Headers for Ram 1500 An Introduction to Exhaust Headers Complete Guide

Fed up of your Ram 1500’s exhaust system? Have you been looking for ways to upgrade it? Look no further!

This guide explains everything you need to know about exhaust headers and how they can give your truck the performance boost you’re after. You’ll learn why and how to get the right fit for your Ram 1500.

The exhaust headers, also known as the exhaust manifold, plays an important role in the performance of your Ram 1500. By controlling the flow of exhaust through a tuned design, they can improve horsepower and torque by allowing the engine to “breathe” more effectively.

In this introduction to Ram 1500 Exhaust Headers guide, we will be examining different types of headers available for your truck, how to install them, and potential benefits of aftermarket header upgrades. We will primarily focus on improvements in horsepower and torque but also cover general maintenance tips.

We hope you find this an interesting and informative read!

Benefits of Upgrading to Aftermarket Exhaust Headers

Upgrading to performance aftermarket exhaust headers can add several benefits to your vehicle. The correct header type can improve airflow and ultimately make your Ram 1500 more powerful and increase fuel economy.

Aftermarket headers are designed to make engine acceleration more efficient, creating higher horsepower gains and reduced back-pressure. Replacing the stock exhaust manifold with a aftermarket header will provide an enhanced sound as you rev the engine and maximize torque at lower RPM’s allowing for smoother shifting.

Racing versions of headers offer enhanced port design, which increases primary scavenging and improves overall power output even further. Ultimately, installing a high quality set of aftermarket headers can bring the best out of your Ram 1500’s engine performance, making it more competitive on off-road terrain or on the track.

Improved engine performance and power output

Exhaust headers are an aftermarket component that replace your standard exhaust manifold and provide a more efficient way for exhaust gases from the cylinders to exit the engine. They typically feature short tubes with tight bends of the same diameter, which reduce turbulence and increase exhaust flow velocity for improved performance and power output. By improving exhaust flow, headers also eliminate backpressure, resulting in increased horsepower and torque.

In addition to improved engine performance and power output, headers are often used for improved sound quality. They can provide a distinctive, throaty sound that is not possible with stock manifolds.

Enhanced exhaust flow and efficiency

Exhaust headers for a Ram 1500 pick-up truck provide increased exhaust flow over the stock, restrictive parts. As a result, greater engine efficiency is achieved and noticeable improvements in engine performance can be observed. Enhanced exhaust flow means the engine can operate with maximum power while consuming less fuel and generating fewer emissions. Additionally, the increased sound level helps provide a more pleasing sound at higher RPMs.

Headers come in various designs and materials to suit different budgets and applications. Basic metal headers typically cost less than ported or ceramic coated options but are more prone to corrosion. Ceramic coatings add additional heat resistance, preventing premature break-down of components due to extreme temperatures and helping extend their life expectancy. For greater performance gains, aftermarket headers can be selectively chosen based on their specific characteristics to achieve maximum power enhancement when mated to different exhaust systems. Both swaps are relatively straightforward but consult a certified mechanic for best results.

“Cat back” or “full system” exhausts should complement the change of headers if installed simultaneously for optimal performance benefits due to improved piping diameter and length which further enhances the airflow from your engine into the atmosphere – creating further gains in power output and fuel economy.

Better fuel economy

High-flow exhaust headers allow an engine to make more power, so it comes as no surprise that they can also improve fuel economy. Most vehicles respond positively to the installation of headers, experiencing greater acceleration and lower fuel consumption. The Ram 1500’s 5.7L V8 can see a 7 percent improvement in fuel economy due to the increased air flow provided by headers.

The additional air flow in the exhaust system also allows for improved performance at higher speeds; however, it may not be large enough to be noticeable until higher RPMs are achieved. In order to obtain the full potential of improved mileage, premium unleaded gasoline is recommended while using header-equipped vehicles; this will ensure that all elements are fully optimized and prevent unburned fuel from leaking into your engine’s cylinders and preventing cylinder fire. Additionally, using a quality spark plug with an optimally tuned fuel and ignition system will help you achieve even better results on your Ram 1500.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Exhaust Headers

When investing in new performance-enhancing components for your Ram 1500, it’s essential to evaluate the type and quality of exhaust headers you plan to purchase. Exhaust headers have an immense impact on your truck’s performance, so it’s important to take into consideration the following factors when making your selection: material, engine design, manufacturing process, and cost.

Material – Exhaust headers are typically built with either stainless steel or mild steel. Stainless steel is more durable and temperature-resistant than mild steel, but it also costs considerably more than its mild variety counterpart. It is important to consider what type of material will work best with your engine as different materials are better for specific applications.

Engine design – Exhaust headers are meant to be uniquely configured for each vehicle model depending on the engine architecture and its emissions control system. It is wise to research exhaust header designs that correspond with your particular model truck before making a purchase in order to get the most out of the component.

