Jim Smart
June 15, 2010

Every company has a dark side. For Hooker Exhaust Systems, that dark side is their new ceramic-coated Dark Side long-tube headers. Instead of a shiny, bright ceramic coating, these headers are satin black, which makes them virtually invisible in your Mustang's engine compartment. The ceramic coating will not rust, flake, or burn off. It's there for the duration and could conceivably outlast your Mustang.

Because Mustang engine compartments are tight, there's never been an easy header installation in the marque's 46-year history and these Hooker long-tubes are no exception. However, they're worth the effort in what you'll gain in terms of power and quality.

If your Mustang has power steering, you will need to disconnect the power cylinder underneath to get it out of your way. Chances are you'll have to cut your exhaust pipes and build a fresh H-pipe designed to tie the Hooker collectors into the rest of your exhaust system. This is where you'll need the talents of a good exhaust shop. We suggest an H-pipe with a balance tube for better performance and sound.

We enlisted the help of Gil's Muffler Shop in Northridge, California, to tackle the installation of our Hooker Dark Side scavengers, which are replacing an old set of try-Y headers on a well-worn '65 Mustang hardtop. Everything that could leak on this car leaked, which made the installation challenging and, at times, frustrating. Gil's Muffler took it in stride.

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