Jump to content

Hello, Allpar Forums member or visitor! If you were an active member (more than two posts) or subscriber, you would not see this ad!

Register for a free account or Sign in (see top right of page for Facebook/Open ID login icons).

- - - - -

Headers In An Early A-body Dart With V8?

This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
8 replies to this topic

#1 valiantbrad

  • Inactive
  • 54 posts

Posted February 19, 2006 at 08:18 pm

What's going on guys? I have a 66 dart with a 360 and I am trying to figure out a way to get headers or some sort of better flowing exhaust in. I have the original manifolds in there and trying to find another option. I know about the spitfire headers and those seem like a pretty good option but kinda expensive. I saw on summit that they have a headman header that is the shorty style and also a patriot version. Has anyone tried to put shorty headers in an early a-body car with a v8? I am working around power steering so I also need to find out if I am going to be able to work around that or if I am going to have to change over to manual steering. I would rather not loose my power steering if possible. Also how much modification am I looking at to get headers in? Any help would be greatly appriciated. Thanks guys

#2 Bearhawke


    Things happen for a reason

  • Active Member
  • Others:Forum Leader
  • 12,858 posts

Posted February 19, 2006 at 08:26 pm

Some years ago an individual modified a pair of 1968-70 340 exhaust manifolds for a built 360 in a 1964 Dart, same chassis as your car.

Otherwise; you are pretty much stuck with Spitfire I am afraid.

#3 cavemanmoron

  • Inactive
  • 1,286 posts

Posted February 19, 2006 at 08:38 pm

I really think that for the money, that a good dual exhaust off the stock manifolds,
is the best way to go. In a dyno test on a 300 hp crate engine, headers were only worth 16 HP.


TTI has some, about to be on the market, about $800

Dougs were about $1,000 but he stopped making them,
and has retired last I heard; Pertronix bought him out. {read online last month}

Spitfires are under $ 400.IF you can get them from the builder, he makes them part time.

For the money, do some minor "port" grinding of the stock manifolds.

Yes I bought the cheap shorty headers, "Patriot" brand from Summit.

NO way they will fit, if you want a stock steering box, manual, or power.

Heddmans says that thier shorty hedders will fit 67- up body style;
but Not the 63-66. The steering box is closer to the engine, and I think it's closer to the
firewall on 63-66 cars.
{I am not positive, on closer to the firewall, and I don't have the parts car any more
to go measure.}[ I do know that taking the 318 out of the 74 Valiant was easy,compared to
the 64 Valiant, and it was easier when I did the engine swap 10 years ago, in my 1973 Duster;
the engine compartment is a lot tighter in the 63-66 Abody]

If you have an automatic, or 4 speed Magnum manifolds will work
with some effort,

but not with 3 on the tree.NOT with Power steering, either, according to somone
whose article I have copied for you to see.


When you purchase them do not let the seller up the price because it came off a 360. The manifold is the same whether it was 318 (5.2) or 360 (5.7). Late 90 units through the early 2000's are best.

Surprisingly enough these exhaust manifolds will fit with some minor tweaking in any 64-66 Dart, Valiant or Barracuda without power steering or 3 on the tree column shift. The major considerations before attempting this modification are:

A new collector and exhaust will have to be fabricated due to the fact that the collectors are in different positions from the original 273 manifolds.

The clearance between the steering box and the center of the manifold will be tight. The steering shaft may contact as well. I had to trim and grind a little bit for good clearance.

If you have a column shift it may be necessary to consider relocating it to the floor or modifying the linkage.

The benefits are:
The collectors pipes can be up to 2 1/2" wide and still mate to the manifold.

Better exhaust flow due to the larger "log" and on the drivers side, no constrictive flattening of the collector around the starter. (I compare the stock units to trying to "poop" through a cocktail straw).

The manifold bolt pattern is the same on any 273 through 360 engine. You will need Dakota/Durango gaskets. If you have a die grinder this would be an excellent time to gasket match your exhaust ports. The ports are a little smaller than the Felpro gaskets I used. New bolts and studs will have to be purchased as the new manifold does protrude farther out.

