Do you want a meaner and leaner machine? Upgrading your exhaust manifold with high-performance headers is one of the most effective ways of making your engine more efficient. If you have a classic running a Chevy 350 engine, it’s time to boost it with the best Chevy 350 headers.
This legendary engine still has oomph and grit that hot rodders still prefer it in their build. However, choosing a new header for the Chevy 350 is not a walk in the park. I’ve gathered seven top-rated headers for this engine, and I’ll tell you their specific purpose and fit.
Read to the end to learn about my highest recommendations.
Table of Contents
Best Brands of Headers for Chevy
There’s no denying that the headers industry has many big players. These aftermarket brands claim to sell high-quality parts at varied price points. I’ve researched Chevy headers, and I’ve found four brands tend to fulfill their promise on quality and value for money.
Speedway Motors Headers
This family-owned enterprise was started in 1952 by “Speedy” Bill. This guy figured that he would make parts if he couldn’t find the correct aftermarket auto spares. While that’s how Speedway Motors got its start, every piece is professionally engineered to meet the highest automotive standards, including headers.
Speedway Motors headers are meant to give your car a unique voice. Whether you want your Chevy to have a deep roar or a quiet rumble, you’ll find the proper headers to get the sound and horsepower improvements that come with Speedway Motors headers.
Types of Headers by Speedway Motors
- Block Hugger/Shorty: This design offers simple installation, especially where space is tight. They are ideal if your vehicle has little ground clearance. You’ll find shorty headers in hot rods since they clear narrow frame rails and are close to the engine.
- Crossover: These are also designed for small-block Chevy engines with 1-3/4″ primaries and 3-1/2″ collectors.
- Zoomie: Typically, these are upturned headers on each vehicle side. They have 1-3/4″ primaries and extra-thick flanges.
- Fenderwell: These are primarily for big-block Chevy engines, drag cars, and gasser-style rods.
- Roadster: These headers are for LS1 engines with 1-7/8″ tube diameter.
- Full-length: This is the most common style consisting of a mandrel-bent tubing that runs from the exhaust port down to the engine compartment and then to the vehicle’s rear. A four-way collector caps them, and they have either a ball type or flat mounting flange connection.
- Mid-Length: These headers have longer primary tube lengths. Also, they merge into a four-way collector with a flange to fasten to the rest of the exhaust.
I found the Speedway Motors Shorty Chevy 350 Headers the best for hot rods with a narrow frame. On the other hand, the Speedway Motors Boom Tube Headers for Chevy 350 are perfect for running medium and high horsepower engines.
Read more: LS1 Vs. LS2 Vs. LS3 (With Comparison Chart)
Southwest Speed Headers
Southwest Speed Inc has been manufacturing and distributing high-grade racing components since 1975. It’s also focused on housing and beating the middleman by delivering parts directly from its warehouse.
Southwest Speed has all sorts of headers. It features Lake style, Fenderwell, Shorty/Block Huggers, Zoomie, mid-length, etc. To this end, you can get headers that give an authentic dry lake competition look to headers for tight-fit applications, etc.
Popular headers for the Chevy 350 and my top choice from this brand are the Southwest Speed Shorty Headers. These are great for premium spaces, street rods, and replacing cast-iron exhaust manifolds.
Meanwhile, this company’s Lake Style long tube headers are perfect for hot rods, nostalgia rods, and rat rods.
Schoenfeld headers have been the top choice for racing applications since they hit the market in 1974. This company has its headquarters in Arkansas and is the world’s number one manufacturer of circle-track headers. The brand also makes exhaust pipes for almost every application, including sprint cars, truck pulls, and muscle cars.
Schoenfeld headers come in all designs as well. You will find Fenderwell, long tube, miscellaneous Mandrel tubes, mandrel U bends, etc. The Schoenfeld Conversion headers for small-block Chevy have been rated to have zero problems, and they also provide the clearance you need on the steering shaft.
Hedman Headers premiered high-performance exhaust headers in 1954. This brand offers the most comprehensive collection of design options in its header line. It stocks truck, passenger, LS Swap, Turbo, Street Rod, Race, and 304 stainless headers.
Hedman Street Headers for small-block Chevy are ideal for SUVs and trucks. These headers are designed to give your vehicle optimum performance, and they give you the most considerable boost for your dollar when towing or off-roading.