Manufacturing process – Exhaust headers may be formed from multiple parts or one solid piece of metal depending on their manufacturing journey; this affects both cost and complexity of installation as well as performance gains when compared between them. If purchasing an assembled header rather than one that needs welding done prior to installation, you’ll want to make sure that all necessary components match up properly before installation begins in order keep your vehicle running smoothly once upgraded.

Cost – Investing in quality exhaust headers can be expensive; however, this component should not be treated as a means of saving money — they may require a substantial initial investment, but they do provide long-term benefits through improved efficiency and power gains over time compared with other options available on the market today.

Material and durability

Exhaust headers are made from several materials, including aluminum, stainless steel, chrome-plated steel and mild steel. Each of these materials has its own unique characteristics that can affect durability and performance.

Aluminum headers are lightweight and have a higher dissipation rate of heat than other options. The downside is they can often suffer from corrosion and require extra protection to remain durable in certain environments. In motorcycles and hot rods, aluminum exhaust headers are one of the most popular choices because of their light weight and ability to dissipate heat quickly.

Stainless steel has higher temperature potentials compared to aluminum, making it ideal for use in performance engines where temperatures tend to be higher. It also offers good corrosion resistance but may need additional coating or polishing for aesthetic appeal or better rust prevention over time.

Chrome-plated steel provides an attractive finish that not only looks sleek but is also tough enough to resist rust in most conditions. It’s often found on stock vehicles or as an upgrade option for many classic muscle cars.

Finally, mild steel is the most cost-effective choice and does offer some rust resistance in its untreated form but may require regular coating for proper maintenance if used consistently under harsh environmental conditions like snow, rain or salt air near coasts.

Murchison Ram 1500 Long Tube Headers | Murchison Products

Price and budget

When it comes to deciding on an exhaust header for your Ram 1500, it can be difficult to determine which option is most suitable and within budget. Exhaust headers are available in a range of materials and configurations, each of which has its own unique price range. Before investing in an exhaust header it is important to consider your budget, as well as the longevity and quality of the header that you choose.

Aluminum headers are some of the most affordable options; however, they may require more maintenance than stainless steel or mild steel headers. Stainless steel and mild steel headers offer more durability and may require less maintenance, but they generally carry a higher price tag than aluminum ones do. It is important to consider your budget when investing in an exhaust header for your Ram 1500, but equally important not to sacrifice quality for cost-savings when seeking the best product for your vehicle.

Installation and maintenance

Installing the exhaust headers on a Ram 1500 is not a daunting task and can be completed with the right tools and with the help of a few resources. The main thing to remember when installing the headers is that there will be additional torque and vibration which means that once installed all nuts, bolts, washers, and clamps must be checked for tightness regularly.

To begin installation of your exhaust headers:

  1. Jack up your vehicle using jack stands and remove all four wheels from tires from the vehicle to gain access to header-mounting bolts.
  2. Use a hand ratchet or impact wrench to remove all necessary mounting hardware for headers.
  3. Install new header gaskets in place utilizing an anti-seize lubricant on both sides of each gasket to ensure proper fitment.
  4. Once the gaskets are in position completely bolt the header down using flanged bolts, washers, and lock nuts where necessary.
  5. Attach new gaskets onto each exhaust run out at port (case may vary depending on brand). Follow manufacturer instructions as needed here as well as any additional flange hardware required for installation on your particular header kit package.
  6. Reattach wheels back onto vehicle following tightening sequence outlined by vehicle’s manual or product directions before lowering car off of jack stands when satisfied with installation results
  7. After reattaching wheels make sure that all bolts are tightened appropriately before starting engine; run engine at low RPMs to flush out any remaining carbon buildup from pre-existing system
  8. Monitor new performance during break-in period following manufacturer guidelines; perform additional maintenance like most tests after 500 miles based off product documentation.

Maintenance and Care for Exhaust Headers

To get the most from your exhaust headers, it’s important to follow a regular maintenance routine. This will help ensure that your headers function optimally for a long life.

Cleaning: To ensure peak performance, it is important for ram 1500 drivers to clean their exhaust headers regularly. This includes removing built-up soot and carbon deposits which can interfere with the function of these components over time. Drivers should use a specialized cleaning product like PB Blaster or MotorKote on stainless steel headers, as these methods are proven to be up to five times more effective than traditional cleaning methods.

Painting and Sealing: Exhaust headers can be further protected by applying heatproof paint such as VHT or Cerakote which forms a protective coating to reduce corrosion and prevent rusting. It is also beneficial to apply sealant specifically designed for the material that makes up the headers (i.e., aluminum, steel, or titanium).

Inspection: After performing maintenance on an exhaust header system it’s important to inspect them for any signs of wear and tear such as cracks or weak welds that may have developed over time. This inspection should occur regularly regardless of whether you’re lacking in any performance issues as incidental damage could cause further performance issues down the road if left unattended for too long.

