Best Long Tube Headers for 5.3 Silverado: A 2018’s List for Your Convenience!

Long Tube Headers for 5.3 Silverado
Written by Ken Coul

Hi, I’m Ken Coul, your online mechanic, and auto freak. So here is my take on headers for your 5.3L Silverado motors.

I 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.

Top-Rated Long Tube Headers for 5.3 Silverado List:

PhotoProduct nameFeatureProsMore info
1. Kooks 28602201 Header1. Kooks 28602201 HeaderThis is the Kooks #28602201 Header

  • Constructed of stainless steel

  • O2 sensor extensions and race cats

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2. Kooks Custom Headers 28602401 Stainless Steel Headers2. Kooks Custom Headers 28602401 Stainless Steel HeadersThis is the Kooks #28602401 2014+ GM 1500 Series Truck / 2015+ GM 1500 Series SUV 1 7/8" X 3" Header

  • 1 7/8" x 3" Stainless Steel Long Tube Headers

  • Gaskets and all installation hardware included

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3. Hedman 69230 Chevy Pu Small Block 4Wd3. Hedman 69230 Chevy Pu Small Block 4WdThis is the Hedman #69230 Standard Uncoated Headers; 1-5/8" Tube Dia; 3" Coll; FULL-LENGTH Design

  • Total weight 18Kgs

  • A/C compatible

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4. Patriot Exhaust H8059-1 1-5/84. Patriot Exhaust H8059-1 1-5/8" Specific Fit Exhaust Header for Small Block ChevroletThis is the Patriot exhaust # H8059-1

  • Metallic Ceramic Coating

  • Durable 18-gauge tubing

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5. PaceSetter 70-2260 Performance Long Tube Exhaust Header5. PaceSetter 70-2260 Performance Long Tube Exhaust HeaderThis is the PaceSetter #70-2260 Performance Long Tube Exhaust Header

  • Metallic-ceramic coating

  • Plasma cut, precision machined

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6. Speed Engineering Truck SUV 1 7/86. Speed Engineering Truck SUV 1 7/8" Longtube Headers & Y-Pipe (2007-2013)This is the Speed Engineering Truck SUV 1 7/8" Longtube Headers & Y-Pipe (2007-2013) 25-1009 + 25-1015

  • Mandrel Bent Tubing

  • Merge Spike

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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. Kooks 28602201 Header

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.
 

 

2. Kooks Custom Headers 28602401 Stainless Steel Headers

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.
 

 

3. Hedman 69230 Chevy Pu Small Block 4Wd

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

 

 

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

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.
 

 

5. PaceSetter 70-2260 Performance Long Tube Exhaust Header

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
 

 

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

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.