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Project Muscrate:

Mercifully, my "season" is OVER!

By Jay Roeder

Hi everyone, and welcome back! If you read the title of this article you may have guessed that I have not had a very good year. Everything started to go downhill on April 2 when my dad died from complications of heart bypass surgery and the summer never really got any better. My dad was a self-employed body man for almost 40 years and at age 61 was just beginning to allow himself to think about relaxing. What a shame.

Considering my father was well regarded in his field, he had no shortage of work piled up at the time. Because I used to do all of the paint work at his shop about 10 years ago, I decided to honor his commitments, at least a few of them. But as it turned out, I bit off a little more than I perhaps should have. I was also VERY busy at my engine building business and something had to give.

For the first time in my life that "something" was going to have to be racing. My first time out this season was for the IHRA Div. 5 race at Cedar Falls Raceway in the middle of August. Since then I have raced a whopping TWO more times and attempted to race a third time. I say "attempted" because trusty ol' Muscrate developed an "issue". More on that later.

Originally, this installment was to cover the testing of a new pair of headers with larger 1 3/4" primaries, and also to do a back- to-back test of some new "merge" collectors now being made by Wes Collins of Nebraska Chassis. The headers are from MAC Products and are actually a street-type header with thick flanges and heavy gauge tubing but they are shaped pretty good without any severe kinks or bends and more importantly to me they have 1 3/4" primaries with 3-in. collectors.

These are the new pipes from MAC Products and MAC Midwest. The pipes are 1 ¾ in. into a 3-in. collector. Designed to be a street-type header, they are actually formed pretty nice. The ball flange type collectors were cut off to allow me to fit the normal slip-on type collectors from Nebraska Chassis.

Basically, I was interested in what improvement I would see going from my old Hooker 1 5/8" headers with 4 into 2 into 1 collectors, figuring I needed more flow with the new engine.

Here we see the old trusty Hooker Super Comp headers Muscrate has worn for the last 10 years. The 1 5/8-in. primaries worked fine with the old 302 HO combo. But the new mill needed some deeper breathing. Also, you see the 4 into 2 into 1 type collectors and 15 inches of collector extension. Hey, it worked!


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