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-   -   Choosing The Right Long Tube Headers (http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=288490)

Apex Motorsports 04-10-2013 04:40 PM

Choosing The Right Long Tube Headers
 
http://thehorsepowerjunkies.com/wp-c...ds/headers.jpg


Selecting long tube headers can be an intimidating task and does require some technical knowledge, but it isn’t the voodoo some make it out to be. In this post I will try to arm you with as much information as I can to help you decide on the best option for you and your ride. If you have any questions after reading it feel free to send me a PM or give us a call at the phone number in my signature.


Which Manufacturer Should I Go With?

The good news here is that this is hard to get wrong. Ask around on the forums and you will hear some of the same brand names over and over again. Stick with brands like Stainless Works, Stainless Power, Pfadt, ARH, and Kooks and you will be fine. From a performance stand point all of these brands are pretty close, no one has a secret sauce that makes one of them produce substantially better results than any of the others. In terms of quality, again, most of them are pretty close in this area as well. If you are looking at other brands though here are some of things to pay close attention to.

Pay attention to what they are made from. Stainless steel (particularly 304) is what you will want to look for. 304 stainless steel will not rust or discolor from exposure to the atmosphere like the cheaper 400 series stainless steel. Unlike aluminized steel, it will not rust from the inside out due to the corrosive fluids produced during combustion. 304 can discolor slightly from getting extremely hot or if you spill engine oil on them but another attribute is that it isn’t permanent.

Pay attention to how they are made. CNC mandrel bending is the best manufacturing method for producing exhaust systems and headers that flow and fit well. When this process is used in conjunction with the 304 stainless steel it allows for the use of a thinner wall tubing that will weigh less than other headers. Those weight savings will be lost, however, if you opt for ceramic coating. With 300 series stainless steel the coating isn’t needed for corrosion resistance purposes (ceramic coating is often pushed because the manufacture is using inferior material) and I have never seen some of the claimed reductions in under hood temperature scientifically demonstrated in hard numbers. It looks great and they cool off quickly, that is about the sum of it.


What Primary Diameter Should I Go With?

This is the area that seems to cause the most confusion but it is fairly straight forward. Header manufacturers usually offer two or three options when is comes to primary diameters for a specific vehicle. For example, for the Camaro SS most manufacturers are offering 1 3/4 inch, 1 7/8 inch, and 2 inch primaries. Below are some pretty typical numbers for what you can expect from traditional 4-into-1 long tube headers on an otherwise stock SS:


Stock: 370 RWHP 375 RWTQ
1 3/4 headers with high flow cats: 400 RWHP 405 RWTQ
1 7/8 headers with high flow cats: 410 RWHP 410 RWTQ
2 headers with high flow cats: 415 RWHP 410 RWTQ


As you can see, simply switching from the restrictive stock manifolds to 1 3/4 long tube headers is worth approximately 30 RWHP and 30 RWTQ on a bone stock Camaro SS. The larger the primary diameter gets the more air the headers will flow and the further up the RPM range the power band is moved. The more powerful the engine is the more beneficial it is to go with a larger diameter, especially when you introduce forced induction. This means that generally the more power you make or the more race oriented your application is the bigger primary diameter you need, the closer to stock or the more street oriented the smaller primary diameter you need.


Tri-Y Headers

Pfadt recently announced that they are releasing Tri-Y headers for the 5th Gen Camaro and since then we have been inundated with questions about this type of design. Traditional 4-into-1 long tube headers merge all four primary tubes into a single collector similar to the one pictured below.

http://www.camaro5.com/forums/attach...5&d=1294546495


Tri-Y headers utilize a different approach. These headers feature three Y-pipes that merge the runners in pairs. Because of this they are sometimes also referred to as 4-into-2-into-1 headers. The Pfadt Tri-Ys are very elegant and because of that the differences are difficult to see in photos so below is a very rudimentary set of Tri-Y headers and a set of traditional 4-into-1 style long tube headers below that for a direct comparison. You can see that there are three separate events rather than one as is the case with a traditional 4-into-1 long tube headers.

http://clearimageautomotive.com/Chev..._Passenger.jpg
http://www.haddadmotorsports.com/cat...es/KooksG8.jpg


Now that you know what Tri-Y header are, the question is what is the difference from a performance perspective. The commonly accepted theory is that 4-into-1 long tube headers offer stronger peak horsepower gains, while the Tri-Y headers produce stronger low and mid-range torque gains (ideal for street performance).


