Here is the Mechanic Guides take on headers for your 5.3L Silverado motors.

We want to start off by explaining to my less experienced readers what headers are. Headers to an auto mechanic are the first system by which exhaust gasses leaver the engine. These are the tubes that are connected to the motor head and allow the gasses to leave the engine in a controlled flow.

The 5 Best Long Tube Headers for 5.3 Silverado:

  1. Pace Setter 72C2265 Performance Armor Coat Long Tube Exhaust Header – the best long tube headers for 5.3 Silverado
  2. DNA Motoring HDS-GY99 Stainless Steel Exhaust Header Manifold
  3. Pace Setter 70-2265 Performance Long Tube Exhaust Header
  4. Kooks 28602201 Header
  5. Kooks Custom Headers 28602401 Stainless Steel Headers

Top-Rated Long Tube Headers for 5.3 Silverado List:

Preview
Pace Setter 72C2265 Performance Armor Coat Long Tube Exhaust Header
DNA Motoring HDS-GY99 Stainless Steel Exhaust Header Manifold
Pace Setter 70-2265 Performance Long Tube Exhaust Header
Patriot Exhaust H8059-1 1-5/8" Specific Fit Exhaust Header for Small Block Chevrolet
PaceSetter 70-2260 Performance Long Tube Exhaust Header
Silverado & Sierra 1 7/8" Longtube Headers & Y-Pipe 2007-2013 (4.8L, 5.3L, 6.0L)
Name
Pace Setter 72C2265 Performance Armor Coat Long Tube Exhaust Header
DNA Motoring HDS-GY99 Stainless Steel Exhaust Header Manifold
Pace Setter 70-2265 Performance Long Tube Exhaust Header
Patriot Exhaust H8059-1 1-5/8" Specific Fit Exhaust Header for Small Block Chevrolet
PaceSetter 70-2260 Performance Long Tube Exhaust Header
Silverado & Sierra 1 7/8" Longtube Headers & Y-Pipe 2007-2013 (4.8L, 5.3L, 6.0L)
Out Rating
Prime
-
-
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Feature 1
Armor coating helps in avoiding discolor or peel like situation that usually happens with a chrome finish or black gloss paint.
The four into one off-road friendly headers are designed to enable the gasses to flow effectively.
These not only look good with their seamless one-piece design but are also well priced.
Comes complete with everything you need ( gaskets, header bolts and collector reducers)
Easy to install - great for beginners with basic skills
Race version with 304 Polished Stainless steel
Feature 2
Durable finish
Chrome polished
Appealing design
Metallic Ceramic Coating
Metallic-ceramic coating
Mandrel Bent Tubing
Feature 3
Armor coating
Affordable
Highly effective
Durable 18-gauge tubing
Plasma cut, precision machined
Merge Spike
Preview
Pace Setter 72C2265 Performance Armor Coat Long Tube Exhaust Header
Name
Pace Setter 72C2265 Performance Armor Coat Long Tube Exhaust Header
Out Rating
Prime
-
Feature 1
Armor coating helps in avoiding discolor or peel like situation that usually happens with a chrome finish or black gloss paint.
Feature 2
Durable finish
Feature 3
Armor coating
Details
Preview
DNA Motoring HDS-GY99 Stainless Steel Exhaust Header Manifold
Name
DNA Motoring HDS-GY99 Stainless Steel Exhaust Header Manifold
Out Rating
Prime
Feature 1
The four into one off-road friendly headers are designed to enable the gasses to flow effectively.
Feature 2
Chrome polished
Feature 3
Affordable
Details
Preview
Pace Setter 70-2265 Performance Long Tube Exhaust Header
Name
Pace Setter 70-2265 Performance Long Tube Exhaust Header
Out Rating
Prime
-
Feature 1
These not only look good with their seamless one-piece design but are also well priced.
Feature 2
Appealing design
Feature 3
Highly effective
Details
Preview
Patriot Exhaust H8059-1 1-5/8" Specific Fit Exhaust Header for Small Block Chevrolet
Name
Patriot Exhaust H8059-1 1-5/8" Specific Fit Exhaust Header for Small Block Chevrolet
Out Rating
Prime
-
Feature 1
Comes complete with everything you need ( gaskets, header bolts and collector reducers)
Feature 2
Metallic Ceramic Coating
Feature 3
Durable 18-gauge tubing
Details
Preview
PaceSetter 70-2260 Performance Long Tube Exhaust Header
Name
PaceSetter 70-2260 Performance Long Tube Exhaust Header
Out Rating
Prime
Feature 1
Easy to install - great for beginners with basic skills
Feature 2
Metallic-ceramic coating
Feature 3
Plasma cut, precision machined
Details
Preview
Silverado & Sierra 1 7/8" Longtube Headers & Y-Pipe 2007-2013 (4.8L, 5.3L, 6.0L)
Name
Silverado & Sierra 1 7/8" Longtube Headers & Y-Pipe 2007-2013 (4.8L, 5.3L, 6.0L)
Out Rating
Prime
-
Feature 1
Race version with 304 Polished Stainless steel
Feature 2
Mandrel Bent Tubing
Feature 3
Merge Spike
Details

