You don’t need a fancy engineering degree to know that the first stop for exhaust gases exiting the vehicle’s engine is the headers. So, it’s no surprise that your headers’ design and makeup are key factors in your vehicle’s overall performance at varying RPMs. And choosing the perfect headers for your build will make a huge impact on your horsepower and torque.
Short vs Long Tube - Which is Better?
It’s very satisfying to listen to your engine on idle and to feel its powerful rhythm. But as soon as you step on the gas and hit the road, your headers come into play. And they will make or brake your ride’s performance. That is why you want to have the right headers.
And you have two basic options when choosing headers: short tube or long tube.
What sets them apart is the length of the exhaust port pipes. For shorty headers, the port pipes actually merge into a single exhaust pipe in a much shorter distance. For long tube headers, the exhaust pipes are much longer and merge farther out. Because of this, each design impacts back pressure in the exhaust system in a different way.
Longer port pipes result in lower exhaust back pressure. This means improved oxygen intake and a boost in horsepower. You can read more about back pressure here.
But don’t go thinking that long tube headers always outperform shorty headers. It’s not that simple. Horsepower and torque output depends on the RPM range.
Long tube headers build a ton of power in the mid to high RPM range. They are the best option for high-rev vehicles, and track terrors. But they aren’t necessarily street legal, depending on emission standards. And usually, long tube headers are difficult to install. All the extra room they need inside the engine compartment may call for some costly reconfiguration.
Shorty headers perform best in the idle to mid-RPM range. This makes them the perfect headers for vehicles that rely on low-RPM power, like a daily commuter or a work pickup that sees a lot of towing and hauling.
What Brands Are Worth Considering?
Our advice is to go with proven and trusted brand names for your performance upgrades. Industry leaders like Gibson Headers, Kooks Headers, Hedman Hedders, Hooker Headers, Pacesetter Headers, and BBK Headers stand behind top-quality materials and guarantee their products meet the highest standards.
|PaceSetter Quik-Trip Long Tube Headers||BBK Shorty Tuned-Length Exhaust Headers||Gibson Performance Headers|
|CNC-machined 3/8" thick steel flanges fit the exhaust port profiles for superior seal and flow. Flash-controlled 16-gauge carbon steel primaries for better durability compared to light gauge stainless steel.||Made from mandrel-bent tubing with thick die-stamped flanges. The headers will give you 8 to 15 additional HP gains, and come packaged with gaskets and the hardware needed for installation.||Performance-tuned and engine-matched with performance gains at the lower to midrange RPM highway speeds. Perfect for lowered or raised pickups and tow vehicles. Available in variety of finishes.|
- 3/8" thick steel flanges
- superior seal and flow
- 16-gauge carbon steel primaries
- direct fit design
- mandrel bent tubing
- 8 to 15 additional HP
- performance tuned
- gains at low to mid-range RPMs
- variety of finishes
|Price: from $310.30
|Price: from $370.97
|Price: from $565.97
Still can't decide which headers are right for your ride? Drop us a comment below and we'll help you figure it out!