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View Poll Results: What are the Best 3.3 Turbo Headers
GHL 9 23.68%
B&B 18 47.37%
GSF 5 13.16%
OBX/OTHER 6 15.79%
Voters: 38. You may not vote on this poll

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+1 on SSI's. I wasnt looking for a racing application, I just wanted the best for the street with heat. Here is a pic of my set-up before I cleaned up the exchangers

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1979 Porsche 930: 3.4L, SC cams, Twin plug, Leask WUR, Custom SSI turbo exhaust, Tial WG, K27HFS, and we can't forget the Zork (short lived depending on my homeowners assoc.)
05 Boxster S: For the Track.
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Old 11-26-2007, 07:40 AM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #21 (permalink)
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If one buys a set of the lower quality headers mentioned above, and drive like Jethro in the hillbilly machine, they would probably last the life of the car. Drive the 930 like it is supposed to be driven, the header life will be diminished. Add in extreme heat cycling, a few poor welds, excessive varying pressures, multiple elbow bends, and merge all this at the collector, something has to crack! Moderate driving, I would like to see 6 to 8 years life before the headers need close examination.
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Old 11-26-2007, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William930t View Post
If one buys a set of the lower quality headers mentioned above...
And therein is my issue. What is "lower quality"? Cheaper price? A perception of quality through the infamous P-car tax? 'Cause B&B surely didn't deliver, and last time I checked, $2,200 for a set of headers, wasn't/isn't chicken feed. And the reaction I got from B&B as I tactfully attempted to get their help (I killed them with kindness during my first calls), was unbelievable.

The OBX fit perfectly, have not leaked, are light weight, made from better material, and have not needed to be tightened at the exhaust ports in the same manor that my B&Bs needed. This all on a daily driven 930. I'm convinced my B&B failure was due to a quality control issue (or lack there of). I think the weld that holds each primary pipe to the heater box, actually weakens the pipe...thus leading to cracks/holes. Maybe this is a design flaw?

YMMV. Again, if I had one shot at purchasing a set of headers with heat that I thought would really last, I'd put my money in the SSIs. At the time, I just didn't know that was an option...
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back in the saddle: '95 993 - just another black C2
*SOLD*: '87 930 GP White - heroin would have been a cheaper addiction...
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Old 11-26-2007, 11:42 AM
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Do the OBX headers have a heat exchanger option?
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87 930
96 BMW M3 Coupe
89 951
Peugeot moped
Old 11-26-2007, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William930t View Post
Do the OBX headers have a heat exchanger option?
I really don't know. There has been lots of confusion regarding these Chinese headers and weather or not they're all coming out of the same facility under different names. There's OBX, GSF, Schnell, and probably one or two others that I'm missing. I have seen GSF and Schnell headers come with heat, and remember reading one Pelican's disastrous issues with the fitment on a set of GSF with heat.

All I know is that I intend to live WITHOUT the heat for as long as I can; I love the uncluttered looks, light weight, and the ease of repair if I did develop a crack or hole.
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back in the saddle: '95 993 - just another black C2
*SOLD*: '87 930 GP White - heroin would have been a cheaper addiction...
"Ladies and Gentlemen, from Boston Massachusetts, we are Morphine, at your service..." - Mark Sandman (RIP)
Old 11-26-2007, 12:23 PM
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After the RarlyL8 SSIs, my second option would be GHLs.
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back in the saddle: '95 993 - just another black C2
*SOLD*: '87 930 GP White - heroin would have been a cheaper addiction...
"Ladies and Gentlemen, from Boston Massachusetts, we are Morphine, at your service..." - Mark Sandman (RIP)
Old 11-26-2007, 12:31 PM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #26 (permalink)
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I voted for GHL (with heat). Either in the dank UK or the soggy PacNW, no heat for demisting is not an option.

