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Shorties Plus Mid Pipe

This is a discussion on Shorties Plus Mid Pipe within the External Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I've been back and forth on the long tubes vs. shorties things ever since I bought this car. My dilemma ...

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    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Shorties Plus Mid Pipe

    I've been back and forth on the long tubes vs. shorties things ever since I bought this car.

    My dilemma is this: I want to pass emissions, but I want a worth-while performance boost, as well.

    Shorties are way less expensive, but yield less power. Long tubes can be had with a cat (for extra $$$), but then I've got ground clearance issues, especially if I lower the car.

    So, the solution my be just to go with the shorties. However, I have not seen any shorty/mid-pipe combos on the market. Are there any exhaust manufacturers that make a 2.5" y-pipe to bolt up to short-tube headers? Also, I know I read a thread on here somewhere that briefly mentioned the power gains from shorties and y-pipe (something like 17 whp, IIRC).

    Also, is it true that shorties yield most of their gains down low, while long tubes have a bigger gain up top?

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    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    I am lowered and don't have clearance issues with my long tubes. I don't know about Shorties but BBK makes a 2.5" y pipe for their long tubes.
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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    shorties are a waste of money. If you're just dead set on not getting longtubes I would just run the stock manifolds or look at a set of MAC mid-length headers. Nothing beats a good set of longtubes though.

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    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 0rion View Post
    shorties are a waste of money. If you're just dead set on not getting longtubes I would just run the stock manifolds or look at a set of MAC mid-length headers. Nothing beats a good set of longtubes though.
    This. You can do some porting on MAC mid lengths for some additional gain but as stated above nothing beats long tubes. You could just run shorties and get a bassani true dual exhaust for a good gain without LTs if you don't want them.

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    what kind of emission testing does AZ do?


    There are CAT back systems that pass emission testing. Also a tune like Frost will help, in that he can delete the egr and rear O2 codes so that they will not trip the CEL which most emission test centers fail for.

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 98TransAmWs-6 View Post
    I am lowered and don't have clearance issues with my long tubes.
    Me either.

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    Four Seat Vette 10spokess's Avatar
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    I was just about to make a post about this, that saves some time. So I'm guessing just fork over the cash for the LT's is what everyone on here would say

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naaman View Post
    I've been back and forth on the long tubes vs. shorties things ever since I bought this car.

    My dilemma is this: I want to pass emissions, but I want a worth-while performance boost, as well.

    Shorties are way less expensive, but yield less power. Long tubes can be had with a cat (for extra $$$), but then I've got ground clearance issues, especially if I lower the car.

    So, the solution my be just to go with the shorties. However, I have not seen any shorty/mid-pipe combos on the market. Are there any exhaust manufacturers that make a 2.5" y-pipe to bolt up to short-tube headers? Also, I know I read a thread on here somewhere that briefly mentioned the power gains from shorties and y-pipe (something like 17 whp, IIRC).

    Also, is it true that shorties yield most of their gains down low, while long tubes have a bigger gain up top?
    You really don't have to worry about passing emissions in Maricopa County. All they do with an OBDII car is hook to the port and check for codes, then they send you on your way.

    So long tubes would be fine, and frankly is the only way to go. I wouldn't bother with shorties. If you are still worried about passing a sniffer for some reason, just put some cats on after the long tubes, that way it's still emissions compliant at the tailpipe

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    what kind of emission testing does AZ do?

    It's only in Maricopa and Pima Counties. Basically Phoenix and Tuscon.

    All they do for OBDII cars is plug into the port and check for codes, that's it. No code, you pass. From what I understand they don't even pop the hood or check for cats. I know a ton of guys down there with modded cars and deleted emissions that pass all the time.

    You can also register the car as a collector and carry collector car insurance, which will exempt you from any emissions testing at all.

    You can also buy your tags for up to 5 years at a time, then you don't even have to worry about this bullcrap (at least every 5 years anyway )

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    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    Wonder if that works in VA. Registering your car as a collector and having collectors insurance and being exempt from emissions that is....I feel like it is BS that I drive my TA less than 1k a year and have to get emissions still.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    I'd check with the local DMV and see if they would shed some light on that. Sometimes they are helpfull and other times not.

    When I lived in Ohio and Clermont County had emissions testing, it was the same way, any car registered as a collector or historical was exempt from testing.

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    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Ugh... long tubes + cats....so expensive.

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    ebay......half price for stainless.

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    Senior Member INMY01TA's Avatar
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    Shorties are useless. Get longtubes.

