You may have heard that custom builder exhaust parts can improve the performance of your car or truck. This is absolutely true. An inefficient exhaust system can create back pressure if the exhaust cannot be expelled from the vehicle fast enough.

In a sense, your vehicle cannot take advantage of its full horsepower because it simply cannot keep up with the amount of exhaust it is creating. The solution is performance exhaust systems.

What Does an Exhaust Header Do?

The exhaust header is the very first part of the exhaust system. It is the part that attaches to the cylinder head. Exhaust from each cylinder leaves through several pipes, which connect together and lead the exhaust into the rest of the exhaust system.

In addition to being the first part of the system, it is also very easy to replace. In most cases, you can simply pop it out and slip a new one in, assuming the new exhaust header is designed to fit with your model.

How Can a Header Improve Performance?

There are three ways one particular header’s performance can be better or worse than another:

  • Flow dynamics
  • Pipe diameter
  • Header material

Flow dynamics is how the exhaust flows through the header. If it has an uneven or jagged shape, the exhaust flows slower, which hurts horsepower.

Additionally, the length of pipe from each cylinder to the connecting intersection needs to be carefully designed. Pipe diameter is exactly what it sounds like. If a pipe is thicker, more exhaust can flow through it per minute.

Finally, the material of the exhaust header also can affect performance. Stainless steel is smoother, which allows exhaust to flow better. Cast iron is a common header material because it is cheaper, but it is worse for performance. You should take all these factors into account when choosing a performance exhaust header to install in your vehicle.