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Very good info with a proven basis. In my opinion fit and finish are the most important characteristics of headers or any performance upgrade for that matter. It doesn't matter how much power and torque you get if the darn things rub against the subframe or melt wiring. There will always be compromise as far as size and shape of headers and they will never be 'perfect' but for most they don't want to go buy every set available to see which works best on their car. In that case, keeping those points in mind about primary diameter and so on greatly help the decision making process.

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It doesn't matter how much power and torque you get if the darn things rub against the subframe or melt wiring.

 

Exactly why I should have went with ARH or Stainless Works.  I haven't done any damage yet and don't expect to but WOW are my starter wires close to a primary.

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Very good info with a proven basis. In my opinion fit and finish are the most important characteristics of headers or any performance upgrade for that matter. It doesn't matter how much power and torque you get if the darn things rub against the subframe or melt wiring. There will always be compromise as far as size and shape of headers and they will never be 'perfect' but for most they don't want to go buy every set available to see which works best on their car. In that case, keeping those points in mind about primary diameter and so on greatly help the decision making process.

Hell, I'm looking at my headers and love the 304 but I can nitpick and say I'd like the 2.5" collector like the BBK's. That may hurt me but I am keeping the car. I'm upside down anyway lol. Especially after the mods. It is what it is.

 

The fitment is a great point too. There aren't as many options but these headers fit better, more clearance than any I've had before.

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Equal length long tube primaries is NOT worth the maintenance headaches.  Find the header that clears wires, starters, and transmissions.

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Once everything is up and running well I might look into Jet Hot coating them to help with underhood temps. I'd have to look into whether that would protect or, the opposite, heat stress the 304 though. If inside and out, I'd think it would be fine.

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If anything, adding longtubes decreases underhood temps due to the relocated/removed stock cats.

I think that has merit. The way I was thinking that there is also more surface area for it to dissipate into the engine bay. I can't say for sure as I've never, nor can I now, measure before and after temps. Maybe it's a wash.

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Cats get hot, no way to argue that. WIth no cats or cats way down below the body, I think peak underhood temps(and what I have noticed personally, no actual measurements) is that underhood temps are down by a noticeable margin. Everyday I work on hot engines and my Mustang is not so hard on me sticking my noggin under the hood to admire the Coyote's beauty.

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Cats get hot, no way to argue that. WIth no cats or cats way down below the body, I think peak underhood temps(and what I have noticed personally, no actual measurements) is that underhood temps are down by a noticeable margin. Everyday I work on hot engines and my Mustang is not so hard on me sticking my noggin under the hood to admire the Coyote's beauty.

I'll take your word for it because I cannot compare. It's been a long time since I've done work on it hot.

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I'll take your word for it because I cannot compare. It's been a long time since I've done work on it hot.

 

 

There's definitely a difference.  When I had my factory cats on, you'd open the hood and get this heat wave.  I don't experience that anymore.

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There's definitely a difference.  When I had my factory cats on, you'd open the hood and get this heat wave.  I don't experience that anymore.

Oh, I can believe it. They get a few hundred degrees. Especially with the newer cars being closer to the engine bay nowadays.

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Oh, I can believe it. They get a few hundred degrees. Especially with the newer cars being closer to the engine bay nowadays.

 

Good point!    How fast my car cools down between rounds, now that I have the off-road H for the track, is something I had NOT thought to be on the watch for.

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also one thing you have to figure in is they get cold spots. with headers the pipes don't stay a consistant temp and due to heat loss you get the exhaust gasses building up on itself. it is a combination of fluid dynamics and thermal dynamics. when you coat the header with a ceramic coating it helps the exhaust stay a constant temp and it will continue to flow like water. the trick to this is the skin temp has to be the same as the core exhaust temps.

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I think you'd be chasing your tail trying to keep temps perfectly even. That would come down to perfect air distribution and flow in the intake manifold, equal cyl combustion efficiency, and equal heat dissipation in the cylinders. To me, it's one of those things where it is what it is. Ideally, I'd have my stainless headers ceramic coated and call it a day just to try to cut down some engine bay temps. A good clue to what happens as exhaust gases cool in a full exhaust system car is that you can run smaller exhaust piping as you go further to the back of the car. That's one plus of moving, especially chambered/baffled mufflers, toward the back of the car rather than before the axle, is that they pose less of a restriction due to the cooling gases needing less cross sectional area for a given hp  compared to one of the pre 05 cars. That's one reason mufflers give very little gains nowadays.

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