This is for FlaHP and anyone else interested in following along. I really wanted to get rid of my stock exhaust manifolds for two reasons. First was the constant exhaust leaks I was facing due to badly corroded mating surfaces and second was the small outlet. I designed up a cam profile that is way wilder than anything you can get off the shelf and had it ground by Howard's. To go along with that I had a race engine building friend do me up a set of higher flowing heads. I would need more than a 2" manifold outlet to make all that work. So here goes...

First, I drew them up in 2D until I had a plan. That took a lot of crawling around under and over my car taking photos and measurements. Once I was sure I was ready to go I got a set of 65 or later 429 headers from Sandersons.  I got them raw as in not welded up. It turned out that all I really used from them was the flanges and collectors. The radius of the bends was just too big. Here a few photos of the start of it all.

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I bolted the flange to a head set up on the top shelf of my tool box where I could get it close to eye level (it's a big box). Only one of the drawing above shows the angles that I wanted to come out of the ports at but I had those dimensions for both left and right. I started by tack welding the first elbow on to the flange rotated to the right angle and sort of went from there. In the photos below are the first few stages of building the drivers side header. I forgot to mention in the beginning of the thread that I bought a bunch of various tight radius bends from SPD Exhaust. The first photo is a box of parts from them.


Funny  my mind never went to shorty headers until this post as I was always thinking long headers as Sanders has made 

Find it a great solution 

Why am I very sorry I have never developed welding skills and the talents you have to do this stuff 

Very impressive skills my friend and thanks for sharing them 


I have just once again seen a shorty type  header on Summit racing for a 64 Cadillac - not tuned -  steel  —- aprox $400 

They are noting like the ones Dan designed by a very long shot ( no comparison ) 

Just came to mind as we are thinking about the subject 

Could serve less performance minded individuals that need to solve the exhaust manifold issue

They look to have a better flow than the stock cast iron anchors—-LOL !  

I know that the Sanderson's shorty has fitment problems from several testimonials I have seen on forums where guys have installed them on 62's. Particularly, they interfere with the steering box. In my design, I go around the back of the steering box just like the stock manifolds. The reason mine sweep up is to clear the upper front control arms and to try and get a little closer to equal length than the Sanderson's which make no attempt at equal length.

Also note, the outer tubes are 1 5/8" while the centre is 1 7/8". 

Great feed back on you experience 

Any idea how they might work on the 63 - 390 ( smaller engine than yours )  of a 64 - 429 

I myself would desire ( need )  a tuned set myself for the added performance they would offer 

Putting my S&S headers on my 409 that Haden Profit was running in the  West Coast Nationals   —killing the class on the west coast-  was an amazing experience for me then
We also had the first  Casler cheeta slicks sent from the nationals while all the locals were running Bucrons ( as they were called then ) at the local drags as tire technology just getting started 

Thanks for the memories 

Love the Cragers on your 62  and the color ( which I keep looking back at ) and remember when they first came out - very much a period correct look which is always special

62 is may favorite body style having  had my Black Convertible for 7 years  

It was my very first early 60’s Cadillac and very special for that reason when  I had done all I could dream of with my 63 409 and time to chill from drag and street racing for a while 

The 62 fit the bill to a T 

This is such a cool build. I have the same fears about the matting surface as well. Thinking about making some copper gaskets. 

My motor was running great. All I had was one manifold leak and now I have the whole running gear out of her. I keep finding things that I need to address. 

Before I go further with the build, here are some photos of how I transitioned the pipes from round to square at the flange. The mock up head in these photos is one of my "hot rod" heads and has substantially larger ports than stock but the same process would apply for stock heads. You don't want your header inlet to interfere in anyway with the exhaust outlet. I made a pattern by pressing a strip of thin cardboard over the heads exhaust ports, cut it out and used it as a template to mark out the heads pattern on the flange. Then I used a sharpie and expanded the pattern 1/16". I used a die grinder and files to open the flanges up to bigger than the port. 

I then squared the tube up enough to get it through the flange and at the right exit angle. With the pipe through the flange I then tack welded it in place on the middle of the port sides. I used various old long bolts of different diameters and ground ball ends on them to use as drifts. Then I heated the area between the tack welds with a torch and punched the metal out until it conformed with the port. To weld them, I cranked the MIG up a bit and welded them from the head side on the face of the flange. This makes quite a mess so some die grinding is needed to clean it up. After that I bronze welded over pipe and flange on the outside of the flange to thicken the steel up because it had to stretch quite a way in a few places and got pretty thin. After all that I flatten them out on my surface belt grinder. 

Once I had the part where the headers go up and around suspension bits and back down, 

I used a piece of metal strap tack welded between the collector and engine dolly to locate the collector where I needed to be. Now all I had to do was get from "here to there". You can see that in these pictures.


Regarding tuned headers 

As I remember it the idea is to get the pipes from the header flangers to the collector as close as is possible In  equal length ?

I love the look of the pipe size you need for your application - has substance 

Love to see pictures of them in the car later on 

I will be sure to post photos of the installation later in the thread. The tuned length thing really comes in to play as rpm's go up but is not super critical to a stock low revving Caddy engine. What is important is exhaust flow and a stock manifold is pretty restrictive. The big problem is the small outlet. The volume is pretty good in the manifold itself but really gets squeezed on exit, plus that 2 bolt flange is probably the worst feature on our cars.  

Great job - love the way they look 


There is something really great about a Hot Rod Cadillac 

The thoughts bring me bask to the earliest days of engine swaps when they  put cadillac motor into the earliest Hot Rods 

The Ford a Lack comes to mind and  so many 32 rods 

It does slip into THE COOL category and that gets much harder to do in our later years  than it was earlier in life —LOL ! !



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