Review & Install Video
Hey, guys. Justin with AmericanMuscle.com here with my quick review of the BBK Tuned Length Shorty Headers available on your choice of either a ceramic or chrome finish, putting all 2011 and newer V6 Mustangs. So the products I have with me here are available for the 37 Mustang. Now a lot of guys and gals that drive them will tell you, they can be pretty potent given a little help. The help we're talking about again, Tuned Length Shorty Headers from BBK, available in your choice of either a chrome finish shown down here or a slightly more expensive ceramic coating up here. We'll talk about the differences between coatings in a minute, but let's first talk about what this tuned length business is all about.
What BBK wanted to accomplish with their tuned length system is to basically keep all the runners of primaries here essentially the same length or as close to the same length as possible. Drawing them out a little longer than what you might see in a traditional shorty design, getting you closer to the performance that you might see with a long tube, yet still keeping that same compact package. You're still keeping your same catalytic converter location and still keeping the price down at the same time.
Now with all that said, guys, can you expect similar performance or the same performance out of a shorty that you might see with a long tube? Well, honestly, the short and easy answer to that question is no. A long tube header is going to outperform a shorty, seven days a week and twice on Sundays. With that said though, these things will still offer some pretty decent gains. In fact, BBK is claiming roughly 10 to 15 horsepower at the wheels, 10 to 15 pound to the torque with your V6, and honestly, I have no reason to doubt that.
Construction noise, here's what we're going to be looking at, guys. One and five-eighths inch mandrel-bent tubing, OE-style laser-cut flanges for a perfect fit. And they even include brand new gaskets and hardware to get you going. These are CARB certified so they are going to be 50 state legal. And one thing I do really like that BBK does with all their headers is they pressure test them just to ensure it's a leak-free product.
Now onto my nitpicks. I do have few here with the BBK headers, but they're really not deal breakers in my opinion. Firstly, I wish the welds were a little better. For instance, I wish they fully welded this flange here at the collector. Again, not a big deal but just something to point out. I also wish they would have done a better job of smoothing out in inside ports here of the runners, there was little slag in there if you get your finger in there. Not going to totally affect the performance, but again, just my nitpick.
This is a mild steel header, guys. It's not a stainless steel product so therefore, you almost have to expect some kind of corrosion to show up later on down the road. Because of that, we have seen some inconsistencies with the chrome coating. A little bit of surface rust of some of these headers. Again, not going to affect the performance. Well, I wouldn't be doing my job as a reviewer if I didn't point that out to you. My solution, spend the extra hundred bucks and go with the ceramic version here as they are going to be free from any surface imperfections.
And on the topic of the finishes, let's get into that a little bit more because there are some subtle differences between the two. As I just pointed out here, guys, the ceramic is going to be a little bit more money, roughly a hundred bucks to be exact. And it will offer some additional benefits that you won't get with the chrome coating. For instance, the ceramic coating will slightly more durable. Basically, it's going to be more uniform coating. It's going to be in more durable coating, help resist any corrosion that you might otherwise see on that mild steel construction. And it's going to do a better job of reducing under-hood temperatures. That's what the ceramic coating is all about. Again, it does come out on the price though. Under 100 bucks on top of the chrome option.
Let's talk about the chrome a little bit more. Again, more affordable here, coming in to the high $200 range. Very reasonable for an entry-level header, and it is going to be a pretty attractive header. It got discolor in a way that if you've seen a stainless header or if you've seen a chrome header kind of discolor, after a few heat cycles. You know that chrome turns into a bluish or purplish color. It actually looks really cool in my opinion, even cooler than the ceramic which kind of just remains that dull gray.
Even though this is a performance product, I know it's definitely worth pointing out some of the differences and appearance because you do actually see these guys pretty good when you pop the hood. And again, don't take my word for it. Feel free to check out some of the customer submitted images on the site and see for yourself.
Installation is a little bit of a bear here, guys. So just keep that in mind before you get started. I'm going to give it a full three out of three ranges on my overall difficulty meter. Not quite as hard as the long tubes, but it's pretty close. That's going to test your toolbox and make sure you have a decent set on hand before getting started, a six pack of your favorite adult beverage, and leave yourself a half to a full day to get these guys knocked out.
Now for my final thoughts, guys, the Shorty Tuned Length Header from BBK is a great entry-level product. For V6 owners out there who are really aren't willing to go all-in on a set of long tubes, the shorties offer a no-tune require install. They're going to be slightly easier to install compared to those long tubes, and they're definitely going to cost you a lot less than a set of those long tubes. So be sure to checkout a set of BBK's four-year ride right here at AmericanMuscle.com