High Flow Cats or Cat Delete (Off Road Pipe)

With modern high flow cats there is essentially no performance advantage to a cat delete. They flow 99.9% as well as straight pipe. On a dyno you might see 1-3 rwhp in the mid RPM range. Going with a cat delete does cost less but the biggest draw back for many street driven cars is the smell of running without cats. Others are the potential legal issues and the inability to pass emissions testing and inspections. For track cars none of these are a concern so save the money and apply it elsewhere but if your car is used primarily on the street high flow cats are probably your best bet.

45thCAMARO 2SS/RS 04-10-2013 05:44 PM

Wow thanx a lot you helped me with things I have been dwelling with. You are right u know which one I should go with now.

mikeyg36 04-10-2013 07:40 PM

Great write-up, as always. :thumbsup:

ackeight 04-10-2013 09:27 PM

Good job. Maybe this will cut down on the "what header should I buy...is best...sucks..." Threads for a week.

Denis 04-11-2013 05:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ackeight (Post 6409346)
Good job. Maybe this will cut down on the "what header should I buy...is best...sucks..." Threads for a week.

I give it a week lol

Nice write up.

Apex Motorsports 04-11-2013 08:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 45thCAMARO 2SS/RS (Post 6408345)
Wow thanx a lot you helped me with things I have been dwelling with. You are right u know which one I should go with now.

Awesome! I am glad it was helpful.

Quote:

Originally Posted by mikeyg36 (Post 6408837)
Great write-up, as always. :thumbsup:

Thanks. :thumb:

Quote:

Originally Posted by ackeight (Post 6409346)
Good job. Maybe this will cut down on the "what header should I buy...is best...sucks..." Threads for a week.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Denis (Post 6410339)
I give it a week lol

Nice write up.

:lol: Nothing will end them but at least there is now a thread you guys can link them to for answers.

Nightmare2012 04-11-2013 09:07 AM

We will make sure to bump it everyday to eliminate those threads lol

Nightmare2012 04-11-2013 09:07 AM

We will make sure to bump it everyday to eliminate those threads lol

LeanPocket 04-11-2013 09:26 AM

Another thing to look for is the addition or lack of a Velocity/Merge spike


http://www.stainlessworks.net/skin/f...ed-airflow.jpg

Kooks:
http://marylandspeed.com/images/IMG_1804.JPG

TSP 2"
http://texas-speed.com/images/product/large/4012_5_.png


Another topic to include about the primary sizes is how they compare to 'Stepped' headers (vs traditional).

LeanPocket 04-11-2013 09:28 AM

Nice write up chase.
You put everything into perspective!

Apex Motorsports 04-11-2013 10:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeanPocket (Post 6410838)
Another thing to look for is the addition or lack of a Velocity/Merge spike

Another topic to include about the primary sizes is how they compare to 'Stepped' headers (vs traditional).

Absolutely. Stainless Works, Stainless Power, Kooks, and ARH all utilize a merge spike. Many of the "budget" headers produced overseas do not and it does have an impact on performance. I will have to add a section on that at some point.

I have a separate write up I am working on for stepped headers. It is one of those topics that has a lot of variables and is hard to write about without either going too long or doing the opposite and over simplifying.

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeanPocket (Post 6410845)
Nice write up chase.
You put everything into perspective!

Thanks. :D

LeanPocket 04-11-2013 10:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Apex Chase (Post 6410955)
Absolutely. Stainless Works, Stainless Power, Kooks, and ARH all utilize a merge spike. Many of the "budget" headers produced overseas do not and it does have an impact on performance. I will have to add a section on that at some point.

I have a separate write up I am working on for stepped headers. It is one of those topics that has a lot of variables and is hard to write about without either going too long or doing the opposite and over simplifying.