Regarding clearance:
If you have old motor mount rubber, I recommend shimming the mounts at the K frame using fender washers or a steel plate to raise the engine slightly. This may be necessary with new mounts as well. Usually a 1/4" is sufficient. (I do not recommend more than 3/4" as the stud on the motor mount will not have enough thread showing to be safe). If it isn't raised it could contact the steering box. This is the tightest clearance. Raising the engine this slight amount will not affect the drive train geometry.

With the thicker profile the passenger exhaust may to too close to the inner fenderwell. I used a 2" diameter steel pipe as a dolly the length of the log and a heavy hammer to make a concave surface. The collectors on both units curve in toward the engine slightly so the collector pipe does not even come close.

Another concideration is the fact that the collectors angle back rather than going straight down. On the passenger side it is important the pipe does not contact the floor board firewall intersection as 40 year old jute padding under the carpet will burn easily. You may find it necessary to dimple the metal at that point slightly and extra insulation is a good idea.

An excellent start to fabricating the exhausts would be to get a larger diameter Y pipe or dual system to section up and reweld it to clear obstructions. I used a Y pipe off of a 78 Diplomat for mine. I also routed the pipe over the starter and then down. Most auto parts stores have exhaust sections that can be welded together in a miriad of configurations as well. However you will need the flanged end of the collector pipe and a like diameter clamp. The original 273 clamp assembly will work but a larger diameter clamp is recommended.

With a little ingenuity you will find there are no insurmountable problems to making this modification.

See also my next post.

Edited by cavemanmoron, February 20, 2006 at 08:42 am.

#4 cavemanmoron

  • Inactive
  • 1,286 posts

Posted February 19, 2006 at 09:10 pm


TTI headers for early A-bodies are coming!



Just wanted to let you all know that TTI will have their new UNDER-CHASSIS full tube headers for small block early A-bodies ready for sale in mid-April. Prices are $750 for ceramic coated, $779 for polished ceramic.
1-5/8" stepped to 1-3/4" then into 3" collectors


#5 newbie1 (converted)

newbie1 (converted)
  • Guests

Posted March 3, 2006 at 12:24 pm


I have a "64 with a 318. It has a 4-speed. I can get a set of auto headers but I am wondering can theye be modified to clear the clutch linkage? How close are the headers on a later A-body? I was wondering if hey were alomost the same and since I have to modify them anyway if I could save the moeny and buy the later headers?

#6 cavemanmoron

  • Inactive
  • 1,286 posts

Posted March 3, 2006 at 04:22 pm

I have a "64 with a 318. It has a 4-speed. I can get a set of auto headers but I am wondering can theye be modified to clear the clutch linkage? How close are the headers on a later A-body? I was wondering if hey were alomost the same and since I have to modify them anyway if I could save the moeny and buy the later headers?

The cheap 1967-1976 headers will not work in a small abody.

The engine bay is very tight, and the headers for the 67 newer cars
will hit the steering box, and torsion bar.

You can buy the TTI headers for $700,
try the ones from Laysons for about $450, {oops up to $ 465 when last updated the website,
may be higher when you call.}

or just use the stock manifolds you have now.


Part # Description Price Qty.
HS-22 A-Body Small Blocks * For 63-66 A-Body Small Blocks (273, 318, 340, 360) these are made for Manual Steering Only cars with original stock bellhousings.

It is imperative that especially for 4-speed cars, the original z-bar and bellhousing be used or they won't fit.

A-Body Small Blocks * For 67-69 A-Body Small Blocks (273, 318, 340, 360) these will fit on manual or power steering applications. If you have used an engine swap kit to convert from a slant-6 to a small block V8, you may have trouble making these fit...the engine will not sit in exactly the same place as it does on a correct V8 k-member.
62-69 A-Body $465.00
HS-22B Ceramic Coating (Satin Black). $189.00
HS-22B Ceramic Coating (Satin Black). $189.00
HS-22G Ceramic Coating (Satin Gray). $189.00
HS-22I Ceramic Coating (Gray Ice - Dark gray). $189.00
HS-22P Chromex Plating for HS-22 Headers $269.00
HS-22S Ceramic Coating (Silver - Satin Finish - Light Gray) $189.00
HS-22T Ceramic Coating (Titanium) $189.00

Edited by cavemanmoron, March 3, 2006 at 04:24 pm.

