Doug's headers not fitting - frustration

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Uncle Bob

Shiny paint causes stress.
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So I bought a set of D-453s after hearing they fit a 4-speed car with power steering, and that they fit; shouldn't be any messing around. Then the disappointment started.

So far I've beat the living daylights of them to get clearance from the torsion bars, and away from the power steering. I had to get a TTI Z-bar, not unexpected and I had to buy the part anyway. I just put the column back in, bolted it to the floor and the dash, and find the steering coupler hits the headers, and not just a little bit, it's hitting on the narrow side of it. Saying they fit a power steering car, at least on my car, is just not true.

I've spent as much time taking things back apart as I have putting them together.

So, I'm wondering, what the heck is going on here? It can't be my car, can it?

Car is a 71 Duster, power steering, 360, 4-speed, factory 318 auto car.
 
So I bought a set of D-453s after hearing they fit a 4-speed car with power steering, and that they fit; shouldn't be any messing around. Then the disappointment started.

So far I've beat the living daylights of them to get clearance from the torsion bars, and away from the power steering. I had to get a TTI Z-bar, not unexpected and I had to buy the part anyway. I just put the column back in, bolted it to the floor and the dash, and find the steering coupler hits the headers, and not just a little bit, it's hitting on the narrow side of it. Saying they fit a power steering car, at least on my car, is just not true.

I've spent as much time taking things back apart as I have putting them together.

So, I'm wondering, what the heck is going on here? It can't be my car, can it?

Car is a 71 Duster, power steering, 360, 4-speed, factory 318 auto car.
All cars are different. I haven't done Doug's on a 4 speed car, but I have on automatics. One Duster fit like a glove with no massaging at all. The other Duster I had to just a tad massage around the drivers torsion bar, BUT, that Duster was a /6 car and has schumacher mounts, which the engine probably isn't sitting as true as a factory V8 car would sit. Both had manual steering, but I can tell I'd have lots of room for power steering.
 
I'm really at a loss as to why you're having so much trouble Bob, I wish I had a magic wand to help you out.
I have had to remove the steering column and remove a few inches off the bottom of the column, and move the lower bearing up.
I really don't remember which vehicle.
Make sure you contact Doug's, I know they care, yakked with them a few times, you may get some consideration, and I know they like input .
 
All cars are different. I haven't done Doug's on a 4 speed car, but I have on automatics. One Duster fit like a glove with no massaging at all. The other Duster I had to just a tad massage around the drivers torsion bar, BUT, that Duster was a /6 car and has schumacher mounts, which the engine probably isn't sitting as true as a factory V8 car would sit. Both had manual steering, but I can tell I'd have lots of room for power steering.
Trust me on this because I have it - there isn't lots of room for power steering no matter what you might think. The tubes tuck between the steering gear and the block. I had two tubes that touched the steering gear #1 & #3. The steering coupler is flat up against the #7 tube.

Not that it matters, but I'll never recommend them to anybody. If they were a $150 generic Jeg's/Summit header, yeah. But $500+, no.
 
I'm really at a loss as to why you're having so much trouble Bob, I wish I had a magic wand to help you out.
I have had to remove the steering column and remove a few inches off the bottom of the column, and move the lower bearing up.
I really don't remember which vehicle.
Make sure you contact Doug's, I know they care, yakked with them a few times, you may get some consideration, and I know they like input .
I called Doug's at one point and got the standard "all cars are different" line. :BangHead: I don't know what else they would say, to be honest. That was about the point where I broke out the hammer and torch.
 
Trust me on this because I have it - there isn't lots of room for power steering no matter what you might think. The tubes tuck between the steering gear and the block. I had two tubes that touched the steering gear #1 & #3. The steering coupler is flat up against the #7 tube.

Not that it matters, but I'll never recommend them to anybody. If they were a $150 generic Jeg's/Summit header, yeah. But $500+, no.

I'm convinced there's something outta whack with those headers.
Trust me, I done bunchas.
I haven't seen anyone have so many issues with sooo many different things .
 
Trust me on this because I have it - there isn't lots of room for power steering no matter what you might think.
i understand your frustration. I can tell you i could put power steering with a fist clearance on my cars. Is your engine sitting in the FACTORY location with FACTORY mounts or OEM replacement mounts - including the steel bracket and the rubber biscuit? Pictures of the mounts, etc would help us decipher a possibility.
 
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Manual steering headers on a power steering car. Fitted them on a fixture and then installed the assembly from the bottom. They fit like a glove,

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I'd run manifolds before my dumbass beat a thousand dollar set of headers all to heck.
 
