View Full Version : The holy grail of ford marine race headers

Moody Blu'
03-11-2012, 01:33 PM
Custom one off ford 351 windsor Stainless steel, equal length, water cooled race headers with a 3" inner exhaust diameter and a 4" outer. The guy from HITEK marine makes these headers with a 2"inner 3" outer, He and I worked on getting longer headers and larger exhaust diameter for more power in the upper rpms which Is what I want. He was a great guy and did it. Also, those brass nuts have zinc anodes on them inside.

SO behold the holy grail of ford marine race headers! hehe!

yes i know, the block looks crappy, i thought the paint was good when I built it and it turns out to be crap. it will be fixed with the deck off.

Cant wait to see what the new cam and valve springs do especially with the headers!!!!!!


03-11-2012, 02:03 PM
Hitek Marie will custom build you any great Stainless Steel oddball manifold & riser combination you may want.
Why there is no builder of similar products here in the USA is the big question ?
The shipping & customs duty all the way from Australia , as well as the long shipping lead time is a Big issue.
I had a friend that had a Hitek unit fatigue & crack at a bad weld .
He had to send it all the way back to Australia for the needed repairs.
Hitek stood behind their product at no cost for the necessary repair . ~but the two way shipping costs, not picked-up by Hitek; & time involved were were very costly & long indeed.~~
This custom Hitek product however may be your only option for any oddball Big Block Ford , or Chrysler marine engine high-performance manifold & riser combo today ?
In fact few stock cast-iron manifolds are still being sold for the Big Block Ford, & Big Block Chrysler wedge & especially the famous old Hemi marine engines today.
There seems to be very little market for anyone to actually build them today.

03-11-2012, 02:40 PM
That wouldn't be me would it?

Man that seems like so long ago.


Moody Blu'
03-11-2012, 03:27 PM
"There seems to be very little market for anyone to actually build them today."

hence why they are the holy grail ;) and makes my boat rarer two fold :)

03-21-2012, 07:49 AM
[ QUOTE=$originalposter]silverghost
Hitek Marie will custom build you any great Stainless Steel oddball manifold & riser combination you may want.
Why there is no builder of similar products here in the USA is the big question ?{$pagetext}[/QUOTE]

there is :rolleyes: funny thing is the company is call American Hi-tek they make a few different models for the 302 351 with 3 , 3.5 and 4 inch setups

I was quoted 2300 for a set which is quite reasonable more than stock but alot less than custom


Moody Blu'
03-21-2012, 12:49 PM
If thats the guy I htink it is he is the guy who bought a couple different set of headers from the real manufacturer and then cut them open and renamed them, hes a thief if its the same guy..

03-21-2012, 01:55 PM
I think American Hi-Tek is the US distributor of the Australian product...

Although American Hi-Tek Inc. is a fairly new company to the American marketplace, being founded in October of 2002; the products we sell are not new at all.

The One piece stainless steel manifolds we represent are manufactured in Australia; these products have been marketed in Australia since 1996, before which was a two year period of extensive research and development. Also, after being run in the Australian salt water environment for in excess of three years they have been cut open and found to be in the same condition as when they were assembled!

American Hi-Tek Inc. was a result of searching for a product for my own boat.... I was looking for a product that was more reliable in salt water than cast iron, i.e.. non corrosive, and also a direct fit for the application, something other manufactures didn't offer. Upon meeting with the manufacture at the S.E.M.A. show in Las Vegas and witnessing positive responses from all that talked with us, I decided to be a US distributor for this fine product! Therefore, I'm representing a product I found to be the best on the market for my own boat, and also the best and most unique product for your marine exhaust manifold needs.

David Beich
President - American Hi-Tek Inc.

03-21-2012, 01:55 PM
Does American Hi-Tek actually build any of these SS manifold/riser units right here in the USA ?
Are they just a "Middleman" order-taker for the Austrailian parent company/builder ?

Do these SS units still have to be manufactured in Australia & shipped to the USA ?

Shipping costs from Hi-Tek Australia is very costly ~~~
The lead time from manifold unit build~~~ to the time you actually get them at your door was very long also ~~~as I remember.

03-21-2012, 02:24 PM
Not made here, made in Australia. (Per the company profile on their site, http://www.american-hi-tek.com/)

I used to like the idea of stainless-steel manifolds, but I have to say this (pasted from Stainless Marine's web site) has always struck me as compelling and changed my mind a bit, FWIW:

"This company was founded 32 years ago making stainless steel manifolds. One of the great metallurgical lessons of all time! Fabricated stainless steel does not like to see 1400 degree exhaust gasses. Hot-cold-hot-cold-break. Stainless steel is a great material for risers. The aluminum water cooled manifold soaks up some of the 1400 degree heat, and delivers it to the stainless steel riser at a manageable 700-800 degrees F."

