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Idea For V8 Headers


March 19, 2006
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City, State
Payson, UTAH
Year, Model & Trim Level
91 Explorer Sport
I have tried searching for ideas on V8 headers. It seams that everyone keeps saying the same thing; The only choices are Torque Monster, and an old set for Ford Racing.

I have be looking at a few designs that are currently available from various manufactures. I found that the early mustang shorty style headers look like they may work. BUT the only way to make them fit right is with some modifications to a couple tubes, to clear the upper control arm mounts.

Has anyone tried to modify a set of early 289-302 headers to fit the explorer 4x4. I know these headers work on the older TTB Ranger/Explorer frames.

I also know that it will NOT bolt to the stock exhaust pipes. Which is fine, cause the stock pipes are to small to begin with.

Any thoughts and/or pictures would be great. Thanks

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There is definitely interest in this.

I'm in the middle of a torque monster install now, and so I know first hand its super tight in there.

Now Vroomzoomboom tells me that if I swap to an aluminum head I'll need different headers ((The earlier (non P) torque monster)). The ones I have now are for the P heads. So, that's something else to consider. This is no small task.

In that thread, Puferfish has a great plan for custom headers. But what I am looking to do is take some thing that is in production and modify it to use in my explorer.

The header design Pufferfish came up with look close to the hedman headers for an early 289-302 shorty header

I wish I had more experience to help.
All I can really do is spew out stuff I have read from other people.

I have bin looking at the exact same headers, if I knew the demensions of the headers I would know better if they would work and what would need modding.

I do appreciate the help, this is why I have asked this question.

The easiest answer is that kind of old manifold design, or a log type of manifold(look at the late 4.6/5.0 manifolds). Those will outflow the available headers for the 95-01 Explorers.

But what Todd and the Troll, and Pufferfiish did, the custom headers are the ideal solution.

Do what you can manage. I long ago chose to not spend $600+ on tiny 1.5" headers for performance. I would only put those on a fuel mileage vehicle, and not for half the money. Regards,


This is what I have bin looking at

That second pair will not work I'm sure, the pipes come down too fast. The Explorer needs pipes coming out at the heads to turn very quickly to the back. The control arm frame mounts are not far under the head ports, thus a log manifold could almost an easy fit.

The steering shaft is also relatively large. I have the older 96/97 type to use(thanks Karl), and will have an aftermarket unit made which will be smaller in diameter.

You probably could get a few steering shafts made, and sell them. I'd get in line for one.
The steering shaft is really the big issue with headers on the drivers side as we know.

I'm hoping someone comes up with a solution. One day I'd love to drop something in with aluminum heads. If I do that my current solution (torque monster 1.5" tubes) will need to be swapped out. ( I have the P heads) As Don says, these are less than ideal for a motor moving more air than stock.

I got one off a newer ranger there is a thread on it that I posted. It worked berry well and gave another 1/2 inch or so.

Here's the link

I saw that thread, well done. That would be the next best thing to having one made, which someone did already post about. I recall the price being over $200, and it would be a similar diameter to that Ranger shaft I believe. That's got to be one of those special parts you have to bite the bullet and get the best one you can(that space is critical of course).

Here`s some pics.
The bbk SN95 headers look like they would need a ton of work.


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is it illegal for someone with torque monsters to just bring a set to a machine shop or something and say how much to copy this design and make like 30 or 40 copies or whatever?

Only if there is a patten on them

Probably nothing stopping anyone from doing this.
Its the expense of it. I think its very cost prohibitive.

I also think that Al`s headers isn't in a hurry to produce these, as they are tooled for custom work and the profit is much higher than pumping out torque monsters.

I have to wonder `how much Al`s headers would want to make a set in larger diameter tubes. Also, how long. I`m betting you pay more money, and get the product faster.

Yes, but the design of those is based on the size also. Each change of size and routing affects lots of things.

Todd's first 302 headers were going to be great, and then he moved to a 351W before finishing them, and those were different too.

Pufferfish had something that could have been workable by a shop for the 302 and 1.75" sized I think. But he also worked on a 351 combo, and it didn't get finished.

I liked the pipe routing that Todd used the best for his 351 headers, though that design might not be great for a 302. He ran the #5 cylinder primary straight out and had about a 270* turn right behind the AC compressor. I forgot the rest, but each pipe routing change made, affects the other three. That resulted in a better routing of the #6-8 primaries, and the steering shaft wasn't as hard to work with.

A log manifold design should be the baseline, that's what Ford should have made to start with. Then this step would be about improving on that if possible, which is obviously very hard given what has been done.

When I get the money up I'll buy one of the sets I posted and see what happens, and post it on here.

I say go with the headmans.
They look the closest.

Issue is, as I see it, the headmans only have 1.5 pipe, collector is 2.5

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Try to get a 1.625" header at least, less than that isn't worth the trouble except for a stone stock mild 302.

For any other pre-made header, the collectors will surely have to be cut off or moved. The left collector we have goes straight down and there it has to pass far enough to go around the fuel and brake lines, and then the differential if it has 4WD.

A 2.5" collector should be the minimum goal, and 3" should fit if it's made oval slightly. Consider the slick "V" band exhaust connections, which have no restrictions. The ball and cone connections are very poor, very restrictive. They are nice for bolting on, but that's their only good feature.

Remember how awful the old things are; :eek:


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