So I bought a set of D-453s after hearing they fit a 4-speed car with power steering, and that they fit; shouldn't be any messing around. Then the disappointment started.

So far I've beat the living daylights of them to get clearance from the torsion bars, and away from the power steering. I had to get a TTI Z-bar, not unexpected and I had to buy the part anyway. I just put the column back in, bolted it to the floor and the dash, and find the steering coupler hits the headers, and not just a little bit, it's hitting on the narrow side of it. Saying they fit a power steering car, at least on my car, is just not true.

I've spent as much time taking things back apart as I have putting them together.

So, I'm wondering, what the heck is going on here? It can't be my car, can it?

Car is a 71 Duster, power steering, 360, 4-speed, factory 318 auto car.

Any history of accidents on the car?

How do the frame rails look?

What engine mounts are you using?

Without pics it seems the engine is sitting more to driver side than normal thus reducing clearance.
 
I'm convinced there's something outta whack with those headers.
Trust me, I done bunchas.
I haven't seen anyone have so many issues with sooo many different things .
When a lot of things are "way outta wack" on known-to-fit-well headers, I look at two things: The engine placement and are the headers right (meaning wrong headers in box or wrong headers ordered).
 
My 72 Demon 340 4 speed with factory power steering has them- I had to remove the draglink to make it easier
No fuss but like said before I bolted them to the engine and raised it up from the bottom.
 
When a lot of things are "way outta wack" on known-to-fit-well headers, I look at two things: The engine placement and are the headers right (meaning wrong headers in box or wrong headers ordered).

The 453 fit just about every model, but you certainly could be right.
 

Bob, the only other time I saw an issue like this, the installer didn't know the engine sits something like 1 1/2 inches to the passenger side, and he had centered the engine in the frame and had major issues like you.
I'd really be interested, I'm sure I asked before, where your engine/crank centerline is, this chart tells where it should be.
Please and thank-you .

IMG_20240421_125507.jpg
 
The factory k frames and frame rail tolerances are very sloppy with these cars. Thats why TTI publishes engine placement specs. Cause if engine not located correctly side to side and height wise the headers wont fit.

For my TTIs I had to add one motor mount shim on driver side and two on pass side to get engine located correctly. Zero dents on my TTIs none. So before you start beating the hell out of new headers best to insure engine located correctly.
 
The factory k frames and frame rail tolerances are very sloppy with these cars. Thats why TTI publishes engine placement specs. Cause if engine not located correctly side to side and height wise the headers wont fit.
These cars are 50++ years old. Were they ever in a accident? How many motor swaps, like the OP here states a BB was in his car using elephant ears. So much to consider, and no way to make a header to compensate for all entire history of the car.
 
These cars are 50++ years old. Were they ever in a accident? How many motor swaps, like the OP here states a BB was in his car using elephant ears. So much to consider, and no way to make a header to compensate for all entire history of the car.
Even on clean original unmolested cars engine can be sitting in there wrong due to extremely sloppy factory tolerances. Now add all those other factors age, ppl swapped k members, prior damage, aftermarket motor mounts, mods etc then probability of engine not located correctly goes up.

The header manufacturers have to assume a certain engine placement. My headers just barely clear lots of things. Engine placement off just a little they would be hitting hitting torsion bars, steering linkage, frame rails, steering shaft ect.
 
This is exactly why I went with manifolds. So much easier and everything fits. And I can change spark plugs without pulling the engine. Lol I understand if you are trying to squeeze every last tenth of a second out of your car but for me mines a street car I'll sacrifice a couple hp for convenience
 
Any history of accidents on the car?

How do the frame rails look?

What engine mounts are you using?

Without pics it seems the engine is sitting more to driver side than normal thus reducing clearance.
No obvious collision damage.

Frame rails are clean and solid.

Using the biscuits that came with a Schumacher engine bracket kit. Car has a V-8 k-frame, was a 318 car originally. The engine has Edelbrock heads.

Pictures won't show that. I've got a several photos I took trying to show where things hit, and can't tell they hit in none of them

For example, and I lightened the photo up and increased the contrast to get it to look this clear:

20240514_193437.jpg
 
i understand your frustration. I can tell you i could put power steering with a fist clearance on my cars. Is your engine sitting in the FACTORY location with FACTORY mounts or OEM replacement mounts - including the steel bracket and the rubber biscuit? Pictures of the mounts, etc would help us decipher a possibility.
See my post right above this one. Schumacher repop engine brackets came with the biscuits and IIRC they are from a truck application. Which I remember wondering why, now that I've put it in writing but they look the same as rock auto lists for a 71..
 
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