Of course, as was noted, exhaust choices and materials can be very limited for any given motor.

03-21-2012, 05:11 PM
the price I got was a total except shipping IN the US from american-hi-tek to my door, the order turn around was not unusually long was about 3-4 weeks if I remember correctly. I couldn't justify the expense as the boat was in the process of being sold but there are alot of serious buyers that don't pan out . Even though it looks like the boat will stay for a while I can't seem to justify dumping alot of money into the ford/ volvo setup which will only get you so far.If i were to go any where near a more aggressive cam setup on the ford these would be on order.

Moody Blu'
03-21-2012, 06:33 PM
the headers I co designed with the owner took about 2-3 weeks we changed the down angle and diameters.

shipping was not that much. I was almsot a dealer for hi tek but I didnt have a shop or the funds to be a distributor..

I recall the owner of hi tek telling me he uses the higher grade stainless.

there was some guy out of fla that trued to dupe his work and tried to screw hi tek hes from fla i believe

03-22-2012, 05:50 AM
Does American Hi-Tek actually build any of these SS manifold/riser units right here in the USA ?
Are they just a "Middleman" order-taker for the Austrailian parent company/builder ?

Do these SS units still have to be manufactured in Australia & shipped to the USA ?

Shipping costs from Hi-Tek Australia is very costly ~~~
The lead time from manifold unit build~~~ to the time you actually get them at your door was very long also ~~~as I remember.

So here is a guy who saw a need and then started a business to supply that need by becoming a distributor for a product. So now he is an order taking "Middleman". I think that term would rub a few people the wrong way on this forum seems to me we have few who are Distributors in their respective fields. I am glad to see you have such respect for the basis of our economy the world is full of your so called middlemen. Right down to little Johnny the paperboy :rolleyes:

so everyone is clear on this ,this is not the guy who moody is thinking about. this company ( american hi-tek) is in Apache Junction AZ and is a distributor for hi-tek manifolds.

Morgan's Cloud
03-22-2012, 08:47 AM
If there's any doubt as to exactly who the guy in Az is , a simple e-mail to Alan at Hi-Tek Oz will be answered quickly .

I would have thought though , that anyone placing an order within the US that starts off (maybe inadvertantly) dealing with Alan in Australia would be referred to the dealer in Az ? It might be difficult finding such a case though as they are still a pretty unknown item.

I was somehow in contact with the guy in Fl that Moody mentioned who tried to illegally clone Alan's products in the early stages of having mine done, and it was a close call. Very fortunately the idiot stopped answering e-mails and I ended up finding out how to contact Alan directly.

Was also lucky that back then the exchange rate was .85 on the US $

03-22-2012, 12:35 PM
I always stand by my comments & questions~

It seems.
If I say something is white~~~
You will always say it's black~~~
Just to be contrarian; and start an on-line argument with me~~~

I long since learned to expect nothing more , nor less, from you !

You are very predictable.
It doesn't phase me one bit .

By the way~~~
Hi-Tek Australia will custom-build, and sell, to anyone here in the USA directly.
You don't have to go through the American Hi-Tek "Middleman Order-taker" .

Dealing directly with the builder/fabricator of these unique custom SS fabricated manifold orders makes very costly mistakes less likely on exact needed custom dimensions & specifications in MY opinion.

Using a "Middleman" distributor is fine for standard off-the-shelf catalog items.

I have No doubt YOUR opinion will vary !

03-22-2012, 01:08 PM
I am not poo pooing another product, BUT..

Stainless Marine is but 6-7 miles from this keyboard...

WHY go to Australia?

the down and back on warranty (if applicable) freight alone, would be $400 minimum, and at least a 2-3 month ride...

03-22-2012, 01:24 PM

my point was a distributor of a product takes on a certain responsibility and takes some of the burden of selling the product on themselves.for this there is usually a margin associated with it. So yes you can still order direct from the Mfrg'r and then take some of that responsibility and burden on yourself as you said paying for shipping from/to the land down under and any customs issues that might arise.Dealing with a local distributor is usually an easier way for both the Mfrg'r and the customer granted AZ is not local but a lot more local than Australia. The distributor might also be a guiding force or another source of information/knowledge to help order the correct item.The distributor might have info on the guy with a setup like your and you need to do this and that. The mfg'r is not going to keep that info . If i remember right moody's risers didn't fit or something needed to be adjusted to make them fit correctly so the mfg'r or customer can still make mistakes.
Sorry the term especially when put it quotes by you "middleman" sorry rubs me the wrong way. Like this guy is doing something underhanded or not on the up and up, or not needed??. He is bringing a supply to a demand( albeit small) isn't that what Big Grizzly did with solas ??? would you use that term for him and his propellor business???

