Headers vs Stock Exhaust



I have a couple of reports from a couple of pro drag engine builders saying they were not sure if headers or duel exhaust would be beneficial to this small of an engine with its design(200 cu in). I was told they would need to run a test to see the benefits or not.. Backpreasure being the main factor. Of course they said many factors come in on what extra parts above a stock engine would play. Has any one tried or heard of testing headers to see if any extra horsepower came about due to headers only. Also the size of exhaust pipes make a difference on back pressure.

If my dad could pick up 20hp on his 2.3L n/a race built Pinto motor from a tuned long tube header you can be dammed sure your gonna get results on a inline six. I would tell those "professionals" to stuff it.

They can build Pro Drag engines but dont understand engine breathing and dynamics? I havent met them and they have already lost my respect.

Were their next words you should have bought a V8, you cant go fast without a V8?
On some engines headers may not make a difference.

For example, if the biggest restriction was the exhaust port itself, adding a header does nothing. Or if the valve was too tiny, adding a header would do nothing. Both cases would be because the restriction was somewhere else. Weakest link, etc.

On these engines, the ports and valves do need help, but the manifold design is also pretty poor. Tubular headers of any design offers less restriciton.

As far as optimizing tube diameter and length, forget it. Leave that to the race engines which operate in a very narrow rpm range.
I was never told that the headers would not work. I was told that they had their suspicion due to the engine design. One of the guys runs a or did run a six and was all for me trying with this engine. He does have a 500 cu in+ engine right now. He was in a wreck at 178 mph and was almost killed so he isn't back racing yet. Broke several bones through out his body. He was in a rail job at the time. As far as the Pinto engine it is a total different engine then the log head 200 six. Can't compare apples to oranges. They were very supportive and I was offered help if I needed any. So my orignal queston was has anybody done a test to know for sure with the 200 log head engine.
As I was taught, the most important benefit to headers isn't lower backpressure, but scavenging effect in the cylinder. Back pressure is important, of course, but if that's all there was to it, a huge log manifold and 4" exhaust would be near the ideal for performance!

And we're aware that if you go too big on your exhaust pipes for a dual exhaust set-up, you can lose some low and mid range torque.

Headers, like cams and carbs, can be sized too large for an application.
Knowledgeable people wouldn't put an 850 double-pumper Holley on a stock 305 Chevy breathing out through stock exhaust manifolds.

But too many of us (I've been one) would think nothing of running a 2" primary diameter header on a street 350!

I plan to start some header testing this year, but it will be for the 2.3L HSC engine in the Tempo/Topaz cars. If you want a whole lot of good information, go to http://www.headersbyed.comand get his $21 Header InfoPak.
That's what I did, and it was worth it!

Good Luck out there!
82C, I installed used Pacemakers on an otherwise stock 200. The exhaust was quieter (go figure!), acceleration possibly a little more sprightly, no noticed difference on power or speed; just that marginal improvement on "blipping" it. The exhaust was otherwise as stock.

Electronic igniton? Now you're talking...

Regards, Adam.
Thanks for that info. That is more or less what was expected. I will start off not using a performance header as of yet. I do have duel exhaust leaving the cat conveter(gutted) as of right now. I have the head work,cam and good electronic's, 2bbl carb.w/ cold air induction. I am hoping to install some lower gears in the next couple of months. I have the c 4 tranny and plan on 4.10 gears. I hope to have it all ready for the track in March. Nitrous is an opition I haven't decided just yet. I now have 1500 miles on this engine but less on some of the under carriage parts so I think it may be broken in good enough and ready to try out on the drag strip soon. I don't expect it to be a bullet but to have fun with.