The exhaust manifold is an essential component in any system. It is responsible for collecting the exhaust gases from the engine cylinders and concentrating them into one location so they can move along through the rest of the system.
Even if your Chevy’s exhaust manifold is functioning correctly there are many reasons to change it. An aftermarket manifold can reduce the overall engine temperature and decrease backpressure, increasing the vehicle’s performance.
The main problem with upgrading the exhaust manifold is the absurd amount of aftermarket manifolds available. Choosing the best one for your Chevy can quickly become overwhelming. That’s why in this article you will learn about the best Chevy exhaust manifolds and hopefully make the buying process a little bit easier.
Best Flowing Chevy Exhaust Manifolds — Comparison Table
The best overall
|Auto Dynasty AD-HDS-SBC-AP|
The best looking exhaust manifold
The durable manifold
|Auto Dynasty AD-HDS-CC63|
One size fits all
|Auto Dynasty AD-HDC-SBC-SB|
The durable manifold
|AJP Distributors HDS-CH5-279-SS-AMA-L1|
The aggressive exhaust manifold
Review of Top-Rated Flowing Chevy Exhaust Manifolds
- Auto Dynasty AD-HDS-SBC-AP
- TUNERBITS HD-CCOR63
- Auto Dynasty AD-HDS-CC63
- Auto Dynasty AD-HDC-SBC-SB
- AJP Distributors HDS-CH5-279-SS-AMA-L1
- Allstar ALL34200
This Tight Fit Design stainless steel exhaust manifold fits a large number of Chevy small block engines. However, it might come with a few quality control issues — there’s a small chance this particular manifold will be misaligned with a supported engine block.
If you’re fortunate, that shouldn’t transpire and you will have an exhaust manifold that significantly increases engine airflow. The reduced backpressure will instantly enhance engine performance by 10 to 15 hp and torque.
Besides the performance increase, the Tight Fit Design exhaust manifold comes with everything to assemble it. If you know what you’re doing, it is relatively simple to install this exhaust. In our review unit, there were no fitting problems and the performance increase was instantly noticeable.
- Fits several small block Chevy engines
- Great performance increase
Even if they might not increase the Chevy engine performance by a noticeable amount, it is fair to say this Tunerbits exhaust manifold is one of the better-looking ones in our list.
This piece comes with a polished stainless steel finish and looks amazing. It is recommended if you’re not interested in a performance increase and prefer a great-looking vehicle instead.
Installing this exhaust manifold is basic, albeit the product does not have the extra and necessary parts for proper installation. If you don’t have them go to an auto parts shop.
It is a great exhaust manifold if you’re doing a restoration and want to have a shiny manifold. If you’re looking for extra hp and torque, this is not the best option.
- Very good looking
- High-quality finish
This Auto Dynasty exhaust manifold is affordable, quite durable and boosts engine performance.
It is made of T-304 stainless steel and supposedly never rusts (although vibrations might impact it negatively) — there’s a chance you will never need a new one. Its mandrel bends aren’t random — they’re computer made and optimized for maximum durability.
Also, the mandrel bends highly reduce backpressure. Besides looking great and being durable, this exhaust manifold will boost the engine power at higher RPMs. Expect an extra 10 to 15 hp and torque with this exhaust.
The main drawback of this piece is that it doesn’t fit as many vehicles as other products on our list. This specific exhaust manifold was designed for Chevy small blocks from 1967 to 1977, and even then it might not fit every one of them. It also does not come with extra parts you might need during installation.
- Extremely durable
- Increases engine performance
One of the advantages of this particular exhaust manifold is that it fits a large assortment of Chevy engines. Unless you have a lemon or a defective part (in either the engine or the exhaust manifold), this Auto Dynasty header kit should fit most Chevy small block engines built between 1966 and 1996.
Although this particular version is silver coated, a polished chrome version is also available. However, chrome has a tendency to gain a bluish tint over time, so it’s up to you to decide which finish you prefer.
Since this is a one-size-fits-all manifold, don’t expect major performance gains. It will boost engine airflow and reduce backpressure, but not noticeably.
On the plus side, this kit includes everything to assemble it yourself.
- Fits many Chevy small block engines
- Comes with extra parts
This racing header exhaust manifold fits a considerable amount of Chevy small block engines, although it might come with quality control issues from the factory. Luckily, it’s usually something you can fix without sending the product back.
This exhaust manifold significantly minimizes backpressure and should lead to noticeable performance gains: 10 to 15 horsepower and torque.
The angles on this piece might be a little off and require some elbow grease to properly get them into place, but other than that it shouldn’t be too complex to install it. It has a nice finish and is made of T-304 stainless steel, so it should last for a long time.
- Significantly reduces backpressure
- Great welds
Let me get this out of the way: this exhaust manifold is not for everyone. It has an aggressive “ram-style” look without the fancy finishes. It has a raw appearance that can either attract or pull you away, so opinions on it might differ.
Regardless of how it looks, something is not negotiable: this exhaust manifold significantly increases exhaust flow and the overall engine performance.
Another great thing about this exhaust is that it’s a universal fit. It should fit most small block Chevy engines.
The only negative about it is the price. It’s a tad more expensive than other, similarly performing exhaust manifolds. If, however, you love its surface, consider its price.
- Aggressive appearance
- Increases engine performance
The exhaust manifold plays a vital role when it comes to increasing the performance of your vehicle. That being said, not every exhaust manifold noticeably affects the performance. Even here, a few are just okay — better than the stock parts, but not the ones to purchase if you’re looking for a performance boost.
Some manifolds don’t bother about performance. Instead, they look attractive. Such is the case of the Chevy Small Block 1963-1982 V8 305 327 350 Race Exhaust Long Tube Headers. It looks fantastic, but it probably isn’t the one to go after if you want more power.
Some are affordable and reliable. They might not increase power by a noticeable amount, but they fit most vehicles and are easy to install. If you’re looking for this type of exhaust manifold then look no further than the For Chevy Small Block V8 4-1 Design 2pcs Silver Coated Steel Exhaust Header Kit.
Finally, a few are overall great. They look appealing, positively impact the sound of the vehicle and greatly increase its performance. My overall recommendation goes to the Tight Fit Design Stainless Steel Exhaust Header Angle Head For Chevy Small Block 262 265 283 305 327 350 400 Hugger. When you factor in the cost, no other exhaust manifold even comes close.
It’s a difficult choice, but hopefully I’ve made it easier and you’ve learned a bit more about Chevy exhaust manifolds.
Best Flowing Chevy Exhaust Manifold — Buyer’s Guide
What exhaust manifolds can I use in a 350 Chevy engine?
Not every Chevy exhaust fits in a 350 engine. You can find some on our list, such as the Chevy Small Block 1963-1982 V8 305 327 350 Race Exhaust Long Tube Headers.
Where are the Chevy exhaust manifold casting numbers located?
The casting numbers are located on the upper side. You can see them without disassembling the manifold. You might need to clean them with a brush, though.
What are the best flowing Chevy exhaust manifolds?
It all depends. Most aftermarket pieces increase exhaust flow, but they do it in different quantities. Even if there is no best exhaust manifold, my recommendation goes to the Tight Fit Design
What exhaust manifolds can I use in a Chevy 292?
There are several exhaust manifolds for your Chevy 292 engine, such as the For Chevy Small Block V8 4-1 Design 2pcs Silver Coated Steel Exhaust Header Kit.
Where can I find Chevy log-style exhaust manifolds?
This type of manifold is sold at several automotive retailers and specialist shops. Nonetheless, I advise against them since they reduce airflow and increase backpressure.