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  1. #1

    Default Headers for 85 3.8L

    I asked this in the exhaust section too, but I am looking for headers for my 198 3.8l mustang XL convertible. Currently having an issue with something clogging the exhaust. We have verified that it is NOT the catalytic converter. And the muffler appears clear. My thought was to just do headers and replace everything.

  2. #2
    FEP Senior Member Tigger's Avatar
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    SN95 3.8's have factory headers., at least the 96's I had did. You might see if they will fit your car? Good luck to you.
    67 Mustang Coupe
    96 Tangerine GT
    86 Saleen #179

  3. #3

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    You could use Supercoupe exhaust manifolds also.

  4. #4

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    ok This is sparking some good reading. Seems the SC manifold is as good/better than a header. Looks like i need to find a 94 SC manifold.

  5. #5
    FEP Power Member Mustang Marty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tigger View Post
    SN95 3.8's have factory headers., at least the 96's I had did. You might see if they will fit your car? Good luck to you.
    if you use OEM ones, check the welds on those before installing them. I have replaced the factory headers on my 2001 4x (twice on each side) The welds have poor penetration. Two broke off at the weld on the collector and the other two broke at one of the primary tubes. This is one time that the aftermarket replacements are better constructed.
    79 Mustang Coupe - Jade Green Metallic - 5.0 5Sp - Purchased 2006
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    01 Mustang - True Blue - 3.8 Auto - Purchased 2001, now daughter's car
    85 ASC - McLaren 5.0 SC - ASC White - 5.0 CFI Auto - Owned 2004 - 2016
    98 Mustang - White - 3.8 5pd - Owned 1998 - 2001
    84 Mustang SSP - White - 5.0 5sp - Owned 1993 - 1998
    84 SVO - Charcoal - 2.3t 5Sp - Owned 1989 -1992
    79 Mustang Ghia - 5.0 Auto - Owned 1981 - 1986
    68 Mustang Coupe - 302 Auto - Owned 1980 - 1981

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cJAY904 View Post
    ok This is sparking some good reading. Seems the SC manifold is as good/better than a header. Looks like i need to find a 94 SC manifold.
    I've never heard any evidence that the SC manifolds were anything special. They only ever got cast manifolds. Back in the day guys used to bore out the manifold exit to get a little better airflow from the manifold. The 96/97 T-Birds and Cougars with the V6 did get tubular style manifolds. I've got a set of 94 Mustang V6 factory tubular headers that will go in my LTD eventually.
    '89 XR-7 5 Speed
    '95 SC 5 Speed
    '91 Crown Vic P72 351W
    '97 Thunderbird
    '85 Ford LTD Squire

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinVarnes View Post
    I've never heard any evidence that the SC manifolds were anything special. They only ever got cast manifolds. Back in the day guys used to bore out the manifold exit to get a little better airflow from the manifold. The 96/97 T-Birds and Cougars with the V6 did get tubular style manifolds. I've got a set of 94 Mustang V6 factory tubular headers that will go in my LTD eventually.
    They're nothing special but were good enough to not be the first necessary upgrade to the SC's for better power, and worked well until beyond the 300 hp range on the blown engine. That should be more than adequate for a N/A 3.8. The bonus is that an OEM cast manifold is dead reliable vs. aftermarket headers.

  8. #8
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    Actually exhaust was one of the first upgrades people used to make to uncork the SC. The only reason people ran the stock 89-93 manifolds was because aftermarket headers were so unbelievably expensive because hardly anybody made any back then. I've got Kooks shorties on my '95 SC and they work very well. The 94-95 SC manifolds do flow pretty well for cast manifolds. They are also exactly the same as the 94-95 3.8 N/A manifolds so you don't need to seek out SC specific parts.
    '89 XR-7 5 Speed
    '95 SC 5 Speed
    '91 Crown Vic P72 351W
    '97 Thunderbird
    '85 Ford LTD Squire

  9. #9

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    Yes, exhaust was an excellent first mod for the SC, headers weren't necessary until later due to cost. The kooks are definitely the better choice but pricey.

    Regardless, the OP needs an option for his N/A 3.8, not his SC. Perhaps he wants to spend $800+ on a pair of Kooks for a low horsepower application? If he doesn't, SC manifolds would be a great choice here.

  10. #10

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    Quick update.... I was wrong. We had verified it was not the catalytic converter until we found that it had two more catalytic converters (total of three). One of the front two were clogged causing half the cylinders to not be able to pass gas. Cleared that up and we are back in business. Thank you all.

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