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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-10-2013, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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Shorty vs. Longtube?

I'm sure this has been discussed numerous times on many forums, however after doing a search I found nothing. I just want to know if what I read was true. Shorty is good for low/mid torque and LTs are good for high RPM power. Thoughts?

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- 17" Sport Edition Wheels wrapped in Michelin 225/50's - Custom Flowmaster exhaust - GT40 heads - Electric Fan - '92 Sport Bumper

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-Cobra intake (upper/lower) / SC MAF/30#inj / Dual Exhaust/headers
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-10-2013, 08:13 PM
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honestly it really all depends on the direction of the car you are going. so whats your plans?

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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-10-2013, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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Well, it's a DD and I just want it to perform as it SHOULD have from the factory. I've driven nothing but pre- '86 mustangs, so this is my first SFI powered vehicle. I was just curious whether or not what I read was true. I usually hear the preference is LT's but have seen shorty's on occasion. Anyone know the difference performance-wise? I know I'll have a tough time fitting shorty's (equal-length are out of the question on these cars obviously) and LT's usually have a tough time with fitment at the collector. Basically I just want something that is relatively easy on the wallet but has the performance gains I desire (best b4b)

'91 Sport 5.0 HO - AOD - JBL Premium Sound w/ Kenwood eXcelon deck - Black Leather LX interior w/ Lux Light
- 17" Sport Edition Wheels wrapped in Michelin 225/50's - Custom Flowmaster exhaust - GT40 heads - Electric Fan - '92 Sport Bumper

Planned Mod's
-Cobra intake (upper/lower) / SC MAF/30#inj / Dual Exhaust/headers
-'99 CV/PI 4" Aluminum DS / MK8 Disc Rear/HS/LCA/11.5" Front Disc
-M5R2 5-Speed / 3.27 LS Diff / SC F/R seats
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-10-2013, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreadful_Knight View Post
Basically I just want something that is relatively easy on the wallet but has the performance gains I desire (best b4b)
You want longtubes then.

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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-10-2013, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input guys but I still have yet to find an answer to my original question:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreadful_Knight View Post
I just want to know if what I read was true. Shorty is good for low/mid torque and LTs are good for high RPM power. Thoughts?
Anyone? Also, is this true:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreadful_Knight View Post
I know I'll have a tough time fitting shorty's (equal-length are out of the question on these cars obviously)
because I've heard this to be true only part of the time:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreadful_Knight View Post
LT's usually have a tough time with fitment at the collector
^and the steering shaft.^

I NEED INFO!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by racecougar View Post
You want longtubes then.
I can pick up BBK shorty's used for around $100 and I have only seen LT's for > $200, are the performance gains really worth double the price? Keep in mind that new shorty's are around $250-300 and LT's are in the realm of $350-500

'91 Sport 5.0 HO - AOD - JBL Premium Sound w/ Kenwood eXcelon deck - Black Leather LX interior w/ Lux Light
- 17" Sport Edition Wheels wrapped in Michelin 225/50's - Custom Flowmaster exhaust - GT40 heads - Electric Fan - '92 Sport Bumper

Planned Mod's
-Cobra intake (upper/lower) / SC MAF/30#inj / Dual Exhaust/headers
-'99 CV/PI 4" Aluminum DS / MK8 Disc Rear/HS/LCA/11.5" Front Disc
-M5R2 5-Speed / 3.27 LS Diff / SC F/R seats

Last edited by Dreadful_Knight; 10-10-2013 at 09:21 PM. Reason: Fixed quote
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-10-2013, 09:37 PM
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Well if memory serves on the SC ported factory manifolds are the best bang for the buck, and after that there is no real gain to be had from headers alone. Though scavenging is not an issue on an SC so take it for what its worth.

If all else fails get a bigger hammer!

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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-10-2013, 09:38 PM
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Long-Tubes FTW whether it be low-speed torque, hi-speed power, and everything in between.

Shorties don't do much better than stock (sometimes they've been proven WORSE than stock).

Don't believe that "low rpm torque requires back pressure" because it's BS and has been proven incorrect over & over.

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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-10-2013, 09:45 PM
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Long tubes hands down. Don't waste your money on shorties. Better mid range torque and high end horsepower. GM has some really good info on LTs

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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-10-2013, 10:59 PM
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-11-2013, 12:00 AM Thread Starter
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Well, sounds like the consensus is LT's. Does anyone have any dyno runs or any info to back up these statements? Not that I don't trust you guys here at TCCOA, you've never led me wrong, I just like to have some info to throw out when someone tries to debate with me.

