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#1067226 - 07/11/20 12:47 AM Recommendations Plz: New Exhaust  
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Simarti28 Offline
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Simarti28  Offline
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Saginaw, MI
Hey guys,

I’m looking to replace the entire exhaust system on my 85 SS 305, THM 200 4R transmission, it’s completely stock at this point and pretty rusty, not to mention the embarrassing exhaust leak that recently worsened. I’m looking to get an upgrade from stock i.e. headers, stainless pipes and polished tips.

Can you guys share some General recommendations or rating system of Good, Better and Best quality. Can you also share what I should expect to pay for a local shop to do the install. I realize it can vary based many variable so just looking for an average/ballpark cost of labor.

I’d like to do this with little to no modifications if that’s possible. I see there are what appear to be emissions lines coming off of the manifold, do these have to be removed if installing headers? Also there is the the flexible metal hose that goes from the manifold to the air cleaner duct, does it have to go?

Thanks,
Simon

Last edited by Simarti28; 07/11/20 01:27 AM. Reason: Added transmission type
#1067229 - 07/11/20 03:35 PM Re: Recommendations Plz: New Exhaust [Re: Simarti28]  
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Buick Runner Online content
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Dharma station 1 the Hydra
If you are keeping the computer, any headers will need an O2 sensor bung installed. The emission lines are the smog pump injection lines. The stock exhaust manifolds also have a stove pipe heater for thd Thermac system. There used to be direct fit headers with all the emission fittings made by Eddy and Hooker, both are long discontinued. You might be able to find used ones.


SBC powered 1987 Regal with TES headers, ZZ4 intake, ZZ4 PROM chip, mini starter, THM2004R, 2500 stall converter, 2040 cam, CCC system, and 3.73 posi rear.

2008 ex NPS P71 Crown Victoria, cop motor, cop shocks, cop brakes, and Jmod.

Never argue with an idiot.
They will just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.
#1067230 - 07/11/20 03:43 PM Re: Recommendations Plz: New Exhaust [Re: Simarti28]  
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BadSS Online content
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Are you going to be doing any future performance mods? Long tube headers will give a moderate and noticeable difference on a stock engine but I personally don't think the shorty headers are worth the effort on a stock or near stock engine. If no other mods planned, I'd keep the stock manifolds in place and clean up the front y-pipe - it still should be in decent shape. Then, just do a cat-back replacement - it'll depend on how loud or mellow you want it to be to figure out your best choice.

#1067233 - 07/11/20 04:09 PM Re: Recommendations Plz: New Exhaust [Re: Simarti28]  
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BladeOfAnduril27 Offline
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I have a full stainless true dual system from Pypes that I'm very happy with. I installed it myself and the fit was great. They also offer cat-back systems, which are going to probably be what you're looking for if you don't want to mess with things too much. Duels require trans crossmember notch.


~ Matt H.

1988 Monte Carlo SS w/ T-tops, White with gray int, 350, Summit cam, World Torquer S/R heads, Holley St. Dominator intake, Edelbrock 600cfm carb, Champion 3-row alum radiator, ramchargers, 200-r4 with CK Shift Kit, billet servo, 2200 stall, Afterburner headers, Pypes 2.5" with x-pipe, Violator mufflers (stock exit), S10 front brake swap.
#1067240 - 07/12/20 03:22 AM Re: Recommendations Plz: New Exhaust [Re: Buick Runner]  
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Simarti28 Offline
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Saginaw, MI
Thanks for your feedback. Will eliminating the smog pump injection lines and stove pipe for the thermac cause any issues or engine light? I do plan to keep the computer.

Thanks,
Simon

#1067241 - 07/12/20 03:56 AM Re: Recommendations Plz: New Exhaust [Re: Simarti28]  
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Buick Runner Online content
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Deleting them won't cause any trouble lights. They do sell clamp on stove heaters for headers so its easy to keep Thermac for faster warmups and reduced cold engine wear.


SBC powered 1987 Regal with TES headers, ZZ4 intake, ZZ4 PROM chip, mini starter, THM2004R, 2500 stall converter, 2040 cam, CCC system, and 3.73 posi rear.

2008 ex NPS P71 Crown Victoria, cop motor, cop shocks, cop brakes, and Jmod.

Never argue with an idiot.
They will just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.
#1067252 - 07/12/20 02:55 PM Re: Recommendations Plz: New Exhaust [Re: BadSS]  
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Simarti28 Offline
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Simarti28  Offline
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Saginaw, MI
Thanks Kevin. I plan to make performance upgrades as parts need to be replaced. I thought the same about long tubes vs shortys just from the research I’ve done.

I was more afraid of the long tubes because I’ve been watching YouTube videos of guys having to cut ears off of transmission cases, make dents in the tubes to have clearance around the upper control arm and one guy said he’d have to remove the headers to replace his spark plugs. Are these guys not buying the correct headers for their vehicle or are these types of things necessary?

Thanks,
Simon

#1067254 - 07/12/20 04:12 PM Re: Recommendations Plz: New Exhaust [Re: Simarti28]  
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BadSS Online content
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BadSS  Online Content
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Back in the day, the Hooker 1 5/8" Competition headers seemed to work well when using stock heads but they won't work with angle plug heads - found that out the hard way doing an engine swap for someone. It also seemed that sometimes they cleared the A-arms on the passenger and sometimes they didn't. I attributed that to whether the motor mounts were in good shape or not. It was often enough that I went ahead and took a bit off just to avoid a potential issue.

I always cut off the ears of any TH400s that I installed due to prevent any clearance issues but seems like the Hooker Comps cleared with the 2004r - can't be sure, we're talking 30 plus years since I messed with anything with a 2004r.

