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Old 07-29-2016, 10:56 AM   #1
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Open headers?

Okay guys, I've heard a ton of reasons why it's a bad thing to do and many people say it'll never hurt anything. What are the facts? Will running open, long tube headers affect the engine in anyway?
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Old 07-29-2016, 07:35 PM   #2
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Okay guys, I've heard a ton of reasons why it's a bad thing to do and many people say it'll never hurt anything. What are the facts? Will running open, long tube headers affect the engine in anyway?
You could potentially burn up the valves.

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Old 07-29-2016, 08:16 PM   #3
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You could potentially burn up the valves.

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I've seen that a lot. What would cause that? I've ran open headers on several old vehicles with no issues but I'm a little iffy on something newer.
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Old 07-29-2016, 09:03 PM   #4
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Do you live in a neighborhood, or out by yourself? One of my neighbors has a cammed, tubbed, pro stock/street 64 Fairlane. He knows how to idle in and out of the community -- but LORD that thing sounds good when I've seen it out on the streets accelerating away from a red light!!
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Old 07-29-2016, 09:10 PM   #5
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Do you live in a neighborhood, or out by yourself? One of my neighbors has a cammed, tubbed, pro stock/street 64 Fairlane. He knows how to idle in and out of the community -- but LORD that thing sounds good when I've seen it out on the streets accelerating away from a red light!!
I live in the middle of nowhere, I don't have neighbors to worry about. I want to piece together an exhaust throughout time, just curious about this. I might enjoy open headers lol.
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Old 07-29-2016, 09:27 PM   #6
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I've seen that a lot. What would cause that? I've ran open headers on several old vehicles with no issues but I'm a little iffy on something newer.
I've read that as the engine cools after you turn it off, open headers can ingest cold outside air, which, when it hits the hotter valves and seats, can warp them.
I've seen Pro Stock drag racers and fuelers cover their exhaust outlets before towing them back to the pits.
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Old 07-30-2016, 07:16 AM   #7
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I've read that as the engine cools after you turn it off, open headers can ingest cold outside air, which, when it hits the hotter valves and seats, can warp them.
I've seen Pro Stock drag racers and fuelers cover their exhaust outlets before towing them back to the pits.
I've heard this as well, how often does this actually happen? How hot would a car have to be? Would it be much worse in the winter? There's many drag cars that don't cover their exhaust as well.
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Old 07-30-2016, 07:25 AM   #8
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It doesn't take much for a high compression engine to rotate back just a bit after the system is shut down. That is one possibility for the instant cool air.

Exhaust manifold / header leaks can cause major problems also depending on severity.

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Old 07-30-2016, 07:30 AM   #9
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It doesn't take much for a high compression engine to rotate back just a bit after the system is shut down. That is one possibility for the instant cool air.

Exhaust manifold / header leaks can cause major problems also depending on severity.

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That being said, would you think a stock Mustang would be fine? Even in cold weather?
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Old 07-30-2016, 07:41 AM   #10
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I would not run shorty headers or manifolds. If I were to run an open system on a modern Mustang I would run a down turned pipe that is at least 2-3 foot long to push heat away from the belly pan.

The ideal way to run open with a stock, or lightly modified engine (bolt ons), would be with an H or X mid pipe. This will help with exhaust scavaging, and equalize the exhaust pressure between cylinders. The exhaust note will also sound better.

I can also promise you that this will be extremely loud.

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Old 07-30-2016, 07:53 AM   #11
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I know Revvv, I have had a few open header vehicles in my day. All older though. I have a 74 f100 now with a 390 I built running open headers.
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Old 07-30-2016, 07:54 AM   #12
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Thank you for the replies, I'll make sure I got 2-3 foot behind each header with turndowns just to be on the safe side.
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Old 07-30-2016, 08:06 AM   #13
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Good luck with the experiment. Let us know how it goes.

A personally would enjoy a video and sound clip.

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Old 07-30-2016, 09:50 AM   #14
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Good luck with the experiment. Let us know how it goes.

A personally would enjoy a video and sound clip.

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Will do brother. Just gotta pick out a nice set of headers and find some time to abuse the lift.
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Old 07-30-2016, 10:26 AM   #15
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Will do brother. Just gotta pick out a nice set of headers and find some time to abuse the lift.
Go with long tubes if you can.

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Old 07-30-2016, 11:30 AM   #16
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Go with long tubes if you can.

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I wouldn't even bother with shorties. I agree with Revvv, for the effort and cost it would be a no brainer for me, that long tubes will have a greater benefit.

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Old 07-30-2016, 12:28 PM   #17
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Long tubes are the only ones I've been looking at, I'm with you guys on that.
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Old 07-30-2016, 02:41 PM   #18
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Sounds like you have a plan, now get it knocked out so you can post us a video!

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Old 07-30-2016, 04:15 PM   #19
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Sounds like you have a plan, now get it knocked out so you can post us a video!

