2003 Manifold replacement/ Headers?

Discussion in 'Chevy Silverado Forum (GMC Sierra)' started by Rbernsdo, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. Rbernsdo

    Rbernsdo Rockstar

    Hey everyone, I have a 2003 Silverado z71 with the 5.3, I bought the truck with 125,000 miles on it, and low and behold it has the notorious broken off manifold bolt head in the far back of the drivers side. I know how much of a pain it is to take off a manifold, I've done it before on my older vehicles. My question is; is it worth it if i'm taking everything off, to replace the manifolds with some headers? I know the advantages of having headers, I know they aren't that expensive, but is it worth it? Everything that I have messed with before has been 1990 or older motors, with the new electronics (2003 is new to me lol) what would I have to worry about? Being from Minnesota, would headers create any kind of problem in extreme cold temperatures; cracking and so on? I don't mean to sound like an idiot, but I guess I've just never seen anyone with headers on their vehicles in 50 below zero temps. I'm pondering ideas while deployed so entertain me! Thanks a bunch, Ryan
  2. TRPLXL2

    TRPLXL2 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Shortie headers would not require any modifications really, plus you'd have the advantage of stainless steel ceramic coated finish for better durability. Long tubes would require a tune to get your air fuel ratio back in check, can't help you on the cold temperature thing because I live in Ohio.

    One suggestion is use some kind of locking header bolt, headers have very thick flanges and you dont want to have to retighten every 3,000 miles.
  3. shibby2oo8

    shibby2oo8 Member 2 Years 100 Posts

    Somebody tested it on a tahoe with a 5.3 and unless you go longtube there is not enough difference to justify the price. The stocks flow pretty good but they are heavy. If you can find a set that wont rot or crack for around a price close to oem style do it but make sure they are quality. Also i wouldnt attempt without a oxy-acetylene set unless you are fond of drilling and tapping. I live in the salt belt and have done alot, mostly ford triton motors but some others too. The trick is to blow off the heads and take the old manifold off then use stud extractors while heating the head where they screw in. So far i have never had to drill one out and im around 12 sets now.

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