If you're thinking the 1976 Ford F-250 featured on these pages looks a little familiar, you're right. In last month's "A Classic Truck Can Survive" we covered installing a set of smog-legal Hedman Elite headers sourced from Summit Racing, and replaced a bad freeze plug while it was exposed. I did the work in my driveway on jackstands and, as usual, I made a few missteps determining the best order in which to do things. The corrected methods will appear in the captions.
In addition, time constraints associated with meeting a deadline caused me to use parts that I wouldn't recommend. A good example was not opting for a mini-starter when I believe that all header installations should include a mini-starter to provide more room and avoid future starter problems associated with heat exposure.
The main idea is to inform CT readers that a nice original truck doesn't have to be scrapped just because it's a year/model that's required to pass a smog test. Vehicle emissions inspection requirements vary from state to state and in different countries. For specific information check with SEMA SAN (www.semasan.com) to find out what the emission requirements are in your area. It's surprising how many states require smog certification. All it takes is a little research in Summit Racing's catalog to find the right parts and pick up performance, while still retaining smog compliance.
Before I could drive the 1976 up to the Muffler Man in Placentia, California, to have the Flowmaster catalytic converters and 2-into-2 muffler installed, the cooling system had to be reassembled. A point made in last month's issue was anytime one disassembles a truck to install a specific part it's always a good idea to check if there's anything else that needs attention. There's no sense in having to do the job twice. Removing the water pump, radiator, and hoses made it a lot easier to install the Hedman headers, plus make some much-needed repairs and improvements to the stock cooling system.