July '16

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JULY 2016 THE SHOP 69 PERFORMANCE MATERIALS Commonly available street-application headers are made using either mild steel or specific grades of stainless steel (usually 304 stainless). In certain high-end race car applications, the use of more-costly and exotic materials such as Inconel or titanium may apply. Steel tube headers normally feature 16-gauge or thicker mild steel tubing, while stainless primary tubes can be made with as light as 0.040-inch wall thickness (typical wall thickness are 0.049-inch/18 gauge and 0.065-inch/16 gauge). Flanges (where the primary tubes mount to the cylinder heads) are traditionally made of either flat-stock steel or stainless steel, ranging in thickness from about 1/4-inch to a more-common 3/8-inch. Note: Headers that are designed spe- cifically for turbocharger applications will usually feature a heavier wall thickness to better-handle the high EGT (exhaust gas temperatures) generated during turbo oper- ation, in order to provide added durability under extreme temperature. As an example, Stainless Works (makers of OE-replacement and custom stain- less steel exhaust systems), uses 16-gauge (0.650-inch) 304L stainless steel for its turbo applications. The use of 18-gauge stainless 304 is fairly common (for stainless headers), since it's about 15-percent less expensive and about 24-percent lighter (with cost a consideration for most con- sumers and weight a consideration for racers). The heavier-wall 16-gauge stainless mate- rial is a popular choice for turbocharged applications where the exhaust tubes encounter higher temperature extremes and stresses. Bull-nosed header studs greatly ease header installation, since they provide a guide for the flange hole and a drop-on guide for nut installation, as opposed to fiddling with bolts as you try to align the holes. Now Offering Sport Compact Clutch Kits McLeod Quality At An Unbeatable Value Available through

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