A good set of Mustang headers is mandatory for anyone wanting to get the most performance out of their motors. A header system allows the hot,spent exhaust gasses to quickly exit the cylinder heads,ensuring that the most oxygen and fuel are able to enter the engine on the intake stroke,producing the most power.
Classic Mustangs like the 1965 to 1967 had great success using what is called Tri-Y headers. These headers have two sets of exhaust ports connected by short tubes into a Y shape followed by a long tube. These two longer tubes are again collected into a Y connection which then ends into a collector. These were made popular by Carrol Shelby. There are many manufacturers of these headers, so its important to look at quality and price.
There are also other types of similar long tube headers and what are termed "shorty headers".
Earlier cars, are to some extent easier to fit with a good set of performance oriented Mustang headers. The one major area of clearance seems to be in the drivers side area of the equalizer bar or "Z bar". Early mustang high performance equalizer bars had a different bend in the transition from the clutch rod which exits the firewall to the main pivot tube. Make sure that you order the headers for these cars that match which bar you have.
There are decisions you'll need to make, particularly on mid 90's and newer cars in terms of performance vs access issues. Shorty headers may potentially not make increase performance as much on a high horsepower motor, but they offer advantages in clearance in the transmission area.
Long tube Mustang headers can offer some advantages in performance, but like anything else, there are differences in manufacture that can make for a wide variation in prices.
Some of the popular manufacturers of headers for fox body and newer cars include, BBK,Hedman,Hooker,SLP,JBA and others.
Remember that when you increase the performance using headers and other hipo parts, you're going to need to upgrade the exhaust system to match, otherwise all your good work making the motor breathe,will only end up in restrictions from a too small exhaust system.
In other sections we'll examine aftermarket exhaust systems and popular high flowing mufflers.
Headers and Manufacturers Backgrounds
I've listed some popular header choices below for both V6 and V8 cars by manufacturer for comparison purposes.
Naturally I can't list every application, so at the bottom of the page, I'll provide you with some links with sources of headers for all years and engine choices for the Mustang.
JBA Performance company originated in 1987, with the aim to produce direct replacement "shorty headers" for the 5.0 Liter Mustang. The focus was on a proper fit, good quality and with an on the road, emissions legal status.
JBA Headers - 1-5/8 Inch (Chrome) fits 1986 - 1993 Mustang 351W]
JBA - 1-1/2 Inch (Chrome) fits 1986 - 1993 Ford Mustang 5.0L]
JBA Headers - 1-5/8 Inch (Chrome) fits 86-93 Mustang 5.0L]
JBA Headers - 1-1/2 Inch (Titanium Ceramic) fits 1999-2004 Mustang 3.8L V6 with Air injection]
2005 Ford Mustang JBA Cat4ward Headers
2006 Mustang Headers
2007 Ford Mustang V8 JBA Headers
2008 Ford Mustang JBA Headers
2009 Ford Mustang JBA Headers
2010 JBA Headers
Hedman Hedders has been around for a long time, since 1954 to be exact. Bob Hedman got this big idea to manufacture and sell tube headers for salt racers to pay his racing bills.
You'll note that the work they use is Hedders, not Headers. Hmmm.... Wonder where the name headers came from...
So as you've probably guessed, Hedman's headers have been around since before the Mustang was only a twinkle in Joe Oros's eye (Joe, you may know, was the head of Ford's winning Mustang design team). And you can bet they know how to make them fit!
Here's a few early mustang header choices by Hedman.
1964-1973 Ford Mustang Headers Hedman Ford Headers 88400 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73
1969 Ford Mustang 88300 69
1999-2001 Ford Mustang Exhaust Headers 88290
BBK performance Parts has been on the performance scene for over 20 years now. Its specialty is parts for EFI (electronic fuel injected) cars.
Their promise is to have better quality parts than the OEM manufacturers and they guarantee that their parts will bolt on, with no modifications.
2005 Mustang Performance Exhaust Headers
2006 Ford Mustang BBK Performance Exhaust Headers
2007 Mustang BBK Performance Headers
2008 Mustang BBK Performance Headers
2009 Mustang BBK Performance Headers
2010 Ford Mustang BBK Performance Exhaust Headers
Borla didn't start out making Mustang headers. No, in fact three decades ago, they set out to make high quality stainless steel exhaust systems for Ferrari and Rolls Royce cars.
Their idea was to try to perfectly match the pipe sizes they used so that optimum performance could be achieved. They found that overly large pipes actually caused too quick cooling and actually slowed down the velocity of the gasses,which ended up decreasing performance.
They also felt that using a high quality corrosion resistant stainless steel would result in a much longer lasting exhaust system. and of course, that Borla sound... mmm..
Borla Performance Long Tube Headers Ford Mustang GT 05-08
Nope. Not another manufacturer.
H Pipes work with headers to extract more horsepower from your motor and smooth out the pulses from one side of the engine to the other. Its an old hot rod trick used by performance enthusiasts and even Ford!
Hedman 18600 Mustang H-Pipe fits 1986-1993 5.0 Liter V8
Hedman 18620 Mustang H-Pipe fits 1994 and 1995 Mustang,
JBA Non CAT 2.5in H Pipe Ford Mustang GT 2005
JBA 2.5in H Pipe with CAT Ford Mustang GT 2005
Don't let the advertising guys fool ya. Exhaust crossover pipes are really just the same animal as an H pipe.
2005 Ford Mustang BBK Exhaust Crossover Pipes
More Header Listings and Prices:
Below are some links where you can find more information and prices on Headers, H pipes and exhaust parts for your Mustang.
Vivid Racing has a huge inventory of Performance Headers and Exhaust.
Auto Parts Giant is a very good source for Mustang Performance Parts
Another source for Mustang Headers and exhaust system performance Parts is at AutoBarn.com
AutoAnything.com has a large selection of headers and exhaust parts too.
Andy's has a wide selection of performance exhaust systems.
Best Performance Mods
What gave you the best bang for the buck?
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