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The Hill Files

Zoomie Headers -- A Winning Design

by Jim Hill - 12/10/1998

Ronnie Still's East Coast based FE dragster (blown small-block Chevy, 6-71 with two-hole Hilborn) had three pipes angled back and slightly up. The pipes closest to the tires (No.'s 7 and 8 cylinders) pointed directly back and at the tires! A few other guys tried variations on this basic theme of "zoomie science", but all eventually came back to the "Original Recipe" with the "11 Secret Herbs and Spices" flavor of zoomie headers.

Ramchargers did try a collector header design a few times. Being heavily influenced and financed by Chrysler's performance/racing engineering group, these guys were always trying new stuff. A lot of strong lab theory suggested that a header system with simple collectors could "tune" engine torque to improve the mid-range area where the 'Rams saw room for improvement. Chrysler's experience in normally aspirated race engines showed significant gains in this area, and even more enhancements when properly matched with induction systems and valve timing. Shortly thereafter, engine technology, tires and clutch advancements negated any improvement that this heavier, less aero-efficient system could deliver. Form follows function, or somethin' like that.

Other than they're stronger and vastly more expensive for today's TF cars, the basic zoomie header design has remained consistent.

Jim Hill
Crane Cams


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