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Exhaust Headers 101
Essentially, these parts exist to greatly improve an engine’s performance, and the goal of one is to make the process of pushing gases out of the cylinders easier for the engine. These are one of the best aftermarket add-ons aimed at boosting power, and can make a profound difference to performance.
How do car headers work?
Their job is to collect exhaust gases from multiple cylinders into one pipe. By installing this part, you are aiding your engine in its ability to push gases through effectively, similar to turbo back exhaust systems. In doing this, you are alleviating excess back pressure and are left with a surplus of clean air, which increases horsepower.
Will they change the sound of my car?
Yes, especially with the addition of catless down pipes, which can significantly change the exhaust’s tone, especially under throttle. Since they are broader and slimmer than the stock system, these characteristics allow the sound vibrations to flow better and exit the vehicle– allowing for a louder, deeper and often more aggressive sound.
I’ve heard headers aren’t a good idea. Is this true?
The automotive industry is flooded with false information, but we’re here to set the record straight. The answer to this question is simple – car exhaust headers will not damage your car in any way. The truth is, it’s the opposite. Installing one of these improves its longevity, as you have removed the restrictions that came with the stock installation.
Insulating the manifold
Another form of modification used is to insulate the manifold. This causes a decrease in the amount of heat given off into the engine bay and reduces the temperature.
There are a few types of thermal insulation performance owners may consider, but the following three are the most common n:
- Ceramic paint: This is sprayed or brushed onto the manifold, then cured in an oven. This goes on to reduce engine bay heating by lessening the output of heat via radiation.
- Ceramic bonding: This is mixed and thermally sprayed on to give this component a tough ceramic coating that enables excellent thermal insulation. It’s important to note, however, that this method of modification is often used on track-only racers and performance cars.
- Exhaust wrap: This is wrapped completely around the part and is cheap and fairly simple, but bear in mind: it can lead to premature degradation.
What’s the difference between an exhaust header and manifold?
Visually, these can look very similar to a turbo manifold. This is because they both appear to be a collection of pipes. However, it is important to note that there are a few differences between both:
- Materials: Manifolds are typically made of cast iron, while headers are usually stainless steel. Cast iron is a great material due to its inexpensiveness and ability to retain heat well, which improves catalytic converter efficiency. However, repeated heating-and-cooling cycles can cause the manifolds to crack.
- Timing: Secondly, manifolds feed the gases quickly into one space. Headers, on the other hand, have longer, individual tubes.
Need further tips or assistance? Contact our friendly team of experts at Pro Speed Racing today.