REVIEWS YOU CAN TRUST 

We strive to always give you genuine, accurate information. To do this, all of mechanicguides.com reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience. This knowledge comes from a team of automotive journalists and an independent mechanic, Steve “Whip” Whipple who has 11 years of experience in the auto industry. For more information, see here.

Aftermarket headers are usually superior to factory headers, which are also called manifolds. Manifolds are usually made of standard cast aluminum alloys, which are heavier than aftermarket headers and also come with general internal casting imperfections that still meet the strict emission requirements. However, these imperfections lower the efficiency of the hot exhaust gas flow and lower overall performance.

Aftermarket headers are cast and machined to perfection by auto enthusiasts seeking an improved and optimized motor performance. There are two types of head, the short and the long. In this guide, I will present only Silverado 5.3 long tube headers.  I will discuss the difference between the two types at the end of this article.

Best Headers for 5.3 Silverado Reviews:

1. Pace Setter 72C2265 Performance Armor Coat Long Tube Exhaust Header – the best long tube headers for 5.3 Silverado

Pace Setter 72C2265 Performance Armor Coat Long Tube Exhaust Header
  • Polished 2000-degree metallic ceramic coating
  • CNC-machined, port-matched thick steel flanges provide postive seal at the head and unrestriced flow into the primary tubes
  • Unsurpassed fit and easy to install with basic skills. Pace setter headers are designed with easy bolt-on installation in mind (some vehicles may require welding or fabrication)
  • Gaskets included;Connects without hassle to the stock exhaust on most models. "Off Road" extensions and Y-pipes available for long tube headers.
  • Includes necessary gasket and fasteners for installation

If you’re looking for affordable headers that look the part then these are your best bet. These headers not only improve the appearance of your engine bay but also work to improve the flow of exhaust and thereby improve the performance and sound. 

A unique feature of PaceSetter’s metallic headers is that they’re unlikely to discolor or peel, like what usually happens with a chrome finish or black gloss paint. It’s because of their special “ArmorCoat”. Pace Setter offers a three-year guarantee on the coating, which is sprayed using a high temp curing process. 

Like most aftermarket headers, these also reduce the exhaust backpressure and scavenge the cylinders and the cylinder heads to offer better combustion which in turn improves performance and sound of your 5.3 Silverado. 

Specifications:

  •       Applicable for racing purposes
  •       CNC-machined 3/8 inch thick flanges
  •       16-gauge mandrel-bent tubing
  •       Port matching for reduced back pressure
  •       3-year limited warranty
  •       Hardware and gaskets included

2. DNA Motoring HDS-GY99 Stainless Steel Exhaust Header Manifold

DNA Motoring HDS-GY99 Stainless Steel Exhaust Header Manifold
  • Precision machined Steel flanges that provide a tight seal at the head and allows a high flow rate through the primary tubes
  • Made from high quality T304 Stainless Steel for strength & durability
  • Constructed with TIG welded CNC machine flange for precision & fitment
  • All tubing is mandrel-bent
  • Comes with metal gasket

The manifolds typically used in most versions of the 5.3L Chevy motor have been designed to blend the gasses from all eight cylinders as effectively as possible. On the other hand, DNA Motoring’s four into one off-road-friendly headers are designed to enable the exhaust gasses to flow from each of the two banks of the V8 motor i.e. four-cylinders from each side. 

The custom tubing on these headers is claimed to reduce backpressure and improve the flow of exhaust gasses, giving you more horsepower and torque. The added benefit of the custom tubing, of course, is the improved sound, so if you’re into loud trucks then this is the one to go for.

