Installation Time: Shop Install
Installation Cost: $250-$500
July 07, 2012
Well worth the money
These are well constructed and i've had them on the car for a couple of weeks now, and there's no discoloration or anything yet. Shorties don't yield much gain over the stock header styled manifolds, but you do pick up gains throughout the entire power range even if it's not top end horsepower. The car now chirps its tires in second gear!
It's also important to note that while some naysayers advise against shorties ("go long tube!"), the fact remains that with any ceramic headers, you gain performance through an overall construction. Longtubes, the jury is still out on whether you start losing enough backpressure (on a stock non-cammed/ modified head engine), and in some cases, depending on where you live, long tubes may not be street legal/ emissions compliant (the reason for the "off road use only" stipulation that they put on them). All one has to do is look at the collector on these, and it's night and day versus the stock collectors, and if you're building a super stock V6 sort of engine like me, you want something that the engine already works well with, instead of modifying it too much, where you sometimes have varying parts not playing well with each other.
The ceramics also help cut the underhood temps alot. I have an SCT Livewire tuner to monitor IAT's in the air intake, and at full engine operating temps, as long as you're driving and not sitting idling, the temperatures tend to be cut to anywhere from 3-8 degrees or so (depending on natural outside ambient temps), as opposed to 15-20 degrees that they were with the stock manifolds. Granted, that's with my engine and the modifications/ tune that I have and yours may vary, but I was surprised at how little the engine bay heats up. The car now keeps its nice strong engine presence at full operating temperature, that it normally had when the car was cold.
These add a nice engine growl, too. I'd got an h-pipe installed along with these on a MAC dual catback system that i'd had installed already on the car last year, and between these and the h-pipe, the exhaust drone is gone and replaced with a throaty V8 styled sound when you step on the gas. They look great, too, with the polished silver ceramic finish.
My only complaint about the headers is that when i'd got them, there was a bit of rust in the insides of the tubes, I guess, due to moisture that had got into them when sitting in a factory somewhere. There were also silica gel granules/ balls rolling around and jammed in crevices, which were also starting to impart a bit of surface rust, themselves. This isn't AM's fault; BBK should probably have better moisture/ silica gel systems in place if their headers, where they should replace the silica gel more frequently. Also, the fitment isn't exactly perfect--the dipstick had to be repositioned, but it's nothing that will cost you much extra at a shop.
In the end, these are a great addition to your Stang, and if you're going to go aftermarket shorties, it's best to spend the cash on the ceramics, as you may as well do it right for another $130 or so.