View Full Version : sound of headers vs stock through-hulls??

04-10-2012, 10:18 PM
Ive got stock pipes on the 1987 454/330. Just curious how it would sound with some headers (like stainless marine for example). Are they just a direct bolt-on, or do I have to do some rerouting of hoses. Ive got the raised X, so would a set of headers rub the hatch? Just kicking around the idea for sound reasons only. Basically the same reason I have super 40 flows on the truck. They may have actually reduced the HP from stock, because all I added was the muffler and K&N filter w/o changing the computer. But it sure sounds better.

I currently have the Gil stainless mufflers that look like a slash cut tip, but have a spiral baffle inside.


04-10-2012, 10:23 PM
The boat sounds good as is, Im sure you all know how a stock 454 sounds. The Gils really dont do much. I was just thinking it would be cool for a bit deeper sound at the marinas and raft-ups. I dont want a raspy open dry pipe sound. Thats just too much. Especially for a stock motor.

Thoughts ?

Just for funzies.....

Carl C
04-10-2012, 10:27 PM
Just put straight through tips on it.

04-11-2012, 12:53 AM
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A friend of mine has straight tips and they sound almost identical to my pipes with the Gil tips. I mean there is almost no difference between the straight tips and the tips I have. I am looking for a more aggressive sound without building a motor (which is what I should do to get what I want). Im just curious if throwing some headers on a stock motor would make a huge difference in sound. I know that headers and exhaust in a car can make a motor sound better, but not like a cammed up, high-compression monster. Im curious if headers on a boat has a similar effect since the exhaust has water flowing through it. I mean stock merc exhaust is still almost like an open car header, they do exit only 2 feet from the block....

I figure that surely someone on here has thrown headers on a stock motor and can explain their own experience. If it doesnt make a significant difference in sound, I wont waste the money. I dont think my poor Alpha could stand a power increase. So if I build a motor, I need a drive. Now were are talking some money!! 500 for used headers, or 15000 for a motor and drive.... You can see why Im interested in the headers if all I care about is a bit more sound.

04-11-2012, 01:17 AM
I find this interesting. When I was younger, I wanted a lot of bark to my boats but more of a good rumble in my cars. Now that I am older, I want a good rumble in my boats but a quiet car (except for my Cobra with sidepipes). If you get the Lightning headers with straight tips, you will get more bark but no more bite. I have the Lightning headers on my new Warlock with a 548/700HP and it has a really nice deep rumble with the Corsa silencer tips. Without the muffled tips, it would be fairly loud. Hope this helps. Bill

04-11-2012, 06:45 AM
I know 4 inch SM risers make a big difference in sound on a lt1 chris craft from the stock 3 inch chris craft risers. ask anyone at the fall picnic when the black cig started up. everyone's head turned

04-11-2012, 11:07 AM
Me personally, I like more of a sleeper. I owned a Studebaker Lark once that the P.O. had made to look like a pro street car. The problem was, it wasn't fast, lol. That was a PITA, always getting guys wanting to race but I couldn't bring it. I would just say stuff like, "oh you don't have enough $$ to run with me, etc" lol.
If you want LOUD, just go to a dry exhaust system, it'll be LOUD!

04-11-2012, 11:18 AM
Dito on the dry system,,, take out the water and no more silencer

04-11-2012, 12:28 PM
long tails make a difference in sound. That's probably going to be the biggest difference assuming you stay wet and don't go the dry route. Dry exhaust is really loud, to the point of annoying even if you like the sound.

I did EMI Thunder long tails and they sounded great. Much different than stock. They will probably provide the best value. You have to keep in mind going long tails is a PITA because they don't line up like factory exhaust. The good news going long tail is you will be prepped for the day you want to cam it up because the water dumps are at the end to stop reversion.

04-11-2012, 03:04 PM
My Tempest came with stock iron and straight through 3", I swapped to Gil headers and 4" tips. It did not get any louder in fact it mellowed the sound to a nice throaty rumble, the 3" had a bit of a bark. When I bu8ilt the 383 it added a real nice lope but still no louder.


04-13-2012, 08:24 AM
here's the black cig my cheap dig camera doesn't do it justice the boat sounds awesome