One more question, what size primary/collector is an ideal combo for N/A 5.0 h/c/i for LT's?

'91 Sport 5.0 HO - AOD - JBL Premium Sound w/ Kenwood eXcelon deck - Black Leather LX interior w/ Lux Light
- 17" Sport Edition Wheels wrapped in Michelin 225/50's - Custom Flowmaster exhaust - GT40 heads - Electric Fan - '92 Sport Bumper

Planned Mod's
-Cobra intake (upper/lower) / SC MAF/30#inj / Dual Exhaust/headers
-'99 CV/PI 4" Aluminum DS / MK8 Disc Rear/HS/LCA/11.5" Front Disc
-M5R2 5-Speed / 3.27 LS Diff / SC F/R seats
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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-11-2013, 12:10 AM
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There is so much that goes into the design of headers that the lines have essentially blurred these days, in the old days the shorter primary tubes usually built better mid range power than long tubes of similar size did. However, open up the long tubes to a larger pipe and they make much better power in all speed ranges. But it isn't just primary tube length that you have to deal with, don't forget the collectors, both length and diameter, and even the design of the innards of the collector as well. Do you add a subsonic diffuser or not? If so you effectively extend the length of the primary tubes, but still get the advantages of a longer collector.

... and what design header are you talking about when talking long tubes? a 4 to 1 header, or a tri-y design?

In the end on the street these days the difference isn't enough to worry about what design you choose, as long as you are going with a quality header design.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreadful_Knight View Post
Well, sounds like the consensus is LT's. Does anyone have any dyno runs or any info to back up these statements? Not that I don't trust you guys here at TCCOA, you've never led me wrong, I just like to have some info to throw out when someone tries to debate with me.

One more question, what size primary/collector is an ideal combo for N/A 5.0 h/c/i for LT's?
The problem with dyno runs is that you don't know what tune people are using on their engines to get the numbers. You can duplicate the parts build up, but if you don't tune the engine the same way it was on the dyno, you won't get the same numbers.

As to what primary tube size and length, and what collector size and length, that will vary depending on what the engine is going to be used for, and what displacement you are running, and how much airflow you are getting through the engine. For the most part a 1 1/2" or 1 5/8" tube about 31 inches in length, with a 3 inch collector that is about 6 inches long does quite well for the street on all but the smallest and largest engines, and for engines making less than about 450hp on the motor.

my mind is aglow with whirling transient nodes of thought careening through s comic vapor of invention.

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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-11-2013, 01:23 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rbohm View Post
there is so much that goes into the design of headers that the lines have essentially blurred these days. in the old days, the shorter primary tubes usually built better mid range power, than long tubes of similar size did. however open up the long tubes to a larger pipe, and they make much better power in all speed ranges.

in the end on the street these days the difference isnt enough to worry about what design you choose, as long as you are going with a quality header design.
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as to what primary tube size and length, and what collector size and length, that will vary depending on what the engine is going to be used for, and what displacement you are running, and how much airflow you are getting through the engine. for the most part a 1 1/2 or 1 5/8 tube about 31 inches in length, with a 3 inch collector that is about 6 inches long does quite well for the street on all but the smallest and largest engines, and for engines making less than about 450hp on the motor.
Excellent info, sir!

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the problem with dyno runs is that you dont know what tune people are using on their engines to get the numbers. you can duplicate the parts build up, but if you dont tune the engine the same way it was on the dyno, you wont get the same numbers.
I was more asking for a comparison of shorty's to LT's. It shouldn't matter (to a degree) the mods done to the engine as long as it shows a significant difference (or not).

'91 Sport 5.0 HO - AOD - JBL Premium Sound w/ Kenwood eXcelon deck - Black Leather LX interior w/ Lux Light
- 17" Sport Edition Wheels wrapped in Michelin 225/50's - Custom Flowmaster exhaust - GT40 heads - Electric Fan - '92 Sport Bumper

Planned Mod's
-Cobra intake (upper/lower) / SC MAF/30#inj / Dual Exhaust/headers
-'99 CV/PI 4" Aluminum DS / MK8 Disc Rear/HS/LCA/11.5" Front Disc
-M5R2 5-Speed / 3.27 LS Diff / SC F/R seats
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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-11-2013, 01:43 AM
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I was more asking for a comparison of shorty's to LT's. It shouldn't matter (to a degree) the mods done to the engine as long as it shows a significant difference (or not).
well in the end, it doesnt matter which you go with on the street, unless you are making more than about 350-400hp. it also matters if you are going to say autocross the car, or run solo ll in the scca. so for the street pick the ones that fit best and go with them. for street/track cars, go with the long tubes with a 1 5/8 primary pipe about 31 inches long and three inch collector about 6 inches long and run a subsonic diffuser in the collector.

