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FAQ: Corvette Short Tube & Long Tube Headers

FAQ: Corvette Short Tube & Long Tube Headers

What are the basic differences between Short Tube and Long Tube Headers?

You have two basic options when choosing headers for your Corvette: short tube or long tube. The basic difference between the short tube headers and long tube headers is the length of the primary tubes to the collector.

For short tube headers, the port pipes actually merge into a single exhaust pipe in a much shorter distance. For long tube headers, the exhaust pipes are much longer and merge farther back on the exhaust system.

1997-1999 Corvette C5 Hooker BlackHeart 1 3/4 Shorty Headers
1997-1999 Corvette Hooker BlackHeart 1 3/4 Short Tube Headers, Part Number: 699113

Why do I need headers?

The goal of installing Corvette Headers is to make it easier for your engine to push exhaust gases out of the cylinders. They work by eliminating your Corvette manifold's back pressure. Instead of sharing a common manifold, each cylinder gets its own exhaust pipe. Therefore, you notice more power and torque from your engine. That is why you want to have the correct style of Corvette Headers.

What do I need to know about Short Tube Headers and my Corvette’s Performance?

Short Tube Headers are a good choice for someone who drives their Corvette daily and are not constantly at higher RPMs. Short Tube Headers are a great option if you are looking for more low to mid range power in reference to your rpm band.

Short tubes use welded mandrel bent pipes rather than a casting as in a typical exhaust manifold. They are also typically easier to install compared to long tube headers and also allow you to use your factory catalytic converters when needed. If you are in an emissions controlled state, short tubes are typically the only legal street option.

1963-1982 Corvette Sm Block Long Tube 1-5/8 Headers Stainless Works
1963-1982 Corvette Small Block Long Tube 1-5/8 Headers, Part Number: 648884

What do I need to know about Long Tube Headers and my Corvette’s Performance?

Long Tube Headers are a great option for high revving Corvette Performance Driving and allows for a lot of top end exhaust gas flow. Long tube headers build a ton of power in the mid to high RPM range. Long tube headers are a great option for someone who is racing and pushing their Corvette to redline. Long Tube Headers produce greater peak horsepower and are ideal for applications, such as tracking your Corvette and for those who do not have to worry about complying with emissions standards.

Long tubes keep exhaust gasses separate from each cylinder for a much longer period of time. Due to their longer primary tube lengths, long tubes need more space to work with. They also typically eliminate emissions equipment like catalytic converters. Extra long length oxygen sensors are available for most long tube headers. Long tubes will cause a check engine light on most modern applications unless a custom tune is used to tune out the secondary oxygen sensors.