Exhaust Headers and Mid-Pipe Breakdown
Long Tube Headers
These headers typically flow much better than any other header available and free the most HP possible. They also allow for significantly more torque to be produced by the engine. These headers are slightly more expensive than shortys and take approximately eight hours to install. When long tubes are used, a special “shorty” mid-pipe is required to bolt the exhaust together correctly. This increases the initial cost as the mid-pipe must be installed at the same time as the long tubes. While it is possible for the average Mustang owner to install long tubes in their garage/driveway, it is considerably more difficult to do so. Many people have muffler shops or professionals install their long tubes for this very reason.
After the cat-back, the next piece of exhaust that is most frequently changed is the factory mid-pipe. All Mustangs come from the factory with an H pipe utilizing a 2 1/4” pipe as the mid pipe. Depending on the year of car you have, your stock mid pipe might have 4 or even 6 catalytic converters.
When you buy a new mid-pipe, all aftermarket mid-pipes are made with 2.5” piping and can be either aluminized steel or stainless steel. Like an aftermarket cat back, an aftermarket mid-pipe will connect to the exhaust headers and any cat back without the need for any modifications. These pipes do not require welding to attach the mid-pipe to the exhaust manifolds or to the cat-back systems. Depending on the type of header you decide to use (stock, shorty, or long tube) you will need to purchase the matching size H pipe or X pipe in order for everything to bolt up correctly. You can optionally choose to go with a true dual exhaust system consisting of no mid-pipe, but this will require some fabrication of piping to replace the now omitted mid-pipe.