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Installing Hooker’s True Dual Exhaust for Fourth-Gen Camaros

Installing Hooker’s True Dual Exhaust for Fourth-Gen Camaros

Wes Duenkel Jan 7, 2019
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It might be hot rodding’s first commandment: “Thou Shalt Install a Dual Exhaust on Thine Muscle Car.” And for good reason: the symmetry improves the sound and exhaust tuning of our favorite V-8 engines.

While 1998-’02 fourth-generation F-bodies have a lot going for them (capable chassis, modern LS engines, six-speed transmissions, and iconic aesthetics), the single exhaust system is a hang-up for the ponycar faithful. The torque arm/Panhard bar rear suspension was a traction revelation for GM’s rear-drive ponycar, but it also dictated a compromised, “single” exhaust system.

F-body enthusiasts demanded an affordable, well-designed dual exhaust system for their beloved ponycars. Familiar with the packaging restraints in the fourth-generation chassis, Hooker BlackHeart exhaust designers accepted the challenge. The result is their cat-back and header-back true dual exhaust systems for 1998-’02 Camaros and Firebirds.

Systems are available that connect to the factory catalytic converters, Hooker’s mid-length headers, or Hooker’s long-tube headers. The cat-back system is 50-state emissions legal, while the header-back systems are designed for race-only vehicles.

Customers can choose high-quality 304 stainless steel tubing or more affordable 409 stainless material. All systems feature lightweight 18-gauge, 2.5-inch tubing with a merged X-type crossover for improved scavenging and sound over a single-tube system. Polished 6-inch mufflers rumble through 3-inch polished, laser-etched stainless steel tips.

Hooker’s designers knew that room around surrounding components and the pavement is minimal so they carefully designed the exhaust system to maximize clearance in critical areas. The result is an exhaust system that fits as great as it sounds.

We’ve heard owners rave about this system so we wanted to learn what all the excitement was about. We traveled to Hooker’s facility in Bowling Green, Kentucky, to witness the installation of their Race Only Dual Exhaust system (PN 705013128RHKR) on an ’02 Camaro equipped with Hooker’s long-tube headers. CHP

002 Camaro Firebird Hooker Blackheart Dual Exhaust 2/25

1. The Hooker BlackHeart exhaust system for 1998-’02 Camaros and Firebirds converts fourth-generation F-bodies to a true dual exhaust. It’s constructed from lightweight 18-gauge, 2.5-inch stainless steel tubing and features an X-pipe; polished mufflers; and polished, laser-etched tips. The kit includes detailed instructions, all the necessary hardware, and clamps.

003 Hooker Blackheart Dual Exhaust Tip 3/25

2. The polished, laser-etched exhaust tips are compatible with Camaro and Firebird rear valances.

004 Camaro Hooker Blackheart Headers 4/25

3. This ’02 Camaro sported a set of Hooker’s long-tube headers for 1993-’02 LS-equipped F-bodies, which connect directly to the dual exhaust system (PN 705013128). Exhaust kits are also available to connect to the factory catalytic converters as well as Hooker’s mid-length headers.

005 Camaro Hooker Blackheart Dual Exhaust Spacers 5/25

4. To gain the needed clearance for the over-axle pipes, Hooker includes these spacers for the Panhard bar mount brace.

006 Camaro Hooker Blackheart Dual Exhaust Shield 6/25

5. Next, we installed the included bracket to reattach the heat shield to the Panhard bar brace.

007 Camaro Hooker Blackheart Dual Exhaust Adapters 7/25

6. We installed the exhaust system starting at the headers and worked our way back. Using the supplied couplers, we connected the adapter pipes to the header collectors.

008 Camaro Hooker Blackheart Dual Exhaust Adapters 8/25

7. Then we connected the X-pipe inlet tubes to the header adapter pipes. We snugged up the clamps to keep the parts in position, but loose enough to allow for adjustment.

009 Camaro Hooker Blackheart Dual Exhaust Xpipe 9/25

8. Next, we removed the center brace and connected the X-pipe.

010 Camaro Hooker Blackheart Dual Exhaust Mount 10/25

9. The X-pipe uses the factory exhaust hanger for support and vibration isolation.

011 Camaro Hooker Blackheart Dual Exhaust Axle Pipes 11/25

10. After reinstalling the center brace to support the X-pipe, we snaked the over-axle pipes into position and loosely connected them to the X-pipe with the supplied couplers.

012 Camaro Hooker Blackheart Dual Exhaust Tab 12/25

11. The over-axle pipes are secured with a tab close to the end. We used the supplied nut and bolt to fasten them together, which keeps them in alignment to avoid rubs, rattles, and squeaks.

013 Camaro Hooker Blackheart Dual Exhaust Nut Plate 13/25

12. Hooker includes these nifty nut plates that slip inside the framerails for hanging the rear mufflers.

014 Camaro Hooker Blackheart Dual Exhaust Bracket 14/25

13. We also added the included hanger bracket to the left-side framerail.

015 Camaro Hooker Blackheart Dual Exhaust Isolator 15/25

14. Before hanging the mufflers, we assembled the included hanger brackets and rubber isolators using the supplied hardware.

016 Camaro Hooker Blackheart Dual Isolator 16/25

15. Then we attached the isolator brackets to the framerails using the supplied bolts.

017 Camaro Hooker Blackheart Dual Exhaust Tube 17/25

16. Next, we installed the crossover pipe for the left-side muffler.

018 Camaro Hooker Blackheart Dual Exhaust Muffler 18/25

17. Next, we hung the left-side muffler and connected it to the crossover pipe.

019 Camaro Hooker Blackheart Dual Exhaust Muffler 19/25

18. We then inserted the front hanger into the supplied isolator.

020 Camaro Hooker Blackheart Dual Exhaust Isolator 20/25

19. We transferred the OEM isolator to the front of the right-side muffler.

021 Camaro Hooker Blackheart Dual Exhaust Muffler 21/25

20. Then we installed the right-side muffler and installed the hangers into the rear isolators.

022 Camaro Hooker Blackheart Dual Exhaust Isolator 22/25

21. Next, we reattached the OEM isolator using the factory fasteners.

023 Camaro Hooker Blackheart Dual Exhaust Tips 23/25

22. Finally, we slipped the tips over the mufflers and adjusted their length to our taste. Then, we went back and adjusted the alignment of all the tubing and tightened the clamps and couplers securely.

024 Camaro Hooker Blackheart Dual Exhaust Undercarriage 24/25

23. Not only does the Hooker BlackHeart dual exhaust system sound great, it offers exceptional ground clearance. It’s a win-win for any fourth-gen F-body owner!

025 Camaro Hooker Blackheart Dual Exhaust Ground Clearance 25/25

Sources

Hooker BlackHeart Speed Exhaust
270-782-2900
www.hookerheaders.com

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