Long Tube Headers Sound, How loud are they? (Video)

Long tube headers - How do they sound?

Long tube headers – How do they sound?

My biggest question about getting long tube headers was, “how would they sound”?  Would they be too loud?  I found several long tube headers audio bytes on YouTube, but rarely did I find one with a before and after clip that actually sounded clear.  Most were recorded with nothing more than the guy’s cell phone camera.  So, having the resources from my day job, I tried to take the quality up a notch.

Audio Setup: Canon 5D Mk III and Sony lav mic

Audio Setup: Canon 5D Mk III and Sony lav mic

 

Armed with a Canon 5D Mk III and a nice Sony mic, I recorded my exhaust before and after the long tube header install.  I also recorded a dead stop pull away and a couple of drive by’s.  Then I recorded internal ride noise with the windows up and down, and tried to find the exact RPM for the dreaded “drone” noise.  Luckily, with my particular setup, I never found obnoxious drone.

Long Tube Headers Sound Before and After Install

Long Tube Headers Sound Before and After Install

 

I mean, if you want to get really picky, I did notice a bit of drone on a steady incline, on the gas at 2700 RPM and at 85 mph.  But I never drive that fast, so I am still gonna chalk that up to no drone noise.

Long Tube Headers - Drive by

Long Tube Headers – Drive by

 

So, if you are curious like me, check out the video!  Be sure to check out my other videos, subscribe to my YouTube channel, and like and comment.   Thanks!

 

Here’s my setup:

2002 Chevy Tahoe

Comp Cams .554/.558 Lift | Dur @ .05 208/212 | LOB 115

Flowmaster Delta Flow 50 Series

Speed Engineering Long Tube Headers and ORY Pipe

Test for inside drone of long tube headers

Test for inside drone of long tube headers

 

 

So, check out the video, and be sure to check out my other videos, subscribe to my YouTube channel, and like and comment.   Thanks!

 

Short vs Long Tube Headers – My Personal Decision (Video)

Stock Exhaust Manifold still in there

Stock Exhaust Manifold still in there

My short vs long tube headers decision had been going on for at least a year – maybe longer.  At first, I desperately wanted shorty headers because I had read how much easier they were to install, and how they just “bolted on” with the stock Y pipe.  Then I read about how well made the stock exhaust manifolds were for GM trucks and that the shorty’s were a minimum improvement, but not worth the effort and the cost.  So, I accepted the thought that shorty’s were out – and put the great exhaust debate on the back burner (for like, 8 minutes).

On the other hand, I knew about the performance gains with long tube headers.  Article after article I read about how awesome it would be if I just made the effort to install them.  But they were so expensive, and what to do about the Y pipe and cats?

From what I understand, long tube headers were drastically more expensive than their shorter counterparts but then I kept seeing the same thing again and again, Speed Engineering Long Tube Headers and OR Y-Pipe package for under $400 – shipped!  WOW – those Gibson Shorty performance headers were $500.  What to do?  What to do?

Long Tube Headers and Y Pipe

Long Tube Headers and Y Pipe

So, I went for it.  Speed Engineering made the decision easy.  The worst thing that could happen is that I would get the headers on, and not be able to install the rest due to fitment issues.  So, I would go off to the exhaust shop and have them finish it up for me.

Long tube headers!  At last,  I had made a decision and they had arrived!

Exhaust manifold to Y pipe nuts can be some of the hardest to get off on the entire car

Exhaust manifold to Y pipe nuts can be some of the hardest to get off on the entire car

So here it goes!  Take it from a guy who is not a mechanic, and never did exhaust before.  Actual installation is not that big of a deal!  It’s getting those old rusty exhaust manifolds separated from the Y Pipe and unbolted from the head that is a total pain in the ass.  That’s all stuff you need to do if you go short or long.

Now, from my video (see below), you might think I got lucky.  My efforts to get those exhaust manifold to Y pipe nuts off went flawlessly.  Furthermore, you’ll notice no reference to getting bolts broken off in the head.  Lucky, you say?  No – not lucky at all.  You see, I did an engine rebuild last year.  I fought with one of the exhaust manifold nuts for days.  I twisted it, turned it, stripped it, drew blood on several occasions from it, cussed at it, cried about it, bought extractors for it, almost burned the place down hitting it with heat, and then finally beat it by grinding it down into oblivion.  As for the manifold bolts into the side of the head?  Yes, 2 of them broke off.  For this, I was a little lucky because my heads were off to the machine shop and I had the machinist do it for me.

Having said all that, YES, I can see where installing long tube headers can be a complete bitch.  But let me tell you, it is totally worth it, above any other mod I have done to the truck.  And, I’ve done a LOT!