The build quality was amazing. They were a work of art to look at - the welds looked beautiful. When I needed a drip tank and the aeroquip fitting kit, Brian Gerber answered the phone and was pleasant and helpful - got built one the next day and I had it 3 days after that by air. He refused to sell & ship me the SSI-style oil lines needed, told me they were standard old-style Porsche parts, that I should source them locally, and gave me the #'s.

My only niggles are that the GHL's put out less heat than the factory H/E's (which would be literally boiling moisture off the screen within about 90 seconds of starting the car), and that the drip tank seems quite vulnerable at the back, being the lowest point of the car (caught it once crossing some raised railroad tracks).

From other threads here, I thought I read that the GSF guy does QA on the headers himself - and they're available with heat, whereas the OSX ones are people making copies of what he commisioned? Given the reported fitment issues, it's probably worth an extra couple of $100 to get a set that actually fit...

That said, I really like the SSIs. One thing: when I mentioned that SSI's were available for 930's to my wrench, he pulled a sour face and cursed. When I asked why, he said they're a pain when it comes time to do the valves.

Looking at the installed photos, they do look like they would get in the way more than, say, GHLs, as these sit directly underneath, well out of the way of the valve covers. Do you need to drop SSI's for a valve adjust?
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Old 11-26-2007, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William930t View Post
Do the OBX headers have a heat exchanger option?
No, I think GSF is the only cheaper on with heat and they are still $1,000. I have been thinking about going 'no heat' but living in colorado it is probably a bad idea.
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Old 11-26-2007, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RarlyL8 View Post
SSI has no competition. There is no other manufacturer on the market that uses 347 or has anything near the quality for the price. If you find anything that comes close post it.
As for performance, to compare the SSI design to the stock US or Euro heat exchangers is an obvious upgrade. All other popular aftermarket headers and heat exchangers use the shortest non-equal length path to the turbo. Good for spool but lacking the low end off-boost tuning of true equal length primaries. Typically only high-end exensive racing headers use this quality of material and design.
Is that a littler better?
Sorry - I'm not trying to pick a fight. Maybe I'm too direct or blunt, but I felt we knew each other. Anyway, if you say the quality is the best, then so be it. I'm not in the market for headers, but I did a lot of research when I was looking for real performance at the best cost. When I researched SSI, they did not deliver the best performance per dollar. As for longevity, who knows? Think about pipes hanging out the bottom of an engine (in some sort of airflow) that will deliver 450 degree heat at idle, then go to 1600 degrees at WOT in a couple of seconds, and all this under a fair amount of back-pressure. The amplitude of the heat cycle has to be huge.

When I decided on custom pipes, I went with equal length and the tightest radius. I made one mistake on the design request and considering they are for a street car, I should have gone with short pipes, not equal length. When I did a before and after dyno (I went from B&B to custom), I lost low end HP and torque, but had a slight gain up top. For street CIS, it was the wrong move. Now that I have EFI, I've tuned out the low end loss. Another known issue was moving up to 1 5/8" primaries from stock. I lost spool time, but I knew I was going to EFI soon, so I went with the bigger diameter. Now with my 3.4L EFI car, the pipes are nearly perfect - although I would still prefer short pipes vs equal length as this is not a track car living at +5000 rpm. This is another issue I had with SSI - the length from the exhaust port to the turbo is extremely long. Not only does this hurt spool time (which is very important for a street car), but it also cools the gases. This slows velocity and decreases turbo efficiency.

One last comment. I got rid of my B&B because I was plugging holes on a monthly basis. Just last week, I had to plug my first hole in the custom pipes after approx 25k miles. In addition, I have no heat with the custom pipes, so I guess there are trade-offs between high perf headers and retail headers.
Old 11-26-2007, 03:33 PM
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No offense taken Don, your experiences and opinions are needed in this thread as are all others.
Could you post a picture of your custom equal length headers?

