As part of our continued improvement for 2011, we’re opening up our Readers’ Rap section to those of you having a hard time getting an answer to a tough truck question. Send in whatever is stumping you and if we can’t answer it, or if we think your question is going to help out other people with a problem, we’ll send you free truck gear. It’s just that easy. Also, if we did something to tick you off, did something that you liked, or even if you want to make a suggestion, feel free to contact us at maxwell.matthewson@sorc.com and we’ll do our best to respond.

Truckin' Staff,

I drive a ‘90 Silverado 4x4 with a 350ci V-8. The truck has 280k miles on it, the engine 75k. It currently has a single exhaust “Y” with a muffler that sounds good, but for a long time I’ve wanted to add headers and a dual exhaust. One mechanic said not to do it because the engine would run a tad cooler and mess up the computer chip and would not run well. Another said the truck is old enough that it shouldn’t bother it. A third mechanic said, “I have headers on mine and I’m always replacing gaskets. I’d leave well enough alone.” I’m an old man and have to hire someone to do the work. Should I go for it, or leave well enough alone?

Thanks,
Jim Boulware
Salem, Missouri

Jim,

That is a good question. Adding headers is a great way to help the engine breathe better and draw out a bit more rumble. The headers shouldn’t decrease the temperature beyond what the computer would be able to handle. What that mechanic said about gaskets can be a problem if the headers aren’t installed properly. We’ve had headers on vehicles for years and have never had a problem. We recommend using dedicated header bolts and using high-temp copper spray gasket sealer on the high-temp gaskets to add some extra insurance. Now, about the dual exhaust, if you set it up properly with the catalytic converters and O2 sensors, you should not have a problem. Since you said you would be having a shop do the work, they should know what they are doing. Thank you for looking to Truckin’ magazine for answers to your questions.

Hi,

In Volume 37, No. 8, June 27, 2011 on page 30, the rendering of the “Ranch Hand” is not an El Camino. You broke my heart as I am restoring a ‘65 Falcon Ranchero. The picture is of a ’64 or ’65 Ford Falcon Ranchero.

Sincerely,
Lonnie Brimer
A Ford man to the end

Lonnie,

You are absolutely correct. Being the new guy on staff, I wasn’t paying attention when writing the article and incorrectly called it an El Camino. I should have known, I mean it is called the “Ranch Hand.” Thank you for letting us know.

Truckin',

I’ve noticed a few ads in the marketplace section that show an F-150 that has flares on the bumper. Obviously this picture has been photoshopped, so I’m still not sure if this piece does exist. I have been looking everywhere for something similar to what is shown in the picture for my 2008 F-150 FX2 sport. I’ve been hoping to find something that doesn’t need to be custom-made for an insane amount of money. Do you guys have any idea if this piece is something that I could order, and if so, where I would be able to find it?

Rob Hughes
Toronto, Canada

Rob,

Thank you for your query. The ad that you are referring to is an ad for Truckin’ magazine. The Ford in that ad is actually a rendering that was made in 2006 for a Truckin’ project truck. Funny enough, after the truck was built, it didn’t even have fender flares on it. After extensive research on the Internet, we could not find a company that makes these flares. However, they could be made by simply buying a pair of flares from the dealer and cutting the end of the flare off and affixing it to the bumper. Since the inside radius of the bumper is the same as the fender, it shouldn’t require much tweaking. For all types of fender flares, check out bushwhacker.com. We hope this helps.