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Exactly

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Old 07-31-2016, 07:14 PM   #20
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Old 07-31-2016, 08:11 PM   #21
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Cops will love you.
Someone has to keep the revenue moving throughout the city.

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---------- Post added at 10:11 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:10 PM ----------

Someone has to keep the revenue flowing through the city.

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Old 07-31-2016, 08:55 PM   #22
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Gives me work when they tell people to fix it.
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Old 07-31-2016, 09:04 PM   #23
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Gives me work when they tell people to fix it.
I wish you weren't so far away from me. I need some work.

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Old 07-31-2016, 09:14 PM   #24
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Open headers?

Could always move. Music city is only an hour from me.
If you want to see some of the cars at my shop; I have a thread in general car discussion.
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Old 07-31-2016, 09:23 PM   #25
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Could always move. Music city is only an hour from me.
If you want to see some of the cars at my shop; I have a thread in general car discussion.
I have considered looking for a job in Nashville, or moving my studio in that direction.

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Old 07-31-2016, 09:29 PM   #26
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Cops will love you.
I like cops too. The car won't be daily driven and I plan on finishing the exhaust one of these days lol. Also I've only seen one cop go by my house in the last ten years or so. I'm right on a county line just at the outer limits of two different police stations jurisdictions.
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Old 08-01-2016, 10:04 AM   #27
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You could potentially burn up the valves.

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Here are some of the reasons that I believe this to be a myth:

1. I have seen hundreds of boats running very short, open exhaust. I can't recall a single example of anyone bending any valves because of it.
One could argue that nobody ever goes boating in cold weather though.
2. Most small, piston powered, general aviation aircraft engines are equipped with open exhaust systems. Again, I have never heard of anyone complaining about bending valves after landing the airplane on a cold day. And in the aviation community, you would definitely hear about it!
3. This is the most compelling evidence of this being a myth: I had a lawn mower that I used for 15+ years with an exhaust system that extended about 4 inches away from the head. That Briggs and Stratton engine never missed a beat! I used it all year round and never hurt the exhaust valve.

My theory on how this myth got started is that someone probably missed a shift, over revved the engine, and floated the valves into the pistons. It was much easier to blame the cold air, than to admit to an error by the driver.
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Old 08-01-2016, 10:12 AM   #28
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Thank you for the replies, I'll make sure I got 2-3 foot behind each header with turndowns just to be on the safe side.
Fabricate a Y-pipe and do a single 3 inch exhaust that exits out the side, in front of the rear wheel. Nobody will have a Mustang that sounds like yours!
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Old 08-01-2016, 12:22 PM   #29
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don't you have to worry about it running lean?

idk but since you will be more apt to bring in used air fuel mix from exhaust (or lack of) that the air flow sensor will not see the injectors will not fire as much possibly creating a lean situation.

I admit to this being thoughts and NOT facts. A point about dragsters/lawn mowers is their life span is way shorter than I hope to get out of my car.

I would like to hear it but doubt I'd like it for more than 15 minutes
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Old 08-01-2016, 04:47 PM   #30
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don't you have to worry about it running lean?

idk but since you will be more apt to bring in used air fuel mix from exhaust (or lack of) that the air flow sensor will not see the injectors will not fire as much possibly creating a lean situation.

I admit to this being thoughts and NOT facts. A point about dragsters/lawn mowers is their life span is way shorter than I hope to get out of my car.

I would like to hear it but doubt I'd like it for more than 15 minutes
I share the same thoughts. Sounds awsome, but I wouldn't want to have to live with it. On a dedicated track car, hell yeah. On a street car, I'll pass.

As we all know, those boats, drag cars etc get rebuilt every season, I can't afford to rebuild my engine every year.

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Old 08-01-2016, 06:27 PM   #31
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Regarding the engines that I was referring to in my earlier post, none of them get rebuilt, or even refreshed, until they break or wear out. Especially in the case of the aircraft engines. Depending on the type, an aircraft engine can cost as much as a brand new Mustang to rebuild... Some, as much as a house! Many people run them beyond the recommended Time Between Overhaul (TBO) as long as the engine is still healthy enough to do so.

With an open exhaust system, getting the A/F ratio correct would be my biggest concern. That and the possibility of permanent hearing loss due to the exhaust buzzing away under the floorboards!

My question is, are the bungs for the 02 sensors in the collectors of the headers? Or are they in the mid-pipe on the 4.6 engines?
If they are in the mid-pipe, a person would need to add some additional piping with provisions for the 02's, to be able to run open headers.
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Old 08-01-2016, 07:29 PM   #32
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I can do away with the O2's with a tune. I'm already catless now. I don't daily drive the car either but some weeks I feel like driving it. I'm on the verge of a promotion at work and I'm gonna dedicate 1000+ to play with every month just on my car or old truck.
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Old 08-01-2016, 07:34 PM   #33
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You need to have the upstream O2 sensors for a fuel injected engine to run properly.
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