With the GM Performance Ram Jet 350 and Hughes 700-R4 nestled in place, it's time for routing, bending, and fitting of the main arteries, or the brake, fuel, and exhaust pipes and lines. For the exhaust we wanted a tried-and-true muscle sound, as well as mufflers and headers that work, so we contacted Hedman Hedders and Flowmaster. What we received were Hedman's HTC Chevelle headers and set of American Thunder series Flowmaster mufflers, complete with pre-bent exhaust tubes and all mounting hardware to complete the exhaust from front to back. The only pieces that were fabricated on the exhaust were the pipes between the header collector and the first part of the exhaust tubing.
Craig Hopkins at Metal Finish USA fabricated the correct bends to make a perfect transition. The only other slight problem was one of the mufflers ending up against the lower bolt of the Hotchkis Performance rear trailing arm brace on the passenger side. This was quickly rectified by persuading the right side of the exhaust system inward slightly.
Brake lines, fuel lines, and transmission fluid lines all needed to be installed before the body was set on the chassis. Yes, you can install all of these lines after the body is on, but why not take advantage of being able to crawl all over the bare chassis instead of lying on your back or working above your head with the car on a hoist. You can also cruise into your local parts store and buy all of these lines in bulk and use your imagination to bend and clamp them into place, or you could contact Classic Tube of Lancaster, New York, and receive pre-bent-to-factory-specs stainless steel, or OEM-style steel lines. Aside from the bends necessary for shipping, these lines are sized and bent to fit right in. Hopkins took full advantage of the fact that the engine and trans could easily be pulled out and set off to the side while he installed the front brake lines. Why not make things as easy as possible, right?
Last on the list for this month's coverage will be to install both dipsticks and the accelerator cable and kickdown cable, all of which was supplied by Lokar Performance Products out of Knoxville, Tennessee. Lokar was first famous for its Street Rod shifters and emergency brake handles and cables and has in the past 10 years or so expanded its line of aftermarket products greatly. Lokar's cables and dipsticks can be ordered in various lengths and sizes with either braided stainless steel sleeves or black rubber.
I promise, the last part of this segment is going to have the body finally bolted down and looking like a car again. Just think, before too long some lucky contest winner will be flying down the freeway on his or her way to a local cruse night or car show, enjoying all the hard work and long hours that went into making this Chevelle a true aftermarket parts success as well as a real eye-catcher.