams. He did not modify L-jetronic in any way and it controlled the Air Fuel Ratio correctly to produce a significant gain in torque and horsepower. He posted about it here: https://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/spider-105-115-series-1966-1994/603794-88-spider-air-fuel-ratio-confirmation.html
There is a very high probability that L-jet will work very well with your headers but there is only one way to be absolutely sure :grin2:
 

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Is there no way you can smog check or otherwise get permission to run anything but the original exhaust manifold?

In NZ you can get engineers certification approval for modifications. Yes it costs money and time but once done the car is legal again, with the mods.

I watch a lot of American hot rod building shows and it appears that you can do anything ... ??
Pete
 

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Sorry to be Johnny Raincloud again Ed but you're comparing apples to cheez-its.
This thread is about changing only ONE component; the headers. L-Jet simply can not compensate enough.
Now, throw in a set of cams too so that the intake breathes better, the L-Jet will increase fueling based on the increased airflow through the AFM. Result? More umph.
This is why bolting on a single component can (and often does) result in disappointment. It takes a thought out package to produce a good package.
 

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Jim,
Improving the scavenging will allow more fresh fuel/air into the combustion chamber in place of the residual exhaust gasses. Improved scavenging will result in more air flow during the overlap period and L-Jet will add fuel to compensate. These two things will result in more torque.
 

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Let me dispel the rumor that you will fail a California Smog test with a header. I have have had no problem passing smog over the past eight years. Wait, I take that back, I once failed a smog test because I did not have that **** timing pointer and was instructed to go to the state referee and get it smogged there. The State Referee went over that engine for an hour with two trainees. He noticed the header and he also noticed I do not have a stock air box. I Fabricated a new air box as the original was 1/4 of inch away from the header and got hot. The new one is now 6 inches away from the header and double the air inlet opening. In the end, the State Referee passed it as he said, it ran clean, I had that emissions canister in the right front fender, and I do not need a timing pointer. Go figure.

As for can you feel the difference with just a header mod? I say no, but that cast iron one on the series three just doesn't look right.
 

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Cool, bolt the bloody header on!
Pete
 
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