Bought the hedders, made the exhaust. Unless you opt to go with shorties, the supply and selection of headers that will actually fit is an issue. With the Flowmasters that I bought for my SS, the passenger's side slipped in without a problem, slick as you please. The driver's side did not. Unhappily they were cerama-coated Stainless and i was not set up for TIG or they would have got the knife and some serious rework. The nastiest problems were that one down tube crashed against the motor mount clam and another hit hard against the lower control arm. You can't get too aggressive with a sander or grinder when it comes to control arm mounts so the tube ended up getting a major reshaping. ME here, still not happy about having to do that. Good luck with your search.
I had the G Force crossmember but did not like the weight or the fact that it made contact with the floors. I am going back to my factory crossmember that I will notch to clear the left side exhaust pipe
I can tell you that the Patriot H8047-1 ceramic coated headers made for the Gbody '79 Malibu Do Not Fit without (carefully) cutting away the lower control arm mount, (carefully) bashing in the tube that touches the lower mount area and an ample amount of swearing to make the headers fit.
I considered modifying a stock 2004r transmission cross member for my 87 El Camino in order to install dual exhaust. In preparation, I constructed a wood jig to retain proper alignment of the cross member and allow cutting, fabricating, and installing/welding the driver's side hump. In the end, I decided this wasn't a good idea since the cross member is an integral structure to support my drive train. Plus, I didn't trust my welding. So, I ended up purchasing the Summit brand version of the G-Force cross member. To me, $200+ is well-worth the peace-of-mind and knowing this part has little chance of failure. As an aside, the installation instructions in the box was a photo-copy of the one G-Force uses.
I notched the crossmember in my 86 El Camino. Welded a section of angle across the top to keep the orientation then used a section of schedule 40 steel 5 inch pipe for the cut out. A local steel distributor had a scrap section of the pipe that they let go for a few dollars. I kept the angle on the top as it did not hit the floor and gave extra strength. Once the schedule 40 was welded in just cut the lower diameter flush with the crossmember.
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