A race car is not just a car; it’s an ensemble of parts that work together. That is why a good driver has to focus on each one individually if he wants to have a powerful race car that is able to destroy its competition.
This time we will focus on the exhaust header. Its role is to collect the exhaust gases and deliver them into one exhaust pipe.
Come up with a plan
When you build your race car you should think about each piece. When it comes to the exhaust headers it is important that you realize its importance. Do not downplay its role and try to talk with other fabricators while you are still in the planning process.
Think about the design of your car and try to find an exhaust header that is able to match it. It is also vital that you think about the other car parts. You do not any obstacles for your exhaust header. Check the cables, the tubing from the engine, the hoses and the safety features to make sure that they do not incommode the header.
Choose the best material for your exhaust
The material is one of the most important elements when it comes to an exhaust header. There are multiple alternatives available:
- Stainless steel appears to be the best option. It can last for years and it does not rust. This material is used by the top racing cars from NASCAR, Formula 1 and Indy Cars. Stainless steel is less heavy and it lasts longer. Another advantage is the fact that it has low under-hood temperatures because it retains the heat inside the tube.
Stainless steel can also be type 304 or type 321. Type 321 is usually used for high heat and it used in places where an extended service life is needed. Meanwhile, type 304 stainless can be used on race engines.
Nevertheless, if race cars are just a hobby for you and you do not need the best performance, you might not want to choose stainless steel since it is rather pricy.
- Mild steel is an option that is more popular among those who do not want to spend too much. If you are on a budget then mild steel is ideal because it is less expensive, but it is also a durable and strong material. Additionally, there are certain races that only allow mild steel.
- Inconelis is what you should choose if you want a lighter header. It is a superalloy that can resist to high temperatures. Inconel is usually used for military aircraft and it is the best material when it comes to heat (1500° – 2000°) and fatigue resistance.
Finally, if you feel like it is too much work to build an exhaust header on your own, maybe it is time to seek help from some pros. Pro Fabrication builds racing exhaust systems and they have a wide range of materials and equipment.