hello. Does anyone know where you can buy a set of headers for a 63 nova ? I'm installing a v8 small block shortly and want a set of headers that are going to fit. I have power steering also. I heard that there are some that won't fit. thanks!
Fitment problems with headers start whenever you get away from stock. The manufacturer of the header wants them to fit, but he also wants to have as few models of headers in his inventory as possible. So they build a set of headers that will fit a body and motor combination and try to get it to fit as many other body and motor combinations as possible (that introduces some fitment issues with things like A/C and power steering which many cars with headers do not generally have).
The other side of the coin arises when you are not using stock parts on your motor (aftermarket heads) or have modified the body (changed steering gear box for example). Also there is a problem with the factory changing exhaust ports (Vortec heads are a prime example) but leaving the mounting bolt holes were the stock cast iron manifolds expect to find them, so that tube headers leak due to there being not enough area to cover the exhaust port with the mounting holes not were they need to be.
Your best bet is small tube block hugging headers. They will not be equal length, so they will not offer sound harmonic scavenging, but if your running mufflers and tail pipes (and most do) it doesn't matter because even the best competition headers loose sound harmonic scavenging when you cap them up. Any header that isolates the exhaust ports and moves the collector (common pipe available to all ports) 18 inches or more from the head will prevent gas reversion and provide scavenging due to the gas plug pulses if the collector and tail pipes are large enough (2.25" is adequate).
As far as brand name goes there are small companies that specialize with headers for Chevy engines in the racing world that offer a better product for the same price as Headman and Hooker. The problem you will encounter is that they are primarily built for Camaros and Chevelle's instead of the shoe box Nova. Personally I have had good look with Headman for the street but I use Hooker for the big tubes for higher horse applications. I run Lemon's on my race car because they are custom built.
I put a set of Sanderson shorties in my 63 when I dropped the V8 in it. I can't comment on fitment when power steering is concerned as my car doesn't have it. I can tell you that with these or any other shorties that you may purchase, some pretty tight bends will be needed to clear the starter/idler arm area. I have 2 1/4" pipes, and the guy that made up my exhaust said that is about the largest I could go with unless he got into a bit of calibrating for clearance.
I can send you some pictures if interested. Just send me an email at [email protected]