Reasons Why You Need an Automotive Header

Posted by Tim White

The exhaust system is made out of many parts which can affect your vehicle’s performance either in a negative or positive manner, depending on the type of system you have. The exhaust header (or extractor) plays a major role in that – it is the first exhaust component that handles spent exhaust gases from your engine. Headers are bolted to the cylinder heads and scavenge exhaust gases from the combustion chambers. Here are some of the reasons why you should get one.

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  • It is very likely that your vehicle came with exhaust manifolds. Although these parts do the same job as headers, they do not provide equal paths for gases leaving each exhaust port to follow, which are known as „runners“ or “primary tubes”. On the other hand, automotive headers are designed to balance engine exhaust flow by using equal length runners. This makes it easier for the engine to expel the spent exhaust gases efficiently, which, consequently, increases horsepower
  • Automotive headers are an ideal match if you happen to have a turbocharged car, simply because the header will make the turbo provide more power even in the lower RPM range. This is possible because headers allow exhaust gasses to easily make their way through at higher speeds, and since your turbo is being “powered” by exhaust gasses, this will make it spool up way faster. A header will significantly improve the responsiveness of the turbocharger.
  • With headers, you can either go with a stainless steel body or a regular one. And although this does not affect the vehicle’s performance, they vary in price. Stainless steel headers are obviously more expensive but they are much more durable and won’t corrode when exposed to heavy downpour.

Features

– A very important and underlying feature of headers is the various ways their tubing can interconnect – different variations providing different results. For example, a 4-2-1 header has two main tubes that merge together at the start and are combined with another merged pair of tubes, with both pairs ending up in the main collector.

– The equal length that I mentioned above is not the only option with headers. When it comes to primary tubes, the length is not equal. Equal length is the way to go if you want to seriously upgrade your vehicle’s performance and unequal length is incorporated with factory-made restrictive tubing.

– You will find headers with emission ports that will help keep the environment green and while some people will leave their OEM manifold port, it’s better that you go with the former. With header ports, you will still be in line with the local laws without putting any restriction on your engine.

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