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Old 09-26-2012, 12:53 PM   #1
xluben
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Default Invidia Equal Length Race Header Review

I have been looking at getting an EL header for quite some time now. I didn't want to spend a fortune, and I wanted to keep my GrimmSpeed EWG uppipe, if possible. I had been looking around for quite some time and was having trouble making up my mind. I came across this testing that TopSpeed did of the Invidia Equal Length Race header and I was very impressed. After a while of searching I eventually found one for a pretty good price and bough it.

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...8&postcount=18



I got the new header, and a put it on my car last night. I bought the header used, but it was in very good condition. It has a titanium ceramic coating on it for heat retention and corrosion resistance. The coating had some wear in it, but overall it was looking pretty good. There wasn't any flaking that I could see. The header has some pretty nice looking cast flanges. I cleaned them up when I received it, and look like they'll seal up just fine.



The header itself appears to be of really nice quality. The bends are all the nice and smooth and it appears the junctions are all at shallow angles and should promote good flow. The O2 sensor bung is directly between the two runners, immediately before the uppipe. I was amazed by how light it was. Compared to the stock cast header or a high end offering that uses schedule 10 piping (like Fobia or Full Race) it seems like it weighs half as much.



This lightness is good for weight savings, but not so good for thermal capacity/retention, so I chose to wrap it. For wrap I got the DEI Titanium wrap. It is newer and much easier to work with than traditional wrap. It is soft to the touch and does not require any coating afterwards. I bought one 50 foot by 2 inch roll and it was barely enough. I chose to wrap the runners in pairs because I thought it would retain heat better, but I don't know if this is true.



Using 2" wrap and doing them in pairs will definitely give you a slightly "lumpier" final product than wrapping each runner individually with 1" wrap, but as long as it holds heat, I don' t really mind. And it definitely saved some time wrapping it that way. The SS zip ties I got were from Harbor Freight. They are MUCH cheaper than getting DEI branded ones. If you put a screwdriver in the notch in the zip tie, and then grab the loose end with a needle nose and twist it towards the screw driver you can actually pull them quite tight.



Installing it was only slightly more difficult than stock. The first issue is the GrimmSpeed uppipe flex joint blocking one of the studs off the head. This is always an issue when I have done work that involves removing the header (even with the stock headers). The flex joint in the uppipe is in a horrible spot and makes it nearly impossible to get a socket on to that nut. I have been using a ratcheting strap to pull the uppipe to the side so I can get to it, but it's still a pain.



The second issue was the lack of a flex joint. The flex joint that some headers have makes them much easier to install. Used headers that are solid pipes just aren't likely to line up quite right. I had to slide it onto one of the flanges and then use another ratcheting strap to "stretch" the header and get it onto the studs on the other side. Once I got it on it bolted down nicely. I used new GrimmSpeed gaskets and they sealed up great. The last small note is that the wire off of the O2 sensor would not reach to plug in. I had to unbolt the bracket holding the connector to the head. After I did this, it reaches fine.



When I got everything finished up and started the car it was immediately obvious that my car now sounds like a Honda. Haha. Maybe not exactly, but it a significantly different sound, and much more Honda-like. The rumble just isn't there anymore. I don't really mind. Sound isn't too big of a deal to me (as long as it's not too loud). If it makes good power, then I don't care if it sounds like a Honda. I probably actually prefer the quietness.



With the Greddy exhaust, cold idle is still pretty loud, but less boomy. Warm idle is very quiet now (even with the can style exhaust). Cruising around it's noticeably quieter. I can hear tire noise now. First gear sounds much louder in comparison. Once I go WOT and the EWG opens, that sounds a bit different too. Probably high pitched? The sound is definitely different, and that won't appeal to everyone, but for me it's not an issue, and possibly even preferred.



I did a few pull un-tuned it didn't change my peak boost much at all (using a MBC). AFR's are a bit leaner. Car will be re-tuned again sometime soon. Even without tuning, the low and midrange feel much stronger. Boost comes on noticeably sooner, especially when the headers are hot. My spool is now quick enough that I can do a 50-100mph in 3rd gear the whole time and have it be pretty quick (in boost the whole time). Maybe quicker than using 2nd and 3rd due to the lack of a shift. Top end may be a little better than before, but feels similar. No plots yet, but I should have some whenever Nuke wants to meet up!



So far I'm very happy with them. They seem very well made, I like the sound, and the initial look at power/response seems very positive. I am looking forward to seeing the results after tuning, but the butt dyno is really pleased. I hope these headers last, because I really like them! I have a couple in car videos that I will try to post soon, and I'll try to make an outside of the car video as well.
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:58 PM   #2
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Post a video already! Is it bad to push you car with those headers and no tune? I'm curious to see what kind of gains you'll achieve after doing so.
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:00 PM   #3
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Last edited by xluben; 09-26-2012 at 10:35 PM.
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:01 PM   #4
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Here's a video comparing the sound of the stock headers to that of the Invidia equal length headers:


The best comparison (IMO) is near the end when I'm bouncing on the LC rev limiter.

