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What are long tubes really worth?

This is a discussion on What are long tubes really worth? within the External Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; OK...I'm new here and LSx's, so if a similar question has already been asked,...oh what the hell, just let fly... ...

  1. #1
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    What are long tubes really worth?

    OK...I'm new here and LSx's, so if a similar question has already been asked,...oh what the hell, just let fly...

    So, I have read the stickies and perused the posts, and I can't find the answer. Here goes: In my case, it would cost an extra $1.5k--maybe more--to put in a good long-tube header setup versus block-hugger shorties. The shorties would need some fiddling with the steering gear to get them in. The long tubes could probably be 1 3/4", whereas the shorties are 1 5/8". Both have 3" collectors. The engine is a near-stock (so far) LS2.

    What's better? The shorties, some fiddling, and $1.5k to spend on something else, or the long tubes? And where to put the extra $1.5k (if that's the way to go)? I'm inclined toward the shorties, but want to avoid a mistake since I'll have to live with them for a while.

    The reason for all this is an LS2 that's going into a BMW Z3. The shorties are off-the-shelf. A long tube setup would be custom. (Thought about welding up long tubes myself, but I'd be pissed every time I looked at them since my welding looks pretty crummy.)

    (Long shot)Or does someone know of off-the-shelf long tubes that will do the trick?

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    Senior Member JaycenK's Avatar
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    If your not going to do a whole lot more to the engine I would stay with the shorties cause they will help keep torque in the motor in the lower RPM. Your not going to gain a whole lot by doing Long tubes unless your really needing some breathing room. The sorties have already given you less restriction. Are those shorties made for the LS head?

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    Thanks for the feedback. I really think I'd rather put the $1500 I'm saving into something else.

    The shorties I'm looking at are Hooker block huggers, and yes, they're made for the LS heads. I'll still have to do a little cutting and welding to make them fit, but nothing like making up a custom set of headers.

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    if you have plans for major mods to the motor go with the longtubes. I would use stock manifolds before I spent the money on shorties but that's just my opinion. I just don't see much gains over stock using shorties to justify the money. If you plan on a cam later or something like that then longtubes are the way to go.

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    Trouble is, the headers are going on an LS2 that I'm putting in a BMW Z3 and the stock manifolds won't fit (Crash with the steering gear.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by JAlan View Post
    Trouble is, the headers are going on an LS2 that I'm putting in a BMW Z3 and the stock manifolds won't fit (Crash with the steering gear.)
    I was going to recommend the stock manifolds also shorties aren't worth much in the way of extra powre. Have you looked into something like MAC mids will they clear? If you are not doing major engine mods and the shorties solve your fit issues go for it. If you plan on doing anything to the engine like heads and/or cam spend the money on LTs.

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    Thanks for the tip. It looks like it could work, but I'd have to reroute one or two of the tubes on the driver's side and lose the equal-length quality. On any header, what I really need is that the last two tubes on the driver's side aim *forward* out of the exhaust port before snaking around to the collector.

    I've got a bug to get that engine in place this weekend. Look's like I'll grab a pair of the Hooker block huggers and just do it. Compared to customs, I'll have $1.5k to blow on something else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JAlan View Post
    Thanks for the tip. It looks like it could work, but I'd have to reroute one or two of the tubes on the driver's side and lose the equal-length quality. On any header, what I really need is that the last two tubes on the driver's side aim *forward* out of the exhaust port before snaking around to the collector.

    I've got a bug to get that engine in place this weekend. Look's like I'll grab a pair of the Hooker block huggers and just do it. Compared to customs, I'll have $1.5k to blow on something else.
    you could always flip them over and add a turbo.

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    Oh....that's beautiful!

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    try looking for some used mac mids. thats what i did. they will be within 5-7hp of longtubes for half the price and even easier to install. If you replace the mac y-pipe and its small 2.75" merge with a nice true 3" flowmaster merge it will put out about the same power as a longtube header and give lots of ground clearance. this is the setup i have and it made a huge difference in the performance of the car and it sounds awesome with a magnaflow muffler

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    ^^^ ya other then LT's Mac's would be the only other recommendation i would give. I almost bought Mac's but couldnt pass up on a good deal with BBK LT's. I think either way going back to LT's the torque and the extra power over the shorties is definitly worth it if you can get them to fit. Whatever you decide GL with it let us now how it comes up and post some pics.

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    It really depends on how much the power means to you. Long tubes are a SOLID 20hp/20TQ over a shorty header, any day of the week.

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    didi you try swapping the stock manifolds (left on the right side and right on thr left side) that would point them forward and then you could run the exhaust out under the front crossmember then out the back (this is how I got the exhaust to work on a 350 I dropped into an MG.
    or flip them like Orion said, then use a tight 180 to turn them back down......Saab turbos used a nice flowing, tight 180 for their down pipe for years.....might beable to pickup 2 for cheap from a local junkyard

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    Quote Originally Posted by 0rion View Post
    you could always flip them over and add a turbo.
    Great thinking.

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    I've always heard shorties were not worth the effort.... 10-15 hp over stock manifolds at best. Longtubes are far superior in terms of torque/power.

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    Well, it turns out I have a more costly problem than I thought. To start with, I'm in California. Adding to that, I'm doing an engine swap that leaves the engine completely stock (smog legal) except I can't fit the stock exhaust manifolds in. To be legal, I need headers with an "E.O." number, and even if I could find them, they wouldn't fit either.

    Basically, I'm looking at a $5k smog test to prove that the car doesn't pollute any more than the 2005 GTO that the engine came out of.

    So the good news is, I might as well go for twin turbos. There's no way I'll pay $5k and get only headers certified. I'm $15k into the deal as it is.

    Be glad you're not in CA. Anyone want to become an agent for an out-of-state registration? OK. OK, I know that's illegal. And besides, I would truly like to stay within the letter of the law. But $5k makes a guy think...

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    cutting and welding mark21742's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAlan View Post
    Well, it turns out I have a more costly problem than I thought. To start with, I'm in California. Adding to that, I'm doing an engine swap that leaves the engine completely stock (smog legal) except I can't fit the stock exhaust manifolds in. To be legal, I need headers with an "E.O." number, and even if I could find them, they wouldn't fit either.

    Basically, I'm looking at a $5k smog test to prove that the car doesn't pollute any more than the 2005 GTO that the engine came out of.

    So the good news is, I might as well go for twin turbos. There's no way I'll pay $5k and get only headers certified. I'm $15k into the deal as it is.

    Be glad you're not in CA. Anyone want to become an agent for an out-of-state registration? OK. OK, I know that's illegal. And besides, I would truly like to stay within the letter of the law. But $5k makes a guy think...
    I'd be finding a friend/ family member with an out of state address lol man that sucks

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