Budget C5 Headers - Lifting The Corvette Tax

Texas Speed's C5 Headers Add 28 rwhp On The Cheap

Randall D. Allen Jan 20, 2008 0 Comment(s)
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Thanks to the burgeoning market for C5 performance products, assembling a suitable exhaust setup for one's '97-'04 Vette has never been easier. On the downside, we Corvette enthusiasts often pay a premium for our speed parts, simply because we're perceived to have the means and the inclination to do so.

Enter Texas Speed & Performance, a Wolfforth, Texas-based business that specializes in developing high-performance parts for LS engines. After cutting its teeth on LS1 F-bodies, TSP turned its attention to Corvettes by introducing 131/44-inch long-tube headers for the C5. Featuring a 3-inch collector and ceramic coating, the headers and complementary exhaust components are quality pieces that sell for a fraction of the cost of some of the other big players in the market.

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Installation begins with the disconnection of the negative battery terminal. Next, to achieve sufficient space to remove the factory exhaust manifolds, the alternator is removed.

TSP co-owner Jason Mangum explains the thinking behind the parts: "Having owned a C5 and a C6, it amazed me that headers and exhausts for LS1 F-bodies sold for hundreds less than the equivalent Vette hardware. Contrary to popular belief, not all Corvette owners are flush with money.

"[With] C5s becoming more affordable, consumers want a more affordable header that can compete with the best the industry has to offer. After extensive testing of other brands and multiple prototypes, we settled on a long-tube design that was constructed out of 16-gauge steel, rather than stainless steel, in order to save money and take advantage of the advances in ceramic coatings available today. Overall engine-compartment heat is reduced...and the coatings are very durable and long-lasting."

Follow along as we install a set of TSP C5 headers and a matching mid-pipe on an '01 C5. Mangum and co-owner Trevor Doelling, along with Lead Technician Joseph Potak, will be performing the work. After wrenching and replacing the parts, we'll strap the car onto TSP's chassis dyno to see how much power was added.

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