PRI 2015: Build Custom Headers With Kit From Trick Tools

In the past, when it came to fabricating a custom set of headers, the name of the game was a box of generic bends and a lot of wasted tubing, time, and frustration. If you were extremely well-off you might have had the resources to CAD-design and mandrel bend your primaries — at great expense.

IMG_4336For the garage hot rodder shoehorning a monster powerplant into a tight engine bay, finding that perfect set of headers meant breaking out the ball-peen and going to town on the off the shelf pipes, sacrificing aesthetics, and performance.

Trick Tools is now offering products from icengineworks, who developed a system they jovially refer to as a set of grown-up Legos. Its precision exhaust header modeling systems allow the user to mock up a set of headers from a bag of snap-together parts and ultimately use those models to create an accurate and functional exhaust kit.

IMG_4346The kit includes three basic stages to take the performance enthusiast from plastic parts to engine rumble. We talked to Victor Franco, president of icengineworks to get an explanation for these colorfully-coded, snap-together tools. “Normally everybody knows what lengths they need for their primaries, the problem is always packaging. With our system — just clicking blocks we are creating assemblies that get you closer and closer,” explained Franco.

As strings of plastic blocks are assembled to a terminal collector they can be twisted and turned to route through cramped areas. With as many blocks marking arrows aligned the fabricator can then cut steel U-bends into manageable chunks using the supplied fixtures. The kit even includes clamps to aide in the welding of the individual components.

With the tools supplied in the kit one can build unique performance headers with minimal waste. “We sell full systems of 300 pieces, and matching welding clamps for $1,500, and our experience with customers has been that you can break even on the first or second project,” concluded Franco.

While a kit like this may seem expensive, the investment will likely pay for itself, and the reduced headaches are worth every penny.IMG_4338

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About the author

Trevor Anderson

Trevor Anderson comes from an eclectic background of technical and creative disciplines. His first racing love can be found in the deserts of Baja California. In 2012 he won the SCORE Baja 1000 driving solo from Ensenada to La Paz in an aircooled VW. Trevor is engaged with hands-on skill sets such as fabrication and engine building, but also the theoretical discussion of design and technology. Trevor has a private pilot's license and is pursuing an MFA in fine art - specifically researching the aesthetics of machines, high performance materials and their social importance to enthusiast culture.
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