it is a hard to find item,which is relatively expensive, I posted a source for the item for the information of the membership. If you have direct knowledge of anything that should be known about this particular distributor by all means inform us.

~~~~~yes predictable~~~~~ very predictable~~~~~~~

Morgan's Cloud
03-22-2012, 01:30 PM
Can't speak for everyone Buiz, but in my case when I was looking for new manifolds there was nothing exactly like these that didn't have dissimilar metals involved in their construction(aluminium manifolds/stainless risers). Didn't have seperate risers with gaskets or clamps that I wanted to get away from. Mated right up to all existing through hull exhaust dumps and the Y pipe as well ..all with the needed extra 3'' extension in height. Sacrificial zincs a nice feature too.

Now , the part about warrantee issues ... Oh yeah !
Just hope it's never needed .. Oh hell , mine are out of warrantee now anyway . :banghead:

03-22-2012, 02:53 PM
here's another source looks like they have pretty much all the Ford stuff covered as far as replacements are concerned. from a pretty well known name in the industry


03-22-2012, 03:00 PM
actually looks like hi-teks have pretty much everything covered including chrysler,buick, lexus and yamaha????? too wonder what that 427 indmar exhaust is all about


03-25-2012, 01:37 PM
When I was shopping for SBF wet headers a few years back there were really only two sources . . HiTek and CMI.
After alot of research and several long conversations with Hi Tek in Austrailia (they had no distributor in North America) I elected to go with CMI.

At the time Hi Tek systems were designed as a replacement for stock and would not really improve performance for a modified engine. My 302 pushes 400 hp.
Possibly they have increased the options now . . ?

American Hi-Tek is apparently a new company, although their website says 2002 . . . I certainly did not find them while shopping and actually discussed a US distributorship with the Aussie office, they were clearly looking . .

Big Grizzly had a set of Sport Tubes on his Corsican that he had run for years w/o issue and after lots of research I found that the CMI supposed failure / cracking issue on Merc applications was likely related to hard ocean use without adquete support of the piping.

I ordered my CMI E-tops through Ateco Engines . right at the time that performance boat building was going crazy, and the entire production line was building BBC systems . .so delivery for my custom one off system was 6 months . . and installation was a labor intensive challenge as the adapater plate did not allow installation of spark plugs . . ultimately solved with the help of NGK to identify an alternative spark plug with a smaller hex. (My SBF runs AFR heads with angled plugs in a small difference in location than a stock head)

Because of my aggressive cam profile I had some water reversion issues if idling down a long channel, CMI was right there to help me solve this with no loss in preformance.

Stainless Marine claims stainless headers don't like to see 1400 degrees . . and I'm not a metallurgist . . but why then do all the major auto manufacturers now build SS headers with cats in the headers and not have failures? My own shop builds and cares for a bunch of BMW race cars, in 12 years I have yet to see a single failed header that was a quality piece?


Excuse the twisted breather . . .

Mario L.

1969 Corsican
1968 Magnum 27

03-27-2012, 12:56 PM
No offense to anyone but I have always felt Stainless Marine misrepresents their product as the actual header is aluminum, only part that is stainless are the risers and clamps.

Moody Blu'
03-27-2012, 02:41 PM
mphatc, what was your reversion issue and how did CMI help? what cam are you running? your at what HP? did you dyno the engine? what do you see on the gps as far as speed? prop size?

nice clean engine bay btw!!!....

I did have a valve cover clearance issue, the reason this happened is because we went with a 4" outer diameter 3" inner, instead of the 3" outer 2" inner. My header tubes are also larger i think 2" was stock and mine were 2 1/2" header tubes.

Alan ended up 2 day airing a set of stainless spacers for me and I kinda freaked out about having to use spacers, however after talking to mad poodle, big griz and the forum about it I decided it was a plus because it made my headers longer. I have seen gains from 1' spacers on my carb in the boat, spacers in reed valve cages on my race atv. So I decided to use it instead of sending the headers back and getting the angle correct so they would mate without the spacers... if anything ill gain from it. the spacers were the same cut as the headers so there was no lips...

the CMI headers were my other choice as well BUT they cost 5k and I got mine done for less then 2k and in 2 weeks. I knew there was a risk but I wanted the performance gain..

from what ive read on hi teks site a while ago any of there headers is a improvement over stock marine exhaust because they are HEADERS. so to say they wouldnt work with a motor that is massaged doesnt really gel.

the best thing about hi tek is Alan was a drag racer for 25 years with FORD motors and has extensive knowledge as to what works and what doesnt as far as header lengths and lengths etc...

Im willing to bet those cmi headers are close to what the hi teks look like if you cut away the water cooling area.