On to the dismantling – In the video, I mention that if you want the old Y pipe out of there, you can cut it, or you must drop the transmission cross member.  I wanted to keep my stock Y pipe so I went through the hassle of dropping the cross member to get the Y pipe out.  It’s a lot of work, but I am glad I did it.

2 of the 4 long bolts that hold the transmission cross member

2 of the 4 long bolts that hold the transmission cross member

The transmission cross member has 4 massive bolts and I think the 6 nuts are 21mm.  Once you undo the 4 bolts, it will still hang on the transmission mount.  Or, at least it will hang with a 4wd because the transfer case sits on another cross member further back.  I’m not sure what the configuration is on a 2wd.  There are 2 more bolts underneath that need to come out to separate the transmission cross member from the transmission mount.  Once it was out of there, I supported the trans mount on some wood at the height it stood when the cross member was in there.  Not sure if this is required or not, but I didn’t want all that weight on the other cross member.  I was also concerned about the bolts attaching the transmission to the engine and what strain this might have on them at that angle.  But back to it……

Supporting the transmission at the mount with a block of wood

Supporting the transmission at the mount with a block of wood

Once the cross member is out, you can undo the rear 2 flange bolts and lower the Y pipe out of there.  I did it alone, but it’s probably easier (and safer) to do it with an assistant.  After that, I did the exhaust manifold to head bolts.  As for the manifold to head bolts, hit them with PB, too, and be gentle.  Having one snap off in the head is a whole world of headaches.

Like I said before, the nuts for the studs on the exhaust manifolds can be a show stopper.  Hit em with PB Blaster the night before, and if possible – beg, borrow, or steal some air tools to lighten the load.

Once you get past the two manifold headaches, you’re past the hard part.  Installation is way easier than removal. I’ll get to that in the next video.

 

So, check out the video, and be sure to check out my other videos, subscribe to my YouTube channel, and like and comment.   Thanks!

 

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Unboxing GM Truck Long Tube Headers and Y Pipe from Speed Engineering (Video)

GM Truck Long Tube Headers and Y Pipe Box Has Arrived

GM Truck Long Tube Headers and Y Pipe Box Has Arrived

Close up of the shipping "oops"

Close up of the shipping “oops”

I’ll be the first to say, I don’t care much for “un-boxing” videos and I never set out to create one.  The thing is that when my long tube headers showed up, part of the mating surface from the header to the head was sticking outside the box.  I asked my wife to grab the camera and film me open the box because I wanted some proof just in case I needed to send it back and there were any problems.

After opening the package and being relieved that there was no damage to either the long tube headers or the Y pipe, I thought that maybe the video might help someone else out who actually does like unboxings.

So, check out the video, and be sure to check out my other videos, subscribe to my YouTube channel, and like and comment.   Thanks!

 

 

Bilstein Springs and Shocks Installation (Video)

Bilstein Front & Rear Shocks and Bilstein Springs

Bilstein Front & Rear Shocks and Bilstein Springs

Bilstein Front Shock Installed

Bilstein Front Shock Installed

How to decide on which springs and shocks?  So many options, it will make your head spin.   Thanks to the guys over at www.tahoeyukonforum.com I was able to decide.  There was overwhelmingly positive feedback about these Bilstein Shocks and Springs.

If your ride height has been changed, opt for the 5100s, but for my stock ride height, I went for the 4600’s.  After getting the car up on jack stands, and the wheel and wheel well off, I started up front.  This is a very easy mod that even someone with NO experience can do.  The most important thing to keep in mind while doing this whole procedure is safety.  Make sure to use adequate jack stands, place them in the right spots on the frame, and be very careful not to hurt or kill yourself, or others.

 

Bilstein Springs Installed

Bilstein Springs Installed

Bilstein rear shocks Installed

Bilstein rear shocks Installed

For the bottom, all you have to do is hold the nut on one side as you loosen the bolt on the other.  The top is even easier.  Make sure to secure the lower control arm with a jack or jack stands so it does not slam to the pavement.  Putting the new one in is just as easy.  You may have to compress the shock a little to allow it to fit in there.

For the rears, again I lifted the car, got the wheel and wheel wells off to get easier access to the nuts and bolts.  I got both shocks off and then went to work on the springs.  To my surprise the springs just slipped out.  No spring compressor needed!  What a relief as that is a very dangerous process.

I had an assistant lift the rear differential so the springs would not fall out and then proceeded to install the new shocks.

This was one of those rare occasions where I was completely shocked at how easy this was. I was able to save hundreds by not having a shop do it for me.

So, check out the video, and be sure to check out my other videos, subscribe to my YouTube channel, and like and comment.   Thanks!