:happy0180:
x2 on the stepped topic, I'll be subscribed!

LeanPocket 04-11-2013 10:31 AM

Another note, off road pipes/cat delete weight less :nod:

dekan513 04-11-2013 11:09 AM

nice chase , this should help alot of ppl.

436SS 04-11-2013 12:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dekan513 (Post 6411176)
nice chase , this should help alot of ppl.

It surely helped me! Thx Chase.

JJKJ 04-11-2013 01:38 PM

Thanks for the post Chase. I'm assuming your hp/tq numbers were on the same dyno you did the stock baseline run on, and all of your header numbers included a tune?

Thanks,

Apex Motorsports 04-15-2013 06:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dekan513 (Post 6411176)
nice chase , this should help alot of ppl.

Quote:

Originally Posted by 436SS (Post 6411553)
It surely helped me! Thx Chase.

That is what I am here for.

Quote:

Originally Posted by JJKJ (Post 6411747)
Thanks for the post Chase. I'm assuming your hp/tq numbers were on the same dyno you did the stock baseline run on, and all of your header numbers included a tune?

Thanks,

Those numbers are not from any one car or any one set of pulls, but are what we have come to expect after seeing the results of many cars. That is about what you can expect if you bolt a quality set of LT headers on a bone stock car before tuning.

1989GTA 04-15-2013 10:09 PM

"I have a separate write up I am working on for stepped headers. It is one of those topics that has a lot of variables and is hard to write about without either going too long or doing the opposite and over simplifying."

Not much has been written regarding the stepped headers so this should be an interesting read. One thing I did see posted from a shop was that the stepped headers always seemed to perform in the upper end of the dyno horsepower range depending on what mods the car had.

Tampa Tuning 04-16-2013 07:24 AM

:thumbsup:

Very nice write up. I always get questions about the 1 3/4, 1 7/8, 2 inch tubes.

I love Amanda :hail:

jethrobandit 04-16-2013 09:48 AM

This may be a stupid question, but hey, that's what forums are for. With an NPP exhaust system, are there any modifications that would need to be done to it in applying 1 7/8" headers?

2010 4 DW 04-16-2013 10:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Apex Chase (Post 6410955)
Absolutely. Stainless Works, Stainless Power, Kooks, and ARH all utilize a merge spike. Many of the "budget" headers produced overseas do not and it does have an impact on performance. I will have to add a section on that at some point.

I have a separate write up I am working on for stepped headers. It is one of those topics that has a lot of variables and is hard to write about without either going too long or doing the opposite and over simplifying.



Thanks. :D

Great information and I cannot wait to see the stepped information. I went with the JBA 1 7/8" Stainless & Ceramic Coated Long Tubes and they also have a "MERGE SPIKE". I paid $800.00 for the headers and mids shipped and it was the best deal on the market at the time. I have used JBA in the past with NO issues and the Camaro headers have been great.

Apex Motorsports 04-16-2013 04:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tampa Tuning (Post 6428979)
:thumbsup:

Very nice write up. I always get questions about the 1 3/4, 1 7/8, 2 inch tubes.

I love Amanda :hail:

Thanks! :thumbsup:

Quote:

Originally Posted by jethrobandit (Post 6429352)
This may be a stupid question, but hey, that's what forums are for. With an NPP exhaust system, are there any modifications that would need to be done to it in applying 1 7/8" headers?

No. You just need to make sure that you buy the right headers. Look for "factory connect" or "short system" headers. That is the lingo most of the manufacturers use to reference their headers that will bolt up to the factory exhaust or standard aftermarket cat backs. An, of course, if you have any doubts or questions feel free to hit me up or give us a call.

Apex Motorsports 04-16-2013 05:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CryBabyMaro (Post 6430948)
What do you think about SLP headers????

SLP headers do not meet the standards outlined in my post.

rberns 04-16-2013 06:45 PM

ARH are great! Picked mine up from Chase with Apex in December and I finally have them installed. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNFM7...ature=youtu.be

OVERPAR73 04-16-2013 06:54 PM

Chase,
Do you have a header and cat recommendation for my 2013 ZL1 vert?


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