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Discussion Starter #1
Looking for recommendations on what’s the best or recommended header; JBA,Kooks,etc, Current setup is stock h pipe and Borla S-Type axle backs. Which header has the best fitment and clearance? Will I have to install an after market mid-pipe?

Thanks in advance for feedback.
 

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2020 Rapid Red/black 2011 Kona Blue/white
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Looking for recommendations on what’s the best or recommended header; JBA,Kooks,etc, Current setup is stock h pipe and Borla S-Type axle backs. Which header has the best fitment and clearance? Will I have to install an after market mid-pipe?

Thanks in advance for feedback.
Welcome to the forum Delancier!

What year is your car? Are you wanting headers for sound or power? From what I’ve seen, headers are a pain in the ass to install and your mod money can get you much more bang for the buck elsewhere. If you have a built motor and are going for huge power, headers would be quite helpful though.

I’m running stock exhaust other than Borla-S on my 2011 with the FR 750hp Whipple kit.

If I’m not mistaken, shorty headers are designed to bolt to your stock mid pipe. Long tube headers need an aftermarket mid pipe.

You might find headers + Borla S to be quite loud. If you go sans cats, it will be NASCAR loud!

Also, you’ll find our new member area here:

 

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Best is sort of hard to define. Clearance and fitment don't necessarily go hand in hand. If you had to choose between clearance, ease of installation and power, which is most important and which is least important. What about catalysts?
 

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Thanks for the feedback everyone. I have a 2011 GT500. I was only inquiring because a local mechanic recommended headers because the stock manifold would not last as long. I have no plans to build the motor. Next upgrade would probably be a VMP or Whipple SC. Is there a benefit of having long tubes vs shorties? I would like a little more aggressive sound but not the raspy sound of having an x pipe. @Goose17, do you still have the stock manifold?
 

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Long tubes would make more power, but if you need to have cats, you're probably better off keeping the log style manifolds and running the stock cats. I don't know that you'd pick up much with shorties and I'm not sure they still exist in the aftermarket. I know American Racing long tubes has an available H pipe because that's what I have on my car. They do intrude on ground clearance a bit. Fitment is great, but tightening header bolts are a challenge, but I'm not sure others are any better in that department. Kooks are more of 3/4 long tube and probably have more ground clearance because the collector is higher in the car. I've heard you need to grind a little off the oil cooler adapter, but have also heard they remedied that. I can't say with certainty. I don't know much about Stainless Works, but I think any long tube is going to reduce ground clearance at the collector. I hear there is interference is you have to lower the engine. Some blowers require that for hood clearance. Don't know much about JBA, because of quality control issues a few years back, everyone tends to shy away from them.

You can make over 700 rwhp on the stock exhaust and really anything over that is pretty much limited by traction in the first 3 or 4 gears. Running long tubes without cats brings up a series of exhaust issues related to noise. I was only able to run the OEM mufflers until I installed 18" resonators. Some folks like an obnoxious exhaust tone. I'm not one of those people. If you can see your state adopting stricter emission requirements in the next few years, think hard about going the header route.
 

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@Catmonkey...thanks for the detailed explanation. Most appreciated! Headers seem like they are more trouble than worth. IMO. I was also thinking about adding high flow cats which I’m told could contribute to a little more aggressive sound. I really can’t see buying another mid-pipe (h-pipe) just for the sake of adding headers when I already have a factory h-pipe. Thanks again!
 

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Moderator/Admin Dude!
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. I have a 2011 GT500. I was only inquiring because a local mechanic recommended headers because the stock manifold would not last as long. I have no plans to build the motor. Next upgrade would probably be a VMP or Whipple SC. Is there a benefit of having long tubes vs shorties? I would like a little more aggressive sound but not the raspy sound of having an x pipe. @Goose17, do you still have the stock manifold?
I am still running stock manifolds and OEM cats some 7 years after upgrading to my 2.9L Whipple. Prior to the Terminators and our GT500s, long tube headers were almost a necessary mod to garner any extra horsepower from your engine. Now a simple pulley/intake/tune can get you a significant boost in hp and a blower swap + more fuel delivery will take you up even higher. Long tube headers are a hassle and not offer a good return on investment horsepower wise unless you have a built motor and are going for big numbers.

@Catmonkey...thanks for the detailed explanation. Most appreciated! Headers seem like they are more trouble than worth. IMO. I was also thinking about adding high flow cats which I’m told could contribute to a little more aggressive sound. I really can’t see buying another mid-pipe (h-pipe) just for the sake of adding headers when I already have a factory h-pipe. Thanks again!
I have seen posts through the years where members have installed long tubes and high flow cats. Quite often this leads to failure of the aftermarket cats necessitating an off-road setup. Stock manifolds and OEM cats are good for quite a bit of power. How much depends on how agressive the tune is. My tune is from Ford and has extensive cat protection strategies built into it. I’ve driven my car like I’ve stole it for 7 years putting over 25k miles on it since the mod and have had zero issues with my exhaust.

I’m not saying long tubes are bad, but I am saying they are not worth the hassle and price for most setups. If you are building an all-out monster with a built engine and high boost, headers are needed and will actually lower boost.
 
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