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#3379546 - 05/23/14 07:47 PM Why Aren't Headers Standard Equipment?
JerryBob Offline


Registered: 04/11/13
Posts: 392
Loc: Washington, DC
I was perusing a Toyota Tacoma site and noticed that some guys upgraded their 4-Cyl by purchasing after-market exhaust headers (HERE) . They claim to get more power and better mpg.

So, other than the obvious issue of $450, I am wondering why these wouldn't be standard equipment, or at least optional? I know there is a downside (reduced filtration) to putting on a K&N racing filter on the intake side, but is there any cost (other than dollars) to putting headers on the exhaust side?

Auto manufacturers seem to go to great lengths to increase their CAFE mileage. Why not use headers?
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#3379550 - 05/23/14 07:50 PM Re: Why Aren't Headers Standard Equipment? [Re: JerryBob]
DragRace Offline


Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 2327
Loc: 1/4 Mile Track
Most dealerships dont like modifications of any kind.


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#3379551 - 05/23/14 07:51 PM Re: Why Aren't Headers Standard Equipment? [Re: JerryBob]
NHGUY Offline


Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3249
Loc: USA
Noise.Tinny headers don't insulate valvetrain sounds like cast iron or thicker designs do.

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#3379555 - 05/23/14 07:54 PM Re: Why Aren't Headers Standard Equipment? [Re: JerryBob]
901Memphis Offline


Registered: 08/14/10
Posts: 4943
Loc: Northern Kentucky
Noise, durability, cost. Cast iron works.
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#3379561 - 05/23/14 08:05 PM Re: Why Aren't Headers Standard Equipment? [Re: JerryBob]
artificialist Offline


Registered: 09/23/07
Posts: 6580
Loc: Florida
Headers dissipate heat more quickly than iron manifolds, and that can lead to slow cat light off times. Also, that extra heat may harm things under the hood in a car not built for it.

Mazda found a way around this when they created the CX-5. Search for a picture, and you will see. They gained the advantage of 4-2-1 headers without comprising cat light off time.

Some cars left the factory with pipes that are similar to headers. The 2.2 and 2.3 engine found in Honda Accords are built that way.
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#3379573 - 05/23/14 08:29 PM Re: Why Aren't Headers Standard Equipment? [Re: JerryBob]
demarpaint Offline


Registered: 07/03/05
Posts: 20769
Loc: NY
Some compaines are incorporating the exhaust mainfold into the cylinder head, like the Chrysler Pentastar engine. I guess it cuts down on weight and costs. It would be impossible to install headers on that type of engine.
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#3379575 - 05/23/14 08:35 PM Re: Why Aren't Headers Standard Equipment? [Re: JerryBob]
OVERKILL Offline


Registered: 04/28/08
Posts: 25684
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Some cars come with headers from the factory. Many don't. The 302HO in the 80's came equipped with factory headers (albeit, not very good ones) and many hi-po cars come with them factory like my M5 which has 4-2-1 headers stock.

As others have noted, cast iron is the most common manifold material because of its good heat retention, durability and low cost of manufacture.
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#3379582 - 05/23/14 08:44 PM Re: Why Aren't Headers Standard Equipment? [Re: JerryBob]
FXjohn Offline


Registered: 05/25/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: NE Indiana
too many headaches in the long run

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#3379584 - 05/23/14 08:46 PM Re: Why Aren't Headers Standard Equipment? [Re: JerryBob]
hattaresguy Online   content


Registered: 06/01/11
Posts: 4876
Loc: CT
Hi end cars do.


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#3379590 - 05/23/14 08:49 PM Re: Why Aren't Headers Standard Equipment? [Re: hattaresguy]
JerryBob Offline


Registered: 04/11/13
Posts: 392
Loc: Washington, DC
Originally Posted By: hattaresguy
Hi end cars do.






That's about 3 times the number of cylinders that I have.... grin
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#3379591 - 05/23/14 08:50 PM Re: Why Aren't Headers Standard Equipment? [Re: JerryBob]
circuitsmith Offline


Registered: 12/17/09
Posts: 140
Loc: Wash, DC
Why no headers?
Cost. Noise. Emissions. Durability.

Thin walled tube headers are more involved to produce and use more expensive metal than a cast header.

Tube headers make more noise under the hood as well as at the tailpipe end.
Most car buyers (especially over 30 y.o.) don't want all that noise.

Tube headers extract and cool the exhaust gases from the cylinder more quickly.
That increases HC emissions and makes the cat converter take more time to warm up.
They can also raise under hood temps.

Modern cast manifolds are far better than the "log" manifolds of yesteryear.
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#3379612 - 05/23/14 09:25 PM Re: Why Aren't Headers Standard Equipment? [Re: JerryBob]
LT4 Vette Offline


Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 12103
Loc: USA
I would put headers on a V-8 for performance but not spend that $$$ on a 4 cylinder engine.

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#3379623 - 05/23/14 09:52 PM Re: Why Aren't Headers Standard Equipment? [Re: JerryBob]
Kiwi_ME Offline


Registered: 10/24/08
Posts: 650
Loc: New Zealand
Amusing the interest in V8s with headers given that most high-volume V8 designs have 360 degree cranks and therefore uneven firing per bank. Same issue with V6s. Whatever good headers do, it's not going to be the same for every cylinder.

Not a problem with the in-line three, four or six however, and many smaller naturally-aspirated fours do have nicely-welded tubular designs.

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#3379643 - 05/23/14 10:30 PM Re: Why Aren't Headers Standard Equipment? [Re: JerryBob]
morris Offline


Registered: 08/24/08
Posts: 3667
Loc: ks, wichita
WHY? cause car makers make cars ONLY good enough.

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#3379653 - 05/23/14 10:42 PM Re: Why Aren't Headers Standard Equipment? [Re: JerryBob]
ddtmoto Offline


Registered: 12/20/09
Posts: 225
Loc: Utah
2011+ 5.0 Mustang also have stainless headers. Quad cam heads are too wide tho, can't really see the headers. Dang...
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