Exhaust Manifolds vs. Headers: What You Need To Know

Exhaust manifolds and headers are critical components of an automobile’s exhaust system. They both play an important role in the process of moving exhaust gases from the engine out to the atmosphere. Performance exhaust headers for improved horsepower are required to improve the exhaust system of the car. However, they are different in terms of their design and functionality.

Exhaust Manifolds:

An exhaust manifold is a cast iron or stainless steel pipe that attaches to the engine’s cylinder head and collects exhaust gases from all the engine cylinders into one single pipe. The manifold is designed to be a cost-effective solution for collecting exhaust gases and routing them to the exhaust pipe. It has the same number of branches as the number of cylinders in the engine.

Exhaust manifolds come in different shapes and sizes, depending on the engine’s configuration. A common design is the “log” style manifold, a single tube with several bends that collect the exhaust gases from each cylinder. Another design is the “header” style manifold, which features individual tubes for each cylinder that are joined together to form a single collector.

The main disadvantage of the exhaust manifold is its restrictive design, which can create backpressure in the engine, reducing its efficiency and power output. The restrictive nature of the manifold can also cause hot spots, which can lead to cracking and warping over time.


Headers, on the other hand, are aftermarket exhaust components designed to replace the restrictive exhaust manifold. Headers are made up of individual tubes for each cylinder, which is precisely engineered to be the same length and diameter. This design allows each cylinder to expel exhaust gases more efficiently, reducing backpressure in the engine. For quality auto parts for your vehicle must visit Suncent Auto and buy accessories for your vehicle at the best prices.

Headers are made from a variety of materials, including stainless steel, mild steel, and ceramic-coated steel. The type of material used affects the performance, durability, and cost of the headers.

Benefits of headers:

Headers provide several benefits over stock exhaust manifolds. They increase the engine’s horsepower and torque by allowing it to breathe better, improving the engine’s overall efficiency. Headers also improve the sound of the engine, making it deeper and more aggressive.

Another significant advantage of headers is that they reduce the engine’s operating temperature, helping to prevent overheating and engine damage. Headers are also more durable than stock exhaust manifolds, as they are made from stronger materials and are less prone to cracking and warping.

In summary, exhaust manifolds and headers play a crucial role in an automobile’s exhaust system. While exhaust manifolds are the stock components that collect and route the exhaust gases out of the engine, headers are aftermarket upgrades that replace the restrictive stock exhaust manifold. Headers offer several benefits over stock manifolds, including increased horsepower and torque, improved engine sound, reduced operating temperature, and increased durability.

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