Exhaust Manifolds vs. Headers

Many people ask us here at 1A Auto what the difference is between an exhaust manifold and a header. Well, today is your lucky day because we are going to tell you….and then you can go tell all of your friends and look all smart and whatnot. It will be our little secret but hey, that’s what we are here for.

While exhaust manifolds and headers play the same role in engines, namely channeling exhaust away from the cylinder head to the exhaust pipe and eventually out the back of the vehicle, there are important differences between them. Essentially, headers are upgrade parts designed for performance applications, while exhaust manifolds are more utilitarian. There are advantages and disadvantages to each, and which one you choose will be influenced by your needs.

Exhaust manifolds are frequently formed of cast iron in a block-like configuration. This gives them sturdiness and longevity. Because the cast iron material is thick, it holds on to heat well, which is good for emissions and keeps heat from leaking to other nearby parts. The thick walls do, however, mean there is a small space for exhaust gases to pass through, and the iron casting makes the interior rough which can slow the flow of exhaust gases. This creates back pressure which keeps the exhaust from being cleared as efficiently as possible. This reduces the efficiency and ultimately the power of the engine because exhaust must go out to allow fresh fuel and air in.

This is the problem that headers are intended to solve. Headers are aftermarket upgrade exhaust manifolds that use an individual steel tube for each cylinder. These tubes all connect to a collector pipe.  The tubes are smooth and equal in length. This ensures that the gases from each cylinder reach the collector separately, avoiding back pressure. This benefit can be lost if other exhaust components are not also upgraded. If the exhaust pipe that follows the headers is too restrictive it can introduce back pressure to the exhaust system and diminish the power advantage of headers. Another disadvantage of headers is that due to their thinner walls, they do not absorb as much sound as cast iron exhaust manifolds, making them louder (although some may see this an advantage). Some vehicles do come with stock tubular steel manifolds. Primarily these are for performance vehicles, such as sports cars. Jeep also notably uses tubular steel exhaust manifolds.

That my friends, is all there is to it when it comes to exhaust manifolds and headers. Hopefully we were able to clear things up for you!

Finally, a Repair Video on a Clown Head Antenna Ball!

Do you find yourself staring at your faceless, beat up, and weathered antenna ball, wondering how in the world you will ever be able to replace it? Of course! Everyone does! Luckily for us, 1A Auto has finally created the video that we have all been waiting for. It shows exactly how to replace your old, faceless, disheveled antenna ball with a fresh new clown-head antenna ball. We’re making dreams come true, one clown-head antenna ball at a time.

Everything You Want To Know About Car Tires – Infographic

Tip Of The Day – POR-15 Paint Can Edition

If you have ever used POR-15 before, you likely have learned three things:

A) It’s pretty darn awesome stuff if you live in a place where rust exists. (I’m looking at you New England.)
B) You do not want to get it on your person. While it doesn’t have the ungodly hell-fire burning sensation that “Aircraft Remover” does, it does have an unbelievable sticking ability to humans.
C) If you get the POR-15 between the can and the lid, and then seal the can, your all done. The can will never EVER reopen without the use of a sawzall, a 20 ton press, and a log splitter…

Today I have the solution for letter “C”, because I’m not completely sure that humans have the technology to conquer “B” yet.

Now, since I’m extraordinarily cheap, and …well… yeah I guess that’s the only reason, I don’t ever buy the proper paint pouring device for these paint cans (yes, I realize that they are like $1).  So I have been forced to develop an amazingly complicated (that’s a lie) method of preventing this paint-lid-non-removal conundrum. It’s what I like to call “tape”. Yes, I put tape on the can folks. It allows me to clean off my brush if I have too much of the good stuff on it, AND it makes clean-up effortless. Maybe you already do this, and I’m living my life pre-Y2K, but hey maybe not. I don’t know. But for that one guy that hasn’t tried this yet, I recommend it. Old news? Cool idea? You decide.

