Exhaust Headers and Mid-Pipe Breakdown

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user articleHeaders: Long tube, shorty, mid-pipe, X, H, what’s the difference?  One’s head can spin trying to figure out what is the right exhaust setup.  Well, here’s an excellent article to help clear up some of the confusion behind exhaust headers and mid-pipes, written by some of our members here at Stangnet!

Submitted by: BAFMustangGT & Code001

{mosgoogle} The idea behind an exhaust header is to eliminate the manifold’s back pressure.  A good way for an engine to lose power is during the exhaust stroke through backpressure.  The exhaust valve opens at the beginning of the exhaust stroke, and then the piston pushes the exhaust gases out of the cylinder.  If there is any amount of resistance that the piston has to push against to force the exhaust gases out, power is wasted.  It turns out that the manifold can be an important source of backpressure because exhaust gases from one cylinder built up pressure in the manifold that affects the next cylinder that uses the manifold.  Instead of a common manifold that all of the cylinders share, each cylinder gets its own exhaust pipe.  These pipes come together in a larger pipe called the collector.  From there, the gases are passed through the rest of the exhaust system in a number of different ways.

The headers are usually the last piece of the puzzle of most people’s exhaust modifications.  As explained in the mid-length section below, you must buy headers that will fit your mid-pipe.  There are four types of headers, equal length headers, stock replacement/shorties, mid-length, and long tube.  Aftermarket headers can be coated with processes like Jet Hot coating and ceramic coating.  These are the most common.  Others can be non-coated, or chromed.  The coating helps to protect the headers from rusting and the helps to keep most of the heat in the header instead of allowing it to escape into the engine compartment.  The degree to which the heat stays in the header is dependent on which coating is used with ceramic and Jet Hot coating being the best, followed by chrome, and finally non-coated headers.

Categories: Mustang Tech

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