Specifications:

  •       Metallic color
  •       T-304 Full Stainless Steel material
  •       Chrome Polished Stainless Steel surface finish
  •       Inlet/ Outlet: 1.75″ / 2.25″
  •       Precision machined Steel flanges for a denser flow rate via the tubes
  •       Metal gasket included 

3. Pace Setter 70-2265 Performance Long Tube Exhaust Header

Pace Setter 70-2265 Performance Long Tube Exhaust Header
  • CNC-machined, port-matched thick steel flanges provide postive seal at the head and unrestriced flow into the primary tubes
  • All tubing is mandrel-bent, 16-gauge carbon steel for excellent durability
  • Available with standard black paint finish
  • Unsurpassed fit and easy to install with basic skills
  • Gaskets included. 3 inch high volume collector

These specific set of headers by Pace Setter have been designed for optimum performance and sound. They not only look good with their seamless one-piece design and a great finish but are also well priced. These headers improve the performance by reducing the backpressure and rummaging the cylinders itself in a more efficient way than stock headers. Featuring 3/8″ CNC machined, port matched flanges and 1-3/4″ primaries, the flanges allow the exhaust gasses to pass in a proper firing sequence for better cylinder evacuation.

Specifications:

  •       CNC-machined, port-matched steel flanges for a solid seal as well as unrestricted flow into the tubing.
  •       Mandrel-bent tubing made of carbon steel for longevity.
  •       Gloss black paint finish
  •       Optimum fit and easy to install
  •       Gaskets include a 3-inch high volume collector

4. Kooks 28602201 Header

Kooks 28602201 Header (14+ GM 1500 Series Truck 5.3L / 6.2L 1 3/4in x 3in SS LT)
  • Most orders delivered 2-3 days when purchased from AutoPartsWAY
  • Comes with full manufacturer warranty
  • Most orders leave warehouse same day

Kooks long tube headers are handmade using either 18-gauge steel or T304 stainless steel which delivers longer life and more durable performance. They are essentially crack resistant and due to their precision machining provide maximum flow and heat reduction ratios from the engine to the exhaust system.

These precision machined parts come with 3/8” flanges that provide good sealing properties with the engine block.

The ports are all hand ground to ensure a fast-flowing path, and the collectors come with scavenger spikes that improved the overall efficiency of the system.

The kit comes with all bolts, studs, and gaskets as expected form a Kooks kit.

5. Kooks Custom Headers 28602401 Stainless Steel Headers

Kooks Custom Headers 28602401 Stainless Steel Headers
  • 1 7/8in x 3in SS LT Headers
  • Used With Kooks Y-Pipe
  • Gaskets & Inst Hardware Includ

This is another fine example of Kooks long tube header. This one is also handmade using either 18-gauge steel or T304 stainless steel that delivers longer life and more durable performance. They are essentially crack resistant and due to their precision machining provide maximum flow and heat reduction ratios from the engine to the exhaust system.

These precision machined parts come with 3/8” flanges that provide good sealing properties with the engine block.

The ports are all hand ground to ensure a fast-flowing path, and the collectors come with scavenger spikes that improved the overall efficiency of the system.

This kit replaces the part number 28602400, and this kit can only be used if you have a Kooks Y-Pie.

6. Hedman 69230 Chevy Pu Small Block 4Wd

Sale
Hedman 69230 Chevy Pu Small Block 4Wd
9 Reviews
Hedman 69230 Chevy Pu Small Block 4Wd
  • Hedman Hedders 69230 Standard Duty Uncoated Headers; Tube Size 1 5/8 in.; Collector Size 3 in.; Long Tube; Incl. Headers/Gaskets/3 Bolt Adapter/Mtg. Hardware;

There are headers, and then there are Hedman Headers. These give a very reasonable cost-value ratio. The Hedman headers are a 1.625” tubular manifold system with a 3” collector. The collector is a ball and socket and is gasket free. These are uncoated standard flange style with a ¼” wall thickness made of mild steel.

Specifications

  • A/C compatible
  • Automatic Transmission column and floor
  • Manual Transmission column and floor
  • Exhaust system diameter is 5”
  • Round header port with #27500 gasket
  • Reducer size is 5” and the reducer is included
  • Total weight 18Kgs
  • Comes with all gaskets, seals, and hardware

7. Patriot Exhaust H8059-1 1-5/8″ Specific Fit Exhaust Header for Small Block Chevrolet

Patriot Exhaust H8059-1 1-5/8" Specific Fit Exhaust Header for Small Block Chevrolet
  • Patriot offers headers for many applications at prices you can afford
  • Durable 18-gauge tubing
  • Comes complete with gaskets, header bolts and collector reducers
  • Available in three finishes; uncoated for individual customizing, chrome finish for that show quality shine or with Patriot's very popular metallic ceramic coating
  • Limited one year warranty

The Patriot header is made of a durable 18-gauge mild steel and comes with a metallic, ceramic coating for extra optimization. The metallic, ceramic coating lowers under-hood temperatures, thereby improving overall performance.

