(2) 3.5" steel tubing cut 3" shy of what you want the total length of the header to be.
(1) 10' tube of 1 5/8 tubing with a 90 degree bend put in both ends. The muffler shop will be able to do this
To build my Lakes headers I bolted my header flanges to a welding table and had to frequently remove and put them on the truck for proper fitment. Welding will obviously create sparks so using your engine is not recommended.
Once the tubes were welded on They were fit onto the motor to make sure everything looked ok.
At this point I went back to the table and cut the 90 degree bends that the muffler shop made off. I cut them off leaving a couple of inches past the radius to I could insert it into the cone. Once you have your 90 degree bend cut off cut a little bit of the radius off at a time until you have the appropriate bend to clear your steering and cab. I was left with about 20 to 25 degrees as you can see in the picture.
To create the cone I needed to cut a pie shaped piece out of the tubing (Do not try to take to big of a slice out of the tubing all at once). Once this slice has been taken out take the tubing to your bench vice and slowly go up and down the tubing forcing the tubing back together. Do not exert too much force in any one area. Just take your time and go from one end of the tube to the other slowly working the tubing together. If is starts to distort (or come out of round) you can spin the tube following a different imaginary line down the tube.
Here is the tubing after it was slowly brought back together using a bench vice and tack welded on the seam. This particular piece that was cut out allowed the tubing to taper from 3.5" down to 2.5".
The tubing is now 2.5" at one end and 3.5" at the other end. I test fitted my bend that goes to the front exhaust port and saw that I needed to take another smaller pie shape out to get it to fit properly. There was not tricky math to decide how much to take out. Make sure you are taking the pie cuts out of the whole length of the tubing so you do not end up with any distortion. Once everything fits properly weld it up.
Note: Do not wear flip flops as I have demonstrated.
At this point you should have your tubes welded on to your flange. And your cone welded up. Attach your header flange to the engine and lay the cone across the top of the tubes. You can use the cone as a ruler to mark where the tubes till start to intersect with the cone. You can also mark the radius going to the front cylinder to cut it properly.
Remember if you mark the header tubes that is just where it touches the cone. You will need to allow 1" - 1.5" past the mark that you made so you can go in with a grinder and fish mouth the tubes for proper fit to the cone.
Once the tubes have been cut and fish mouthed to fit the cone you just need to cut out holes that match the cone and weld everything together after you have verified proper fit. Now it time to stand back and enjoy your new set of Lakes headers you have made. If you enjoyed the article be sure to tell a friend.