Building the Patriot Lakester Weld-up Header Kit with Side Pipes

Building the Patriot Lakester Weld-up Header Kit with Side Pipes
Who said building a hot was easy or quick? Sometimes a minor oversight early in the build can create an issue towards the end of the hot rod build. This is exactly what happened to me with the exhaust system. The first set of headers I built and installed on the 1929 Ford roadster hot rod resulted in a very minor issue. Using the C4 Corvette front suspension and Corvette rims that have a large inward wheel offset, the front tires on a sharp turn would just touch the front primary exhaust tubes. The easy fix would have been to either use different rims, or install a 1 inch wheel spacer between the rim and the rotor. Each of these options did not appeal to me as I wanted to maintain the same dynamics of the C4 Corvette suspension as designed by the GM engineers. Of course, if I had not chosen to maintain the stock wheel base of the 1928-31 Model A Ford wheelbase of 103.5 inches and make the chassis say 6 inches longer, the exhaust problem I have today would not exist. I could have easily recessed the firewall moving the engine back a few inches and again the wheel rubbing on the header would be of no concern. Recessing the firewall was would have been okay for a shorter person, but I am well over six feet tall and loosing leg room would make driving the roadster uncomfortable. I do know the next chassis I build for the Model A Ford using C4 Corvette suspension will be at least 6 inches longer with a wheel base of 109.5 inches. That would allow me to move the coil over shocks inboard behind the radiator, but that will be another story much later on. For now let’s focus on the build of Lakester headers using the Patriot weld-up kit H8001 for the small block Chevrolet engine.
1929 Ford hot rod - Patriot Lakester header kit - picture 1.1
1929 Ford hot rod - Patriot Lakester header kit - picture 2
The H8001 Patriot header kit has 1 5/8 inch primary exhaust tubes with a taper secondary pipe having an outlet size of 3.5 inches. This kit can be real easy to weld up if you choose to bring the primary tubes straight into the secondary pipe and only drilling a 1 5/8 inch hole into the secondary pipe. I never do anything easy and like the style of the primary tubes curving into the secondary tube. With that said, fitting the pipes together tightly before welding will be more time consuming and play havoc will your patience. Then of course wanting to maintain the use of external side pipes will present a challenge of fitting the output of the Lakester headers to the side pipe running parallel to the outside of the frame and just underneath body of the roadster.
The build of the hot rod to me is nothing more than a giant puzzle. I have overcome more complex challenges when I designed the chassis. So the challenges of the Lakester headers and side pipes are only minor. Before I start cutting and welding anything, I always stand back and give the task on hand a considerable amount of thought, sleep on it, dream about it, and think about it some more. Using several wooden blocks, I mocked up the approximate location of the Lakester secondary tapered pipe. I then blocked the side pipes to the location I wanted them. Now it was a matter of mating the output of the headers to the input of the side pipes. Using few bits and pieces of ABS 1.5 inch pipe and fittings, I developed a bit of a plan using 45 degree elbows that seemed to work. Off to the supplier of exhaust parts, I purchased two 90 degree 3.5 inch elbows. Back at home in the shop, these elbows were then cut in half creating 45 degree fittings. To make the mockup of the exhaust system, I quick cut some extra 3.5 inch straight pipe into 1 inch sections. I then cut a small section out of the circumference so that these rings would become sleeves that would fit inside the 3.5 inch 45 degree elbows. Now the plan was starting to come together and in no time I was able to mockup the exhaust system with the look I was aiming for. Now I felt comfortable enough to start welding and making the connections permanent.
1929 Ford hot rod - Patriot Lakester header kit - picture 3
1929 Ford hot rod - Patriot Lakester header kit - picture 4
1929 Ford hot rod - Patriot Lakester header kit - picture 5
Below is a short high definition video of the assembly process I undertook for the second set of headers. In the end, I believe everything happens for a reason, as I do like the look of this exhaust system much better than the first set. So in the end this was time well spent.


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