Officially, RPO code N14--available on '65-'67 Corvettes--was known as the "Side Mount Exhaust System." Vette people just call this option "side pipes." Regardless of the terminology, the polished aluminum covers, chambered tubes, and stainless-steel tips can add flash to any midyear Corvette of this vintage.
The question is, how difficult are they to install?
We met '66 Sting Ray owner Mike McComas last month, when we covered the installation of a Vintage Air Surefit A/C system in his classic midyear. With his freshly air-conditioned car now more pleasurable to drive, McComas decided to up its style factor by installing a side-pipe setup he bought at a swap meet.
While the process would seem to be straightforward, McComas did encounter a few surprises along the way. The most notable was the requirement that he cut an "ear" off of each lower front fender. Second, he had to bend back the steel brackets located beneath the original side molding on each side of the car.
In McComas' case, it was also discovered that the passenger-side bend near the header didn't fit. Apparently, the pipes he bought had suffered some damage in the past. Luckily, a little heating and bending restored them to their original shape. (Buying a new set of side pipes from the aftermarket should ensure a good fit, while also providing the option of longer-lasting stainless-steel components.)
Let's take a look at the installation process now, focusing on the highlights of the job.