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Headers are just another step to your engine’s exhaust piping. If you are getting an entirely new exhaust with a larger diameter, its primary purpose is to increase the engine’s horsepower. There are several modification systems to make exhaust systems less restrictive. But the installation of headers is the most difficult one.
Does a camshaft increase horsepower? Well, our answer is positive.
But how much horsepower do headers add? It increases the power output of your engine by 10 to 20 horsepower. It also expands the car’s power curve. At first, we need to know what exhaust headers are and how they work. Let’s find out!
Headers decrease the back pressure and increase the exhaust rate. It results in greater output than before. The primary pipes for each exhaust port go into a collector. In the collector, all the individual exhaust pipes join together. It works as one throughout the rest of the system.
It will make the engine a little louder. But you will notice the performance is increased significantly. Well, the performance will vary according to the difference of vehicles.
Before installing headers, some modification is required. The exhaust system of your engine needs to be less restrictive. Exhaust pipes with the larger diameter with a larger diameter and free mufflers affect the exhaust flow. It reduces the restrictiveness of the exhaust system. Your headers will be ineffective if the flow is going to choke down. It will happen due to its restrictive nature.
The exhaust gas leaves the cylinder quickly. It helps to pull in much air and fuel to burning. It makes an exhaust stroke of a high-speed pulse of air to the tubes. This high-speed air creates a pressure difference.
In the primary tube, there is a high-pressure area in the front. A low-pressure area is also created behind it.
This kind of pressure difference creates a vacuum chamber in the pipes. It withdraws more exhaust gas from inside. The vacuum also pulls in air to the burning chamber.
Does It Affect the Performance?
It is so obvious. The faster flow of air makes a more significant scavenging effect.
After burning, the cylinder is full of exhaust gas. It removes out during exhaust stroke. Usually, the piston gives pressure to push out the gases outside. During this process, some energy is lost, which can be used in turning wheels.
The vacuum due to pressure difference helps the piston in this process. It pushes out more gases from the cylinder. Then the loss of energy reduces. The engine efficiency becomes greater than before. Power and fuel economy also increase.
As it speeds up the air dragging in, scavenging has a supercharging effect. The rate of air going in increases the ignition rate. That means more torque and horsepower to the engine.
Different Types Of Headers Pipes And How Much Horsepower Do Headers Add?
The tube size of exhaust pipes makes the difference in the header. Mainly two types of pipes are used in headers. According to their size, one is long tube headers, and the other is short tube headers.
How Much Horsepower Do Long Tube Headers Add?
The long tube headers have more scavenging effects than the short ones. That means it has better performance and the greatest output. But they are tough to set up. According to tube size, it needs more space to install. Usually, they are used in racing machinery. It makes them more expensive.
Approximately 10 to 20 horsepower will increase due to this kind of header.
How Much Horsepower Do Short Tube Headers Add?
The short tube headers have a less scavenging effect than the long ones. But they are not very expensive. The installation becomes straightforward due to its size. They fit easily into the engine. Power boost is not entirely like long tube headers. But it gives enough energy to increase performance.
Approximately 8 to 15 horsepower will increase due to this kind of header.
The formation of the header depends on its primary pipes and connector.
When four primary pipes join together into one connector, it is called the “four into one” design. The expression “three into one” is applied when three pipes join together into one collector. The “four into one” formation is the most common design.
Another design is called the “tri-Y” formation. That is because the exhaust pipes formed a ‘Y’ shape. Multiple ‘Y’ then join into the connector.
This trio layout helps to achieve more significant scavenging. The greater scavenging means greater RPM, greater torque, and greater horsepower.
Materials Used in Headers
The performance of headers also depends on the materials used in them. Rusting is one of the biggest problems in headers. It must be avoided to keep up the better performance.
The most common materials used in the making of headers are stainless steel, cast iron, titanium. Sometimes traditional steel is also used. But a coating must be applied before using it.
Titanium is a bit costly than others. But it has excellent corrosion resistance, and higher strength compares to stainless steel. On the other hand, cast iron is of low cost, and its availability is excellent. Because of its weight, some problems may occur.
We know an engine works as a system. The individual components will affect the system. The parts or equipment are dependent on each other. A quality material makes a header more effective.
Exhaust Headers vs. Exhaust Manifolds
Exhaust manifolds are mainly made of cast iron. This makes it less costly. It comes with any vehicle. It is also a little less noisy than headers. But it cannot get you any scavenging effects. Earlier, we discuss the scavenging effect. Then it is a disadvantage of manifolds.
The exhaust headers are aftermarket installation. It is a bit of a rigid system to fit in the engine. The cost of headers is also greater than manifolds. The header makes the engine noisy. But it has a scavenging effect. This is the main advantage of headers. It gives your engine more energy efficiency and horsepower than before.
We hope the discussion gives the idea about how much horsepower does a header adds. It is up to you whether you want to use a header or stick with manifolds. Both will give you similar output, but some differences are there as well. Hope this article will help you when modifying your car engine.