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    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Okay, okay: I just have to know, has anyone here ever dynoed a shorties set up? There is nothing but hate for short tube headers and the one word that seems to be used by anyone making a comment is that they are "useless." This suggests to me that they produce absolutely no performance gain whatsoever. Is this actually a verifiable fact (and companies that sell shorties are just ripping people off with every sale), or is it just that they produce less power than long tubes for the same amount of labor to install?

    Because if shorties are useless altogether, then what it really comes down to for me is whether it's better to stay stock or get long tubes (because I find the cost of long tubes with cats to be nearly unjustifiable).

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    Quote Originally Posted by 0rion View Post
    ebay......half price for stainless.
    This
    It's on jackstands.

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naaman View Post
    Okay, okay: I just have to know, has anyone here ever dynoed a shorties set up? There is nothing but hate for short tube headers and the one word that seems to be used by anyone making a comment is that they are "useless." This suggests to me that they produce absolutely no performance gain whatsoever. Is this actually a verifiable fact (and companies that sell shorties are just ripping people off with every sale), or is it just that they produce less power than long tubes for the same amount of labor to install?

    Because if shorties are useless altogether, then what it really comes down to for me is whether it's better to stay stock or get long tubes (because I find the cost of long tubes with cats to be nearly unjustifiable).
    this is another one of those instances where someone starts a thread and asks a question. Even though EVERYONE in the thread is giving the same advice the OP has already made up their mind.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naaman View Post
    Okay, okay: I just have to know, has anyone here ever dynoed a shorties set up? There is nothing but hate for short tube headers and the one word that seems to be used by anyone making a comment is that they are "useless." This suggests to me that they produce absolutely no performance gain whatsoever. Is this actually a verifiable fact (and companies that sell shorties are just ripping people off with every sale), or is it just that they produce less power than long tubes for the same amount of labor to install?

    Because if shorties are useless altogether, then what it really comes down to for me is whether it's better to stay stock or get long tubes (because I find the cost of long tubes with cats to be nearly unjustifiable).
    That statement rings true. It's more of the fact that they just don't produce the power curve of a nice set of long tubes. Shorties aren't "useless" in that sense of the word, they do work better than "some" manifolds. In this case however you would be better off spending money on a set of long tubes. LS manifolds really aren't that bad in the flow department, especially when you get up into the 2000+ model years when they were redesigned, and the truck manifolds are also a nice piece.

    I used shorties for an LT1 retro swap in a jeep years back, and if you've seen factory LT1 exhaust manifolds you would know right away that "anything" is better than those manifolds I also used them to keep ground clearance up, ease of install etc...

    It all just depends on your application. In your case, I'd do long tubes hands down.

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    in addition to what FBJ stated, shorties are also used for turbo builds too.

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    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 0rion View Post
    this is another one of those instances where someone starts a thread and asks a question. Even though EVERYONE in the thread is giving the same advice the OP has already made up their mind.
    Not exactly. I'm just the type that needs to understand why I'm doing what I'm doing. If I don't have the information I'm looking for, I won't take advice that isn't backed up with data. What I want out of my car isn't necessarily maximum power. So for people to just say "they're useless" doesn't mean anything to me. Drivability, dependability and ease of maintenance are equal to performance on my list of priorities. Also, the cost of catted long tubes pushes them further down my list every time I start shopping for mods. The price is nearly prohibitive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    That statement rings true. It's more of the fact that they just don't produce the power curve of a nice set of long tubes. Shorties aren't "useless" in that sense of the word, they do work better than "some" manifolds. In this case however you would be better off spending money on a set of long tubes. LS manifolds really aren't that bad in the flow department, especially when you get up into the 2000+ model years when they were redesigned, and the truck manifolds are also a nice piece.

    I used shorties for an LT1 retro swap in a jeep years back, and if you've seen factory LT1 exhaust manifolds you would know right away that "anything" is better than those manifolds I also used them to keep ground clearance up, ease of install etc...

    It all just depends on your application. In your case, I'd do long tubes hands down.
    Thank you. After all the research I've been doing, I keep coming back to the reality that if I want to upgrade the exhaust, I'll just have to wait indefinitely and eventually get some long tubes. Whereas shorties I could afford at the drop of a hat, almost.

    You mentioned that the 2000+ model year has a pretty good manifold. Since I have a 98, I wonder whether shorties would produce a more reasonable increase by comparison. I may just finish up my intake by putting on an LS6 and then tuning the car to hold me over in the meantime (may be years before I can afford to buy the headers and have them installed).

    Now, here's another thing I'm considering: If I do get long tubes, I will most likely go with BBK, since they are the most affordable. Does anyone here run BBKs with a cross-member/tunnel brace? If so which one? UMI says that their tunnel brace only fits with certain exhausts.

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