Sunday, February 11, 2007

Headers are headers... right?

Wrong... I am always amazed how far technology has brought even what seems like the simplest components on a race engine. Take the headers on this engine for example. For years I have built hundreds of small block Ford high performance engines and there was basically only one header I used for almost every single one of them. Needless to say I was brand loyal. That does not mean that I simply took them for granted so in keeping with my own rule of "what if racing" I began researching various headers so as to obtain the maximum performance and horsepower but what I found out was almost shocking to me. First of all, the brand I had been loyal to for so many years are no longer a "top of the line" product as it seems to be living entirely on it's name recognition. I on the other hand don't need name recognition when it comes to parts. What I do want is performance and like everything else, performance does not come without a price. Furthermore the good ole days of paying a couple "C" notes for some adequate headers are long past. Today a good set of headers will cost between $600 to $1800. But why build a great motor and then choke it out with the wrong tubes? That's makes about as much sense as running the 24 Hours of Daytona on a set of Sears tires doesn't it?

After weeks of research I chose a set of Doug's ceramic coated tri-Y headers. My cast iron heads are built in a way so that they can utilize either big tube 1 3/4 tube size headers of the smaller 1 5/8's tube size. But when I assumed my engine builder would want the larger size I was reminded what "assume" translates to. The design of this high performance engine is one that LOVES the restriction of the 1 5/8 tubes that open up to the larger bore enabling it to have tons of low end torque and then being able to enjoy all the top end excitement any driver can possibly take.

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