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Header Help

Discussion in 'Performance & Fuel' started by 2011laserblue, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. 2011laserblue

    2011laserblue New Member ROTM Winner

    Hey guys,

    Currently I have stainless shorty headers on my '11 silver ado 5.3L and I want to go to a long tube before I do the blackbear tune this summer….do you guys have any advice?

    The shorty's just aren't right for my application; you really feel the power during high RPM's and some pull from the midrange but that's about it -- I'm looking for a long tube to assist me in the low end while towing, etc.

    So with that said..what brand would you recommend? I know it's tough to find a header that doesn't leak but obviously, thats the preference. These Gibsons have leaked from day one, even with some gasket modifications…they just weren't a good fit.

    I don't really care about price so much as I want something that fits, will hold up, and obviously, perform. Have read about kooks, pacesetter, dynatech, and beyond and do not know which way to go.

    Thanks!!
  2. Pikey

    Pikey Moderator Staff Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    I have a set of JBA ceramic coated shorties on my 95'. They have never leaked. Well, I take that back, they leaked at the doughnut once. I just replaced it for $2.00 and it has been fine since. I have had them on for more than 15 years.
  3. 2011laserblue

    2011laserblue New Member ROTM Winner

    Pikey, you're the man!
    We should get blackbear to come to MI..:glasses:
  4. Pikey

    Pikey Moderator Staff Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    I am not saying that the JBA will not leak for you, they just did not leak for me. the only issue had was during the install. I did not realize that some of the ceramic coating had drips around the bolt holes making them smaller. After I figured it out I just cleaned the holes up with a drill bit. I just looked into blackbear last week, the closest he plans on coming to us is Chicago. I am interested in a BB tune. I guess it would just depend on if I had the funds available when he was in the area.
  5. 2011laserblue

    2011laserblue New Member ROTM Winner

    I understood what you were saying -- I was referring to you as "the man" because you always give insightful advice to myself, and others on the forum.
    I checked out blackbear's website and they sell Doug Thorley and American Racing headers direct, I suppose I'll do some more research on those.

    I probably won't make the trip to chicago, I will probably end up doing the mail tune that they offer, but if they ever made it up this way I'd reconsider, I guess that Justin is a real good guy…wouldn't mind meeting him.
  6. TRPLXL2

    TRPLXL2 New Member Platinum Contributor 1000 Posts

    Check out sumit racing, thy have some awesome triple crush copper gaskets for ls engines that don't leak. I bought a set after my fel pros blew out after 500 miles, and I would also recommend stage 8 locking header bolts, which they also make for ls engines. I have hooker lt headers, and Doug thorley lt headers. I'm happy with both sets.
  7. dobey

    dobey Member

    Do you have true dual exhaust on your truck? Long tubes aren't going to help you with what you want exactly. They are better for high RPM applications, not low end. If you're looking for low end, then properly tuned shorties are the way to go. But if you have true dual exhaust, you're also giving up on low end performance. Install an X-pipe instead.

    Also, have you removed the cats or anything? If you removed the cats, then put them back. Having them will help with low end as well.
  8. 2011laserblue

    2011laserblue New Member ROTM Winner

    I just have the gibson catback system, not true duals, still have cats. The American Racing LT's i have been looking at have high flow cats.

    I really feel no difference in the low end with these gibson shorty headers. I just feel as if I wasted my money on them as they've leaked from day one.

    As I said before I will pair this with a BBP tune this summer.

    Thank for the reply!

    - - - Updated - - -

    I've been doing some readying about the Doug Thorley's, they have a very interesting design!
    Thanks for the reply.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Would you guys recommend a 1 3/4" or 1 7/8" size?
    From what I understand the bigger primaries won't hurt anything, but I don't make enough power to make a whole lot of difference. The larger size is only 70$ more from ARH. I don't have any aspirations for a cam, heads, etc…but I guess lets say for some reason I did spending the extra 70$ on the 1 7/8's would be the right move?

    Chances of that happening are probably like, 2% though, so would I be better to go with the 1 3/4" because of that?
  9. dobey

    dobey Member

    Well, leaking exhaust is not going to help, no matter what headers you go with. You probably aren't going to notice any actual difference on a stock engine. If you aren't doing head work, and running with the stock intake manifold, and stock cam, then exhaust isn't going to make any real difference in performance for you. The factory manifolds actually flow quite well. The only actual difference you're going to notice with an exhaust installed on a factory engine, is the sound.

    As for primary size, you want to match the ID (and ideally the shape as well), with the exhaust port on the heads. I don't recall what the port diameter is exactly on the newer heads, but I think they're at least actually circular now. The #243 heads are D ports, and I think 1 5/8" diameter.
  10. TimTom64b

    TimTom64b Member ROTM Winner

    American racing headers all they way for me... good quality gaskets will keep them from leaking.

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