exhaust system #2


Old 07-13-03, 08:29 PM
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exhaust system #2

ok guys.......... this is a follow up to a previous question about my exhaust.

64 chevy belair, 283, 4 door.

I am replacing the exhaust and having it done professionally so it gets done right. The guy at the muffler shop said I have a few options. Money isnt really an issue, so I want what is best for the performance of the car. He said I can put it back to stock with single exhaust and that requires a new manifold because this one currently has 2 right hand manifolds on it because the guy who owned it before tried to rig it dual exhaust. I can have him put on a new dual exhaust system, but he said I might have to replace both manifolds if I go that way because he may not be able to order a muffler/tailpipe that will fit my current ones. What gives best performance on this vehicle? single or dual exhaust?

secondly, many of my friends have suggested putting headers on it rather than manifolds. Any suggestions or opinions on this is appreciated. I dont necissarily want it restored to stock, i am just looking for performance right now. So, headers or manifolds?

Also, I was told if I put header with a dual exhaust on this vehicle, it would be beneficial to change the intake manifold and put on a 4 barrel rather than a 2 barrel. Any opinions on this? SHould I upgrade the carb and give myself the extra power? Or is my 283 gonna be just fine with a 2 barrel?

Thanks to everyone for any opinions/facts given.
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Old 07-14-03, 09:42 AM
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If money were no object, there wouldn't be a 283 sitting in your engine compartment .

My vote: Find two correct used cast iron manifolds LH and RH that fit this vehicle, such as on Ebay or in a junkyard and then have the shop install a good dual exhaust system.

Headers are junk in most cases and a sure waste of money on a 283. A 283 is a reliable Chevy V8, it's far from a stellar performer.

Headers give trouble with accessing components, create excessive heat, and make for a lot of trouble in the long haul.

A good set of manifolds will flow and sound AS good as headers, look stock and neat and not offer the problems headers do.

If you plan to go non OEM, save your pennies for a 350 or another engine for this old Bowtie. A 283 won't cut it in the long haul.

You won't find a set of headers on any of my Trans Ams...ever.
Old 07-14-03, 03:32 PM
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ok, thanks joe. Thats what I wanted, an opinion on what was good for the car un the long haul. I'm gonna get proper manifolds and a new dual exhaust put in soon.

As to the other part of your post. I have been considering putting a 327 or 350 in it, but have hit a couple very basic snags. First, I dont know where to get one, Is there a kit or something you can order brand new? Go to a junkyard and get one, then rebuild it? I really dont know where to get a new engine. Also, what size engines will fit under my hood? I dont want to run out of room under there. This kind of work requires some serious equipment and a spacious garage, does it not? What kind of money do you pay on an engine.

Thanks again for all your advice

If I ever finish this car it's gonna be
Old 07-14-03, 03:54 PM
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Many options.

1) You could stuff just about any GM V8 in there from any year. The easiest of course would be a Chevy V8. Anything from a 267 V8 in a 1979 Malibu to a 454 out of a 1976 Caprice would fit in there.

My vote? Restore the car as original. Something to be said for that.

2) Sources for engines: ATK North America, junkyards, Ebay, Classifieds, other cars, etc.

3) Best bet for a high performance engine is GM Motorsports/High Performance. They sell crate motors with all the goodies and a warranty for a couple of grand. While that seems like a lot, it will probably cost you double to cobble together something that good!

4) As with any project, you need tools, know how, help, and space .
Old 07-14-03, 09:01 PM
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ok joe. Sounds good. Another question though. Before I had asked about lead substitutes and you said not to use them. On my vehicle, is it safe to run it without the lead subsitute? This wont tear up my engine or anything will it? Second, When I do get a new engine/rebuild this one......You said before to put in hard valve stems and that will solve the leaded gas problem? Does unleaded gas burn up the valve stems or something? I'd be curious what affects the leaded/unleaded thing and why, if you dont mind explaining. Thanks again!
Old 07-15-03, 03:27 AM
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In theory, the lead in the fuel lubricates the valve seats. Depending who you ask, they'll tell you it is needed or not.

Lead has harmful effects on our health, so leaded gasoline was dropped around 1986.

I think by the time you "wear out" your engine by using unleaded fuel, it will be rebuild time anyhow. Chevy V8s have always had poor oil control, so if you hang onto this large barge for a while, a rebuild will be in order .

At that time, you would use updated valve train components. These would handle the unleaded fuel with ease.

As an aside, Pontiac engines used hardened components well before the need arose . Consequently, many Pontiac V8s have pretty good oil control .
Old 07-16-03, 04:47 AM
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Swapping in headers and a 4 barrel carb will not give you any performance gains without head work and a cam upgrade. Joe is right about the hardened valve seats, you do not need them. Run the engine till it is tired, then drop in a GM crate 350. And hold onto the original engine. Good thing about the small block chebbies, they are plentiful!

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