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How difficult are headers to install?


Well-known member
Aug 1, 2001
2003 Z06
I was thinking of putting on new headers on this winter and would like to know the difficulty of such a task.

Also, has anyone used one of those "high flow" catalytic converters? I'd appreciate any feedback that I can get.
what I have heard......

The most headers have mounting problems, you have to do a lot of bending and welding.

So far I know are the best headers you can get, the Lingenfelter headers. Normaly are those aluminum coated.
They come with the Y-pipe, and they always fit! (when they send you a good set!)
You can have them in 2 sizes 1 5/8 that for normal modifications or 1 3/4" thats for 383 Cid or higher.

Lingenfelter is now producing RVS headers, the 1 5/8" come in about 4 weeks, after that they will start to produce the 1 3/4"

Also can you order with or without the EGR connections.


Thanks for the Lingenfelter info. Wow! Your 'Vette looks like it just came off the line in Bowling Green, it's smooth!

Speaking of John Lingenfelter, I've spoken to a few people who actually know him, or at least claim to. My neighbor, who is really into the Chavelle's and old Camaro SS's, showed me a couple of fliers from John Lingenfelter. Supposedly, he holds auctions occasionally and you can get a lot of real high performance products for like 50% off what you'd pay at Eckler's, Mid America, etc... I guess he said that some of those items are the ones that he's used in his test cars and haven't been used that much.

What do you guys think of buying used parts? I personally don't mind them, but some people I talk to say that I should always buy new. I try to save whatever money I can because everything for the car is so expensive!
thanks for the compliment


I am not against buying used parts, a lot of stuff is so good that it last a live time.

I bought my Lingenfelter SuperRam second hand, payed 50%.

Best headers in the world are the ones Jeffrey Stahl makes! They're NOT cheap though.

I find it strange that expensive headers like the lingenfelters have mounting problems, IMO thats total BS! Why pay so much for headers that need to be hacked up (or your car needs it) to make them fit.

Maybe you have the wrong ones, there's a difference between them for straight or angled plug heads. Some headers also require the use of an adapter plate (usually headers w/ primaries over 1&3/4")

The TPIS headers I just had installed bolted right up. Needed to trim a little off the corner of the passenger side front corner brace and the heat shield for the fuel filter but otherwise a good fit. Put a plug in the EGR port as the Mini-ram has no EGR provision.
The lingenfelter 1 5/8 was cheaper for the coated headers but they had just switched to a new supplier last September when I was on the market and they hadn't gotten a trial set in to see the quality and fit. They offered to put them on for free if I'd let them use my car for the trial field fit but driving my car down to their shop from Chicago and leaving it for a couple of weeks didn't seem like a good trade off to me so I went with the TPIS headers which they had in stock. For future mods if I put on different heads and gross valve lift with more roller rocker ratio the 1 3/4 would be better long term. I'm still using the stock main cat as it only has 10,600 mile on it.

Phil (aka 89ZZ4)

Do I read your message right? Do you have installed the 1 3/4" TPIS headers? And you did not have any problems?

Please respond.
I have 1-3/4" Hooker headers with NO mounting problems.. I first had a set of USED Lingenfelters which did not fit with my starter and did not clear my STOCK oil cooler lines (Again these were used and may have changed since). The Hookers are excellent to install. I just recently removed them to get coated, Since I bought then without coating, and even left the starter in place. They fit excellent.

Although the original Hooker Y-pipe that was offered when I bought the headers (2000) did not fit correctly and I have heard but cannot confirm that Hooker has since corrected this issue.

As for Cats.. I would recommend either Carsound or Random. I have a pair of 2-1/2" bullet cats I used last year, but decided to remove them for this year.

I really felt no loss in torque with the 1-3/4" headers, but I also have a miniram and plan on installing a 400 SBC within the next few years.. So I did not want to have to buy Headers twice.
Johnny - That's correct. The TPIS headers and Y pipe hooked up without and real problems. They cleared my starter and oil cooler etc. I have the Z51 option on my 89. I cut a small corner off the passenger side front corner frame brace that is inside the engine compartment as it rubbed against the header and I cut a small corner off the heat shield by the fuel filter. I still have an exhaust rattle (sounds like a heat shield) under the car and I haven't had time to check it out well. The mechanic who did the install did not hook up the exhaust hanger that goes between the front Y pipe and the slip on Cat but I don't know if that's going to cause any problems yet as I haven't gone over that area of the exhaust with a fine tooth comb as yet. Nothing is ever perfect but the TPIS headers seem pretty good. All the braces to the altenator and A/C compressor fit. The only thing I don't like right now is the fact I have the Air Supply tube that runs to the main Cat clamped to the header with a small piece of the old EGR insulation between them to cut down on wear issues. This will need some eventual replumbing. All external stuff from my original engine bolted right up the the ZZ4 crate engine with no problems. The only other issue I am aware of is that the mechanic drilled and trapped a hole in the back passenger side of the mini-ram into the heads rear water passage because of a heater return line (?) as the mini-ram does not have a rear coolant cross over provision as does the stock system.

Phil (aka 89ZZ4)

Mine did not fit well, they had to drill out the mountingtubes and they had to slam at the headertubes otherwise the bolts did not fit.

I sent a few pictures from it to TPIS, but they couldn't see anything wrong.

For me the headers cost about twice the price you payed, this is because of the fraight cost and tax. So I am very dissaponted about it.

TPIS say that the mechanic who istalled it, wresel it on the engine.

But I am having the damage. So, when I am going tot start with my new engine, I will sent them back, and waith for TPIS opinion.

Thanks for the reply.

Johnny - Not a pretty story. Are your heads the stock cast iron heads? Your mechanic should not have over the done the force issue. Rather he should have taken them back off and remeasured the dimensions for the bolt hole placements versus the dimensions on the headers. Measure twice or three times before you cut!

Phil (aka 89ZZ4)

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