 

1966 Pontiac GTO Tin Indian Part 4

This is a continuation from yesterday’s Part 3

Part 4:

“Most of my understanding of drag racing has come from limited observation, from a husband who is interested but does not claim it as one of his areas of expertise, and from conversations with Pete McCarthy, well known both in the annals of Pontiac drag racing and as an author of Pontiac performance literature, and with Greg Sharp, noted hotrodding historian and curator of the NHRA Motorsports Museum. Both national and local drag racing  have evolved from the hot rodders of the ‘40’s and ‘50’s. Those guys were, however, frowned upon, even stigmatized as the bad boys of the open road. It was to provide them an alternative, not actually to initiate a national drag racing organization, that Wally Parks established the NHRA in the early ‘50’s. Additionally, Robert E. Peterson’s creation of Hot Rod magazine in 1948 was, at that time, considered a very daring move. By the ‘60’s, however, the evolutuion was well under way, and the quarter mile track was a popular spot for a weekend’s recreation and/or entertainment. For a while factory or individually backed teams that could afford to hire fast reacting drivers to race expensively optioned stock cars dominated the scene. Now, with the integration of bracket racing at he local level, anyone with a good reaction time who can put together a consistently running car has a good chance of winning. The races that Tin Indian V participated in were probably very similar, though not exactly the same as bracket races are today, since even drag racing at the national level had not evolved to the levels of sophistication and expense that it has today. » Continue reading more of this post…

1966 Pontiac GTO Tin Indian Part 3

This is a continuation from yesterday’s Part 2

Part 3

“Actually Pontiac Historic Services had not quite materialized yet. A gentleman named Fred Simmonds had unearthed old files at Pontiac Motor Division (PMD) of General Motors Corporation (GMC or GM), and shortly thereafter, those files would be turned over to Jim Mattison who would launch the business Pontiac Historic Services. At one point during the fall of 1989, Merle had occasion to talk with Fred Simmonds, and, in the course of the conversation, mentioned that he wished he could see the original build sheets for his cars, so he would know what options they were assembled with and where (to what dealership) they were first delivered. Simmonds offered to do a bit of research, so Merle sent him the vehicle identification numbers (VIN’s). Soon the information arrived in the form of photocopies of the original build sheets. Basically, a build sheet is a dated purchase order that gives instructions to the factory about how to build a car and where it is to be delivered afterward. The instructions are in code, and the translation of the numbers into words is not always immediately obvious without research. The build sheet for the green car was vibrant with blue marker. Anticipating Merle’s excitement, Fred Simmonds had parenthetically listed several of the build sheet codes and identified them: “Safe-T-Track Performance Ratio (733), 4.33 axle (74 S), 4-speed close ratio (778), HD Metallic brakes (484)”; and finally “(08-197)” the codes designating zone (section of the country) and delivery dealership were followed by big, bold, believe-it-or-not, capital letters: “KNAFEL PONTIAC, AKRON, OH.” » Continue reading more of this post…

1966 Pontiac GTO Tin Indian Part 2

This is a continuation from yesterday’s Part 1

Part 2

“About a year earlier and a week before the birth of our third child and only daughter, a white, though less than pristine, 1966 GTO convertible had wandered into our yard. Frankly, I remember feeling overwhelming joy at the arrival of only one of these two priceless blessings acquired almost simultaneously. In honest fact, I had to be recently reminded that the two blessed events occurred in such proximity. But that was 1978; this was 1979, and this car was even worse than the white one. Yet my husband, ever the optimist, could see only its potential. This facility, this ability to foresee the image of a restored old car I see as absolutely amazing, since he is totally incapable of picturing the finished effect of new flooring, new wall covering, or even new matching bedspread and curtains. In a way, I suppose I do understand this inclination but from the opposite end of the spectrum, since even the vision of a well restored old car does not fill me with carefree thoughts of happy, trouble free excursions off the beaten path. In this case anxiety quickly clenched the pit of my stomach. I knew what was going to happen. Merle assumed that the car had been raced, but he was unable to trace its origin back farther than 1972, so he simply shrugged and, while happily contemplating the sale of my lovely little Luxury Lemans station wagon, restored it for me to drive. » Continue reading more of this post…

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