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Shorty headers for an LX: Worth it?

Discussion in 'Performance' started by Tommy Boy, Jun 1, 2017.

  1. Tommy Boy

    Tommy Boy Active Member

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    Has anyone put shortys on their LX? 2012 Challenger 6 speed. Mods are custom tune, cold air intake, resonator delete, bigger throttle body. I was thinking JBA with no ceramic coating. Or is the coating a must?
     
  2. Best Answer:
    Post #25 by HemiJeepMagnum, Oct 18, 2017
  3. dana44

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    I prefer the coating on headers so they stay a little nicer over time. At the same time, headers rarely make any kind of improvement over daily street driven cars, but they do look cool compared to cast iron manifolds. Under most driving conditions, a good, smooth flowing exhaust system will actually accomplish more over headers for the money, but this is just me.
     
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  4. Tommy Boy

    Tommy Boy Active Member

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    The stockers are log-style manifolds that supposedly aren't bad but aren't great either. I've read that 6.1 SRT Stock headers will bolt up to the 5.7. To me that says there's room for improvement but I didn't know if JBA's would be as good or if anyone's actually tried shortys on their LX. My local shop will do the deed for $500. The headers are are maybe another $500 new mopar gaskets included.
     
  5. AHBGuru

    AHBGuru Active Member

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    You have an LC, which is a 2008-2014 Challenger.

    The LX are all 300's, Magnums, and 06-10 Chargers.

    Without additional exhaust work and tuning, headers will only provide you with loud, leaky bling. Truthfully, the exhaust on the V8 cars isn't very restrictive. The stock manifolds, which are almost a header themselves, are fine. Perhaps a set of 392 manifolds, which is what would interchange in a 2012 car, might be something to consider.
     
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  6. MPE426HEMI

    MPE426HEMI Well-Known Member

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    Of course everyone wants a nice set of headers. Myself included, so I did some research on some for my vehicle. The verdict was, unless you are going to the track and need results, it's just not worth the money. To better put it, dollar per dollar value, it's not worth it for the return you'll get for the street. Especially the shortys. Long tubes are better, but like mentioned, you'll need other stuff going on to realize the whole package. Dana44 & AHB Guru's replies are good advice.
     
  7. prowler

    prowler Member

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    They can be worth a little as long as you have replaced the rest of the exhaust system. In other words a complete package. And the coating would be a must. Better for heat control and just keeping the integrity of the header itself. Yes....long tube headers and high flow cats put on a 5.7 Hemi can get you 28-30 hp increase. But be aware. Installing headers on these cars isn't like yesteryear where you have room. Installing headers on LX cars is a lesson in patience. You will need a lot of different tools and be prepared to have to remove a lot of items that will be in the way. You will be on the top of the car and the bottom. Doing this install will be a total lesson in endurance if you don't have a car lift where you can comfortably get to the bottom of the engine.
     
  8. Tommy Boy

    Tommy Boy Active Member

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    Oh I am never installing headers again myself. It took me maybe 20 hours ( no lift, basic tools) to do longtubes and an H-pipe on a fox body mustang long ago. Terrible experience. My shop will charge $500 for the install and the headers with gaskets & bolts are another $500. If I could be confident it'd yield 15 hp I'd do it. I was under the impression the rest of the exhaust is decent as is. Mine is a 6 speed so it has the straight-thru factory 'bottle' mufflers and it has resonators removed. It's 2.5" from the cats back.
     
  9. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie Valued Member
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    All those gains they talk about are at high RPM and WOT....................if you are not driving around like that all the time you are wasting your money. Back in the day when I ran dynos at the Chrysler Tech Center we did comparison testing on all sorts of exhaust systems and those were our conclusions.
     
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  10. dana44

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    Yep, the flow numbers below 4500rpm (on most cars) and nowadays 5500rpm aren't enough of an improvement dollar per hp to make it worth the effort. They look nice (when coated), but that "looks nice" stuff only works on Ricers.:D
     
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  11. MPE426HEMI

    MPE426HEMI Well-Known Member

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    Excellent info Fast Eddie. It's pretty much what the conclusions were when I did some reasearch on if they were worth the money and effort. They were not, in my case and I didn't waste any money on it because I wouldn't see no benefit for the way I'd be using my car.
     
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  12. Bearhawke

    Bearhawke Things happen for a reason

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    And to run with your ball further: despite the catalysts; modern exhaust systems aren't exactly restrictive, especially full dual systems on most V type engines.
     
  13. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie Valued Member
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    Think about this................the standard 340" was rated at 275 HP gross which means no car exhaust, deep sump oil pan, no cooling fan, no air cleaner, max power spark advance.
    My 3.6L (220") MINI-VAN is rated at 283 HP net through a complete exhaust system with cats, standard oil pan, with air cleaner, max power spark advance.
     
  14. ImperialCrown

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    A lot of science goes into the stock intake and exhaust system at factory engineering. It is 'tuned'. Aftermarket doesn't do an awful lot, except possibly around redline and may even detract from good low-end torque.
    Much of the 'boasts and claims' are marketing at work, IMHO. If this is a daily driver, street vehicle, save your money.
     
  15. prowler

    prowler Member

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    All this is correct. Even doing just an entire cat back only system is not going to give you instant HP. There's been enough testing and replacing the system on an SRT, cat back only, offers no HP gains. If the object is to hear more racket then go for it. The factory exhaust is super efficient in stock form. I've heard a lot of replacement systems on all the cars including Chevy's and Ford's. A lot of them sound splatty and not very sweet to hear. These modern day power plants just don't seem capable of producing that yesteryear exhaust sound.
     
  16. ImperialCrown

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    When the Hemi MDS system cuts from 8-cylinders to 4-cylinders, a non-stock exhaust system can sound just awful. It may not be the 'cruise burble' you want to hear.
     
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  17. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    When it comes down to it, trading for a 392 may be more cost effective... or are we talking about a 392 already?

    I hate that answer as a recipient, as I got it back when I wanted to upgrade my Sundance and was told to trade it in on a turbo — and they were right.
     
  18. Mike V.

    Mike V. Mopar-nac The Moderator
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    Find a set of stock SRT exhaust manifolds and mid pipes. They can be found for under $300 and are factory short tube headers.

    You will need a 2.75 to 2.5 adapter to attach your stock R/T.

    I have these installed on my 2009 R/T... the difference is night and day.

    Mike
     
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  19. wtxiceman

    wtxiceman Well-Known Member

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    Would they work on a 5.7 in a 1500?
     
  20. Mike V.

    Mike V. Mopar-nac The Moderator
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    I don't know. Physically they will fit the head, will they clear the frames rails or anything else? I don't know.

    Mike
     
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  21. Tomguy

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    I doubt it, but SRT Jeep ones might.

    As for power gains from them, figure 5-10 HP if you have supporting mods, ex: Cam, heads, etc.
    The best power gains for a 5.7 is a cam & valve spring upgrade. I was going to do it on my Charger, wound up trading in for the Jeep instead. That's 30-45HP depending on the cam, tune, etc. And cost is probably not even double what your headers & install would run. Not a 6.1 or 6.4 stock cam but a custom grind. Check LX Forums for ideas & what people run. The one I had in hand was an FRI Hellfire cam, which was about 40HP more with just the cam, springs, and CAI Diablo tune.
     
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