In the past, when it came to fabricating a custom set of headers, the name of the game was a box of generic bends and a lot of wasted tubing, time, and frustration. If you were extremely well-off you might have had the resources to CAD-design and mandrel bend your primaries — at great expense.
For the garage hot rodder shoehorning a monster powerplant into a tight engine bay, finding that perfect set of headers meant breaking out the ball-peen and going to town on the off the shelf pipes, sacrificing aesthetics, and performance.
Trick Tools is now offering products from icengineworks, who developed a system they jovially refer to as a set of grown-up Legos. Its precision exhaust header modeling systems allow the user to mock up a set of headers from a bag of snap-together parts and ultimately use those models to create an accurate and functional exhaust kit.
The kit includes three basic stages to take the performance enthusiast from plastic parts to engine rumble. We talked to Victor Franco, president of icengineworks to get an explanation for these colorfully-coded, snap-together tools. “Normally everybody knows what lengths they need for their primaries, the problem is always packaging. With our system — just clicking blocks we are creating assemblies that get you closer and closer,” explained Franco.
As strings of plastic blocks are assembled to a terminal collector they can be twisted and turned to route through cramped areas. With as many blocks marking arrows aligned the fabricator can then cut steel U-bends into manageable chunks using the supplied fixtures. The kit even includes clamps to aide in the welding of the individual components.
With the tools supplied in the kit one can build unique performance headers with minimal waste. “We sell full systems of 300 pieces, and matching welding clamps for $1,500, and our experience with customers has been that you can break even on the first or second project,” concluded Franco.