Long Tubes Worth it for my build?

ACSPONY

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Oct 10, 2004
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I'm currently running FRPP shorties with the factory midpipe, and a MAC catback and trying to decide if investing in BBK 1-3/4" long tubes would be worth it for my application. It's about $1100 including BBK's catted midpipe that could go towards other things so I'm trying to weigh it out. I've got an o/r midpipe I could install if the main restriction in the system at this point is just the factory cats.

Engine build is as follows:
  • Stock block (bored to 308) 4340 Forged Probe Crank, 5.40” Probe Ultra Light 4340 forged I-beam rods, Probe flat top pistons
  • Holley Systemax II Avenger Series heads, 58cc chamber, ported intake and exhaust
  • Holley Systemax II intake
  • 24lb injectors
  • Cam is 533/.544 215/220 114

Car will be getting 3.73s and all new suspension parts at the same time so I'm debating going over the exhaust while all the work is getting done. Thanks all :rock:
 

bird_dog0347

still married haven't seen testicles in years
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They are a bit more of a pain when it comes to other work, but do give better TQ numbers and curve, and size wise you'd likely be better with the smaller ones. Although I've read the 1 3/4 are easier to fit for whatever reason, maybe different/better bends.
 
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90sickfox

Wasn't a pretty sight...and I've got big hands
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The old shorties vs. long tubes debate. I had a mild 306 that lost a little hp with long tubes. With all the headache and clearance problems I switched back to unequal length shorties. I had equal length shorties from bbk but they burned the paint off the passenger strut tower. I don't know if they helped or hurt power. They were on a different combo.

I'm turbo now but have a brand new set of long tubes I've been dragging around for about 15 years.
 
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foxbodybill89

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You will get more benefit from the long tubes with your aftermarket parts vs. a stock engine. Even when I put them on my stock engine there was an overall improvement in power and especially low end torque. They also sound better than any other exhaust upgrade you can make.
 
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96pushrod

I think they're a little easier to get off
May 15, 2018
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When properly done, long tubes will pretty much always net power over shorties, sometimes it’s significant. Honestly I’d rather do plugs on my car with long tubes than any car with equal length shorties…

Personally I pretty much always recommend long tubes, if you want to do more with the engine later they’ll be there, and won’t hinder you in the future. The 1 3/4 will be fine, it’s not like they’re going to be too big. Install really isn’t that bad, and I’ve never ran into an instance where they make anything else with the car that bad to deal with, unless you need to do a steering rack, then it’s kind of a bitch. It’s not like you’ll be taking off the headers and putting them back on over and over again. It’s usually kind of a one and done deal.
 
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General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
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You race'n it?
My opinion is long tubes are king but I'm old school and on the street where torque is needed, if it's just a cruiser it will not matter, there is a member here that I have not heard from for a while that builds headers and has a thread that talks about headers, what they do and how it works, he is an advocate for mid length headers :shrug:
street cruiser - short tubes will be ok with aftermarket H pipe and cats
race - long tubes is a no brainer
just my opinion
 
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Hoytster

I don't dare do that to my Knob
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And I'll just throw my 2cents in here. Whether you decide on long tubes, mid-length, or shorties, be aware that not all headers are the same. Flange, collector, and outlet design play a huge role in how the header performs. A set of well made mid-lengths with a good collector will outperform a set of long tubes with a crappy collector and outlet (like a ball and socket design). There are a lot of variables that can affect header performance and is one reason I believe people have differing experiences with different types of exhausts. It has been pretty well proven on the dyno that long tubes > mid lengths > shorties when it comes to all out power.

IMO, for a street vehicle not looking for every last HP, I'd look at a set of mid-length headers with an aftermarket H or X pipe and exhaust.
 
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Boostedpimp

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I really liked longtubes on one of my previoius tfs top end cars but always had starter heat soak issues and one set hung a good bit lower than the other set. That made ground clearance very sketchy because it wasn't a track only car but overall I'd run them again if I was as lazy as I am now. I don't remember which brand hung lower but I had macs and bbks. Now a days the cars get shorty unequal lengths because like I said i'm lazy and they are just so much easier to unbolt and remove where as with the longtubes it was a unbolt the steering shaft and motor mount kind of fun.
 
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02 281 GT

Agreed...My wife has great Boobs
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Something else to consider if you want long tubes (which Boosted mentioned in part above) is heat. Long tube headers will radiate far more heat that shorties will. It could expose other weak links under the hood over time.
 

Olivethefet

I will own your nuts! LOL
May 17, 2018
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This is a thread from the man KarThief mentioned earlier. He has a few write ups on the different styles of headers out there. I dont know if they are still in business. It looks like he has not logged onto the site since 9/2/20.

 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
Aug 25, 2016
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I think that he felt nobody was listening and there also was a disgruntled member that had issues with him.
let's see if he will weigh in, he may be able to help with the mid pipe issues, he builds headers.
@geoklas
it appears his account is deactivated.