This is a full-length header with standard flange and metallic, ceramic coating. The primary tube diameter is 1 5/8” steel, and the collector diameter is 2.5”. This kit comes with all the hardware and gaskets.

8. PaceSetter 70-2260 Performance Long Tube Exhaust Header

PaceSetter 70-2260 Performance Long Tube Exhaust Header
  • CNC-machined, port-matched thick steel flanges provide postive seal at the head and unrestriced flow into the primary tubes
  • All tubing is mandrel-bent, 16-gauge carbon steel for excellent durability
  • Available with standard black paint finish or optional ARMOR*Coat metallic ceramic coating
  • Unsurpassed fit and easy to install with basic skills
  • Gaskets included

PaceSetter Long Tube headers are considered to be leaders in this niche. They are manufactured with Flash-controlled precision and are all made of 16-gauge steel tubing with 0.6” wall thickens. This is a smooth mandrel system that is designed to maximize exhaust flow rates. The flanges are all precision machined, and the O-rings are welded over milled ports for maximum sealing properties.

This model comes with a 3/8” flange head, 1 5/8” tubing diameter and a 3” diameter collector.

You can get this in a standard black paint finish or ARMOR Coat. The Armor coat is PaceSetter’s polished metallic-ceramic coating that withstands and handles temperatures up to 2,000 degrees F

9. Speed Engineering Truck SUV 1 7/8″ Longtube Headers & Y-Pipe (2007-2013)

Silverado & Sierra 1 7/8" Longtube Headers & Y-Pipe 2007-2013 (4.8L, 5.3L, 6.0L)
  • Mandrel Bent Tubing, CNC Machined Flanges
  • Race Version, 304 Polished Stainless Steel
  • 1 7/8" Primaries, Standard Graphite Manifold Gaskets
  • 2007-2013 (2wd & 4wd) Will work on 6 Speed Transmissions
  • Gains over 25rwhp

Speed Engineering headers manufacture their components from 304 stainless steel. This material delivers higher performance and quality than most steels. All parts are CNC machined and come with standard graphite manifold gaskets that seal perfectly the polished 304 steel finish.

All headers are mandrel bent tubing welded with TIG and polished for perfect exhaust flow properties. This model is a race version that comes with “NO” Air & EGR fittings.

The primaries are 1 7/8” and the collector is 3” with a 3.5″ Y-Pipe Exit/w Optional 3″ Reducer. This header will improve your power with an extra 25HP.

The Two Types of Tube Headers (Manifolds)

Short Tube Headers

Short tube headers low to mid-range RPM power. These manifolds are perfect for the everyday driver and connect to factory catalytic converters, which allows you the privilege of changing your manifold in states emission-controlled laws. Due to their size, they are easier to install than the long tube headers and are usually made of mandrel bent steel tubes.

Long Tube Headers

Long tube headers are designed for the racer and will usually come to replace and remove your factory catalytic converters. As such, these headers can be illegal in some states. They are usually made of cast steel or mandrel bent tubes, are more complex in installation, but provide much better performance enhancement characteristics than the short headers. Essentially, long headers keep the exhaust gas flow for a longer time, reducing their heat when they reach the exhaust tubing. This improves the power and torque rating of your vehicle, and as such, long headers are considered the perfect aftermarket part for racing.

Installation Tips

All vehicles are different, check your vehicles year and model, and only buy a kit that will fit your vehicle. Also, note that installation depends on the type of vehicle and the part you are installing. Each kit has different assembly parameters, so there are some general rules, and these are:

  1. If you have made any modifications, check to see that they will not interfere with a long header installation.
  2. Always make sure you have all the tools for the process at hand.
  3. Keep a clean work surface, which in this case will be the underside of your vehicle.
  4. Disconnect the vehicle’s battery before starting work
  5. Remove all spark plugs, boots, and
  6. Use a proper jack to raise your car according to specific installation requirements.
  7. Never buy a kit that doesn’t come with installation instructions.
  8. Read the installation instructions first, fully, before commencing.
  9. I suggest you make your tools available in step form; it makes it easier to perform each step.