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Old 09-15-2013, 03:57 AM   #1
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Default Headers: 94-97 vs 01+ vs aftermarket

Hi everyone,

So I finally came across a 99-00 motor to replace the blown one in my 97. I figured while its out, I get most of the bolt-ons upgrades and maintenance items over with. The car is primarily used on the track with the occasional Auto-X. Engine will remain untouched, at most the MSM camshaft upgrade.

Other than that, plans include:
Supermiata clutch/flywheel (1.6)
Squaretop intake manifold
K&N intake
Header
MSPNP 96-97

That said, most of the research ive seen about the 01+ OEM tubular header being an excellent upgrade is coming from the 99-00 cast manifold,
but nothing has been compared to the tubular header found on the 94-97. Some have said that the gains from switching to an 01+ header are comparable to gains from an aftermarket header, and that those who already have the 01+ header would see minimal gains switching to aftermarket.

Would this still be the case coming from the 94-97 header? If not, would there be significant gains changing to the RB 4-1 header?

Thanks!

Kris
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:54 AM   #2
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If this is an NA chassis the amount of work to run the 01+ header wont be worth it.
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Old 09-16-2013, 12:25 PM   #3
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Just grab the 94-97 RB header.
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Old 09-16-2013, 01:17 PM   #4
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I've got a ceramic coated JR for sale in the same area if you want to go that route. I'd bet you'll get similar performance out of the 01+ header versus any aftermarket tubular from the NA. Mine would not work with the factory airbox on the NA however. Not sure if it's an older model or what, but the tube lengths are longer than the current model JR header.
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Old 09-24-2013, 02:04 AM   #5
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So ive decided to go with an aftermarket 4-1 header.

While the Racing beat and Maxim Works headers are ideal, apart from fitment, is the difference in actual power gains worth the difference in price compared to an eBay 4-1 header?

I know this question has been beat to death, but most people only comment on the fitment/install differences, but not on actual power gains. The reason I ask is because the motor ill be putting the header on is out of the car, so installation should be much easier either way.

Ill be running a MSPNP as well, so in that particular scenario, would the actual power gains be essentially the same between the headers?
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Old 09-24-2013, 02:07 AM   #6
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Ask emilio. Probably savington too. They mentioned numerous times that ebay header - crap and the popular name brand ones are the way to go. Not just fitment wise, everything wise. Those two have done more n/a builds and track testing than most here, so I'd probably believe them.
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Old 09-24-2013, 02:12 AM   #7
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The RB works, is <$500 shipped, and is extremely robust. I can't imagine wasting my time with an ill-fitting eBay header that may or may not crack after a year or two of use.

The RB header I used for a few years on Rover originally came from bike in dirt, a Socal track junkie who used it for hundreds of hours on at least two cars before jumping to a Hytech header. When I switched to my longtube Stahl, I sold it to a customer of mine who's using it in his own PTE car. Probably 400-500 race hours on that header and it has never needed any repair at all. It's kind of a no-brainer.
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:46 AM   #8
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The Stahl's only ~150 more. Worth it over the RB?
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Old 09-24-2013, 12:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savington View Post
The RB works, is <$500 shipped, and is extremely robust. I can't imagine wasting my time with an ill-fitting eBay header that may or may not crack after a year or two of use.

The RB header I used for a few years on Rover originally came from bike in dirt, a Socal track junkie who used it for hundreds of hours on at least two cars before jumping to a Hytech header. When I switched to my longtube Stahl, I sold it to a customer of mine who's using it in his own PTE car. Probably 400-500 race hours on that header and it has never needed any repair at all. It's kind of a no-brainer.
I don't doubt the durability of the header either, but again some people don't have the opportunity to track their car for hundreds of hours per year.

If I'm lucky, I can make it out to roughly 5-7 events over the course of the spring-fall here in the Midwest, which equates to around 10-14 hours per year of actual seat time. Assuming you're getting 50 hours of track time per year, the claim for a year or two with your seat time would likely be equivalent to 4-5 years for me. At that point, if it breaks, even purchasing a second header would still keep me under the cost of the Racing Beat.

With that said, we know that fitment and now durability can both be had in favor of the Racing Beat. But still, when it comes to actual power, can it truly be said that the Racing Beat header makes significantly more power gains than the eBay header?

I'm willing to spend my money where I can justify it (like the set of XIDAs I just purchased), but as a college student, I'm not one to spend the extra coin for a something if its actual purpose (power) can be had for cheaper, at least for now. The motor will be out already so fitment is out the window. Durability may be less, but for the amount of time I track my car, replacing it every couple of years shouldn't be an issue. However, if it can honestly be said that the power gains from the racing beat 4-1 header are significantly more (5 whp+) than an ebay 4-1 header, it would make me more keen on considering it.
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itskrees View Post
The motor will be out already so fitment is out the window. Durability may be less, but for the amount of time I track my car, replacing it every couple of years shouldn't be an issue.
I don't have any personal experience with Ebay headers other than watching the experiences of 3 friends over the past couple weeks. One of them had his <1 year old Ebay 1.6 header crack at the track this weekend after less than a year. The other two bought Ebay headers for vvt swaps. One bought a springfield dyno 1.8 exhaust and ended up having to take the car to an exhaust shop to mate the two together because the flanges were so far off. The other didn't even try and had a custom exhaust built to work with the Ebay header, and was still paranoid about it cracking all weekend.

