I hate farming out any kind of work when building a project vehicle. It doesn’t matter whether it’s body work, paint, wiring, upholstery, or exhaust fabrication, I just need to do it (or at least attempt it) myself. Maybe it’s vanity, maybe it’s stubbornness, more than likely it’s stupidity—or at the very least masochism. Whatever the cause, I often find myself creating more work for myself than is actually necessary—but when I do so, I usually end up trading the extra work and aggravation for monetary savings, and that’s always a good idea (well, almost always).

This time around, I think I made the correct choice when I decided to utilize one of Summit Racing Equipment’s Universal Rod Builder’s exhaust kits (PN SUM-670146). First of all, it’s pretty darn affordable considering you won’t be on the hook for a stout labor charge from the local muffler shop, plus, the system you end up with is one that is routed exactly where and how you want it—not how the muffler guy finds it easiest and fastest.

The Summit kit includes a great selection of 2½-inch exhaust tubing in various configurations—it’s all the tubing anyone would need to fabricate a custom exhaust system for just about any application. To be specific, the contents of the kit consist of four sections of 4-foot long straight tubing, four 45-degree bends, four 90-degree bends, and four 180-degree bends. Summit is also a great source for mufflers and all the hardware you’ll need as well. In that regard, when I placed my order for the kit I also ordered one of their PN SUM-642125 2½-inch diameter X-pipe kits (which also includes a package of eight standard muffler clamps), a couple of PN SUM-693250 2½-inch stainless band-style clamps that I planned on using to mate the header collectors to the X-pipe, and a pair of PN SUM-638252 race mufflers. So basically, four part numbers gave me everything short of a few exhaust hangers, which I already had on hand, and a fresh pair of tube headers to connect the system to the small-block Chevy used in the pickup. Unfortunately, I had to pass on ordering one of Summit Racing’s two-post lifts, so I was forced to fabricate and install my custom exhaust system while laying on my back underneath a pickup supported by a quartet of jack stands—oh well, ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Anyway, all went well and I had a complete custom exhaust system fabricated and installed in one weekend, plus, I never had to load the truck up onto a trailer and haul it to my local muffler shop—or pay somebody a bunch of cash for their labor. That’s a win-win situation if you ask me.

So, follow along and see how I spent a weekend moving one step closer to getting the ’57 roadworthy. It was time well spent, and something that you may wish to consider yourself—Summit makes it easy. CT

SOURCE
Summit Racing Equipment
PO Box 909
Akron
OH  44398
800-230-3030
330-630-0240
www.summitracing.com
Doug's Headers
440 East Arrow Highway
San Dimas  91773
909-599-5955
www.pertronix.com
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