Read more: SBC BBC V6 Chevy Engines Specs and Sizes
Best Headers for Chevy 350/5.7 Vortec Comparison Chart
|Product||Header Type||Header Size||Materials||What For?||Action|
Speedway Motors 9300101
|Block hugger||1-5/8 inches||Steel||Street rods, 1950s to 1960s Chevy Trucks and cars||Check Price
Speedway Motors 9301700H
|Zoomie||1-3/4 inches||Steel with ceramic coating||Street rods||Check Price
Southwest Speed 440-2045
|Shorty||1-1/2 inches||Steel with heat-resistant ceramic coating||Street rats, hot rods||Check Price
Southwest Speed 440-2312
|Long tube||1-5/8 inches||Steel with high heat coating||Hot rods, rat rods, street rods, & nostalgia rods||Check Price
|Turbo||1-5/8 inches||304 steel||Single-turbo build||Check Price
|Conversion||1-3/4 inches||16-gauge steel||Off-road and race cars||Check Price
|Full-length||1-1/2 inches||Steel||Street SUVs and trucks||Check Price
Best Headers for Chevy 350/5.7 Vortec
1. Speedway Motors 9300101 Tight-Fit Shorty Chevy 350 Headers
The Speedway Motors 9300101 Tight-Fit Shorty Headers for Chevy 350/5.7L Vortec bring noticeable horsepower and torque gains. These universal-fit steel tube headers are ideal for tight spaces, and they come with 1-5/8″ primary tubes and 2-1/2″ collectors.
These shorty headers give your engine a slight boost in horsepower that is more pronounced in the 1950s and 1960s vintage trucks and cars. Also, since they have a small 4-inch distance from the flange to the outermost point, they will fit perfectly on hot rods with narrow frame widths.
The headers come as a complete kit with 2-inch reducers, gaskets, and header bolts. Nevertheless, installing them is a two-person job, and you’ll need a little technical know-how on headers installation. However, these headers do not work with vehicles equipped with a cross member below the engine’s center two exhaust ports.
You’ll find that they work seamlessly with most oil filter systems and starter/transmission combinations. Nonetheless, they don’t clear angle plug heads and clamshell motor mount in 1973 and newer Chevy trucks and cars.
These headers feature a black corrosion-resistant coating. Yet, Speedway Motors notes that it’s better to strip this coating down and apply high-temperature header paint. The headers reduce wear and tear on the Chevy 350 by providing better heat management, thus prolonging the engine’s life. They provide better fuel economy since they eliminate the restriction of stock cast-iron manifolds by offering better gases expulsion.
- High-grade steel construction
- Fit difficult applications
- Ideal for hot rods, 1950’s – 1960s trucks and cars
- Feature oval exhaust ports to fit small-block Chevy heads
- Reconfiguration of the exhaust in some vehicles
- Paint peels during installation
For those struggling to find headers that leave enough clearance, you will like the Speedway Motors 9300101 Tight-Fit Headers. These block huggers go into the tiniest spaces that you won’t need an additional joint for the steering shaft.
2. Speedway Motors 9301700H Boom Tube Chevy 350 Headers
The Speedway Motors 9301700H Boom Tube Headers come in a Zoomie style for replacing stock header in Chevy engines equipped with standard port heads. These headers are ideal for street use as they give you a classic dragster look. You’ll like the quality and accompanying sound that tells you’re running a robust system.
Speedway Motors 9301700H Headers have extra-thick flanges at 1-5/8″ and primary tube measuring 1-3/4″. These features give you a loud exhaust tone for hot rods. It’s best to add baffles since you can hear a rumble to them at full throttle, and the idle is quite booming. Just make sure that you don’t get ticketed in some states.
As for installation, these are ready to bolt-on; no welding is required. Since they are designed for standard port small-block Chevy heads, they will not fit wide cars. You’ll appreciate that they feature a long-lasting steel construction coupled with an industry-grade ceramic coating.
The AHC coating blends in with the steel and creates a hydrophobic protection layer. Thus, they will not suffer from rust and corrosion. Furthermore, the headers can resist dirt and grime that ruin the headers’ look.
During installation, keep in mind that the furthest primary tubes will stick out 4.8″ at the first bend on the passenger side and 4.25″ on the driver’s side.
- Ceramic coated for superior performance
- No welding involved
- Offers beneficial pressure balance
- Suitable for medium-performance engines
- Easy to get into trouble with the law regarding noise
The Speedway Motors Boom Tube Headers are for higher volumetric efficiency. Street rods that don’t mind the loud sound will appreciate this model. Nevertheless, you can add baffles to get the performance of Zoomies without risking a ticket.
3. Southwest Speed 440-2045 Shorty Headers
This set of brand new Southwest Speedy 440-2045 Shorty Headers will fit Chevy 350 engines in a tight application. The block hugger headers work perfectly with under-engine cross members and side mounts. You can use them in most engine swaps and when you can’t find a specifically designed header.
