Info Needed for Headers and Exhaust for '53 Hornet

hey guys - i am researching a headers upgrade for my '53 hornet - i have seen the headers and the collectors for sale from several vendors, but i haven't yet seen these headers connected with a stock single exhaust system (not dual) - it would be great not to "reinvent the wheel" here, and to see what other headers upgrade owners have done with a single exhaust kinda stock setup - info and photos would be most appreciated - thanks!


  • Ol racerOl racer Posts: 2,446Senior Contributor
    edited September 2018
    The only Headers made these days is from Clifford Performance in the above Link . However, There is a 7X Dual Outlet made by Bobdriveshudson2 on this Forum. I suppose you could adapt it into a 2.5 single exh pipe, but most Owner's run dual pipes all the way back on right side.
  • Ol racerOl racer Posts: 2,446Senior Contributor
    Attached pic showing Duals from 7X Header
    dual 2.JPG
    1280 x 960 - 577K
    Dual 1.JPG
    1280 x 960 - 580K
  • bob wardbob ward Posts: 1,040Senior Contributor
    Most exhaust shops that get into custom work can make a set of headers and exhaust system for you.
  • 50C8DAN50C8DAN Posts: 1,747Senior Contributor
    Clifford will be brining out the new 2X Weber manifold and header combo early next year if you are interested in that type of upgrade.
  • thanks for all of this info - i'm trying to figure out the simplest and most efficient way to have the clifford headers (from wildrick too) connect to the exhaust, similar to what they did with the hornets in nascar - i don't want dual exhaust - just a 2.5" single pipe - the tough area appears to be from the bottom of headers through (around) the frame cross member - keep those photos coming! thanks
  • Ken U-TxKen U-Tx Posts: 3,605Senior Contributor
    Did you even look at the link I posted, of the Y pipe?
  • bob wardbob ward Posts: 1,040Senior Contributor
    Don't know what brand of headers a previous owner had put on my 53 Horent but I do know that the exhaust pipe flange was in the wrong place, i.e. in the narrowest spot between the bell housing and the chassis rail, it was very hard to stop it from rattling at idle. An inch or two further back or forward would have made all the difference. Something to be aware of.
  • Ken U-Tx said:

    Did you even look at the link I posted, of the Y pipe?

    i did see this - if you read the description, it looks like this is used directly before the muffler for a dual exhaust system - i also found a photo of a y-pipe installed in that location, which confirms what is written in the description - i think that i will probably need to have a custom collector made to get by the front cross frame and then to a single 2.5" exhaust pipe out
  • RichardDRichardD Posts: 600Member
    Not a single pipe system but routing photos anyway~~~~
  • thanks again - not exactly on this thread's subject, but i started this thread a while ago - no response!

    - i'm a surprised that with so many hudson folks who have installed these headers with different exhaust systems there is no data to share, i.e., dyno results, modern exhaust software results, etc. - without objective data (and more than 1 result!), i find it difficult to justify substantial changes to the engine and exhaust

    - i have spoken to several hudson owners in person or by phone to discuss how they know that certain upgrades are effective, and to date, while there is lots of anecdotal stories about sound and seat of your pants feelings, no one has been able to provide any objective data to back up assertions

    - while i'm sure that the headers will add hp and torque, i would like to know how much? 5%, 10%? I would like to see data that shows differences in exhaust diameters, dual vs single, etc., in order to better understand what really works, what doesn't, what's worth the time, what's worth the money

    - i have an innovate LM-1 O2 sensor (discontinued, photo attached) which i use on all of my collector cars to check the mixture at idle and under load (up hill long stretches) - this data is invaluable to making sure the engine is not running lean

    For example, here is a thread with posted dyno results between stock carb and fuel injection -

    - much better results with fuel injection, but if you look at the mixture results, the carb set up is much too lean - i wonder what the results would have been with a correctly set up carb? maybe with those mixture results first, the time and expense of the fuel injection upgrade would have been obviated

    - my hornet is almost fully sorted mechanically - i will dyno the hornet in a few months, and i will post those results - i'll do the same after the headers and exhaust upgrades, but that will be in a while!

