Hooker LS Swaps in ’67-69 Camaro & ’68-72 Nova Part 3

Click Here to Begin Slideshow We began this series a few issues ago, starting with the motor mounts along with the transmission mounts and then progressing to the custom oil pan you’ll need in order to swap a Chevy LS engine into a 1967-69 Camaro or a 1968-72 Nova. If you rewind, you’ll find that Hooker Headers and parent company Holley Performance Products developed a totally engineered swap package for this combination. Essentially, all of the parts they have for this swap work in unison. In this segment, we’ll take a look at the complete exhaust system. Hooker has developed a comprehensive assembly that stretches from the headers to the tailpipes. Not only is it efficient, it’s high quality, it’s good looking and best of all, it’s engineered to fit correctly with the rest of their components. Here’s the inside story: The headers (part number 2276-1HKR) are mild steel -- the versions we’re showing you include Hooker’s high temperature ceramic coating, and unlike some others, they’re full length. Dimensionally, the primaries are 1-7/8-inches in diameter while the collector measures 3.00-inches in diameter. Collectors are set up for a slip fit to the exhaust (using a band clamp configuration coupler). The primary tubes are built with 16-gauge material while the cylinder head flange measures 5/16-inches. Remember, these headers are engineered to work hand in hand with the swap mounts. Hooker points out: “The headers require the use of HOK-12618HKR clamshell-style engine mounting bracket kit and ANI-2292 engine mounts to achieve the correct vehicle component clearance and ground clearance. In addition, the use of the OEM frame stands/mounts with typical swap plates will not provide the engine positioning necessary for successful installation of these headers.” When installed as part of the Hooker kit, the headers will tuck as closely to the car as possible. That means they provide maximum ground clearance for “F” or “X” cars that have been lowered. Another thing to keep in mind is that the mounts from Hooker position the LS power plant approximately 3⁄4-inch to 1-inch further forward than a stock small block. That means you’ll need a different driveshaft (slightly longer), but the exact shaft length depends upon the transmission you chose for your swap. In addition, the headers will not work with a factory automatic column shift linkage. Aftermarket column shift cable kits such as those offered by Lokar will work, however. What about 1/2-height body subframe mounts (as many know, this is a way to lower the car and also to tighten up handling)? They’ll fit, but Hooker notes that the collector-to-floor clearances should be expected to be tight and roughly half of the intended 1” clearance designed into the headers. If you use ½-height subframe mounts, then you’ll have to space the transmission cross member up an equal amount. The clearance at the exhaust notches, along with the exhaust angles, gets out of whack if you simply space the transmission upward (at the trans mount) an equal amount. The headers can be directly installed to the appropriate Camaro or Nova exhaust system. Hooker offers these systems in 2-1/2-inch diameter tubing or 3.00-inch tubing. Camaro and Nova systems are obviously different, given the difference in vehicle wheelbase (and other factors). The system shown in the accompanying photos (Hooker part number 70501321-RHKR) is a 3.00-inch diameter job for a Nova. We’ll use this particular Nova system as the example; it’s engineered with a high-efficiency stamped x-style crossover along with high-flow TIG-welded 304 stainless steel absorption mufflers. The system incorporates factory quality hardware (clamps, hanger rods and rubber isolators). This ensures great fit and a leak free installation. It clears the stock part brake and includes tail pipe turn downs that exit under the rear quarter panels. When it comes to clearance (particularly the driveshaft, since it does tend to hug the floor of the car closely), Hooker has this to offer: “The Hooker 70501320-RHKR 2.5” exhaust system is compatible with driveshafts up to 4” in diameter as received. The Hooker 70501321-RHKR 3” exhaust system is compatible with driveshafts up to 3.5” in diameter as received and can be made to be compatible with a 4” diameter driveshaft on most cars by modifying or dimpling the passenger side outlet leg of the X-pipe assembly.” The mufflers included with the system provide excellent exhaust flow capabilities but they’re not obnoxious when it comes to sound – mellow enough at idle and cruise speeds to keep peace with your neighbors, but definitely “powerful” when you get on the throttle. Addititionally, there is very little resonance, which makes cruising pleasant. The straight through design is based upon a perforated core with glass packing absorption material. Hooker uses a composite stainless steel and hi-temp e-glass packing that definitely lasts longer than common Rockwool material. Essentially, the install is straightforward. If the floor pan of the car has been modified, you’ll obviously need to take that into consideration when installing the exhaust – it was engineered to fit a stock floor application. Out back, it will also fit with some rear sway bar setups, but again, the system may require some mods to the over-the-axle pipes to clear big sway bar systems. Next issue, we’ll examine Holley’s comprehensive accessory drive and pulley arrangement. Watch for it.

Hooker LS Swaps in '67-69 Camaro & '68-72 Nova Part 3

Click Here to Begin Slideshow

We began this series a few issues ago, starting with the motor mounts along with the transmission mounts and then progressing to the custom oil pan you’ll need in order to swap a Chevy LS engine into a 1967-69 Camaro or a 1968-72 Nova. If you rewind, you’ll find that Hooker Headers and parent company Holley Performance Products developed a totally engineered swap package for this combination. Essentially, all of the parts they have for this swap work in unison. In this segment, we’ll take a look at the complete exhaust system. Hooker has developed a comprehensive assembly that stretches from the headers to the tailpipes. Not only is it efficient, it’s high quality, it’s good looking and best of all, it’s engineered to fit correctly with the rest of their components. Here’s the inside story:

The headers (part number 2276-1HKR) are mild steel -- the versions we’re showing you include Hooker’s high temperature ceramic coating, and unlike some others, they’re full length. Dimensionally, the primaries are 1-7/8-inches in diameter while the collector measures 3.00-inches in diameter. Collectors are set up for a slip fit to the exhaust (using a band clamp configuration coupler). The primary tubes are built with 16-gauge material while the cylinder head flange measures 5/16-inches.

