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Discussion Starter #1
I am in the process of putting the car back together and was wondering should I go with headers on it. It will see some track time as in road course but not really drag racing. It is a 96 Cobra. Should I go with the stock manifolds for the road racing or long tubes or JBA shorties for it. I am just getting into the road racing. I am going with Maximum Motorsports suspension on it.
 

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Headers work the same whether you're drag or road racing. Their compromises are the same too. My personal belief is that long tubes are definately better but typically not worth the investment or hassle of install (some are harder to install than others, some brands are more expensive than others too) over shorties unless the rest of the engine is maximized for power and at specific RPMs where LTs give a more distinct advantage.

Stock manifolds were always designed as a compromise, the biggest problem is that the engineers who designed them needed them to be installed easily by an automated machine, thus they tend to be pinched off a bit where they meet the head. Many times they are also made of cast iron instead of other materials such as stainless steel also, making them heavier. I'm not well versed in the 4V engines and their manifolds so take my statement with a grain of salt.
 

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Before you start throwing parts on, what class are you looking to eventually run in? What is your budget? Etc? In my opinion, I'd invest my money in ALL the suspension and a good set of 17x10s before I added any power. I'd also have someone tune the car for the current mods just to make sure you don't have any lean spots (ask me how I know). Looks like you are in Raleigh, when is your next track day? I'm running with NASA at VIR in a few weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I am still finishing the car. I have just gotten the heads back from the shop from getting a valve job and getting milled. I don't want to waste money or should I say spend money that is not needed right now and not be able to get the power to the ground. I am a firm believer on suspension then add power but having the heads off might be easier to get the headers on. But again funds are tight. Not sure of classes as I am just getting into this for the first time on a competition level. The car does not have a roll bar or anything as it will be my dd as well.
 

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With all you have invested in this upgrade, it is not worth going back to factory manifolds. Longtubes provide the best power, but JBA shorties have proven that they are not far behind. Get the ceramic coated headers if you can to minimize under hood heat. Since open tracking can be torture on a car, I like easy maintenance so I prefer shorties for a modular engine so that I can easily tear things down if I need to.
 
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