For more than a half-century, Corvette fanatics have been installing aftermarket headers and exhaust systems on their Vettes to increase power production and improve both sound and engine efficiency. Over time, the Corvette engineering team has also come to understand the benefits of a free-flowing exhaust, and this evolution has resulted in better and better factory manifolds and “X” crossover-pipe designs.
But as good as the stock parts are, sound-level requirements and production considerations still conspire to keep them from unleashing an engine's full potential. Fortunately, high-performance exhaust manufacturers such as Kooks Custom Headers are turning out show-quality systems that fit well and look the part while increasing power, torque, and aural fury. Best of all, thanks to the “turnkey” nature of these packages, you won't have to worry about leaks, rattles, poor fitment, or engine trouble codes.
To find out how easy a new Kooks long-tube header and crossover-pipe package is to install, we strolled over to AntiVenom EFI in Seffner, Florida, to follow along as the job was performed on an '11 Corvette Grand Sport. Equipped with a manual transmission and aftermarket mufflers, the GS laid down 409 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque on AntiVenom's DynoJet chassis dynamometer. Want to know how much a quality exhaust setup can add to that tally? Read on.