possibly bigger header tubes ?? hehe mhpatc wanna swap headers just to see what the difference is? ;)

or perhaps we can run against each other...

Moody Blu'
03-27-2012, 03:07 PM
mphatc what is that motor next to your fuel filter?? is that an electric water pump? whats the deal with that?

03-27-2012, 03:51 PM
"Misrepresented?!" LOL, is that really the word you intended, MOP? :) I don't think that's the right word at since to me it implies that Stainless Marine is deliberately trying to mislead. As I read it, pretty much at the first opportunity to describe their hybrid aluminum construction and why they think it's better than SS in their own experience, they do. But maybe I'm wrong.

That said, I think it is a fair statement that it is often odd to the casual observer (it was to me, and sounds like to you also MOP) when they first learn that "Stainless Marine" makes their manifolds out of aluminum. But that's kinda the point of their story, right? They didn't start out making them out of aluminum, they started the whole complany based on the idea of out making them out of SS and changed that for some reason. I believe them that's because they learned the hard way. Don't see the point otherwise, lots of people make SS headers, it's not like SM couldn't have kept doing it. But I don't see where SM is trying to mislead, quite the reverse. If anything, the curiosity of the name seems an opportunity they exploit to trumpet, not hide, why (rightly or wrongly), they think their stuff is better.

The good news is the original name was "Stainless Marine" and not "100%-Stainless Marine Manifolds," which would have been unfortunate. :) Lots of places have evolved their offerings, sometimes radically, revealing a lack of foresight in the company names. It always cracks me up to see hours posted on the door of a 7-11, for instance. Another example is about some dude named Don, who is claimed to have learned the hard lesson of NOT putting your own name in a company name, because you will likely want to sell it someday. ;) (I don't know if that story is even real, but I'll always love it anyway.)

Mario raises a very good question and does it in an interesting and compelling way (the race cars' SS exhaust NOT failing). While I believe that is true, it doesn't mean there are not failures in failures in SS boat manifolds, which we know there are. Maybe it's all in qualtity of fabbing or something, but my suspicion is the difference car/boat applications, where a large difference exists in directly cooling the manifolds versus not.

In the car example, manifolds should always air cool relatively slowly and gradually, with lower heat flow, right? They get vey hot, run very hot, and then cool back down very slowly. And thus don't subject the metal to closely placed temperatures differences of 1200 degrees or more, with high rates of heat transfer. A sort of repeated, continuous pseudo-quench of the metal. Which I think might explain why someone, I *think* CMI, who recently had a problem with header failures right near the head junction, re-designed them to get the cooling jacket closer to the heads, keeping the SS more evenly cooled than before. (Admittedly, any pseudo-quench effect (1400 degree gas continuously flowing inside with high rates of transfer to the coolant water in the jacket) would still happen with the improved water jacket design, but the degree of temperature-difference and thermal shock should go down if the water jacket at least starts right at the head.)

Put another way, it's hard to subject a hot exhaust tube to thermal shock in a vacuum, because as cold as it is on the outer surface, there is little heat flow out because there is no material to which to transfer the heat. Similarly, air is not a vacuum but as a gas it is a good insuator. So the heat flow is fairly slow, and the hot manifold will simply stay hot until the motor stops and it cools very gradually. Even in Siberian ambient air temperatures, heat flow from the hot metal to the air will, I think, be a lot slower than the heat flow would be to 100+ degree water in a cooling jacket.

And I don't claim to be certain, I may be totally wrong. That's just my best take so far, thinking about it some. I think the car manifold example is a GREAT point to consider. I just suspect it's different for these reasons.


03-31-2012, 09:49 PM
CMI contacted me after I looked for help on OSO with water in the headers . .through a lengthy phone conversation we determined that I likely had some reversion, they sent me some cones to install to stop the water film from migrating back along the inner wall. These are installed at the split at the top. On my suggestion we aslo added water injection tubes that are thin wall SS tubes tig welded leak tight where CMI's design injects the cooling water into the exhaust stream.

My reversion issue was only noticable at the dock after crusing down a long channel, or cruising out . . but on the way out and accelerating onto plane the engine just cleared itself out.

I don't have my cam specs here . .it is a custom 1 off Bullet cam, and the engine is .030" over roller SBF 302
Comp Cam followers and Gold rockers. J&E 10.5 : 1 CR AFR Aluminum heads, Eagle forged crank and rods.
Prop is a 23P 15" 4 blade hydromotive modified from a 24P 15 1/2" by Hydromotive. It has not been labbed.
The drive is a Bravo 1.

The unit to the left of the engine is an oil thermostat. In front of the engine is my fuel filter and electric fuel pump.

Mario L.