    300 x 143 - 7K
  • bob wardbob ward Posts: 1,040Senior Contributor
    Nearly 20 years ago I had a set of headers made for a 54 Twin H hydramatic 3.08 axle Hornet and I was able to do before and after comparisons on a dyno. The 308 wasn't the healthiest, it ran on 5 3/4 cylinders and in that state rear wheel HP rose from low 90s to high 90s, an extra 7 or 8 HP with no changes other than the headers. I still have the printouts somewhere.

    Before anyone says the obvious (why would you put headers on a dodgy engine?) the answer is twofold. The main one was that the Hudson exhaust manifold had cracked/burnt through in the usual place and needed to be replaced. The other is reading in Jack Clifford's catalogue that the best bang for your hot up buck on a 308 is to fit headers, I was interested in seeing how many more bangs you got for your buck.
  • GlowplugGlowplug Posts: 1,646Expert Adviser
    Cool Bob; thanks for your experience
  • 50C8DAN50C8DAN Posts: 1,747Senior Contributor
    edited September 2018
    Here is the comment from Clifford performance on torque and power improvements:
  • bob wardbob ward Posts: 1,040Senior Contributor
    50C8DAN said:

    Here is the comment from Clifford performance on torque and power improvements:

    The Clifford catalogue I had in mind dates back to the mid 90s and was 3 or 4 pages (yellow paper?) of the Hudson goodies that he sold, from hardened and ground head bolt washers to Weber manifolds. From memory, other than to say headers were the best bang for the buck performance wise because the original manifolds are very restrictive, there was no claim for a specific performance increase.

    I suspect, based on my own experience, (an extra 8HP say over 91HP say is a 9% increase) that the current claim for Clifford headers of increasing power by 25% is a bold claim.
  • Ken U-TxKen U-Tx Posts: 3,605Senior Contributor
    When Jack was alive, he claimed about 10-15% increase in a HEALTHY, well tuned engine. 9% gain in a worn out engine with probably many little issues is impressive IMHO. 25% GAIN ON A FLATHEAD WITH HEADERS IS OPTIMISTIC. MAYBE ON A HIGHER REVVING OHV ENGINE.... Main reason I Went to headers was because the cast iron exhaust manifold was cracked and broken, with stuck heat riser. Another benefit is with a ceramic coating inside and out headers don't rust and the radiant heat is greatly reduced.....The lesser thermal mass compared to the heavy cast manifold means less heat soak after shutting down, say at a stop for gas or lunch.....the engine bay stays cooler and vapor lock is less likely.

  • i contacted clifford directly - they responded very quickly:

    "I am sorry, but we do not dyno test.

    Normal gains with 5=8 headers is 30%.

    Jack Clifford designed tuned headers for the Hudson.
    Thank you
    Larry 6=8"

    this is why i'm looking for dyno data from hudson owners!
  • terraplane8terraplane8 Posts: 502Senior Contributor
    I think a 10% gain is more realistic on a fairly stock engine. Often people putting on headers change the exhaust system at the same time to a less restrictive one, so some of the total gain will be attributable to the freer flowing exhaust pipes and muffler not just the headers. I don't believe any claim of 25 or 30% - show me the proof then I will believe.
  • RichardDRichardD Posts: 600Member
    edited September 2018
    I have headers on the '53, and one thing is for sure: if you ever want to adjust valves don't install headers.You will have lots of FUN.
  • Hudson_in_SeattleHudson_in_Seattle Posts: 168Member
    check out the engine and under carriage parts of this video - very interesting set-up for headers and dual exhausts -
  • RichardDRichardD Posts: 600Member
    How else would you do it?? Here is my header/dual setup>>
  • dougsondougson Posts: 675Senior Contributor
    Don't know if this will work: link to an earlier post I put up with pictures of my setup, since then I have modified the two side pipes to a single 2.5 out the rear.
  • keithfullmeryahoocomkeithfullmeryahoocom Posts: 367Expert Adviser
    "six cylinder, flat head V-8"?
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