How to Pick a Good Header: Key Tips

Stock exhaust solutions normally limit the movement of exhaust gases out of your engine, preventing it from achieving its maximum power capacity.

Of course, the first exhaust parts to manage used exhaust gases from your engine are the exhaust manifolds headers or manifolds. The stock manifolds are restricting, but a collection of mandrel-bent performance headers can enable the exhaust gas to pass freely from the motor, minimizing power-robbing differential pressure and enabling your exhaust system to eject gases much more effectively.

A good collection of headers will actually increase the velocity of the exhaust flow enough to generate energy pulses that extract or scavenge expended gases from the engine.

So, what exactly constitutes a good header for your usage? Consider the following points:

Bigger Isn’t Always Better When It Comes to Size

The thickness of the primaries, which are the tubes that link directly to the exhaust ports, is one of the most important factors to consider when selecting a set of headers. There are several considerations to consider when selecting the appropriate pipe diameter—engine size, power, planned usage of the vehicle, and so on—but one common error that many hot rodders make is assuming that bigger the better.

While smaller-diameter primaries pass less volume than larger primaries, a smaller size pipe provides a faster exhaust flow rate and just enough pressure to promote good low- and midrange torque.

Try-Y or 4-1 When It Comes to Head Configuration?

To clear the primaries into the collection pipe, full-length headers usually use a 4-1 configuration. Some producers, however, sell headers in a “Tri-Y” design.

Tri-Y headers combine the 4 primaries into 2 slightly bigger supplementary pipes before joining them into a single collector. As the exhaust gases progressively converge into the collector, the secondary pipes enable them to sustain a higher velocity for a prolonged period of time. This increased exhaust flow produces a wider torque curve than 4-1 headers.

You can find both types of exhaust headers Australia online or in performance parts stores.

Stainless Steel vs Mild Steel

The majority of aftermarket headers are made of steel or stainless steel. The benefit of using a standard steel header is straightforward: cost. Mild steel headers are considerably less expensive than various forms of stainless steel, but they lack the toughness of stainless steel.

In extreme environments, such as the atmosphere in your engine area stainless steel headers outlast mild steel headers. They are more resistant to extreme temperature and will not rust. Stainless steel’s superior thermal properties and rust-free surface enable it to sustain a steady, restriction-free flow rate throughout its lifetime.

Ceramic Header Coating

If you’ve decided on Stainless steel or mild steel headers, you’ll probably be confronted with another decision: normal vs. coated. Top ceramic coat, which adds a thermal barrier, is the most common form of header coating. This retains heat inside the primary and helps to keep the engine bay cool. This translates to hotter, thicker intake loads and more horsepower. Furthermore, ceramic coated headers retain their finish even in harsh environments.

Headers are offered in both natural and painted finishes. These finishes are less expensive than coated headers but do not have the same efficiency or longevity benefits.

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