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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-11-2013, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreadful_Knight
Shorty vs. Longtube?
Long tubes are a waste on your stock 5.0..

Even if you upgraded to the GT40 Heads, and Intake set-up..That still wouldn't necessitate the need for long tubes..

Long tubes are great for set-ups that pump A Lot of air..Big cubes, Big Heads, Big Fat Intake Runners,Blowher..You get the idea..

Here's a Dyno Graph of a stock engined 91 Mustang 5.0 with an AOD transmission..
Shorty vs Long Tube Headers (1991 5.0 with AOD Stock).JPG

The Mustang has a slightly better exhaust which is probably worth a couple more ponies over your 91 Thunderbird 5.0 with an AOD transmission..

This should give you an idea how little you would gain going with long tubes on your engine..As well as the RPM, and Torque curve..






Rayo..

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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-11-2013, 10:26 AM
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Long-tubes are the performance header for any and every street car. The factory headers on your t-bird are especially restrictive compared to stock Mustang headers. Your initial post had it actually backwards, the longer the tubes, the lower in the rpm band they help. With headers, you are not just looking at flow numbers, but also scavenging, which can only happen within certain rpm ranges based on pipe length and diameter. The larger the diameter and the shorter the length, the higher in the rpm range they will create this scavenging effect. Think of an intake manifold and it will help you understand it. To make good low and mid-range power, most intakes will have long intake runners with a relatively small cross-section. I high-revving performance engine will have larger diameter and shorter intake runners. The same is true in the exhaust, longer primary tubes make mid-range power, and shorter ones make high rpm power. The problem is that for equal length shorties to create this scavenging effect would require revving the engine up to around 10K rpms or more, so unless you are running a formula 1 engine in your car, you want long-tubes. As far as what length and diameter primary tubes, there are a lot of factors that come into play including engine size, rpm, cam selection, collector style, etc, but for a street car, basically just go with what you can make fit, and in the case of our cars, the MAC 1-5/8 fox-body headers are about as close as you are going to get, so I would say get a set of those.

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-90 XR7 5-speed black on black w/sunroof, MP2, coated rotors, double intercooler, 15%OD, ported heads, comp stage 1 cam, 85mm TB, 90MM LMAF, 80# injectors, and ported big valve heads
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post #16 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-11-2013, 01:09 PM
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Long-tubes are the performance header for any and every street car. The factory headers on your t-bird are especially restrictive compared to stock Mustang headers. Your initial post had it actually backwards, the longer the tubes, the lower in the rpm band they help. With headers, you are not just looking at flow numbers, but also scavenging, which can only happen within certain rpm ranges based on pipe length and diameter. The larger the diameter and the shorter the length, the higher in the rpm range they will create this scavenging effect. Think of an intake manifold and it will help you understand it. To make good low and mid-range power, most intakes will have long intake runners with a relatively small cross-section. I high-revving performance engine will have larger diameter and shorter intake runners. The same is true in the exhaust, longer primary tubes make mid-range power, and shorter ones make high rpm power. The problem is that for equal length shorties to create this scavenging effect would require revving the engine up to around 10K rpms or more, so unless you are running a formula 1 engine in your car, you want long-tubes. As far as what length and diameter primary tubes, there are a lot of factors that come into play including engine size, rpm, cam selection, collector style, etc, but for a street car, basically just go with what you can make fit, and in the case of our cars, the MAC 1-5/8 fox-body headers are about as close as you are going to get, so I would say get a set of those.
yep. good post mike

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post #17 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-11-2013, 01:35 PM
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yep. good post mike
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post #18 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-11-2013, 10:05 PM
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Bottom line: shorties are a complete waste of time and money, especially on these cars. With a mod motor in a tight engine compartment they don't even make good "bling" either.

Delete my account.
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post #19 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-11-2013, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayo View Post
Long tubes are a waste on your stock 5.0..

Here's a Dyno Graph of a stock engined 91 Mustang 5.0 with an AOD transmission..


This should give you an idea how little you would gain going with long tubes on your engine..As well as the RPM, and Torque curve..

