Michael Johnson
Associate Editor, 5.0 Mustangs & Super Fords
April 1, 2001
Photos By: Chuck James

Step By Step

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You may recognize Marco Busse’s ’93 LX coupe from our Dec. 2000 issue (“Insane Power,” p. 37). We dyno’d his car, along with 14 other hot Mustangs, to showcase different power combinations. Before a Keith Craft short-block upgrade, the Novi 2000–supercharged ’93 LX hatch put out 454 hp and 435 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels. With the hotted-up short-block, his hatch should greatly benefit from Bassani’s 5.0 Race Header system, its 3-inch X-pipe, and its equally large after-cat system.
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Up front we’re installing Bassani’s 5.0 Race Header system ($600) utilizing individual header tubes. The headers are constructed from 14-gauge steel and boast a 3/8-inch flange and stainless/graphite foil gaskets for port sealing. The X-pipe ($539) is part of Bassani’s line of Equalizer Cat Pipes featuring high-flow catalytic converters. We sent both the headers and the X-pipe to Jet-Hot to ensure a long life.
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Bassani’s new after-cat system ($681.30) is a true 3-inch competition exhaust. The mufflers are configured to provide maximum flow under full-throttle conditions. This system is directly compatible with Bassani’s competition X-pipes.
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Bassani includes this diagram to make it easier to install the headers. Each individual header is marked with a number to ensure each is installed in its proper place.
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On the passenger-side bank, the No. 4 header should be loosely installed first. Here we’re tightening the No. 1 header. Bassani recommends installing the headers from under the car. The company also recommends not tightening the headers until after you’ve installed the 4-into-1 collector.
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Once all the header tubes are loosely installed, slide on the 4-into-1 collector and tighten it using the provided hardware. Now you can go back and fully tighten the header tubes.
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Now raise the X-pipe into place. One would think a shorty X-pipe would be fairly light. This is not the case with the Bassani high-flow unit. This thing is definitely not light-duty.
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The 3-inch after-cat installs the same as any other system on the market—it just takes up a bit more space than a typical 2-1/2-inch system. Even with its larger size, we didn’t run into any interference problems.
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Bassani Quiet Thunder exhaust sys- tems feature these baffles within each tailpipe. With the baffles removed, this thing is anything but quiet. However, the baffles do a good job of providing a stealthier sound.
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We also used Interactive Systems & Technologies O2 Sensor Extension Harness Kit with our Bassani long-tubes. This kit allows you to custom-tailor the harness to exactly the length you need, without cutting the stock wiring. 5.0

When it comes to your Mustang's exhaust diameter, everyone knows bigger is not always better. Installing a 3-inch exhaust on your stock 5.0 will probably make you look cool--and stupid at the same time. Sure, 3-inch tips sticking out the back look really cool, but as soon as people find out you've got a stock engine under the hood they're not gonna think you're so hip. So at what point does a 3-inch exhaust become necessary and useful for the Mustang pilot?

For that answer we turned to Bassani's sales and product development guru Todd O'Neill who told us, "Highly modified cars utilizing a supercharger or nitrous producing 525-550 hp at the rear wheels will greatly benefit from a 3-inch exhaust." That applies to you turbo freaks as well. At this horsepower level, a 21/2-inch system doesn't have the flow characteristics needed for high-horsepower applications. Bassani designed this 3-inch system based on market demand because there are so many Mustangs out there producing this kind of horsepower. Todd says this is definitely a competition system. However, since our test system is outfitted with high-flow catalytic converters, we'd have to say it's somewhat streetable.

We were able to sit in on the installation of Bassani's newest exhaust components, including its 3-inch exhaust system, at Lugo Performance in Apopka, Florida. The test car was receiving a Keith Craft-built short-block and it seemed to be the perfect candidate for a 3-inch system. Before the short-block upgrade, the Novi 2000-supercharged '93 LX hatch ripped the dyno rollers to the tune of 454 hp and 435 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels. With the stroker between the towers, the new numbers should be right in the 3-inch-exhaust ballpark.

Bassani's 5.0 Race Header system is intended for competition applications. As with all Bassani long-tube header systems, the new design features equal-length primary tubes and stepped tube diameters to promote maximum peak torque and horsepower. In contrast, unequal-length headers normally provide a slightly broader torque band at the expense of peak torque and horsepower. As with the 3-inch exhaust, the headers are intended for highly modified 5.0 engines utilizing stock port and bolt locations. The header system can be used as an open header or with compatible Bassani X-pipe and after-cat systems.

Just aft of the headers is Bassani's 3-inch shorty X-pipe and 3-inch after-cat system. The shorty X-pipe was designed in conjunction with the long-tube competition headers. It incorporates the use of catalytic converters to promote clean emissions. The stamp-formed "X" used in Bassani products maximizes scavenging by virtue of its design and increased cross-sectional area. Both the X-pipe and after-cat benefit from stainless steel construc-tion, which means they'll be around for a long time.

Horse Sense: During tuning of certain engines—especially new ones—lean or rich air/fuel mixtures can cause hot spots well in excess of 1,300 degrees, with potentially adverse effects to the header and possibly the engine. Jet-Hot recommends the use of a large floor fan to cool the entire engine and headers during this period.