Headers for a 5.3

Discussion in 'Performance & Fuel' started by ajfdirtrider, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. ajfdirtrider

    ajfdirtrider New Member

    Are shorty headers for a 5.3 really worth it in the long run. Is there a gain in sound, performance, economy. Basically post your opinion of your headers good or bad.

    99'HEARTBEAT Moderator Staff Member

    Shorty Headers are to close to your stock manifolds.....but they are for the most part a direct bolt-on with no mods to your exhaust,
    Long Tube Headers will yield much better gain in low end torque,but your exhaust will need to be reworked and of course more $$$

  3. stephan

    stephan New Member

    Yep, X2 what 99Heartbeat said Dirtrider. Shorty headers don't offer much except an easy installation. If you want performance and better economy spring for a set of long tube, equal length headers
  4. rutroe

    rutroe New Member

    Agreed...long tubes for the win!
  5. Shorties are good if you have emmission laws etc. Long tubes do make more power. Also if you buy a set of long tubes with the intermediate pipe and you have a suspension lift, leveling kits are o.k., the cross over pipe may hit the front driveshafts on 4X4 trucks.
  6. KWG08VMI

    KWG08VMI New Member

    I had a set of shorties on my '02 and i could tell a little difference in the sound, but that's pretty much it. I don't know about HP or MPG because I put the CAI and programmer on at the same time.
  7. ZSI52

    ZSI52 New Member

    long tubes or doug thorley tri-y's.
  8. adam0285

    adam0285 New Member

    I'll throw my vote behind getting a set of long tube headers. There are a few companies like Pacesetter and American Racing make them for a very reasonable price.
  9. Fan45acp

    Fan45acp New Member

    Don't waste your money on shorties.Buy some KOOKS or AMERICAN RACING HEADERS.They come with converters (2) and a Y pipe for about $1500.
  10. KWG08VMI

    KWG08VMI New Member

    $1500 !! that's more than I spent on a full stainless custom bent set up. And that was true duals all the way out the back.
  11. novajoe

    novajoe New Member

    I also say long tube headers. Kooks now offer 49 state EPA approved cats.
  12. Crowd_Control_Kyle

    Crowd_Control_Kyle New Member

    Long tubes are the only way to go. I bought pacesetter long tubes for 350 and a new y pipe ment to hook up to long tubes for 400. I installed the headers myself to save money but had a shop weld everything up for only 130. Plus there wasn't any room for the cats so they got removed ( which I was happy about as well). I love the sound plus there was a noticeable increase in power, along with 1 MPG increase in milage. I talked to the shop owner and they said if I hadn't bought the y pipe they could have made me one and welded everything up for 450. So theres food for thought if you are looking to save every penny you can. Hope this helps someone
  13. Toymyster

    Toymyster New Member

    That pretty much sums it up! It's all about what you are looking for. Tuners I have talked to have said that the stock manifolds are pretty much as good as you can get for torque, and shorty headers don't yield your $$ worth.
  14. 2k8z71

    2k8z71 New Member

    The downside to living in Cali.... LT's are out of the question for me. :(
  15. Toymyster

    Toymyster New Member

    Yes, one of the many prices we pay to live in Komiforniastan! :frown:
  16. kinson33

    kinson33 New Member

    Are shorties worth it if there are plans for cam upgrades or will it still have the same benefit as the stock manifolds? I found Pacesetter shorties used for $200 on craigslist.
  17. dobey

    dobey Member

    It depends on the cam. If it's a big lumpy cam made to make power at high RPMs, shorties aren't going to match up well with it. If it's a cam designed to maximize low end torque and mid-range power, then shorties will match up better.
  18. kinson33

    kinson33 New Member

    Gotchya... what about a supercharger? Any benefit to the shorties over stock? Considering it in the next year or so if I hit my bonuses at work!
  19. dobey

    dobey Member

    It still primarily depends on the cam. Shorties are better for low-end torque and giving a little (tiny) hand with fuel economy (need plenty of mods to get noteworthy MPG gains, not just headers). Long tubes are better for making high RPM power (which is fairly useless by itself, if you're not racing multi-lap round-track or such).

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