Aftermarket headers and factory long tube headers, which is better? This is a common question asked by most people who own 5.3 Silverado. The truth is – aftermarket headers are the best.
However, in the market, you will find all manner of long tube headers, but not all are worth your money.
In this article, we will discuss the top 5 best long tube headers for 5.3 Silverado. But before we do that, here is our top pick.
Our Top Pick: Hedman 69230 Chevy Pu Small Block 4Wd
This is a long tube header that will give you value for your money. At its price, it will deliver an amazing performance that you can’t find in any other header. And the best part is that its available on Amazon. Click here to check the latest price and buy it today.
Main Types of Tube Headers
In the market, you will find the following types of tube headers. Each of them will give a different performance for 5.3 Silverado. They include; Long Tube Header and Short Tube Headers.
- Long Tube Headers
In this article, we will focus on this particular tube header. Long tube headers are for the racer. They are a perfect replacement for your original catalytic converts.
The headers are made of mandrel bent tubes or cast steel. Their structure makes them complex to install over your car. However, when equipped on your car, they give an excellent performance than the short tube header.
The header is efficient for keeping the air longer hence reducing the heat before it reaches the exhaust tubing. As a result, the torque and power rating of your vehicle improves with the long tube header.
They are the perfect aftermarket replacement tube headers.
- Short Tube Headers
This is not our focus in this article, but it would be good if you know their difference with the long tube header.
The short tube headers are for low rage power. They are headers for connecting mostly with factory catalytic converters to allow a manifold change in areas with emission regulations.
The tube head is short in size and easy to install as compared to the long tube headers.
Top 5 Best Long Tube Headers for 5.3 Silverado
The following are the best long tube headers for 5.3 Silver in the market. All of these headers are available on Amazon. Buy any of them and install them over your car.
This is so far the best header for 5.3 Silverado you will find in the market. One thing you will love about this header is its cost versus the value it will give you.
Hedman header has a 1.625 inches manifold system and a 3 inches collector. The collector is a gasket free ball and socket system.
Its construction is strong with a ¼” wall thickness made of mild steel as a result of its thickness; it’s durable and cheap at the same time.
- A/C compatible
- Automatic and Manual transmission column
- Round header port
The header is available on Amazon. Click here to check the latest price and buy it on Amazon today.
Kooks are strong and powerful long tube headers made of durable T304 stainless steel. Expect the header to give you durable performance. The stainless steel makes them crack resistant.
Due to the header’s precision machining, they will deliver a maximum flow and heat reduction ratios to the exhaust system from the Silverado engine.
The collectors in the Kooks tube come with scavenger spikes that improve the overall system efficiency.
- Made of stainless steel
- Total weight of 32 pounds
- Designed for maximum power
The kook long tube header is available on Amazon. Click here to check the latest price and buy them on Amazon today.
Here are another 304 stainless steel long tube headers. If you are not aware of the construction material of a header, it makes a huge difference in the performance of a header.
Long tube headers with stainless steel headers are durable and deliver quality and high performance than most of the other construction material.
The tube has a Y-pipe exit configuration of 3 inches. The exit has an optional 3 inches reducer.
When installing over your car, the Speed Engineering Truck SUV 17/8 Inches Longtube Headers & Y-Pipe gives an additional 25 Horsepower.
- 304 polished stainless steel
- Works perfectly on the 6-speed transmission
- Mandrel Bent Tubing
The long tube header is available on Amazon. Click here to check the latest price and buy it from Amazon.
Here is an affordable option for anyone who is on budget. The header is made of durable 18-gauge mild steel. On top of it, it comes with a metallic, ceramic coating that gives it an extra performance and optimization.
The ceramic coating lowers under-hood temperatures and consequently improves overall performance. Its primary diameter is 1 5/8 inches, and the collector diameter is 2.5 inches. It comes with gaskets and hardware.
- Durable 18-gauge tubing
- Comes with complete hardware and gaskets
- Available in metal, ceramic finishes
If this sounds like a long tube header you are looking for, click here to check its latest price and buy it today from Amazon.
Just like the other Kook long tube header we discussed previously, this one is also made with T304 stainless steel to deliver a durable performance.
The header comes with 3/8” flanges to provide excellent sealing to the engine block. Its ports are well designed to deliver a fast-flowing path and improve the efficiency of the system.
So, with this header, you can expect maximum performance for a long period.
- Comes with installation hardware and gaskets
- 1 7/8 inches and 3 inches diameters
- Used together with Kooks Y-pipe
To buy this, go to Amazon. Click here to check the latest price and buy it today.
Factors to Consider Before Buying A Long Tube Headers for 5.3 Silverado
When buying a long tube header 5.3 Silverado, you need to consider some factors that will inform your decision. The following are the key things you need to consider if you wish to get the best long tube header.
Several factors will determine the diameter of the long tube header you will buy. Some of these factors include engine size, the intended use of your Silverado, and horsepower.
Don’t make a mistake made by most car owners who think the bigger the diameter the better the tube header. Your diameter should most importantly meet the requirement of your car, engine size, and horsepower.
Long tube headers use a 4-1 design. However, in the market, you will find other long headers that have a “Tri-Y” configurations.
The Tri-Y merges all the four primaries into two large secondary pipes that lead into one collector. These two secondary pipes maintain a higher velocity for a longer period. As a result, the Tri-Y has a powerful torque than 4-1 headers.
So, if you are looking for a more powerful torque in a long tube header, consider buying the one with a Tri-Y configuration.
Most long tube headers for 5.3 Silverado are made with either stainless steel or mild steel. The benefit of buying a standard steel construction is on the cost. The Mild steel cost lower than any other type of stainless steel. However, it doesn’t give the best durability.
When looking at the construction material, you are putting into the balance price and the durability of the header.
Stainless steel is the most expensive and costs more than all the other construction materials. We recommend you get a stainless-steel long tube header. It will serve you for many years.
Long Tube Header Coating
Something else you need to consider apart from the construction material is the coating substance. There are natural or coated headers.
Ceramic coating is the most common coating you will get today. It adds to the thermal protection as compared to the natural coating.
The ceramic coating keeps combustion heat inside the primaries.
Some other headers come with a painted or natural finish. These are more affordable alternatives. However, they don’t give the same performance as the ceramic coating.
Frequently Asked Questions
1.Do long tube headers increase horsepower?
Long tube headers keep hot air for a longer time before its released. This results in improved oxygen intake which in turn boosts the horsepower. The horsepower and torque are dependent on the RPM range. Long tube headers build a high power in mid to high RP range. This is why it’s the best option for high-rev vehicles.
2. What’s the Main Difference Between long tube headers and short tube headers?
The main difference is the length of the primary collector. Long tube headers have a longer primary tube length that needs more space to work with.
3. Do Long Tuber headers improve gas mileage?
In most cases, gas mileage remains the same both for a long and short tube header. What improves is horsepower.
We have discussed 5 long tube headers. These are the best you can find in the market. Choose one and buy it for your 5.3 Silverado.