These headers are the most compact manufactured by Southwest Speed, and thus, they bring the best torque and horsepower gains compared to other exhaust installations. Additionally, they lower underhood temperatures, thereby reducing the heat going to adjacent components.
To this end, these headers will improve engine output and overall performance. With the featured 1-1/2″ tubes and 2-1/2″ collectors, you get a complete package for simple installation. Further, you get gaskets, header bolts, and gaskets, so no going back to the store.
These headers’ exterior surface is a high-heat ceramic coating. The finish is crucial as it helps the tubes retain more heat and induce further speed without affecting other vehicle parts. Not to mention, the coating offers reliable resistance against corrosion.
- Great speeding support
- Accurate fitment
- Used alongside side mounts
- Better fuel mileage
- Tricky to install for newbies
- Not for angle plug heads
The compact size of the Southwest Speed 440-2045 Shorty Headers give you the perfect free-flowing piping to improve performance. Get them for your Chevy 350 with a mid RPM range.
4. Southwest Speed 440-2312 Long Tube Lake Style Headers
If you’re into off-road or drag racing, long tube headers are ideal for more power. The Southwest Speed 440-2312 Long Tube Lake Style Headers are dependable and worth considering for improvements in racing performance.
Southwest Speed knows all about headers; these are made of steel to withstand high operating temperatures. In addition, they feature high-heat black paint that resists early corrosion.
Now, looking at the exact specs, the primary tubes measure 1-5/8 inches while the Mega-Phone collectors measure 3-1/2 inches. The .350″ head flanges are ground parallel on the cylinder surface and are CNC laser cut to achieve the perfect fit. Further, the package comes with mounting accessories, including headers and gaskets.
The headers provide a close fit to the block for extra clearance, as many users have noticed that these headers fit like a glove. Once installed, you can expect to max out your hot rod’s or nostalgia rod RPM and tear up the track.
In addition, Southwest Speed 440-2312 Headers have a fantastic sound that will leave your fellow trackers yearning to have similar headers in their rigs.
- Suitable for high, sustained RPMs
- Reduces back-feed of gases
- Noticeable horsepower increase
- High-grade steel piping
- Not compatible with turbocharged exhaust
- Too loud for some drivers’ liking
Southwest Speed 440-2312 Long Tube Lake Style Headers are an excellent option for hitting the tracks. Whether you own a powerful drag racing vintage or swapping the engine in your hot rod, you’ll get sustained high revs and increased power.
Read more: 4.3L Vortec Engine Problems and Reliability
5. PowerGo 1152403530 Long Tube Exhaust Headers for Chevy 350
Your current exhaust manifold needs increased flow with the help of quality piping. PowerGo 1152403530 Long Tube Exhaust headers are just what you want to upgrade your car’s exhaust system. The design of these headers comes ready to bring additional functionality to your engine.
The long length provides sufficient distance that you don’t have any chance of having back-fed gases feed into a different tube. With 1-5/8-inch primaries and 2-1/2-inch collectors, these headers are engineered for performance.
The primary tubes boast a construction from 16-gauge mild steel to provide great durability in high-heat applications. Moreover, they are entirely mandrel-bent to sustain unrestricted flow through the exhaust flow path.
PowerGo 1152403530 Long Tube Exhaust Headers feature precision-cut cylinder head flanges. The flanges are 11.5 mm thick and are fashioned from steel plates using a CNC laser cutter. The flanges provide a leak-free seal thanks to flattening using a hydraulic press. Further, the TIG welded joints provide ample resistance and keep everything intact.
Pair these headers with a single turbo build in a performance car, especially one that only sees track use. They increase not only performance but also fuel economy.
- Unrestricted flow along the exhaust path
- 304-steel tubular construction
- Full mandrel bent
- Promotes existing horsepower within mid to high range
- Accurate cuts from laser-cut flange
- DIY installation is challenging
- Some have uneven port shapes
Help your racing engine reach peak performance by adding the PowerGo 1152403530 Long Tube Exhaust Headers for Chevy 350. These are incredibly built to provide value and efficiency on the racing track. So, go ahead and grab them without fear of disappointment.
6. Schoenfeld 198A Conversion Headers for Chevy 350
Schoenfeld 198A Conversion Headers for Chevy 350 are the classic recipe for horsepower. You can inject more horsepower into your Chevy 350 and push it to give you extra power. These headers exit at the front mid-fender or a fantastic-sounding car.
