Stage 2 heads/headers in a 86 Regal

Discussion in 'V-8 Buick Powered Regals' started by 1972 Stage 1, Mar 19, 2019.

  1. 1972 Stage 1

    1972 Stage 1 Well-Known Member

    A local Buick enthusiast has an 86 Regal with a 455, and he wants to install some Stage 2 heads/headers.

    Can this be done with the motor in the car, or will the motor have to come out?

    Any advise from those of you that have done this will be appreciated.

  2. 455 Powered

    455 Powered Well-Known Member

    I have steel heads and TA 1 7/8 headers. I have to put the headers in from the bottom and had to clearance the a arms. I would think you would have to lift the engine a bit with stage 2 parts.
  3. 1972 Stage 1

    1972 Stage 1 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the reply. Are you able to get the passenger head off/back on the motor with the motor in the car or is the AC box in the way?
  4. Julian

    Julian Well-Known Member

    I don't understand why you would have to have clearance issues with the stage two's? Because it narrows the engine 2 to 4 inches
    STAGE-2 TORQUE likes this.
  5. Philip66

    Philip66 Well-Known Member

    I had an 84 Regal with an iron headed 455 and the headers installed and fit almost exactly the same as my 70 GS. Remove the motor mount bolt; jack the engine up a little on one side; install the headers from the bottom. No Problem!!

    On my 87 Regal drag car with aluminum Stage 2's it's not the same, at all!
    I had installed the engine and Trans first, and then tried to get the headers in by doing the same as my old 84. Jacked up one side at a time, NO. Jacked up both sides at the same time, NO. Finally had to unbolt the Trans and pull the motor back out. Then I wired the headers to the frame or used zip ties, (I forget) then set the motor down on top of the headers.
    I've never had any A-arm interference with any headers on a BBB.

    I don't think it would be possible to install Stage 2 heads without removing the engine first, especially if the car has A/C. First of all I don't think you can get the passenger side rear head bolts out of the iron heads without hitting the A/C box. The angle is too steep. And he should probably be using head studs and maybe even be drilling for the EXTRA head studs depending on power level when swapping over to Stage 2's. Might be ok on the drivers side but I doubt it. Probably have to remove the brake booster and that may give enough room.
    With all of the hassle he would be better off to just pull the engine out. Wire the headers in and be good to go. Easier to install the heads and torque em down with the motor out. Difficult to get a consistent pull on the torque wrench, and questionable whether he could even access them all on pass side.

    This is just my opinion based on my experience, your results may be different.

    Good Luck,
    Philip T.
    STAGE-2 TORQUE and 1972 Stage 1 like this.
  6. 455 Powered

    455 Powered Well-Known Member

    My engine bay has been stripped. Only have engine and radiator
  7. 1972 Stage 1

    1972 Stage 1 Well-Known Member

    Good info. Thanks Phillip.
    Philip66 likes this.
  8. hugger

    hugger Well-Known Member

    That's the problem the header tubes go further in to accommodate the more narrow width making them more troublesome to install, the bolts are easier to access but getting them in place is often a chore
  9. rus

    rus Well-Known Member

    I have a 78 century with air. It has a 462 stage 2. I have ac still hooked up. The 67 stage 2 headers fit with no issue. The stage 1 headers were a nightmare compared to the stage 2. Definite install heads on the motor out of the car. I slid my headers on after motor install, from the underneath.
    STAGE-2 TORQUE likes this.

    STAGE-2 TORQUE STAGE-1 Buick "494Stroker" in 2021

    I have a 1987 Buick Regal/455 with TA Long Tube Competition Headers ... no fitment issues at all.

    Regarding your STAGE-2 Buick Headers/Heads in your 1986 Buick Regal ... BETTER FITMENT than the Stage-1 ... according to guys who have done it/see it done.

    I was told (true) that TA Performance Stage-2 HEADS have the Spark Plug Ports BELOW the Heads ... which in turn have the EXHAUST Ports on the Stage-2 Heads sitting HIGHER than the Stage-1. I was also told that Header Bolt removal/install is a BREEZE when compared to the TA Stage-1 Header Bolts/position.

    Mr. Jim Weise of Tri-Shield Performance is currently building me a Stage-2 Aluminum Headed 482. I got the install "411" months ago ... in advance.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2019

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