What kind of exhaust/headers should I put on my 88 chevy 1500?

Asked by May 06, 2015 at 05:53 PM about the 1988 Chevrolet C/K 1500

Question type: Car Customization

I have an 88 chevy 1500 2wd with a 350 in it. I've put in a holley built throttle body with a 1
inch spacer. Now I'm looking for a full exhaust system from headers back. I heard the mid
length headers would be best performance wise but I'm not 100% convinced. Outside
input would be greatly appreciated.

5 Answers


Long tube headers are always the best performance wise as long as they fit the vehicle. The short ones are generally a waste of money, but they look good.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Rule of thumb is short tube headers are for high rpm's (racing) or like zoomies on rail type dragsters - fast exit, & long tube headers are for >torque< (towing) or (marine). Many exhaust dynamics to consider like equal long tube length, (there's a formula for this length between exhaust charge exits & the opening & closing of the exhaust valves causing an exhaust vacumn or scavaging effect), directional clockwise swirling at the collector, & scavaging. But sometimes only shorty's will fit. Us old school hot roders loved long tube fender well headers but kind of weird behind the front tires. So use what fits & save yourself a headache.

What about mid length headers?


For some reason 28-30" equal length tubes stick in my memory? 2" + header tubes for big block engines (396-454) & 1 & 3/4" tubes for small block engines (302-350). Some exhaust pressure is good. And being a 350-1500 truck use long tube & 1 & 3/4" tube headers. You might want to carry a load or tow sometime. Note: a single 3" exhaust pipe will flow more than a duel exhaust system. Have a custom pipe bent up by an exhaust shop with a hyd. pipe bender & use a perf. cat & Raven muffler with 3" inlets & outlets. It will sound deeper too. I did this on my Chevy truck photo shown. Side rear exit exhaust pipe was out-of-the-way for towing.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

HI,JAMES IS PRETTY CLOSE..a long tube header > *** LONG COLLECTOR*** header is what you need...after you put in the headers take a wax crayon and run a horizontal line down the collector. make a hard pass,turn off and see where the discoloration is ending..thats where you want to put on the collector ring/s. and have them ceramic coated inside and out..

Your Answer

C/K 1500

Looking for a Used C/K 1500 in your area?

CarGurus has 863 nationwide C/K 1500 listings starting at $2,000.


Chevrolet C/K 1500 Experts

  • #1
    Andrew Olsen
  • #2
    John Saffrahn
  • #3
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used GMC Sierra 1500
882 Great Deals out of 65,389 listings starting at $1,995
Used Ford F-150
2,280 Great Deals out of 181,538 listings starting at $1,000
Used Chevrolet C/K 2500
195 listings starting at $6,495
Used Chevrolet C/K 3500
230 listings starting at $4,999
Used Chevrolet Camaro
405 Great Deals out of 30,567 listings starting at $3,550
Used Chevrolet S-10
8 Great Deals out of 1,217 listings starting at $2,500

Used Cars For Sale

1998 Chevrolet C/K 1500 For Sale
161 listings starting at $2,000
1995 Chevrolet C/K 1500 For Sale
79 listings starting at $2,000

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.