Custom Header Builds Just Got FUN!

As most of you may know, building custom headers is a major trial and error process. Massive amounts of time and material are wasted due to micro adjustments and tack welding, only to find your header is in contact with a frame rail or another element in your cramped engine bay. The cost of your job is rising faster than your blood pressure and your scrap pile isn’t getting any smaller. After hours in the shop with little progress, you find yourself back at the drawing board looking for a solution. The guys at Icengineworks know this process all too well and have come up with a header building system that puts the FUN back in fabrication. Some fabricators call it cheating, however if you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’, right?

Icengineworks provides 3 categories of products that simplify the header building process. Their most popular product is the Header Modeling Blocks. These time saving blocks allow you to simulate an exhaust runner using plastic blocks built to specific radii and OD. Adapt your runner to the header flange on your motor and precisely maneuver around obstacles in your engine bay until you have created a model of your custom headers. This eliminates cut and weld adjustments that waste both time and material. Once you have a block model of your custom headers, use the Icengineworks Tube Cutting Jigs to cut pre bent U and J bends to match the radii of your block model. When you have all your pieces, recruit Icengineworks’ Tack Weld Clamps to get the job done.  Clamp and position your pieces to create the final product by using these easy to use clamps.

The video below explains and demonstrates how the Icengineworks system can save you both time and money. This video was shot at the 2015 PRI Show and highlights the major advantages of the Icengineworks products.

What is Mandrel Tube Bending?

Mandrel tube bending is a widely misunderstood bending term. Many customers and even some bending companies refer to the bending dies as mandrels or shoes. Technically the mandrel is a part of the tooling set but does not exist in most bending applications.
The mandrel actually goes inside the tube and is held by a mandrel rod to support the tube at the tangent point of the bend. The mandrel is then extracted after the bend is complete or within the last few degrees of bending. This requires a machine with a bed longer than the tube being bent and strong enough to support the forces against the mandrel.

Common mandrels configurations include the plug, ball, disc or multi-ball or disc design. The type of mandrel required varies depending on the wall thickness of the tube, radius required, and type of material being bent. Mandrel bending can create a bend much tighter than empty bending as well as improve the appearance of bend.

Mandrel tube bending diagram

Mandrel tube bending diagram

Radii as tight as one times the diameter of the tube (1D) are possible, whereas with empty bending (bends without an internal mandrel) acceptable radii are usually two to three times the diameter (2-3D). This is especially useful for Continue reading