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..

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