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Exhaust headers for 1986 NA, plus other exhuast issues

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  • Exhaust headers for 1986 NA, plus other exhuast issues

    Folks, I am doing some tinkering with my Zed over the next few months and am wondering what experience someone might have with headers for these cars?
    Right now the car is quite stock, and I don't intend on doing any major upgrades, am open to doing some improvements to it.
    My concerns about headers are heat, noise, and whether headers typically have provisions for the O2 sensor. As I'm sure everyone knows things are really packed in tight, so will the heat from the headers cause other issues?

    How much extra noise will they have, and how necessary are they? Do the factory manifolds have decent flow?

    Someone has put a K&N filter on the intake already.

    Also, at some point in it's past there have been a few restrictions put in the system. Two in the head pipe. It looks like a long time ago one side of the head pipe was pushed nearly halfway in near where the steering shaft passes by it. I'm not sure why, as there is lots of room for it, but it is there.
    Lower down, near the converter a smaller piece of pipe was inserted and welded up nicely. Then at the back where the tailpipe passes by part of the emergency brake, it was heated up and banged in to clear. It would seem that whoever did the repairs had the tailpipe off a few degrees when they welded it up, so just did that so as not to have to cut it and re weld.
    Which brings me to the last point, the whole system has been welded together from front to back, it only bolts to the manifold. The welding is good quality, so I suspect it was professionally done. It has had a new converter put on recently (not by me), which is now rattling, so that will likely need to be replaced again.

    So this seems like an all or nothing kind of job once I take it apart.
    What are the aftermarket cat back systems like?
    Thank you.

  • #2
    So I had some discussion with Low last night during the virtual meeting, and he suggested a Magnaflow system, which has a nice throaty sound which I want, but not over the top noisy, and some other folks seconded his thoughts. That is a well known brand, and the quality is supposed to be good as well.
    So I thinking that is the direction I'm going to go.
    Any other opinions are still welcome.


    • #3
      Sorry I've been so tardy catching up on this. I could not find a Magnaflow system for my car, as they don't manufacture it anymore, and no one I could find had one leftover in stock.
      So I bought a different, but supposedly similar one from Motorsport Z in California. Just a plain steel system, which I cleaned up and painted a high heat aluminum paint before I installed it.
      The pipes from the convertor back are 3 in, which I think is a bit more than my 160 HP engine needs, but that's what it came with. The muffler is a nice polished stainless piece and looks good.
      Now everything from the heads back is new. Headers, convertor, etc.
      It certainly was a chore getting the pipes installed so they didn't hit anything, there is barely any clearance.
      The sound level on the outside isn't bad, but inside it is very droney at certain speeds, so I don't know if I'm going to keep it like this or not.

      One question to those folks who have read through my post here. Would going to a 2 or 2.5 in pipe have any effect on the sound? ei. would it reduce the drone?
      Last edited by KeithZed; 08-05-2021, 07:47 PM.


      • #4
        Hi Keith, I don't think a smaller diameter would make a difference on sound. I just went through a header install on my Z33 this week and wow, things are really packed in tight in there. 2 days later it's finally out of the shop. I went with DC sports ceramic coated. I wanted Tomei but couldn't believe the wait time on them. I'll have more details and the car at ZFest !


        • #5
          Thanks for the info, I appreciate it. We did the shopping tour Bill put on, and it was pretty loud in certain situations, like too loud. I still want to have this car good for touring.


          • #6
            Keith, I have a 73 240z with the stock engine in it. I put on a header with a 2 1/2" system to the rear of the car. The initial muffler I installed was a Borla muffler. The manufacturing quality of that muffler was very high. That was the wrong muffler for the application. That was my fault. It was way too loud particularly in a city environment and the worst part was the drone on the highway. Touring was tiring. An hour was about all i could take driving on the highway. In addition, I was reluctant to drive the car in the evening or at night because of the loudness. ( I live in a city ) I replaced it with low quality muffler that produced a mellow sound that I'm happy with. It is pleasant to drive now and it doesn't raise the eyebrows of the police I go by which it certainly did before.


            • #7
              Thank you for your views.
              Yes, I did make the wrong choice for a muffler as well. What I can say is that I like the look of the tip, rather shallow of me I know. However, on Tuesday's tour another OZC member commented that he could hear my car quite clearly 3-4 cars back from mine. So that also tells me it is too loud, and I don't want to get any unwanted attention.