f you are thinking of improving your car performance and power, then your mechanic may have suggested that you switch the existing exhaust manifolds for long tube headers.
The popularity of long tube headers has increased tremendously over the years. This is because many motorists believe that long tube headers help to boost engine performance.
So, do long tube headers add horsepower? And if yes, how much horsepower will they add? In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about long tube headers, including how much horsepower they will add to your car.
What are long tube headers?
Headers are simply elements on your exhaust system that helps the car to breathe easily. The basic function of headers is to get exhaust gasses away from the engine bay to the rest of the exhaust system in the most efficient manner possible.
Currently, there are two types of exhaust headers, including long tube headers and short tube headers. For long tube headers, the exhaust pipes are much longer, meaning they merge further apart.
As a result, long tube headers usually result in lower exhaust backpressure, improving the intake of oxygen, which, in turn, results in more horsepower.
So, how much horsepower do long tube headers add?
Long tube headers add to your engine output of between 10 and 20 horsepower. More so, they also expand your vehicle’s power curve.
As mentioned earlier, long tube headers have long tubes between the collector and the cylinder. The long pipe allows the exhaust pulse to get out faster, thus maximizing the scavenging effect.
Less exhaust on the pipe means lower exhaust backpressure resulting in a horsepower increase. So, if you want to boost the performance of your car’s engine, then one of the best ways to achieve that is by installing long tube headers.
They can boost your engine performance by up to 20 horsepower, depending on the type of your engine.
What headers add the most horsepower?
There are two types of headers, including short tube headers and long tube headers. For short tube headers, the port pipes merge into a single exhaust pipe at a much shorter distance while for long tube headers, the exhaust pipes merge at a much longer distance. Because of this, each type of header impacts backpressure and horsepower in a different manner.
As stated earlier, long tube headers result in lower back pressure which in turn improves the intake of oxygen thus increasing horsepower.
On the other hand, short tube headers result in much higher back pressure which limits oxygen intake, resulting in a slight increase in horsepower. This means that long tube headers add the most horsepower.
However, it is important to note that long tube headers do not always outperform short tube headers because torque and horsepower depending on RPM range.
For instance, long tube headers usually build a lot of power in the mid and high RPM ranges. As a result, long tube headers are ideal for high rev cars. On the other hand, short tube headers perform best at idle and mid RPM ranges.
Therefore, they are perfect for cars that depend on low RPM power like cargo pickups and daily commuter vehicles. This clearly shows that both headers are unique in their own way.
Do long tube headers make the car louder?
YES, long tube headers will slightly improve the sound of your engine, meaning your car will be much louder than it used to be. Long tube exhaust headers are long, thick, and wide.
These features allow sound vibrations to flow better, resulting in a louder sound. Long tube headers usually provide a meaner and louder sound than short tube headers.
In fact, the aggressive sound produced by long tube headers may tempt you to step on the gas pedal more. The fact that the tube is longer means that the exhaust gasses flow for a longer period inside them and in the process deliver more sound.
So, you should expect your vehicle will be louder when you install long tube headers but not too loud to attract unnecessary attention.
Do long tube headers affect fuel consumption?
YES, long tube headers will affect your car’s fuel consumption. The main reason why people install long tube headers is to increase the engine’s horsepower and more power to the engine means more fuel consumption.
Most motorists who add long tube headers usually intend to drive faster, resulting in more fuel consumption. Also, unlike short tube headers that provide more horsepower at idle and mid RPM ranges, long tube headers provide power to the engine in mid and high RPM ranges.
This means that in order to feel the effect of long tube headers, you have to drive quicker making the engine consume more fuel. However, the amount of fuel that your car will consume when you install long tube headers will depend on your driving style.
Do headers ruin the engine?
NO, headers will not damage your engine. In fact, they will make your engine better by removing restrictions that affect the engine’s performance.
Headers help to eliminate restrictions that cause back pressure, which has been proven to cause increased fuel consumption and increased emission that negatively affect the engine’s performance. So, when you install headers, your engine will not only perform better but its lifespan will also increase significantly.
When should I get headers?
You should get headers if you want to improve your car performance and horsepower. For instance, if you have a very busy schedule and your car is quite slow, then headers can come in handy. They will make your car faster by boosting performance and horsepower.
If you are thinking of enhancing your engine performance and horsepower by installing long tube headers but wondering whether they are worth it, the answer is YES, they are worth it.
Long tube headers will add between 10 and 20 horsepower to your engine. Additionally, they will also extend your engine longevity by eliminating limitations.