10. Once we had the entire system together, we found it was long enough to mate to our existing headers. We have a couple of options here: cut off our old flanges and weld them to the new stuff, purchase new flanges from Hooker, or try to make our old headers a slip-fit style. After a simple measurement of the collector, we decided on option three—cut off the flanges for a slip fit.
11. A combination of cutoff wheel and reciprocating saw was used to lop off the flanges.
12. The cuts were deburred, and the new pipe slipped in place.
13. If you have never experienced a slip-fit system, then here is a close-up of the joint. Hooker expands one pipe just enough and makes four relief cuts so it will slip over the joining pipe and allow the clamps to easily tighten it up. This photo illustrates the pipes together, but not enough.
14. The pipes must be pushed together enough so all you can see through the relief cuts is the pipe below. If you can still see the end of the lower pipe, you will have an exhaust leak—so make sure they are pushed together enough before tightening the clamps.
15. Hanging exhaust systems safely requires quality hangers and isolators. Hooker’s new two-hole rubber insulators work perfectly with Hooker’s new hanger rods and reduce the transmission of exhaust vibrations. There are four hangers in the system, two that go right above the axle as shown here, and two that go after the axle. We decided to use large, self-tapping screws to mount the hangers.
16. The rear hangers are configured a bit differently, but still feature the same heavy-duty rubber isolators. These must be assembled as shown…
17. …before being mounted to the trunk floor right at the trunk drop-out panel seam.
18. Now that we had all the pipes and hangers in place, it was time to start adjusting everything and locking down the clamps. We started at the cross-pipe and worked our way back. We found the best alignment of the mufflers was parallel with the floor.
19. With the front aligned and locked down, we got the tailpipes centered between the quarter and the leaf springs…
20. …and then tightened up the last set of clamps.
21. Here is an overall view of the system from the front. As you can see, Hooker did a spot-on job of getting the pipes perfect for the second-gen Camaro floor.
22. Here is a rear view of the system. We are pretty impressed with the entire thing, from the single-day, no-welder install to the added ground clearance. We were a bit skeptical that the 3-inch pipes would fit this well, and with no floor modifications, and we are happy to be wrong. The car sounds sweet with the deep thumping idle and a raspy cackle at high R’s, and thanks to the all-stainless construction, it should stay nice for a very long time.