Remember, these headers are engineered to work hand in hand with the swap mounts. Hooker points out: “The headers require the use of HOK-12618HKR clamshell-style engine mounting bracket kit and ANI-2292 engine mounts to achieve the correct vehicle component clearance and ground clearance. In addition, the use of the OEM frame stands/mounts with typical swap plates will not provide the engine positioning necessary for successful installation of these headers.”

When installed as part of the Hooker kit, the headers will tuck as closely to the car as possible. That means they provide maximum ground clearance for “F” or “X” cars that have been lowered. Another thing to keep in mind is that the mounts from Hooker position the LS power plant approximately 3⁄4-inch to 1-inch further forward than a stock small block. That means you’ll need a different driveshaft (slightly longer), but the exact shaft length depends upon the transmission you chose for your swap.

In addition, the headers will not work with a factory automatic column shift linkage. Aftermarket column shift cable kits such as those offered by Lokar will work, however.

What about 1/2-height body subframe mounts (as many know, this is a way to lower the car and also to tighten up handling)? They’ll fit, but Hooker notes that the collector-to-floor clearances should be expected to be tight and roughly half of the intended 1” clearance designed into the headers. If you use ½-height subframe mounts, then you’ll have to space the transmission cross member up an equal amount. The clearance at the exhaust notches, along with the exhaust angles, gets out of whack if you simply space the transmission upward (at the trans mount) an equal amount.

The headers can be directly installed to the appropriate Camaro or Nova exhaust system. Hooker offers these systems in 2-1/2-inch diameter tubing or 3.00-inch tubing. Camaro and Nova systems are obviously different, given the difference in vehicle wheelbase (and other factors). The system shown in the accompanying photos (Hooker part number 70501321-RHKR) is a 3.00-inch diameter job for a Nova.

We’ll use this particular Nova system as the example; it’s engineered with a high-efficiency stamped x-style crossover along with high-flow TIG-welded 304 stainless steel absorption mufflers. The system incorporates factory quality hardware (clamps, hanger rods and rubber isolators). This ensures great fit and a leak free installation. It clears the stock part brake and includes tail pipe turn downs that exit under the rear quarter panels.

When it comes to clearance (particularly the driveshaft, since it does tend to hug the floor of the car closely), Hooker has this to offer: “The Hooker 70501320-RHKR 2.5” exhaust system is compatible with driveshafts up to 4” in diameter as received. The Hooker 70501321-RHKR 3” exhaust system is compatible with driveshafts up to 3.5” in diameter as received and can be made to be compatible with a 4” diameter driveshaft on most cars by modifying or dimpling the passenger side outlet leg of the X-pipe assembly.”

The mufflers included with the system provide excellent exhaust flow capabilities but they’re not obnoxious when it comes to sound – mellow enough at idle and cruise speeds to keep peace with your neighbors, but definitely “powerful” when you get on the throttle. Addititionally, there is very little resonance, which makes cruising pleasant. The straight through design is based upon a perforated core with glass packing absorption material. Hooker uses a composite stainless steel and hi-temp e-glass packing that definitely lasts longer than common Rockwool material.

Essentially, the install is straightforward. If the floor pan of the car has been modified, you’ll obviously need to take that into consideration when installing the exhaust – it was engineered to fit a stock floor application. Out back, it will also fit with some rear sway bar setups, but again, the system may require some mods to the over-the-axle pipes to clear big sway bar systems.

Next issue,
we’ll examine Holley’s comprehensive accessory drive and pulley arrangement. Watch for it.

Hooker LS Swaps in '67-69 Camaro & '68-72 Nova Part 3 1

This is a good look at Hooker’s swap header for Camaro-Nova LS swaps. As you can see, this particular set has been ceramic coated by Hooker. They’re gorgeous!

Hooker LS Swaps in '67-69 Camaro & '68-72 Nova Part 3 2

The headers are sized for the most popular LS3 swaps, although they will work with other LS configurations. Installation is easy: The headers come up from the bottom, but as noted, they’re designed for use with Hooker’s swap mounts.

Hooker LS Swaps in '67-69 Camaro & '68-72 Nova Part 3 3

Ports measure 1-7/8-inches in diameter. The flange is a full 5/16-inch thick too.

Hooker LS Swaps in '67-69 Camaro & '68-72 Nova Part 3 4

Downstairs, the header collectors mesure 3-inches in diameter (the tape is off a bit here). Note too the O-2 sensor bung. Each collector has one installed.

Hooker LS Swaps in '67-69 Camaro & '68-72 Nova Part 3 5

Here’s a birds-eye view of one of Hooker’s LS swap exhaust systems. This stainless steel setup is a 3-inch package for a Nova.

Hooker LS Swaps in '67-69 Camaro & '68-72 Nova Part 3 6

As mentioned in the text, the mufflers are 3-inches in and 3-inches out stainless steel jobs with a composite absorbtion packing consisting of stainless steel and hi-temp e-glass.

Hooker LS Swaps in '67-69 Camaro & '68-72 Nova Part 3 7

Hooker includes all of the necessary band lamps and mount brackets with the exhaust kit. They also include OEM style rubber hangers. Overall, it’s an excellent package.

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