Exhaust Options

After some research into headers and exhaust and whatnot, I’ve got a few options and I wanted some opinions on what people thought would be best. I know that headers are a bit of a pain to deal with, and I’ve heard of the tight clearances and stuff, which is why I was hoping to get opinions to see whats best. My car is a '70 Base Cougar, 351C Floor shifted FMX, Powersteering and Powerbrakes, All powersteering is stock.

First off I’ve got these:
I saw these and noticed they even talked about getting a bracket for the power steering (https://www.jegs.com/i/JEGS/555/30781/10002/-1). I have a set of hooker headers on my Javelin and they seem fine, they hang down quite low and the bottoms of them have been smashed flat. My main concern is just having full length headers and there’s a greater chance of them interfering or not fitting I would think.

These were suggested in my first thread here and no one seemed to have experience with them. They say 69-73 Mustang, wasn’t sure if there was less clearance between the shock towers and engine in the cougars, but I don’t mind doing shorty headers if they help get around fitment issues with the power steering.

Saw these, same concerns as the others, they use a different Power steering bracket than the one posted above, and I did notice that WCCC has an H-pipe for these specifically it seems.

Lastly I saw these, since they are the ones that seem to pop-up most when I was looking for 70 Cougar headers. I don’t like that they’re not painted with heat resistant paint, so there would be more work on my end, and they are long so I was unsure about fitment with power steering.

My other question is considering the H-pipe, and where I should get it from. I’ve seen the kit on WCCC that has the whole dual exhaust setup with the H-pipe, and then they have the Scott Drake H-pipe on its own and I was wondering if that would be the route to go. I’ve never dealt with exhaust and I figure when I take it to a shop they’ll have to do some bending a modifying but obviously I’d prefer it to be as close as I can get before modifying.

And for the end, I was wondering just where to get a good dual exhaust setup, pipes and all. I saw the OEM style kit on WCCC as mentioned above and knowing that it is meant for the car and from a trusted source is great, but I haven’t heard the stock dual exhaust setup since I’ve not seen any other cougars around. My other option was this one shop that popped up and seemed to make sure not to rope in cougar and mustang exhaust in the same area. (http://www.customexhaust.net/purchasecougarexhaust.html) They have a set that is everything down from the H-pipe, either 2&1/4" or 2&1/2" mid pipes to fit the H-pipe, and it comes with Flowmasters, however like I said I’ve got no experience with exhaust. I’m not going for a very loud or specific sound, just a fairly basic meaty classic sound. It also seems like a good idea to buy that power steering bracket from above no matter what I get, if it helps get it more open for the headers.

Any other options or advice is greatly appreciated, I still have my 2V Manifolds, however 1 of them has a crack and being a welder, I would rather not have to deal with or pay to fix rusty cracked cast iron. Thanks!

Check out https://stans-headers.com/ I have spoke with him, he was very knowledgeable on needs for a cougar. He also carries the bracket need for power steering. I have not ordered from him yet but when I do decide to get headers I will be ordering from Stan’s. The header seem a bit pricey, but from reviews on fit and finish sound like no one compares. I have read reviews of him being a bit difficult to deal with and you will wait your turn for him to make your headers. I do not recommend calling to ask where are my headers. Just wait your turn.

Have you thought about shorties /www.summitracing.com/search/part-type/headers?SortBy=BestKeywordMatch&SortOrder=Ascending&keyword=ford Patriot Clippster Headers%20

Mustangs and Cougars are identical under the hood / between the shock towers, because all those parts are shared between the two platforms. Any differences are behind the front seat or forward of the radiator. So any header that fits Mustang also fits Cougar and vice - versa.


Check out one of my previous threads where i was asking questions about power brakes/power steering/headers compatibility, there is some advice about the PS drop bracket.

Hope that helps

HRS1969, thanks I’ll look into his sight more, I see they don’t have anything under the Ford Motor tab for 351C so I assume he makes them custom? Depending on when I get my stuff, I may send you a message to see if you have ordered yours by then to see how you liked it. I may not be ordering for a little while, currently waiting on the cam and rockers to come in so the engine can get built. Thanks.

