The exhaust system is responsible for evacuating the spent gases and other byproducts of combustion from the engine. If you consider the intake system, be it carburetion or fuel injection, as the "inhale," then the exhaust system is the "exhale" when it comes to engine breathing. And easier breathing equates to more power and a better running engine.
Changing the exhaust manifold or installing tubular exhaust headers on a big-block engine may, at first, seem to be a daunting task. Really, it's not that hard if you do things in a logical order, have the right tools, and take your time. In this article I'll show you how to install both of these exhaust solutions on a '67 427 coupe.
Corvette Central was our source for the high-quality foreign reproduction exhaust manifolds and the superb custom-welded tubular headers along with the gaskets, studs, and other requisite hardware.
Before we go on to the installation procedures, a few words about safety: An integral part of this installation involves getting under your Corvette to disconnect the exhaust system from the manifolds and then reconnect the exhaust system to the new manifolds or headers. Never get under your Corvette (or any other vehicle) unless it is properly supported with jackstands. The hydraulic trolley jack is meant to elevate the vehicle, not support it once it is elevated. Nothing can ruin your day as quickly as having your Corvette come crashing down on you while you're underneath it!
Regardless of whether you're replacing manifolds or installing headers, the installation procedures for both are similar, and both are shown here.
What You Need
Hydraulic trolley jack
Spark plug boot pliers
7/16-, 1/2-, 9/16-inch sockets and combination wrenches
Mat or creeper