Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
June 1, 2005

Horse Sense:
When utilizing long-tube headers, the oxygen sensor is moved farther away from the exhaust port of the cylinder head. This can cause driveability problems in some applications. If your sensors are more than two years old, we suggest replacing them at the time of your long-tube header installation. Motorcraft DY-606 or DY-604s are known for their longer life. If your sensors are more than two years old, we suggest replacing them at the time of your long-tube header installation When utilizing long-tube headers, the oxygen sensor is moved farther away from the exhaust port of the cylinder head. We hope to bring some dyno results to our next installment, so stay tuned

Long-tube headers haven't changed much in the decades they've been popular for enhancing an automobile's power output. Sure, the modern versions have leak-free, ball-socket-style collectors, matching short X- or H-pipes for a driveway installation without a trip to the muffler shop, and often come ceramic coated for longevity, heat retention, and lasting good looks. However, their basic design hasn't really changed. That design is to optimize exhaust scavenging and power output by making the primary tube length as equal in length as possible. This simply isn't possible in the tight confines of an engine compartment, which is why long-tube headers need as much space as possible to allow tube routing that equalizes their lengths, often routing around the oil pan, steering linkage, and so on.

A long-tube header designed for 5.0 Mustangs is a fairly straightforward build and in this late stage of the game, you can pick from dozens of styles, including swap headers, cylinder-head-specific headers, stepped racing headers, and more. We chose the BBK long-tube headers for their precision, mandrel-bent primary tubing (which is a heavy-gauge design), and laser-cut, die-stamped flanges. These well-built headers, with optional ceramic coating, will be the last headers you'll ever buy. After ordering a set of BBK's 51/48-inch long-tubes (PN 151601; $369.99) and matching high-flow X-pipe with converters (PN 1659; $379.99), we also tacked on a set of oxygen sensor extensions (PN 1676; $44.99) to the order to make our transformation to long-tube status that much easier.

The lucky profiteer of our shopping spree was none other than Associate Editor Johnson. After installing AFR heads and a custom cam a few issues back (Top End Charge, March '05, p. 131) we promised him we'd make things right in the intake and exhaust departments since we retained the stock parts on the previous article. So check out the installation overview here-then order your headers and get busy!

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