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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So, I think that I'm going to go ahead and pull the trigger on some shorty headers. But I have a few questions that I haven't seen answered in their entirety throughout the forum. For reference, I have a 2014 R/T 6 spd. So here it goes:

1. Does the material really matter? I don't myself spending the money for a bore or s/c in the future. Given that, is the amount of heat that the ceramics keep in really going to effect anything significant vs. the stainless?

2. Installation. I know its a royal pain in the you-know-what. I'm willing to do it myself or pay a shop to do it if I have to. But I want to know if anyone has been able to complete their install without having to move any major components out of the way. In short, I have no problem spending the time working in a cramped space trying to line things up and take bolts on and off. But I don't want to have to lift the engine or any other main components just to be able to get to the bolts. Is this possible?

3. There seems to be a controversy in regards to the benefits that will be achieved by installing JBA shorty headers. Some say there will be minimal to no gains. Others say 10-15+ HP gains. Some say you will have to have a custom tune to run a CAI and shorty headers. Others say you don't even need a canned tune to run those bolt ons. So which is it?


It just seems that there's so many opinions on the subject, when somewhere - somehow - someone has factual dyno runs to back it one way or the other.


Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I'm not an expert but here is the result of my research and experience.

1. Given the tight packaging of everything in the engine compartment, I feel any method to keep the heat in the header is worth it. There's a lot of high priced stuff in there to fix if it gets fried by the heat.

2. If you are patient and have many different types of wrenches you can do this while only removing the mid pipes and dipstick tube bracket. I did this personally. On jack stands. You WILL have skinned knuckles but it can be done.

3. I don't have dyno results to confirm anything HP-wise. My research says 10-15 HP max, but really, that could equal the variations in output between stock production engines. I did get a lean condition error code after installing the headers. You may need the tune just to correct that.

Additional info: Use the production style 5.7 gaskets. The integral heat shield these have directly relates to point #1 above.

My two cents.
 

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That's good info phil. And I'll add to that, I went with JBA plain stainless shortys because I bought them 2nd hand for a great deal. I too was worried about frying stuff in the engine compartment, but so far so good. Nothing burned yet, no paint discoloration on the inner fenders, after having them installed for 3 months. I did pull up the alternator wire that is routed just above the exhaust manifolds from the factory and zip tied it too the harness that's attached to the passenger inner fender. That wire would get fried if left in place IMO. Oh, and I used factory SRT exhaust gaskets that don't have the heat shields. I think the factory R/T gaskets would be better because of the built in shields, but here again, no problem with mine so far.

As for installation, I did mine without jacking up the engine, or removing anything. It was tight, but I have medium sized hands so it was doable.
 

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The consensus for headers - empirical observations:

*pulling the heads is the easiest method and assures getting all the bolts tightened properly (no gasket leaks)

*tuning is going to get the most gains out of headers...many go with cams to maximize what you get. Headers will give you 12-15hp, add a cam and there's more to be had.

*if you have the budget - go for ceramic coating. There's a lot of items in proximity (alt, lots of wire harnesses, starter, a/c lines) and today's emission controlled engines have a lot of heat under the hood. The exhaust temps are way hotter than the pre-emissions era engines.

Bolting on a set of headers w/o a tune can be a disappointment. The adaptives will reset and have you back to nearly what you were with the stock manifolds.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My end goal is to ultimately get a tune, but with only 5,000 miles on the clock I don't want to risk voiding the warranty. Worst case scenario I can replace the original manifold and the original air intake. Its harder to explain unauthorized flashes IMO.

My other concern is that headers will lean out my mixture too much and require a tune to run properly. Is this true?
 

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My other concern is that headers will lean out my mixture too much and require a tune to run properly. Is this true?
These speed-density systems rely on MAP sensor (aka: BARO) readings - if the back-pressure is out of the range of what's expected, this often results in some low-mid range loss.

I've seen members that did headers w/o tune and frequently had drops in hp/tq when run on dyno vs. what the OEM system produced.
 
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