I'm not wasting my time with an Ebay unit. I'll either sticking with OEM 01+, buy an RB, or buy a Stahl and have a custom exhaust made with a flex pipe to hopefully prevent any potential cracking issues. It seems to me like this is just another problem caused by these engines vibrating so much.
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:16 PM   #11
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It seems like ebay is a poor choice. The two battling street tire miatas up here bought headers at the same time, one got an RB the other went RL. RB cracked in under a year right at a weld, the RL is still going strong. We've had a few cracked RBs up here that people have had repaired, talking with one of the guy's who is a welder by trade, the welds on some of them were too hot.
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpreston View Post

I don't have any personal experience with Ebay headers other than watching the experiences of 3 friends over the past couple weeks. One of them had his <1 year old Ebay 1.6 header crack at the track this weekend after less than a year. The other two bought Ebay headers for vvt swaps. One bought a springfield dyno 1.8 exhaust and ended up having to take the car to an exhaust shop to mate the two together because the flanges were so far off. The other didn't even try and had a custom exhaust built to work with the Ebay header, and was still paranoid about it cracking all weekend.

I'm not wasting my time with an Ebay unit. I'll either sticking with OEM 01+, buy an RB, or buy a Stahl and have a custom exhaust made with a flex pipe to hopefully prevent any potential cracking issues. It seems to me like this is just another problem caused by these engines vibrating so much.
Wow, thats terrible. I was under the impression that fitment issues were due to difficulty finding room to get it over the header studs while the motor was in the car. Didnt realize there were still issues once it was mounted.

That said, still interested to hear what is to be said about the power differences between the two, for the sake of future reference. Id say that pretty much swayed me a bit in the RB direction.
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Old 09-24-2013, 02:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
The Stahl's only ~150 more. Worth it over the RB?
I wish the Stahl was only $150 more. I paid $1100 for mine. Only worth it if you're looking for a specific powerband for a race class - my Stahl is specifically designed for maximized low-end torque at all costs.

My custom 4-2-1 longtube Stahl. Built in 7 pieces because it would be impossible to install otherwise.
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Old 09-24-2013, 02:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafy View Post
It seems like ebay is a poor choice. The two battling street tire miatas up here bought headers at the same time, one got an RB the other went RL. RB cracked in under a year right at a weld, the RL is still going strong. We've had a few cracked RBs up here that people have had repaired, talking with one of the guy's who is a welder by trade, the welds on some of them were too hot.
Are those typos above? The bulk of your post seems contradictory to most anecdotes and your own first sentence...

I am assuming "RB" is Racing Beat and "RL" is Raceland, aka "eBay header."
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Old 09-24-2013, 02:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrappy Jack View Post
Are those typos above? The bulk of your post seems contradictory to most anecdotes and your own first sentence...

I am assuming "RB" is Racing Beat and "RL" is Raceland, aka "eBay header."
No, RB is racing beat, RL is race land, OBX is ebay. And the RL is still the sub $1k header I would buy, though I still really really want them to make the secondaries and primaries an in longer.
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Old 09-24-2013, 03:51 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafy View Post
It seems like ebay is a poor choice. The two battling street tire miatas up here bought headers at the same time, one got an RB the other went RL. RB cracked in under a year right at a weld, the RL is still going strong. We've had a few cracked RBs up here that people have had repaired, talking with one of the guy's who is a welder by trade, the welds on some of them were too hot.
Interesting. Since my car is primarily geared towards track performance, I didn't really take regard to the RL header due to its 4-2-1 design. From what i've read the 4-2-1 keeps power around midrange whereas 4-1 keeps it around top end. It may be a bit oversimplified, but my impression has been that the general consensus is 4-1 header ideal for track, 4-2-1 ideal for street/dual purpose.

However, seeing as Savington is now running a 4-2-1 header (and a quality one at that) and from your account in regards to the raceland's durability, it may be another option to consider.

Leafy, did the two guys notice any differences in the powerbands between the RB 4-1 design versus the RL 4-2-1 design?
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Old 09-24-2013, 03:57 PM   #17
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Doesn't the Raceland have some shitty fitment issues? Judging by their low res picture, I don't see a bump to give clearance for the steering.
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Old 09-24-2013, 04:00 PM   #18
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I cant give a good comparison on the two guys since so much else was different in their cars. The reason I mentioned the extra length on the runners for the RL is because its tuned for too high of an rpm range. Based on the runner lengths, it wants your peak power to happen around 8k rpm. The 4-2-1 doesnt necessarily make more low end, they typically make a wider and less peaky power band, and in the opinion of some master header builders make more peak power than 4-1 as well.

Some people seem to have reported problems with fitment on the RL, but they normally complain about it rattling off either the tranny or the trans tunnel.
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Old 09-24-2013, 04:30 PM   #19
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What size primaries on those? My BOIGs are starting to get thinnnn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Savington View Post
I wish the Stahl was only $150 more. I paid $1100 for mine. Only worth it if you're looking for a specific powerband for a race class - my Stahl is specifically designed for maximized low-end torque at all costs.

My custom 4-2-1 longtube Stahl. Built in 7 pieces because it would be impossible to install otherwise.
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Old 09-25-2013, 12:19 AM   #20
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I've had a Raceland header for 3 or 4 years, can't remember. I got it for $93 shipped off ebay. It cracked once about a year and a half ago right at the collector and split all the way around when I was about 200 miles from home on the opposite side of the continental divide, $50 to reweld. I drove it year around through snow rain and summer track days. Still have it on the shelf in case I need to abandon the turbo setup for emissions or some other reason. It's easier to install than the OEM mani and lighter and fits just fine.
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