Catlover, I had thought about shorties, those Stangaholic ones were the shorties suggested to me in a previous thread, but no one had any input, however I did look more into those Patriot Shorties, P/N H8435, and they seem great, much more affordable than the stangaholic ones, and the patriot ones are designed for 2v so I wouldn’t have to get the adapter that stangaholics says to get. I did see, that one of the reviews said that his driver side header dumped basically right into his steering box, doesn’t say what car he was using though, but I know the power steering clearance is a big issue usually. If I were to go with shorties, would I still be ordering a standard H-pipe like the one for patriots from WCCC? Or is it short enough that I would get the H-pipe for manifolds (P/N15565 on WCCC)? Thanks.

Royce, that is what I figured, just good to get some assurance, thank you.

Gregar, I’ll look into your thread, any advice or previously stated information on other threads is great, as I’ve heard all the horror stories of dealing with header clearance and fitment issues. Thanks.

I think I’ll cut the stangaholic headers from the list since the patriot shorty headers have good reviews while the stangaholics have no reviews, and aren’t specifically for 2v heads. Other than that, I’m still up in the air for what to choose, or if anyone has ones that they have installed and work well I’m open to other suggestions.

I do have a few questions, just regarding headers and exhaust in general however. If I go with shorty headers, am I still going to be getting a regular H-pipe and just have a shop put in the pipe to fit the difference? Or would I be going with the H-pipe that can link up to the original manifolds that WCCC offers? Other than that, is there a general size of pipe that is best for performance or sound, I’ve seen 1&3/4 and up to 2&1/2, so I assume larger means a deeper sound, however is there an easy to understand science to the sizing? And lastly, I’ve seen the different coating for headers, I’ve heard the High-Temp black paint flakes off quite easy, and I see that the chrome is usually more expensive, but if I get the uncoated version of a header, what is the best coating to put on to avoid rust or general ugliness on them? Thanks, any help is greatly appreciated.

Ford Performance Application are the best headers I’ve purchased.

BossElim69, I’ll add them to the list! I assume that I have to use the drop bracket stuff for basically every header, those included? Do you happen to know of the price range they were in, I don’t see it listed. Thanks.

Can’t answer that as I have a manual rack steering. Assume you would need the drop bracket for stock power steering.
Expensive, but well worth it for the fit.

My 1969 Cougar has a 351 Cleveland which the previous owner installed. I had a set of long tube headers from Doug’s installed but they didn’t clear the R&P steering system I installed. They are available for sale if you’re interested. Ceramic coated (silver polished finish). I now have a set of Sanderson shorty headers which clear the steering and Z bar.


I see, my cougar just has the stock power steering setup, and I hadn’t looked too much into Doug’s headers, but I’ll check it out. I think I did see the Sanderson Shorty headers when I was looking on summit, I’m currently leaning toward the patriot full length (H8407-1), due to someone in a review with a 70 Cougar with a 351, or the Patriot clippster Headers (H8435). However if if you say those Sanderson shorty headers are working for you, perhaps I’ll check those out. Do you happen to know the part number, perhaps they’re they FC4-P? I think the only reason I glossed over those was due to them needing an adapter for the 2v heads. And I also saw that on the Sanderson website, they have the FC4, different picture and price from the summit FC4, just a mistake on summits part I would think?

FYI that Patriot, Doug’s and JBA share Pertronix as a parent company. They market Patriot as a value brand and I believe there is some design sharing between the brands with Patriot saving some bucks with perhaps thinner flanges and tubing compared to their other lines. Not knocking Patriot just noting it is marketed as a “good” choice in a “good, better, best” market position.

That’s good to know, I’ll look into the other brands and see what they offer. Seems odd that when I looked up headers for 351C 2v the Patriots showed up the most, perhaps the patriot branch does 2v and the others do 4v, cuz I only saw a few Doug’s and no JBA. Thanks for the info.

Just a small side note here: Doug Thorley headers are owned by Pertronix. Apparently, Doug and his wife had a falling out some years back, got divorced, and she got the company. So, “Doug Thorley” headers is hers. However, he kept making his own brand - Headers by Doug. So if you see “Doug’s Headers”, they are in a different class.

Doug Thorley headers are decent, but Headers by Doug are exceptional. Don’t confuse the two, even if it’s a little confusing.