Doug's Headers A453 in 70 Duster with 4 Speed my experience

Mopar Exhaust Systems

  1. cawcislo

    cawcislo Well-Known Member

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    I know there's already posts about the Doug's Headers install, but thought I'd share some of my experiences to help others.

    I am swapping my old beat up rusted, scraped, banged up flowtechs headers(came with the Duster) for some Model D453 Doug's headers. 1970 Duster with A833 4 speed manual and 318 engine, manual steering.

    Not a quick job so this will take some time. This post Doug's headers fittment
    helped me so thanks...but I'll add a bit more to hopefully help the next person.

    Get the car up about 2 feet or more, You'll need the big jack stands (the bigger 6 ton ones worked nicely for me). The higher up you get the car the easier the task gets.

    I pulled both torsion bars which was quite easy. I backed out the adjusters until they were loose, I simply removed the lower control arm bolt (follow the torsion bar socket through the k member) and loosened the strut bar nut. This will give you leverage to push the lower control arm back and push the torsion bar with it. Then I used vicegrips to hold the back of the torsion bar hex (so it didn't go back into the subframe socket) and when you move the a-arm towards the front of the car (the front part of torsion bar hex will come out of the a-arm socket) another vice grip to hold that area then one more push back with the a-arm and out came the torsion bar.

    Remove manual steering linkage, remove oil filter. I already had headers so I was already using the shorter PH43 oil filter if you had manifolds and the long filter you will now need a shorter oil filter or 90 degree adapter.
    Next - remove clutch pedal z-bar, remove starter (my car had the original big mamma starter which won't work with the Doug's headers (need the mini starter aka certain 90's v8 Dakota, ram truck starter).

    Passenger side header came out easy, drivers side required me to unbolt the drivers motor mount and lift the engine about an inch or a bit more than an inch (watch your distributor for clearance when you're jacking up the engine - mine had enough room, but your's may not). Then the drivers side header came out. For the dougs to fit (they hug the motor more than the old Flowtechs), I had to trim off the horns that stick off the side of my A833 transmission. I took off about 1/2" each side (they don't serve any purpose that I know off anyways).
    You could get by with trimming less, but a bit more clearance is better in my mind.

    The Doug's have plenty of room to get the mini starter in after you bolt up the headers so don't worry about that (Doug's instructions say it needs to be installed simultaneously - not true). I will put some heat resistant sheathing over the starter wires as they're a bit close to some of the header just to be sure I don't melt them down.

    Next Task Z-bar modification. The link above and on TTI's page I believe show how to modify the Z-bar for their headers (and the Doug's) to work. Their fix requires cutting and rewelding the z-bar, I didn't feel like that was absolutely necessary so I grabbed a vice and a bit of heat (just a cheap propane torch for soldering copper pipe) and put two bends into the z bar. No matter what you do to that z-bar the area around the z-bar linkage is super tight with the headers being there and a starter. So you may need to do a bit of trial and error to get it to fit well.

    I'm at the point of putting my torsion bars back and bolting up the steering linkage, but my torsion bars appear to interfere with the headers (on both sides). I'll have to put a little bit of clearance into the new headers for them to work (and I still have the stock /6 torsion bars my car was originally a /6 car now converted to v8). I'm a bit surprised they couldn't design that clearance into the headers.

    Almost done, luckily my car has been apart not so long ago so all bolts and parts came apart easy, if you have rusty/crusty parts your fight will be longer. Hope this helps someone.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2019
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    • ir3333

      ir3333 Well-Known Member

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      You just convinced me to continue to slip hi flo manifolds in place on every build!
       
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      • dano

        dano Evil Handy Man

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        They go on way easier with the engine/trans and K-Frame dropped down.
         
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        • 318willrun

          318willrun Utube channel 318willrun

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          I've not installed them on a 4 speed, so don't know what challenges the Z-gate and all poses. Kind of irrelevant, but it was cake-walk putting the D453's in a Duster with a 360/904. Two yawns and a sip of diet pepsi and they were in.
           
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          • fklskv

            fklskv Well-Known Member

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            I put tti headers on my 67. I just removed the center link and z bar. Drivers side required a shim under the mount but they slid right in.
             
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            • Garrett Ellison

              Garrett Ellison Amateur driver on public roadway, do not imitate.. FABO Gold Member

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              I think it's time for someone to tool up to make some equal length 1/2 fender well small block headers for these cars. Two tubes exiting via the fender wells and two tubes exiting underneath look like a good option. Could even do either four into one collectors or a Tri-Y design without a whole lot of primary tube pattern changes between the two sets.
               
            • dano

              dano Evil Handy Man

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              Use TTI shorty headers if you don't want the fuss. Sadly were not an option when I bought my Dougs.
               
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              • fklskv

                fklskv Well-Known Member

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                When I called tti for shortys the guy at tti said long tubes will slide right in. He was right
                 
              • cawcislo

                cawcislo Well-Known Member

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                Slid right in in with a vehicle that had an auto trans? Nothing is sliding in with an A833 manual.
                 
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                • fklskv

                  fklskv Well-Known Member

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                  In fact it is a 4 speed car and yes they slid right in.
                   
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                  • dano

                    dano Evil Handy Man

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                    Mine slid in with the engine and trans on moving dollies (yes I play with dollies, I dress them up and we have tea like proper ladies) and the whole car 3 feet in the air. Car down, Engine/trans up. Done.....then put everything else back together.

                    I think people are not prepared for what cawcislo outlined nicely above. Slide or drop is subjective, like "low rust". Low rust to some people is just some daylight showing through the floor boards, and frame rails, and rear quarters.....
                     
                  • fklskv

                    fklskv Well-Known Member

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                    Slid right in still requires some prep work as stated. So here goes.

                    Mini starter for sure. Oil filter housing position change.

                    Car up on stands high enough. I would say as high as most jack stands go. Not like 4 ft in the air!

                    Center link and z bar removed. And slide, thats right, slide the header right in. The right side I had to jack the engine up. Not one dent in the headers for clearance.

                    I should also add I have since pulled the 4 speed and put a 904 in (so my daughter could race it) and never had to loosen the headers to do it. The man at TTI was right. They slide right in.
                     
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                    • cawcislo

                      cawcislo Well-Known Member

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                      Put some dents into the dougs for the torsion bars to fit without touching the headers. Passenger side was just one pipe, drivers side was also just one pipe, but they're really really close to two other pipes and we'll see if they interfere once the car is on the ground and running (in the next few days). I also spent some time retapping the very front #1 and #2 cylinder exhaust bolt holes in the cylinder head which had some damage and were enlarged (one size up) by the previous owner. So I'm not super thrilled by the fit of the doug's headers (specifically the sway bars touching), but perhaps that's just my car which is a slant 6 conversion to 318 now. Had to be done as the old flowtech's needed to be replaced. Will yours fit better, maybe, and who knows. 50 year old cars with different tolerences an 1/8" here or there could make a big difference. Just be prepared that it could take you a while to "drop them in".
                       
                    • fklskv

                      fklskv Well-Known Member

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                      Its pretty common to put a shim under the motor mount to clear the torsion bar.

                      As far as dropping them in, my tti headers install from the bottom, not sure about Dougs.
                       
                    • cawcislo

                      cawcislo Well-Known Member

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                      I may try to put a shim under the motor mount and see if that helps. but it's super tight and busy on the drivers side by the clutch z bar, starter area.
                       
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