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 out of 1 people think this is 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 out of 2 people think this is 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

Add photo

Related Questions

  • Exhaust 2 answers

    On my 1997 Chevy 1500 should I go with Shorty headers or long tube headers

    1997 Chevrolet C/K 1500 Cheyenne Extended Cab Stepside SB


    Car Customization

  • 1991 Chevy K1500 5 answers

    I have a stock chevy with a 350 engine and want to do a swap. What would be the largest engine size i should go?

    1991 Chevrolet C/K 1500 Silverado Standard Cab Stepside SB 4WD


    Car Customization

  • performance 3 answers

    this is my 93 chevy c1500 reg cab pickup. v8 5.7 L. does anybody know if you can put a chip or a programmer on these things

    1993 Chevrolet C/K 1500


    Car Customization

  • Gas Mileage 36 answers

    I have a 95 Chevy ext. Cab right now. Is there anything that I could possibly do to increase the gas mileage on my 5.7 liter gas Engine??? Cold Air Intake? New Air Filter? New Spark Plugs or any hoses...

    1995 Chevrolet C/K 1500


    Car Customization

  • first year of EFI. don't have to get it inspected anymore and was thinking about putting headers on it with a dual exhaust. Will I have to make changes to the EFI inorder for it to run correctly? If so what? thanks 5 answers

    I have an 1988 chevy silverado with a 350, first year of EFI. I don't have to get it inspected anymore and was thinking about putting headers on it with a dual exhaust. Will I have to make changes t...

    1988 Chevrolet C/K 1500



C/K 1500

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

CarGurus has 868 nationwide C/K 1500 listings starting at $2,500.


Search Chevrolet C/K 1500 Questions

Chevrolet C/K 1500 Experts

#1 Andrew Olsen
Andrew Olsen
Reputation 3,170
#2 John Saffrahn
John Saffrahn
Reputation 2,440
#3 Rowefast
Reputation 1,810
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used GMC Sierra 1500
897 Great Deals out of 64,571 listings starting at $1,500
Used Ford F-150
2,389 Great Deals out of 209,710 listings starting at $895
Used Chevrolet C/K 2500
217 listings starting at $2,699
Used Chevrolet C/K 3500
3 Great Deals out of 235 listings starting at $1,000
Used Chevrolet Camaro
149 Great Deals out of 34,915 listings starting at $1,995
Used Chevrolet S-10
3 Great Deals out of 1,401 listings starting at $1,995

Used Cars For Sale

1995 Chevrolet C/K 1500 For Sale
102 listings starting at $2,500