Proper cleaning and maintenance techniques

Cleaning and maintaining exhaust headers on the Ram 1500 can be a bit of a challenge, but it is essential in order to maintain the performance of your truck. Even if your Ram 1500 has been outfitted with premium headers, they still need to be cleaned and maintained on a regular basis in order to ensure that they continue to function properly.

In order to properly maintain you should start by inspecting the exterior of each header for signs of wear or damage such as dents and scratches. If there are any irregularities present, it is best to replace the header entirely in order to avoid further damage. Additionally, all automotive parts deteriorate with use so it is important that you keep an eye out for any corrosion or rusting that may be present on your headers.

You should also inspect each individual component of your exhaust headers such as the gaskets, manifold flanges and any bolts present in order ensure all fitting are secure and undamaged. In addition, you should also check for any buildup or blockages which can cause poor performance or even breakdowns due to increased levels of heat buildup inside the manifold.

Finally, it is important that you keep up with regular cleaning using either degreaser or an engine cleaner specifically designed for exhaust systems. While applying these products, you should pay special attention not only remove dirt but also deposits from fuel or oil that could be clogging up your system and hindering its ability to perform correctly. Finally make sure all outlets are clear before attaching new fittings prior installation back onto your rig.

Common issues and troubleshooting tips

When it comes to maintaining proper performance for your Ram 1500, exhaust headers can play an important role. Headers are responsible for providing the engine with a clear path for hot gases produced by combustion to exit the cylinder head. Over time, if the header or pipes become clogged with dirt and grime, air intake becomes restricted, resulting in poor performance or even engine damage. To ensure compatible performance, it is important to regularly inspect your exhaust header to check for any potential issues.

Common Issues: One of the most common issues you may encounter with your Ram 1500 is leaking exhaust headers which can occur as a result of poor installation or regular wear and tear over time. Improper tightening of the mounting bolts can cause headers to come loose, leading to problems like leaking exhaust gases and dangerous conditions inside your vehicle. Furthermore, corroded or damaged sealant between pipes can prevent proper installation and result in other issues such as leaks in connecting exhaust components.

Troubleshooting Tips: If you experience any issues with your Ram 1500’s headers, it is important to take action promptly in order to restore necessary function and avoid any further damage. While investigating possible causes of the problem, begin by inspecting all connections and make sure they are properly fitted and secured using high-quality tools. Additionally, it is worthwhile to look over the condition of all accessible gaskets before making replacements as necessary. Finally if problems persist after attempting some basic repairs on your own, consider seeking professional help from a reputable auto mechanic near you for advice about what repairs may be necessary for restoring full functionality of exhaust header components in your Ram 1500.

Warranty and after-sales support

It is important to research the warranty and after-sales support offered by the manufacturer of your exhaust header system. Many manufacturers offer limited time warranties on their products, with longer warranties available for an additional cost. Many also have their own tech support centers or toll-free numbers so you can speak to an expert in case of any issues.

Additionally, look for after-sales support such as installation instructions and technical advice in case you experience any problems during the installation process. Finally, consider warranties on catalytic converters; some systems include specialized converters that may be covered separately from the system itself.

Headers for 05 1500 hemi ram - DodgeForum.com


In conclusion, exhaust headers are an important performance upgrade to the Ram 1500. By replacing your stock manifolds with a set of exhaust headers, you will gain some measurable increases in power in most pickups as well as a slight increase in emissions performance.

However, due to the superior flow of exhaust gasses that headers provide, your overall engine efficiency can be improved and you will also enjoy a cleaner sound from your exhaust system. The installation is fairly involved and takes some time but it is well worth the effort for the boost in power and better fuel economy.


What headers are best for a 5.7 Hemi?

It depends on personal preference and the specific needs of the vehicle.

How much HP do headers add to 5.7 Hemi?

Headers can add anywhere from 10-30 horsepower to a 5.7 Hemi.

How much HP can exhaust headers add?

Exhaust headers can add anywhere from 5-50 horsepower, depending on the vehicle and the specific headers used.

What is better exhaust or headers?

Both exhaust and headers can improve performance, but headers are generally considered to be more effective at increasing horsepower.

Do headers make your exhaust sound different?

Headers can change the sound of the exhaust, making it louder and more aggressive.

Do headers improve performance?

Yes, headers can improve performance by increasing horsepower and torque.

Why do headers increase horsepower?

Headers increase horsepower by improving exhaust flow, which allows the engine to breathe more easily and efficiently.

Do headers waste more gas?

Headers do not necessarily waste more gas, but they can increase fuel consumption if the driver is constantly using the increased power.

Do headers increase rpm?

Headers can increase rpm by allowing the engine to rev more freely and reach higher speeds.

What’s better long or short headers?

Long headers are generally considered to be better for high-performance applications, while short headers are better for street use and low-end torque.

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