I've been puzzling about your left side pipe fitment issue for days, and there is one factor you had mentioned, as yet to be considered here.
In your post 91, something you wrote caught my eye this morning:
we really dont know what we should do...tony was thinking the exhaust shop could heat the pipes to help get it around..i dont know
we rechecked the headers again and again to make sure they were correct....obviously they can only fit in one position right?
You had said back in post 21 that you'd had the manifold flanges 'cleaned up' / machined and posted a pic .. Why was this done please? Had there been a gouge on a sealing surface perhaps? Were the left & right side manifolds ground together? Were the four ground individually? How were they keyed to a common reference point? How much material was removed?
The reason I bring this up is that in machining them thinner [as was done here], effectively tucks the exhaust in closer to the centerline of the engine. Furthermore, if by happenstance, the manifold[s] were ever so slightly rotated off plane [and surfaces ground], it would follow that [when mounted], this rotation would amplify outwards... Just sayin'...
I realize this is but a possibility, a longshot really
rather than a probability here.. It's only thousanths of an inch after all.. That said, it is an aspect now that the manifold mating surfaces have been altered
, back in February. Material removed here alters the 'reference point'... the spacial geometry if you will. Done without due care, ..... one questions.......
In my Tri-Y readings since 2004, in all the threads discussing Tri-Ys here on BW, and other sites I've similarly researched, I believe this is the first time I have read of header flanges being machined.
Going forward, to gain more clearance, has your tech discussed remounting the left side manifolds while doubling up on the exhaust port flange gaskets?
Look, I don't even know if this is feasible
, but if so, by doing, it seems possible to move/shim the manifold inlets/outputs & downpipes outward/downwards, thus further away from the 'engine centerline'*
, gaining clearance [at the bell housing] you don't have at present.
If this were
even possible, would the effort/expense be worth it?
It's an idea anyways...
At the same oblique angle [from the vertical] as the exhaust ports / mounting flanges.