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Thread: cheap header

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    Default cheap header

    What is the cheapest high flow header that i could put on my 98, i was at the junkyard and saw that the stock 03 ish focouses that had zetecs looked like their headers had a hell of alot better flow than the stock header, what do you guys think?

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    Moved to a more appropriate forum

    The minimal benefit (if at all) from going to the Focus manifold wouldn't be worth the effort. If you're looking for a nice midrange header you can pick up a zxtuner header that's a direct bolt on, these tend to be rare and pricey. For a cheap header look for an OBX on eBay. They're cheap, decent quality and provide more on the higher end for power.

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    Or a kami. I has one for 200$ plus shipping. Can find pics later


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    Default cheap header

    If you want more low end for daily purposes, get a shorty (and better downpipe if you have funds). JBA is good, and Pacesetter is a good design with a nice sound but tends to crack without the armorcoat. You can also prevent cracking by having a shop check the welds.
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    What's your definition of cheap?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crandis16 View Post
    What's your definition of cheap?
    Yea, and how much work are you willing to do? You could have a JY with an SVT focus in and steal that header. It is known to be one of the best for the Zetec, but requires some work to make it work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crandis16 View Post
    What's your definition of cheap?
    well id say under 100 bucks, im not looking for crazy performance though, gust make it run a little healthier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mronan2566 View Post
    well id say under 100 bucks, im not looking for crazy performance though, gust make it run a little healthier.
    Based on that, OBX is probably your best bet. Or a used Kami. No real gains (despite sound) from Pacesetter without better downpipe.

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    Kami is best in my opinion. I have had, in order, pacesetter shorty (best sounding, but a primary cracked under stress when replacing a warrantied rattling factory cat), a zxtuner (raspy and slower 1/4 mile verified vs the pacesetter shorty), and then a Kami (good sound, fastest 1/4 mile out of the 3 headers). I have never tried the Gude long tube 4-1 header, which would be best for top end performance.

    As long as you can keep the exhaust pipe from flexing/bouncing around, the pacesetter will not crack on you. I would suggest stronger motor mounts to help prevent the exhaust from flexing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChillinZX View Post
    Kami is best in my opinion. I have had, in order, pacesetter shorty (best sounding, but a primary cracked under stress when replacing a warrantied rattling factory cat), a zxtuner (raspy and slower 1/4 mile verified vs the pacesetter shorty), and then a Kami (good sound, fastest 1/4 mile out of the 3 headers). I have never tried the Gude long tube 4-1 header, which would be best for top end performance.

    As long as you can keep the exhaust pipe from flexing/bouncing around, the pacesetter will not crack on you. I would suggest stronger motor mounts to help prevent the exhaust from flexing.
    Yay, good info! Was it the stock downpipe paired with the Pacesetter in this test?

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    Yes, the factory cat isn't really that restrictive, unless it has a ton of carbon deposits stored in it. I think I lost close to 10tq and gained around 4hp when I switched to zxtuner's 4-2-1 2.25" header from the pacesetter with factory cat. Going from factory to zxtuner should see 10hp more and possibly a 0tq gain.
    Last edited by ChillinZX; 03-19-2015 at 12:22 PM.

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    4-1 style headers are usually always the best performers. Pacesetter is short, Kami was regular, and Gude was long.

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    cheap
    reliable
    flows well

    pick two. you won't get all three. you can get a cheap OBX or focus long tube header that won't crack, but it won't flow well with it's 2" collector. or you can get a zxtuner, kamikaze, or JBA that won't crack and flow well, but expect to spend 200-400. otherwise, you can get pacesetter or other "decently" well flowing header that will crack like crazy.
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    The exhaust is bolted down to the transmission (bracket & 2 bolts). The flex pipe is after this part. Meaning, the header, cat and small section of pipe leading up to this bolt down point, doesn't move in relation to the motor. The pacesetters crack out because of the thin gauge steel used for the piping. I know, I had one and have another one. Every time it cracked, it was next to a weld. Every time I rewelded the crack, it cracked on the other side of said weld.

    I have a small theory about this. Unless you did custom work, up until about a year ago. There was no down pipe available to go from shorty, to the rest of the exhaust. So every shorty header was installed with the factory cat bolted to it. Catalytic convertors hold a lot of heat. With the pacesetter using such thin gauge for the tubing. The heat cycling has a greater effect and fatigues the metal. Generally where pipe is welded. The metal tends to be slightly thinner on either side due to the welding process. Thus causing cracks. I had a JBA crack out as well. The armor coat pacesetter stands a better chance, because the coating keeps the piping cooler then uncoated. All of my cracks happened closer to the collector. Never had any near the flange.

    Again, my theory based off of watching my pacesetter/JBA crack out.

    This is the bracket I speak of, and is connected to the transmission. Everything from this point forward, is solid with the motor/trans. Everything past this point flexes.


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    Trubendz has had a downpipe option with or without high flow cat for 5, maybe 6 years.

    also, referencing zxtuner vs kamikaze above....the zxtuner showed more power down low, in the middle, and near the top. the 4-1 were best at the final 1000 RPM or so, where the powerband is usually tapering off, anyway. i'll see if i can find the shootout dyno sheets.

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