I tell you man, I hate doing headers even back then when it seemed there were less issues. I can tell you from having that speed shop almost everyone came back complaining about some kind of fitment issue - except for the Hooker Comps where I gave them a heads up on issues. The rest were a total crap shoot regardless of whether the manufacturer said they fit or not. From recent feedback it seems that it has gotten even worse.

It does seem the shorty headers have less issues, but there's not a lot of gain with shorty headers on a 305. If you're planning upgrades later, I'd probably go with a set of 1 3/4" shorty headers that fit both straight and angle head plugs, get a g-force or Jeg's crossmember (same one used for the 2004r and TH400) and run a true dual exhaust with either an H-pipe (for a more muscle car sound with fractionally better lower end) or an X-pipe (for a more modern higher-pitched sound with fractionally better top end). At least that way you're upgrade prepared.

Don't worry about 1 3/4" being "too big" for a 305. If you were paying for a custom set, a set of 1 1/2" long tubes would probably make the best power on a stock 305 - but would limit upgrade potential. If we're talking off-the-shelf, most 1 5/8" shorty headers cover the corners of the exhaust ports (even on a stock engine) and the 1 3/4" headers typically won't. The larger header primary will overlap a stock port enough that you usually will see the added benefit of an anti-reversion type header, which helps bottom end - especially off idle.

Dyno Don retired recently - while expensive, he had the best set of shorty headers I was aware of and was amenable to doing minor customization to them regarding the flange pattern and the collectors. Wish I could tell you definitely that something would fit or not, but I've just been out of the loop way to long.


Original owner of 1985 SS black hardtop w/gray interior. Frame-on restoration - 406 sleeper w/ heavily ported FIRST TPI. However the 1.875" headers, 3.5" duals, TH400, Ford 9", notched frame, and 10-point cage w/swing-out bars might tip you off it's not a lil' ole 305 TPI. Other mods: 2" drop, 18" wheels, f/r disk brakes, and custom stereo system.
#1067258 - 07/12/20 08:12 PM Re: Recommendations Plz: New Exhaust [Re: Simarti28]  
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88ssBrent Online content
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88ssBrent  Online Content
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http://www.montecarloss.com/community/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=668544

The above thread is informative. I went with the Doug's 308 long tube header. Hooker blackheart header back exhaust.
https://www.holley.com/products/exhaust/exhaust_systems/hooker_blackheart/parts/70501363-RHKR

It's for ls but if you read reviews many people have had great success with a few minor adjustments on sbc. Then a g force trans crossmember. You will need to figure out a few other things like o2 sensor and new plug wires. I do not have any of it installed as I am waiting for winter. Doug's 308 is 1 5/8, dougs 336 is 1 3/4. The black heart exhaust above is 2.5" but they also make it in 3". I have searched and the only real issue with the Doug's is you have to trim a motor mount and maybe a arm bracket.

Last edited by 88ssBrent; 07/12/20 08:18 PM.
#1067259 - 07/12/20 08:27 PM Re: Recommendations Plz: New Exhaust [Re: Simarti28]  
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88ssBrent Online content
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Last edited by 88ssBrent; 07/12/20 08:30 PM.
#1067260 - 07/12/20 09:23 PM Re: Recommendations Plz: New Exhaust [Re: Simarti28]  
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BladeOfAnduril27 Offline
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Doylestown, PA
Originally Posted by Simarti28
Thanks for your feedback. Will eliminating the smog pump injection lines and stove pipe for the thermac cause any issues or engine light? I do plan to keep the computer.

Thanks,
Simon


Nope. You can eliminate the entire smog pump system without throwing any codes. It cleans up the engine bay a good bit.


~ Matt H.

1988 Monte Carlo SS w/ T-tops, White with gray int, 350, Summit cam, World Torquer S/R heads, Holley St. Dominator intake, Edelbrock 600cfm carb, Champion 3-row alum radiator, ramchargers, 200-r4 with CK Shift Kit, billet servo, 2200 stall, Afterburner headers, Pypes 2.5" with x-pipe, Violator mufflers (stock exit), S10 front brake swap.
#1067263 - 07/13/20 02:12 AM Re: Recommendations Plz: New Exhaust [Re: BadSS]  
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Simarti28 Offline
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Simarti28  Offline
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Saginaw, MI
Great information, thanks!

#1067265 - 07/13/20 02:17 AM Re: Recommendations Plz: New Exhaust [Re: 88ssBrent]  
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Simarti28 Offline
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Simarti28  Offline
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Saginaw, MI
Thanks for the info! Is your engine a 305 also? This might be a silly question, but If I have a local shop do this work are they required to install catalytic converters?

Last edited by Simarti28; 07/13/20 02:22 AM. Reason: Added question about cats
#1067268 - 07/13/20 02:56 AM Re: Recommendations Plz: New Exhaust [Re: Simarti28]  
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mmc427ss Online content
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mmc427ss  Online Content
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That's a mixed bag of worms.
Federal emission laws say you cannot change the original cat location or configuration of the factory cat system. BUT, state emissions requirements vary from state to state and you may not have emissions testing in your area. And some exhaust system installers may or may not be concerned about adhering to federal law.
Here in Pa it's who you know and we have a necessary visual emissions inspection for all vehicles requiring emission testing. Even my 86 gets an Exempt emissions sticker on the windshield because it's driven less than 5000 miles annually. My cat has been gone for 14 years along with the 305.
It's just the who, what and where you live.
Bob

#1067272 - 07/13/20 12:43 PM Re: Recommendations Plz: New Exhaust [Re: Simarti28]  
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88ssBrent Online content
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Yes, mine is a 305. It only has 18,000 miles on the car so I want to keep original engine with just a few bolt ons that can be reversed. I'm going to do the work my self but most shops in Tennessee will not remove the cats. If it has no cat they will build the exhaust however you want they will not remove it.


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