Moving on to a set of Hooker 15⁄8-inch street headers that are typically used by most budget minded builds, we lost most of the torque we had gained very early in the pull, but by 2,500 rpm, we caught it and then saw a nice increase in power shortly thereafter. Our peak numbers were looking better, with our peak torque at only 2,800 rpm being 364.9 lb-ft. Our horsepower was up also, now coming in with a peak of 325.1 horsepower at 5,400 rpm.

The last test was to bolt on a set of 13⁄4-inch Hooker Super Comp headers. Aimed more at the racing end of the scale, and being the next larger size, we were not too surprised to lose a little more torque down low. What may come as a surprise to some is that the power did not catch up with the street headers until the very end of the pull. The loss of torque was great enough to make us take notice. Our peak torque numbers were now 357.1 lb-ft at 3,000 rpm, and the horsepower was now 323.9 at 5,400 rpm.

What can be learned from this is that, like carburetors, the old adage "bigger is better" is not always true. We also learned that even with what looks to be a compromised design due to the very short and small diameter tubing, the shorty headers offer a distinct advantage over what could be considered a fairly free-flowing factory exhaust manifold. Moving up to a street style long tube header may very well net you some gains in power, but you have to decide if the gains are worth the frustration they can often bring.

Part PN Cost
Pace Setter shorty headers PN 70-1317 $233.95
Hooker PN 5901 $179.95
Hooker PN 5115-1 $699.95

Hooker Headers
704 Highway 25 South
MS  39730
Pace Setter
2841 W. Clarendon
AZ  85017
Dunnuck Racing Enterprise