Exhaust Headers can be a great way to add some power to your setup without the headaches of requiring many different parts to make them work. However, headers can be a very lengthy install requiring lots of patience and removal of many of the surrounding parts.
Headers for Power
Headers can come in many different shapes and sizes but all have one thing in mind, Power! Quality headers will have many things that a stock manifold will not have. Many of them will have mandrel bends, a ceramic or polished finish and a layout that will be more free flowing.
Headers for V6 & V8 Owners: Long Tube vs. Short Tube
For many of the V6 and V8 owners out there you may notice there are some choices when it comes to your headers, long tube or short tube. When most are looking to make as much power as possible, a long tube header is usually the weapon of choice although this usually will come with a higher cost but as the best tuners will tell you, “you get what you pay for!”
This doesn’t mean that you can’t add power with a short tube or “shorty header.” Most of the time a short pipe header will not add the same amount of power in the same way as a long tube will but opening the pipes and creating a better exhaust flow will always add some power. Even these headers need to cost something, depending on the application and piping finish the cost of these may put a good dent in the old wallet as well. Like some of the best tuners have been known to say “you can’t put a price on power!”
Headers for 4 Cylinder & 8 Cylinder: 4-1 vs. 4-2-1
As for the 4 cylinder and 8 cylinder fans’ you may hear things like 4 -1 headers or 4-2-1 headers, what that refers to is the piping layout and the ways the pipes will connect. Both have there own distinct characteristics and will affect your powerband differently. 4-1 headers will generally result is higher top end power and 4-2-1 headers will have more mid range power. When deciding, which header is best for you, consider the application and where your RPMS will likely be most often.
Headers are a great way to make power without having to go internally. This bolt on part(s) is often overlooked and ignored. Don’t get caught sleeping on this performance upgrade. Headers can add power and make your ride more enjoyable then before!