A header is a component that can be installed, in order to replace the exhaust manifold, on a vehicle, in order to to produce more power, and better performance. A header is designed to bolt into the same area as the manifold,and it increases flow by using numerous steel tubes for each exhaust port. Since there is more room for the exhaust to go, everything will run more efficiently which is why the engine produces more power and runs smoother. Since the header provides more power and a better running engine, it is a commonly installed part on many high performance vehicles that are seeking more power.
The header is installed with the use of gaskets and bolts/studs. The gasket is put in between the engine and the header before the two are tightened together with the bolts or studs. This setup provides a secure fit that will reduce the chances of any exhaust leaks which can be annoying and very time consuming to diagnose/repair. Installing a header is also simpler and less expensive than installing a new exhaust manifold which is why many people will just go straight to a header if the manifold in their car needs replaced.
As the pistons in the engine reach the exhaust stroke, they push the exhaust fumes up into the header which then directs them through the catalytic converter and out through the rest of the exhaust system. Without a proper functioning header, the pressure in the exhaust system can be messed up which will decrease performance and possibly ruin some of the engines internal components. Adequate pressure is needed in the exhaust because not enough pressure means that old expelled exhaust is being sucked back into the engine which is what decreases the performance. The biggest contributing factor to low pressure is an exhaust leak or an exhaust system that is either too long or too short.
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