I particularly like that you can order these headers with spread port, standard, or 18-degree flanges. The flanges are perfectly machined to sit perfectly on your exhaust manifold. In addition, the headers have a high-quality black finish. Although the paint is temporary, it prevents rust formation during transport so that you receive new parts.
The primaries on these headers are 1-3/4,” and collectors measure 3-1/2″ x 8″. The primaries increase the airspeed, which comes in handy to scavenge the exhaust port systematically at low engine speeds. On the other hand, these collectors give you usable power across the whole power curve. You can expect an increase of 4 – 6 lb.-ft of torque, and low-end power may increase by 800 RPM.
Schoenfeld 198A Conversion Headers can move serious air and increase total power gain. Nevertheless, since it’s for a 350 that never sees the other side of 7000 RPM, you may never see its true, top-end potential like if you were to install it in a high-performance engine.
- Offer plenty of clearance
- Fit as they should
- Perfect-fitting flanges
- 16-gauge steel
- Sit an inch inside fenders instead of exiting fully
- Temporary paint
Schoenfeld 198A Conversion Headers for Chevy 350/5.7 vortec ensure maximum airflow for off-roading and racing performance. They bundle the best features, including conversion primaries to achieve full throttle response, engine efficiency, and better exhaust flow.
Read more: Top 5 Best Chevy Truck Engines Ever
7. Hedman 69520 Street Headers for Chevy 350 SUV/Truck
Hedman 69520 Street Headers for Chevy 350 SUV/Truck are full-length headers featuring the typical 4-into-1 design. They will make the most powerful thanks to their ability to decrease backpressure and allow the quick exit of spent gases. The mandrel-bent, under-frame design provides a smooth exhaust flow, which translates into more torque and horsepower.
Hedman 69520 Street Headers are ideal for 1982 – 2000 Chevy compact SUVs and trucks. Since they have a temporary coating, you will need to use high-temperature paint on them. The headers come with the necessary hardware, gaskets, and seals for easy installation.
Hedman also uses the highest-quality steel in the construction of the piping. The primaries are 1-1/2″ coupled with a 2-1/2″ collector. The fully TIG-welded tubes can withstand high heat, corrosion, and road vibrations.
It’s best to install these headers and other performance upgrades for maximum benefits. Including a cold air intake and changing the oil and fuel filters go a long way toward boosting horsepower.
- Smooth walls for better flow
- Comfortable length for routing
- Lightweight construction
- Includes mounting hardware
- No indication that paint is temporary on package
- Gaskets could be of better quality
There’s no better way to achieve max performance than with the full-length Hedman 69520 Street Headers. Your Chevy SUV or truck will be ready to roll and shine in the streets when you choose these babies.
Best Headers for Chevy 350/5.7 Vortec Hot Rods, Rat Rods: Southwest Speed 440-2045
SOUTHWEST SPEED 440-2045 Short Tube Header
Experience noticeable torque and horsepower increase with Southwest Speed 440-2045 Shorty headers. The functional design is fundamental for hot rods and rat rods wanting to change the look and ride quality.
Best Headers for Chevy 350/5.7 Vortec Street Rods/Trucks: Speedway Motors 9300101
Speedway Motors 9300101 Short Tube Header
Bring your classic street rod into the modern age with a strong base that lays the ground for engine efficiency. The Speedway Motors Shorty 9300101 Headers provide the best performance increase where space is a luxury.
Best Headers for Chevy 350/5.7 Vortec Trucks: Hedman 69520
Hedman 69520 Street Headers
Hedman 69520 Street headers will help your truck’s engine run smoothly as it will breathe correctly. Give that engine the push it needs to deliver on better towing capacity than with stock cast-iron exhaust manifolds.
Best Long Tube Headers for Chevy 350/5.7 Vortec: Southwest Speed 440-2312
SOUTHWEST SPEED 440-2312 Long Tube Header
More power for drag racing comes only from long tube headers, and my best pick for this occasion is the Southwest Speed 440-2312 Lake Style headers.
Best Shorty Headers for Chevy 350/5.7 Vortec: Speedway Motors 9300101
Speedway Motors 9300101 Short Tube Header
Don’t worry about installation when you have Speedway Motors 9300101 Block Hugger headers that fit in the tightest locations. These are easy to bolt, and they come with high-grade hardware and accessories.
Best Performance Headers for Chevy 350/5.7 Vortec: PowerGo 1152403530
PowerGo 1152403530 Long Tube Exhaust Header
Your engine will never lose power through backpressure with PowerGo 1152403530 Exhaust Turbo headers. Each pipe is instinctively designed to eliminate power loss and provide the boost needed in Chevy 350 engines.