Burnt gasses in the vehicle’s combustion chamber need to get out through the exhaust cylinder to allow the fresh air to follow inside the engine. Exhaust headers are used to make this scavenging process easier. By optimizing the exhaust gasses’ flow, the headers significantly improve power, increase fuel efficiency, and enhance horsepower. Before you make a decision, you must explore the benefits, the installation process, and how to maintain your flashark headers. Here’s the detailed guide!
Exhaust Headers vs. Exhaust Manifolds
Both exhaust headers and exhaust manifolds are designed to serve the same basic purpose. They both route exhaust gases from the engine to the exhaust system. The main difference is that headers generate less backpressure than manifold, resulting in increased power. Exhaust manifolds are usually made of thick cast iron, while headers are made of thinner stainless steel tubes. The exhaust manifold features a single-piece construction, while the headers have multiple long tubes of equal length. The long tubes of headers not only increase the engine’s performance but also improve the vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Moreover, exhaust headers are used in high-performance applications.
How Does Exhaust Header Improve Engine Performance?
Exhaust headers are made of long, thin stainless steel tubes. It allows the exhaust gases to flow smoothly without interference, resulting in improved horsepower. It also allows the engine to expel gases more efficiently. Here are some factors through which exhaust headers improve the performance of an engine:
1. Wave Resonance Tuning
Wave tuning of exhaust gases has been observed to improve the engine’s performance. When the exhaust header valves of the header open, a stream of exhaust gases exits the cylinder with high pressure, generating a pulse. This pulse reaches the end of the tube and forms a negative low-pressure pulse. Wave resonance tuning allows this pulse to occur at the right time during the cylinder overlap period. If coordinated properly, an effect called the 'suction effect’ is produced, which leads to the evacuation of all the exhaust gases.
2. Reducing Backpressure
Backpressure occurs when exhaust gases have difficulty expelling. By reducing this pressure, you can make it easy for gases to expel. Flashark Exhaust headers have long tubes that help reduce back pressure by allowing the gases to evacuate more quickly. This results in less heat build-up in the engine. As a result, it not only improves the engine’s overall performance but also increases its lifespan.
3. The Collector
All the exhaust headers have a collector where all exhaust gases meet and diffuse after flowing through the primary tubes. It is designed to promote smooth and efficient flow. Once inside the collector, the exhaust gases either exit the system or are reversed as a low-pressure pulse. If the collector is designed properly, it can minimize turbulence and reversion, resulting in an improved powerband.
4. Anti-Reversion Properties
Reversion of exhaust gases can negatively affect the engine’s performance, especially at lower RPMs. When the velocity of gases is low, the exhaust gases flow backward and contaminate the combustion process. To combat the reversion of gases, anti-reversion headers are designed. These exhaust headers utilize a large primary tube that increases its diameter shortly after gases exit the cylinder head, resulting in increased peak horsepower and torque.
Easy Installation Steps
Firstly, lay out all the hardware and necessary tools. Unplug the negative terminal of your battery to eliminate the risk of electric charge as you move around your engine block. Completely remove your exhaust’s mid pipe from underneath your vehicle. Then, detach all the hardware that prevents you from reaching your manifold and then remove your manifold.
Find out if any stud needs to be replaced and make the mandatory adjustments to your system. Now, install your new exhaust headers. In some cases, you can hang your exhaust header from the studs before fastening. When everything is set, fasten everything as tight as you can manage. When your header is placed properly, reattach everything you removed before. Reinstall your exhaust mid-pipe. Connect the battery terminal and turn on the engine.
Maintaining Your Exhaust Header
Following are some tips that can help you maintain your header in good condition:
- Regularly check your exhaust header for any signs of damage, such as rust.
- Check if your header is properly installed or not.
- If your exhaust header needs cleaning, make sure it is completely cooled down.
- Consider ceramic coating on your exhaust header; it can provide an additional protective layer.
- Harsh driving can put excessive stress on the exhaust system. So, it’s better to be mindful while driving.
Does the exhaust header improve performance? The answer is “yes.” The exhaust headers decrease back pressure, increase horsepower, prolong the lifespan, and enhance the performance of your engine. While headers are beneficial in high-performance and racing applications, you must go for a suitable shop.