Rayo..
Exactly what I was looking for! Thanks again Rayo!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMikeyL View Post
Long-tubes are the performance header for any and every street car. The factory headers on your t-bird are especially restrictive compared to stock Mustang headers.
I know this much, so what do you suggest I do about my restrictive exhaust? I already have 2 1/2" dual from a '98 Mark VIII LSC (just waiting for a late model tank to show up) I just want something affordable, not a PITA to install and will flow better than my stock manifolds.

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Your initial post had it actually backwards, the longer the tubes, the lower in the rpm band they help. With headers, you are not just looking at flow numbers, but also scavenging, which can only happen within certain rpm ranges based on pipe length and diameter. The larger the diameter and the shorter the length, the higher in the rpm range they will create this scavenging effect. Think of an intake manifold and it will help you understand it. To make good low and mid-range power, most intakes will have long intake runners with a relatively small cross-section. I high-revving performance engine will have larger diameter and shorter intake runners. The same is true in the exhaust, longer primary tubes make mid-range power, and shorter ones make high rpm power. The problem is that for equal length shorties to create this scavenging effect would require revving the engine up to around 10K rpms or more, so unless you are running a formula 1 engine in your car, you want long-tubes. As far as what length and diameter primary tubes, there are a lot of factors that come into play including engine size, rpm, cam selection, collector style, etc, but for a street car, basically just go with what you can make fit, and in the case of our cars, the MAC 1-5/8 fox-body headers are about as close as you are going to get, so I would say get a set of those.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 94 Thunderbird XX View Post
Bottom line: shorties are a complete waste of time and money, especially on these cars. With a mod motor in a tight engine compartment they don't even make good "bling" either.
I hope this info helps anyone looking to "upgrade"

'91 Sport 5.0 HO - AOD - JBL Premium Sound w/ Kenwood eXcelon deck - Black Leather LX interior w/ Lux Light
- 17" Sport Edition Wheels wrapped in Michelin 225/50's - Custom Flowmaster exhaust - GT40 heads - Electric Fan - '92 Sport Bumper

Planned Mod's
-Cobra intake (upper/lower) / SC MAF/30#inj / Dual Exhaust/headers
-'99 CV/PI 4" Aluminum DS / MK8 Disc Rear/HS/LCA/11.5" Front Disc
-M5R2 5-Speed / 3.27 LS Diff / SC F/R seats

Last edited by Dreadful_Knight; 10-11-2013 at 11:23 PM. Reason: Link to more info
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post #20 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-12-2013, 05:31 AM
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Even the BBK link show that the net difference is basically zero, and that there may be more than just long v. short tube that is the cause.

If all else fails get a bigger hammer!

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post #21 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-12-2013, 10:24 AM
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I would suggest this
http://forums.tccoa.com/showthread.php?t=75182

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post #22 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-13-2013, 07:06 PM
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actually rayo's post shows how effective longtube are, to the contrary of what he was trying to prove. Power went up pretty much EVERYWHERE (with the exception of a few sections). This could easily be attributed to non-optimal longtube sizes. That car would definitely be faster in the 1/4mi (and overall as well). We don't know what diameters/lengths were used. Not all longtubes are created equal.
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post #23 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-14-2013, 07:32 AM
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Quote:
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We don't know what diameters/lengths were used.
MAC 1-5/8" long-tube headers with a 2-1/2" Collector...


I'll keep this short..

IMO..Long tubes are a waste on a stock engined 5.0 Daily Driver if all you gain is 7 hp, and a lighter wallet..

Anyways..It's up to the OP if he thinks it's worth it, or not..

Carry on..



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post #24 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-14-2013, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayo View Post
MAC 1-5/8" long-tube headers with a 2-1/2" primary..


I'll keep this short..

IMO..Long tubes are a waste on a stock engined 5.0 Daily Driver if all you gain is 7 hp, and a lighter wallet..

Anyways..It's up to the OP if he thinks it's worth it, or not..

Carry on..



Rayo..
If we were talking about a stock 5.0 Mustang, then yes there would be better ways to spend your money on an otherwise completely stock car, but our cars are heavier, and our exhaust manifolds are extremely restrictive, and not only will you will gain more than 7hp with long-tubes, but you will gain power all throughout the usable rpm range. On a daily driven stock car, 7hp throughout the whole powerband is a much better mod than say an intake swap that gives you 20hp at 6000rpms and loses a few hp from 2500-4000. Also when you do start doing other things to the car, the headers are a necessary supporting mod, just like a built trans or rear. Without them, any subsequent engine mods will be less effective and make less power than they would with them.

