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Header and Pypes 2 1/2" X-pipe system install on Elky w/LT1

Discussion in 'Chevrolet El Camino / GMC Caballero' started by roger1, May 14, 2017.

  1. roger1

    roger1 Not-quite-so-new-guy

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    I just completed this install and I thought it might interest someone here.
    ('83 El Camino Choo Choo SS with '96 Impala SS LT1 engine/4L60e transmission.)
    I installed this engine back in 1998 and up to now was running the stock 305 exhaust manifolds and single exhaust.

    The headers are Hedman 66609 shorty. They fit this combo very, very well. No out of the ordinary issues at all. Stock spark plug wires work fine. I am going to have to get a new A/C compressor manifold and make new hoses but I don't think I will have any issues. I'm going to redo all the A/C lines and upgrade to a parallel flow condenser with the outlets on the passenger side. Already bought it and just need to put my hose order together. I'm going to use reduced barrier hose for an easier install at the compressor. It will be tight quarters there.

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    The exhaust system was a lot of work. Very time consuming. Don't anybody think this is easy because it's a kit. It takes a bunch of fitting to make it go in perfect. Many iterations of mocking up and adjusting connections. I've got lots of hours in this.

    I did do a couple of things that made it harder in that I used shorty headers and about the largest muffler that can fit into the space they go in. (They are Dynamax Super Hemi Turbo mufflers 17748.) I also cut off the tailpipe tips because Pypes angle cuts them and I didn't like that at all. I put straight cut ones on and polished them too (had enough extra pipe for them). For making the custom angles behind the headers and at the rear of the mufflers, I used a U bend in 2 1/2" stainless that I bought from Jegs. I cut them and then ground them little by little in order to get the angles I needed perfect.

    Every joint is welded and since I didn't use stainless wire, I painted all of them with ceramic exhaust paint so the welds wouldn't rust. I welded in a V band clamps in the rear of the mufflers. I also put hangers in front of the mufflers for support.

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    Can R&R if needed. Just connects in 3 places (headers, hangers and tail pipes). A floor jack at the balance point and it's very easy.

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    Moved the shift rod to the outboard side of the swing arm and ground the head of the bolt a little for extra clearance. No problem at all.

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    Did not cut ground clearance at all:

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    I'm not ready to start or drive the car yet. I've got the gas tank out and doing some upgrades there. I'm installing an in-tank pump. I'm also replacing all the gas lines as I didn't like the way I did them when I originally installed the engine many years ago.
     
    #1 roger1, May 14, 2017
    Last edited: May 14, 2017
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  2. Doug Chahoy

    Doug Chahoy Greasemonkey

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  3. 79 USA 1

    79 USA 1 Greasemonkey

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    Really nice work!
    I love when you do not see the system hanging below the frame from the side. (Unless you have a 4 inch system)
    Your attention to details show not only on the exhaust system but that El Camino looks gorgeous!

    Bob S.
     
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  4. Doug Chahoy

    Doug Chahoy Greasemonkey

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    I just finished the same system on my 79 Elco,w/Hooker long tube headers.What a major pain in the ass. I also had to weld in all my hangers and used $100.00 in band clamps. Definitely not a system for the inexperienced .
     
  5. marcar1993

    marcar1993 G-Body Guru

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    I put the 2.5" side outlet kit on my car... went perfect in my opinion. I used their mufflers and with a little wiggling everything fit like it should, just had to make up about 18" or so from the front of the x pipe to the headers (as expected and mentioned when I bought the kit). I would not say it was HARD at all, but it wasn't a 5 minute job to make it fit nice.
     
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  6. jlcustomz

    jlcustomz Master Mechanic

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    Lookin good Roger. I have the pypes 3" x-pipe & their race pro mufflers I'll install some YEAR along with some, straight pipe & used gm diesel truck 3" tailpipe sections I plan to chop & weld to my likings. Also got mocked up & just tack welded tri-y long tubes I need to testfit ( hoping for the best), modify if needed, tig weld, & have ceramic coating. I know it'll wake up my LS1 a bit , but not as much as yours should wake up your old LT1.
    Exhaust work is definitely exhausting.
    I remember years ago we discussed your options on fuel tank pumps. It's about damn time someone starts remaking the old tbi in tank sending units for us. I got the 25 gal plastic b-body wagon tank & a new sender to slightly mod & install in place of my old fabricated setup, purchased before the new g-body parts came to market.. But again some year......
     
  7. Andebe

    Andebe Greasemonkey
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    Im running the same system,with the long tubes,everything tucks away nicely and sounds awesome.
     
  8. motorheadmike

    motorheadmike G-Body Guru

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    I feel your pain. I went through all of this with their 3" system and had long tubes, full size cats, exhaust dumps, and a S60 diff to contend with. Worse kit ever. Hooker's new Blackheart system is a thing of beauty by comparison.
     
  9. roger1

    roger1 Not-quite-so-new-guy

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    Thanks JL.

    I'm just doing the job now to convert over to the in-tank pump. I bought the sender that they make now. I had several issues with it though. It's not made that well. I had to do some modding to get it to work at all. Ended up using a Walbro GS340 pump on it. First I bought a Camaro pump for it but I couldn't get it to fit on the sender and be able to get the unit into the tank. I had to do some bending on it to make it work even with the Walbro on it. Maybe I should resurrect that old thread and give more details. I took a couple of photos too. I also modified the Spectra tank so I won't have any issues filling it.

    Yes, the new exhaust system should wake it up. I was using the entire stock 305 single exhaust except for the muffler and guts removed from the cat. Probably about the worst exhaust system you can get. And it still ran pretty good that way. Even turned a 14.6 @93 mph in the quarter with it with the skinny street tires. The LT1 is old but still only has 26K miles on it. It was a new Impala SS takeout when I purchased it and installed it in the car.

    I've still got a couple of fittings on order before I can get the re-routing of the A/C lines done. I haven't tightened up the P/S header yet as I might have to take it off to get those A/C lines tightened. I'm also some wiring upgrades for the electric radiator fan control so I'm not ready to drop the car down and start it up yet. I'm getting anxious to try it out but still probably a week away.
     
  10. roger1

    roger1 Not-quite-so-new-guy

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    I have no complaints with the Pypes system other than the way they cut the tailpipe ends. I expected the job to be hard. I knew the mufflers I chose would make it harder. I also knew getting the angles right for the downpipes on the shorty headers would take some time.

    The job was harder than I thought and also took me longer than I thought. Not complaining though. I enjoy this stuff and the more challenging the job, the more satisfaction I feel.
     
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