Now that the car was 2″ lower the problem became ground clearance. The long tube headers were only an inch + from the ground. This was expected but I wanted to take everything one step at a time. Well, now it was time to deal with the problem. When Don was up one day he swapped my long tubes for a set of Edelbrock shorties while I was working on the front end. With the shorties on, headers were no longer a problem. But now I needed to connect the rest of the exhaust to the shorties. At first I was hoping to re-use and modify my existing exhaust. I started at the back and cut the hangers off the exhaust and re-welded them to get the back of the exhaust to within a 1/4″ of the underside of the floor. At the front of the X pipe I needed the exhaust to make a sharper bend to better line up with the trans xmember humps. Don suggested cutting off the pipe ahead of the X and get some J and U bends and starting over. I decided to make some pie cuts and see if I could work with want I had. After about a half hour I realized my approach might work but I was going to burn through 100 cutoff discs and a ton of time.
So, I decided to take it back to Johnny Franklin Mufflers in Santa Rosa and let the guys that do this stuff all day handle it. They re-used the mufflers and x-pipe from my old exhaust (which they had also built) and started over. I hung out to watch them work. After the guy had been working for a while I noticed he had the down pipe from the headers pretty tucked up but not quite as high as I wanted. I got under the car to talk to him and found out he was trying to work around the pull style clutch slave cylinder. I don’t him to not worry about it and that I would relocate it. So I got a wrench from them and took out the one bolt that holds the end of the slave that’s attached to the transmission x member and moved it out of the way. After that he was able to get the pipe tucked up high so it wasn’t any lower that the frame rail. I was really happy with that. Rest of the exhaust went smoothly. Very happy with the result. Now I have 3″ of ground clearance everywhere!