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Old 11-24-2013, 03:23 AM   #1
Bonesacked
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Should I get a long/race header?

I can't decide.

Right now the car has a FocusSport "shorty" header, and some sort of cat, I was told it was a high-flow, but judging by the creases in the bends I have doubts about that, I dunno why someone would make a high flow cat and not mandrel bend the piping.

Anyway, according to this website, Philadelphia and surrounding counties no longer do muffler tests but instead do an OBD test for emissions, and the only hard test they do is a gas cap check. I got my state Inspection/Emissions not too long ago and it confirms that they don't do any other checks since they were all N/A.

So technically, if I replace the shorty and the cat with the FSWerks race header, and use a cheater extendermabob for the downstream O2 sensor to fool the ECU into thinking the cat actually exists, I'll pass emissions like a boss. The "Northern Regions" do a visual and gas cap test, but not an OBD or muffler sniff test. The rest of the state doesn't even require an emissions test , which you can see on the "other counties" map on the above website.

Everything seems good then, except that: I don't want my car to sound like a Harrier jet on takeoff due to the lack of a cat; I like to keep a low profile. I don't want to spend even more money on a new exhaust system when the one I already have is pretty good (Thermal) in order to quiet it down. I also want my EGR system to remain intact and operational, so that rules out the SVT header because I'm not going to risk buying one, taking it to a shop, and then having some chub ruin it with his pro welding skills. I don't want a tune - I'm not about to drop near a grand to bolt up some tubes to my engine.

Is it worth the money? All in all it'll be about $550 for a header and flex pipe. I need a new flex pipe either way, because mine is really rusty and I suspect it to be leaking exhaust, not to mention that it'll be much smaller diameter than the new header. Will it make any difference aside from looks over my shorty? And will it be ridiculously loud without a cat? Will it lean out my fuel mixture/make the ECU run in open loop unless I empty out my bank accounts on a tune? I'm not made of money here, and if I'm looking at like a 5 hp max gain after spending all that money, especially if a tune is needed, then screw it, I'll just get a new flex pipe and be done with it.



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Old 11-24-2013, 10:13 AM   #2
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look for a SVT header , you will gain at least 10HP over what you now have

Any header change needs a tune other wise leave it like it is , doesnt make much sense to install parts that the ecu doesnt maximize for best performance ... why add the parts ?

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Old 11-24-2013, 04:27 PM   #3
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I don't want to remove my EGR system, which is why I don't want the SVT header. Will getting a new long header actually make the car run worse without a tune due to leaning out fuel, or will it just not be utilized fully? A tune is not something I'll be getting anytime soon, not when I need to buy a full set of snow tires for winter, and my car still has some mechanical problems I need to fix.
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Old 11-24-2013, 07:03 PM   #4
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Then I wouldnt be worrying about a header just yet

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Old 11-24-2013, 07:17 PM   #5
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I like to research things ahead of time.

I also decided that winter tires were kind of useless in my area, and will instead be buying chains, so that frees up some cash for other things. I have an exhaust leak somewhere up front, and I need a new flex pipe, so a new header isn't that farfetched, especially if I find that the shorty/cat is leaking. Only thing else I really need to do to the car is replace the belts and tensioners.
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Old 11-25-2013, 07:14 AM   #6
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As Tom says. Shorty headers are not headers except to those who know not. You in fact get a shorty when you buy the car, i.e., the stock exhaust. A true good long tube will lean out enough to need the tune to need longer injection timings to bring out all the power it can make.

If I wanted a true header no way on earth would I be putting on a shorty, pretty defeatist there. The exhaust makers came up with that design after emissions started killing their true header sales in the mid '70s, they also allow for easier installs and the part sales picked up, but the shorty design will never make the power a true proper long tube header will. Make that NEVER.
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Old 11-25-2013, 08:56 AM   #7
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FYI you can do the SVT header and keep the EGR... you just have to get the bung and have it welded on your self now.



If you do, do this then learn from my "lessons learned" put the bung on the 3rd runner not the 4th. Having it on the 4th puts it a little closer to some of the coolant lines then I would like so have added additional shielding and heat wrap.
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:59 PM   #8
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I have my pa state inspection and emissions license if you delete your cat you won't pass because they still do a visual check to see if all of the vehicles emissions components are there that is part of the safety inspection
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Old 12-04-2013, 08:29 PM   #9
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you don't need to delete the cat if you go with a long tube header or the SVT header. the SVT header you can use the ST CAT. or you just need to get a aftermarket cat and have an exhaust shop weld up a new pipe and bend it for you.
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Old 12-05-2013, 06:05 PM   #10
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I would agree with magus2727, svt header will add you some power.
Ive keep it legal also by getting a bung welded in, also have the svt cat and flex. I Will be upgrading to a high flow soon since mine cracked cause it was too close to the zetec axle.
Got mine on the dyno in sept and it pushed out 127 whp and 132 whp on 87 oct.

Guys were saying that the stock ones were only doing 100 105 at the wheels.
Mods i have are only magnaflow exhaust, 65mm tb, sri, sts, svt header cat flex and tune.

My advice is get an svt header or long tube. If your thinking of ever going turbo wait! don't waste your money cause your gonna take it off eventually. If not then its the best bolt on for the money and you will see the different right away.

But you said you need to do some repairs first so do that before getting some mods done.
Then save up for a tune!! Its night and day I had the header on before getting the tune. Once the tune was on it was a whole new car.


check out my svt header swap if you havent already
http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=316481
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