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1965 Ford Thunderbird headers

Discussion in '1955 - 1966 Classic Ford Thunderbird' started by Pssigmon, Oct 20, 2018.

  1. Hello all, I have a 1965 thunderbird 390 big block and it has a cracked exhaust manifold so I figured I’d put headers on. I can’t find any other than the FPA headers that are $800. If someone can tell me my options for headers or if the FPA is the only. Thanks for any help
  2. 64ZCODE

    64ZCODE Well-Known Member Gold Donor

    I've heard good things about sandersonsheaders.com
  3. ok, thank you very much. I’ll do some reading on the Sandersons headers then
  4. 64ZCODE

    64ZCODE Well-Known Member Gold Donor

    Sounds good, Pssigmon. I'd be very interested in hearing about what you find out on this subject and if you go ahead with putting headers on your car, what differences it makes to the 390's power curve and performance. Thanks!
  5. Same here. If you find out more info on headers let me know. My exhaust manifold is either cracked or blown exhaust gasket.
  6. 64ZCODE

    64ZCODE Well-Known Member Gold Donor

    Hi there Dan. John Draxler has a post on exhaust manifold cracking on his Thunderbird Ranch website. Here's a snippet:

    The exhaust manifolds on the 352's and the 390's are notorious for leaking and cracking and are a headache to remove.

    One of the reasons these manifolds cracked is the formation of rust in the narrow area between the head and manifold in the areas where the spark plugs are. This happens when dirt fills this crack and water can build up in there. Clean this out if possible once in awhile.
    Dj-Dan likes this.
  7. 64ZCODE

    64ZCODE Well-Known Member Gold Donor

    Hey Pssigmon, you might want to check out another post on this forum called "61 TBird starter". It has some information about how starters can be incompatible with flywheels based on # of teeth (184 vs 153). A cautionary tale in case your selection of header brand and type (shorty versus long tube) could lead to changing out the starter. Doug
  8. It is such a pain to remove exhaust manifolds. They are shoved right up to the shock tower wall.
  9. 64ZCODE

    64ZCODE Well-Known Member Gold Donor

    Sounds like a job for a shop!
  10. I think that just shorties would fit T Bird.
  11. Exhaust manifolds/headers can be a neat trick on these cars. Most people don't know this, but the 1961 Thunderbird was slated to get front wheel drive. Ford also contracted out to the Budd Company (makers of railroad cars) to make the bodies (unibody). The specs were to have large fender wells for the drive hardware. However they changed their minds and the production cars had conventional drive. In 1964, with a new body style, they tried once again for front wheel drive, and once again they later changed their minds. The end result is the 1961-66 Thunderbirds with very limited space under the hood, in which they stuffed a 390/428 big block.

    This is why they chose a Thunderbird for the movie "Flubber"; the car (only one for the entire movie) was modified for 4-wheel drive, so they could put the car on a lift and show it in the air with all four wheels turning.
    Dj-Dan likes this.
  12. Is there any way to take the manifolds off with the engine still in the car? I’m not seeing how I’m going to be able to get to some of them and the one I can get to is extremely tight. I don’t wanna pull the engine but it looks like I may have to unless any one has any input other wise
  13. has anyone made this work ...i was thinking of putting headers on my 66 tbird 390, and NOW that i have the engine out ... might be a good time to research it .... or @ least put exhaust manifolds on before installing in car :)
    Dj-Dan likes this.
  14. Also while the engine is out, you should think about replacing the steering column selector bushing that keeps both items aligned. It is in the engine compartment near fire wall. Take care, Dan(Forest Hill, Md)
  15. thanks for the suggestion ...... :) i'll do that ... i'm also taking out the gas tank to make sure when i'm welding and grinding we dont have a doooh moment ..... preventive .... i'm stripping the car to sandblast it ..... my motor is going to be rebuilt with cj valves and for some reason beyond me it has 427 mid riser heads yahoooo ... gonna add a mild cam, and rebuild the heads with cj valves and springs .... all or nothing i say lol

    c6ae and 6090r grinnnnnnnn
    Dj-Dan likes this.

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