Last edited by xluben; 09-26-2012 at 10:35 PM.
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadKillDMD View Post
Post a video already! Is it bad to push you car with those headers and no tune? I'm curious to see what kind of gains you'll achieve after doing so.
Video(s) soon. It's not preferred to run it without a tune. I did one pull to confirm that the AFR's and/or boost didn't go way out of whack, but it all still seems pretty reasonable. I was tuned pretty rich, so now I'm on the leaner side, but not overly lean.
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:11 PM   #6
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I was wondering if you were ever going to pull the trigger on an equal length exhaust manifold.. Great write up! as always
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:36 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by RoadKillDMD View Post
I was wondering if you were ever going to pull the trigger on an equal length exhaust manifold.. Great write up! as always
Thanks! I've had my eye on them for a while, just never pulled the trigger. I'm glad I finally did!
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:42 PM   #8
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So damn jealous, great write up!
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Old 09-26-2012, 04:02 PM   #9
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Need video xluben!
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Old 09-26-2012, 04:10 PM   #10
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I should have known that photos wouldn't be enough! I'll get a couple videos up as soon as I can.
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Old 09-26-2012, 06:37 PM   #11
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:07 PM   #12
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Old 09-26-2012, 10:35 PM   #13
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Here's a video comparing the sound of the stock headers to that of the Invidia equal length headers:


The best comparison (IMO) is near the end when I'm bouncing on the LC rev limiter.
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:06 AM   #14
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Because, racecar

Sounds amazing, especially in low RPM's. Does taking the rumble away deaden the drone at all?
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:22 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadKillDMD View Post
Because, racecar

Sounds amazing, especially in low RPM's. Does taking the rumble away deaden the drone at all?
Yes, it does seem to have less drone. Overall it's just quieter all around.
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Old 09-28-2012, 04:08 PM   #16
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very nice review as always!

i always want to go with equal headers but the fact that most of aftermarket headers eventually all go crack.. so that's holding me back.. =(
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:18 PM   #17
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I got tuned the other night, and the EL header did squeeze out some more power.



The real difference (as confirmed by the butt dyno) is the quicker spool and much better response. It is around 300rpm's sooner to 20psi (ie. at 3,600rpm's the EL header is at 20psi and the stock header was only at 13psi), and that is a noticeable difference on the street. The translates into a much broader powerband. The low/mid range torque is a huge difference. Between 3,200rpm's and 4,200rpm's it has 50 to 70 ft-lbs of torque more than the stock header! Past peak torque the difference is around 20 ft-lbs and that holds until redline.

Looking at the boost curve it is interesting to see that peak boost and boost all the way to redline was slightly lower than before, but the car is making more power! This is very similar to what TopSpeed saw with their testing. The tuning that was done to my car was to flatten the AFR's back out and added a very small amount of timing. Overall the car feels great with the new header. The end results is that the 50-100mph time is quicker using only 3rd gear than it is using 2nd and 3rd gear! The powerband is that wide!

*Note: The baseline for this comparison was a recent log with the Greddy Ti-C exhaust and stock header. The numbers are slightly lower than what I have posted in my Greddy Ti-C review because I updated Virtual Dyno to use the correct 3rd gear ratio for my PAR gears (slightly shorter ratio, 1.31 vs 1.296), and this lowered the power figures slightly. The actual peak numbers are just numbers, but the shape of the curves and the differences between the two are what tell the story.
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:25 PM   #18
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The 50-100mph time for a 3rd gear pull went from 4.6-4.7 seconds with the stock header, down to about 4.3 seconds with the EL header. This is due to the turbo spooling up sooner and being in a stronger part of the powerband by the time it reaches 50mph.

Invidia Equal Length Header (~4.3 seconds):


Stock Header (4.6-4.7 seconds):

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Old 09-29-2012, 12:38 PM   #19
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:slowclap: Almost pushing 500 torque now! Nice gains, +20hp +25tq, super fast spool! Strange how it held lower boost after it hit peak.. So, what's next?
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:41 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadKillDMD View Post
:slowclap: Almost pushing 500 torque now! Nice gains, +20hp +25tq, super fast spool! Strange how it held lower boost after it hit peak.. So, what's next?
On the local Dynojet I was in the 490's WTQ with the stock header and stock exhaust. I'm curious to see what I'd be at now

But the gains were quite nice with the header. Especially the increased power band. The earlier spool is very nice to have.
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Old 09-29-2012, 01:18 PM   #21
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Have you ever done a virtual dyno in mustang mode?
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Old 09-29-2012, 01:19 PM   #22
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Have you ever done a virtual dyno in mustang mode?
Yes, it is 14% lower. I've found it to read lower than most Mustang dyno's. The Dynojet setting is nearly spot on with my local Dynojet.
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:27 AM   #23
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I can't even imagine driving something like this. Stock power gets me into enough trouble as it is.

Cool to see how much faster it spools though. You picked up 50whp at 4k rpm for crying out loud.

The scoopless, rumbleless, overall understatedness of this car must confuse people when they blink and it's just gone...
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:37 AM   #24
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My car really doesn't get much of any attention out on the roads.
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Old 11-24-2012, 03:08 PM   #25
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This thread and especially the videos have made me decide to get these headers. What metal ring are you using to hold the wrap on?

I'm planning to coat + wrap when I get them, looked like it worked out well here.
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