-91 Cougar LS, coming soon, complete overhaul with a 427" Windsor.
-90 XR7 5-speed black on black w/sunroof, MP2, coated rotors, double intercooler, 15%OD, ported heads, comp stage 1 cam, 85mm TB, 90MM LMAF, 80# injectors, and ported big valve heads
-98 Mark VIII LSC, Procharger P600b, TR3650 swap and 3.73s.
-90 SC Automatic rustbucket winter beater
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post #25 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-14-2013, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayo View Post
MAC 1-5/8" long-tube headers with a 2-1/2" primary..


I'll keep this short..

IMO..Long tubes are a waste on a stock engined 5.0 Daily Driver if all you gain is 7 hp, and a lighter wallet..

Anyways..It's up to the OP if he thinks it's worth it, or not..

Carry on..



Rayo..
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMikeyL View Post
If we were talking about a stock 5.0 Mustang, then yes there would be better ways to spend your money on an otherwise completely stock car, but our cars are heavier, and our exhaust manifolds are extremely restrictive, and not only will you will gain more than 7hp with long-tubes, but you will gain power all throughout the usable rpm range. On a daily driven stock car, 7hp throughout the whole powerband is a much better mod than say an intake swap that gives you 20hp at 6000rpms and loses a few hp from 2500-4000. Also when you do start doing other things to the car, the headers are a necessary supporting mod, just like a built trans or rear. Without them, any subsequent engine mods will be less effective and make less power than they would with them.
iagree with mikey, headers are a supporting modification that does magnify everything else. for example, on the old ford inline six, adding headers alone is not worth much in power gains, but when you add in a new cam, and a 3x1bbl carb setup, and bump the compression and ignition timing a bit, and suddenly that 85hp engine is makeing better than 130hp and they still run smoothly and get 25-30mpg.

these mod motors are rather well scienced out, so some mods are not going to make a lot of power gains by themselves.

my mind is aglow with whirling transient nodes of thought careening through s comic vapor of invention.
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post #26 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-14-2013, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayo View Post
MAC 1-5/8" long-tube headers with a 2-1/2" primary..


I'll keep this short..

IMO..Long tubes are a waste on a stock engined 5.0 Daily Driver if all you gain is 7 hp, and a lighter wallet..

Anyways..It's up to the OP if he thinks it's worth it, or not..

Carry on..



Rayo..
How can "1-5/8" headers have 2-1/2" PRIMARIES?!?!? See, you dont even know what you're talking about! . COLLECTORS!!!!!!!!
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post #27 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-14-2013, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Dreadful_Knight View Post
I'm sure this has been discussed numerous times on many forums, however after doing a search I found nothing. I just want to know if what I read was true. Shorty is good for low/mid torque and LTs are good for high RPM power. Thoughts?
The only time I think long tubes are "that big of a deal" is when they're equal length, otherwise, I wouldn't say there's THAT much of a difference.

Here's another perspective...

http://www.sandersonheaders.com/Lets-Get-Technical.html
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post #28 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-14-2013, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by NotLighteningThunder View Post
The only time I think long tubes are "that big of a deal" is when they're equal length, otherwise, I wouldn't say there's THAT much of a difference.

I've always thought this! Now, where TF do you get them?!

'91 Sport 5.0 HO - AOD - JBL Premium Sound w/ Kenwood eXcelon deck - Black Leather LX interior w/ Lux Light
- 17" Sport Edition Wheels wrapped in Michelin 225/50's - Custom Flowmaster exhaust - GT40 heads - Electric Fan - '92 Sport Bumper

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-Cobra intake (upper/lower) / SC MAF/30#inj / Dual Exhaust/headers
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-M5R2 5-Speed / 3.27 LS Diff / SC F/R seats
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post #29 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-14-2013, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by guitar maestro View Post
How can "1-5/8" headers have 2-1/2" PRIMARIES?!?!? See, you dont even know what you're talking about! . COLLECTORS!!!!!!!!
oops..

That's what I meant.."Take me drunk I'm home"..LOL




Rayo..

.
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1991 Ford Thunderbird Sport

"If you don't know where you're going..Any road will take you there." George Harrison
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post #30 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-14-2013, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Dreadful_Knight View Post
I've always thought this! Now, where TF do you get them?!
Check pm's.
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