#7 hateball_1969 (converted)

hateball_1969 (converted)
  • Guests

Posted March 18, 2006 at 05:59 pm

I've got TTI headers on my 69 Dart with a MP 360 and a TFA727...yeah, things are tight, and the back tube on the driver's side is a bit of a struggle (it's a separate part that snakes around the torsion bar...eesh) but for the most part, I really couldn't ask for anything better.

There was one issue with the steering gear box...when I initially installed the engine/headers (using a schumacher created set of motor mounts...standard dims) the #3 tube pretty much sat right down on the gear box. The fix was cutting a piece of 1/4 inch steel and shimming it under the motor mount base...gave me 'enough' clearance to slide a hundred dollar bill through, if you know what I mean.

Other than that, only heartburn was the getting in, and later, getting out. Once they're in though, aside from being LOOOOOW, they're perfect.

#8 mopodge

  • Inactive
  • 348 posts

Posted March 19, 2006 at 03:29 am

Check around your town for someone who might make headers. I can't find a set of headers to fit my '74 Dart with a 3 on the tree and power steering. Recently, however, my friend told me that his uncle makes headers. It makes alot of sense to do that actually. You just need to tell them the dimensions of your exhaust ports, the size you want the tubes to be and the collector diameter you want. Then have them look at the car and they will see what they need to do to clear everything. You might end up with a wierd looking pair of headers if you have alot to clear, but they will work just as good and hey, at least now you HAVE headers. People that make them usually don't charge much. My friend's uncle is going to charge me $100 for a custom pair of headers with 1 1/2" pipes and 3" collectors, shaped to clear my power steering, tranny stuff AND starter. Sounds like a good deal to me! B)

#9 PUNKslip

  • Inactive
  • 223 posts

Posted March 20, 2006 at 10:34 am

I have a '65 Dart GT 4 speed, 273 car. I agree with the idea of just going with the stock manifolds and forget trying to put headers on one of these cars. Every time I have seen headers on a '63-'66, the owner took a hammer and beat one of the runners 'til it cleared. I have a set of mildly ported exhaust manifolds off my '65, if you don't want to butcher yours, I will sell them to you. Otherwise, I went with the Magnum Force coil over conversion with tube upper control arm. This eliminates the torsion bars so at least i will be able to run, if not the shorties, a modified set of shorties. It also has the 4 piston caliper Willwood disc brakes, aluminum strut rods, braided lines, aluminum master cylinder and adjustable perportioning valve. And just for fun, a 416 stroker 340 with W-5 aluminum heads, Diamond pistons, Eagle rods, 727 Auto., with manual shift forward pattern and 4000 stall Turbo Action Conv. Oh, and 15" x 10" Convo Pro Centerlines in rear, and 15" x 4" in front. Leaf springs moved in 3" (I am finishing that part as we speak), all this for a set of headers.


PS, I do have some photos, will try to learn how to post them, new to all this Forum stuff, i'm too old!!!!!!


Home · Cars · Engines · Repairs · People
Tool and Car Reviews · News

Please read the terms of use and privacy policy. We are not affiliated with Chrysler Group, makers of cars, minivans, trucks, and Mopar (TM) parts. We make no guarantees regarding validity or applicability of information, opinions, or advice. Posts may be edited and used in other parts of allpar.com and affiliated Mopar (Dodge, Chrysler, etc) car related sites. We have the right to remove or modify any message, and to ban or suspend any user without notice. Logos and site-specific information copyright © 2001-2013 Allpar LLC; Chrysler PR materials remain property of Chrysler Group.