SSIs do not deliver the best performance/dollar if you are looking strictly at performance headers. Everything is a compromise. The SSI units are heat exchangers, not headers. The jacketed headers I have seen and owned are a joke if you really want heat. The GHL heat exchangers I have are very nicely made but heat is an after-thought. Same for B&B, not much heat.

As Ben stated previously, we are both free agents that can sell whatever we want. We have both looked at the market and see SSI as the best compromise of form, function, durability, and price for the street 930. I have several contacts in the Asian market who want me to distribute for them - at a healthy margin. The quality control just isn't something I want to be liable for.

No, you do not have to remove the exchangers to adjust the valves. They are similar to all N/A exchangers where the bottom row of valve cover bolts are hard to get to. On the plus side you don't have to remove the waste gate as you do in all stock applications.
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RarlyL8 Motorsports / M&K Exhaust - 911/930 Exhaust Systems, Turbos, TiAL, CIS Mods/Rebuilds
'78 911SC Widebody, 930 engine, 915 Tranny, K27, SC Cams, RL8 Headers & GT3 Muffler. 350whp @ 0.75bar
Brian B. (256)536-9977 Service@MKExhaust Brian@RarlyL8
Old 11-26-2007, 06:50 PM
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I just got my B&B through IA after searching for a replacement for a long while.

B&B seems to have better collector than GHL though I have come to a conclusion that these headers are really consumables just like brakes, especially when my car sees 99% track time only

I went with B&B because I also need heat - I do drive to/from the track. And I'm with DonE - SSI seems legendary in their quality, but the looooonnngggg pipes concern me.
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Old 11-27-2007, 05:36 AM
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What we need is for GHL to make their headers with a better collector like B&B's.
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1981 UK 930. G50/01 shortened, 964 3.8RS Fibreglass Body Kit, 18" Alloys 8.5" F & 10" R, 225's F & 285's R, Special Colour Metallic Blue Paint, FIA Sparco Evo's, A/C and Air Pump removed, Electronic Boost Controller, GHL Headers, Tial46 WG.
Fitting - New service kit.
Needs Fitting - Innovate XD-16 Kit, Kokeln IC. Stephen's K27 HFS, EVO Intake Assy & his Modded USA Fuel Head.

1983 UK 911 3.2 Carrera Sport Coupe. Black, Black Leather with Red Piping, Black Alloy Gear Knob, K&N Air Filter Element, Turbo Tie rods.
Needs Fitting - K&N CO Sensor, Round A/F Dial Gauge, Factory Short Shift Kit.

http://www.danasoft.com/sig/Iamnotanumber.jpg
Old 11-27-2007, 12:25 PM
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I did notice that the GHL collectors are rather odd looking. Almost appear to be flat.
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back in the saddle: '95 993 - just another black C2
*SOLD*: '87 930 GP White - heroin would have been a cheaper addiction...
"Ladies and Gentlemen, from Boston Massachusetts, we are Morphine, at your service..." - Mark Sandman (RIP)
Old 11-27-2007, 12:38 PM
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Of course, it would be interesting to dyno back to back to see what really happens where.
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1981 UK 930. G50/01 shortened, 964 3.8RS Fibreglass Body Kit, 18" Alloys 8.5" F & 10" R, 225's F & 285's R, Special Colour Metallic Blue Paint, FIA Sparco Evo's, A/C and Air Pump removed, Electronic Boost Controller, GHL Headers, Tial46 WG.
Fitting - New service kit.
Needs Fitting - Innovate XD-16 Kit, Kokeln IC. Stephen's K27 HFS, EVO Intake Assy & his Modded USA Fuel Head.

1983 UK 911 3.2 Carrera Sport Coupe. Black, Black Leather with Red Piping, Black Alloy Gear Knob, K&N Air Filter Element, Turbo Tie rods.
Needs Fitting - K&N CO Sensor, Round A/F Dial Gauge, Factory Short Shift Kit.

http://www.danasoft.com/sig/Iamnotanumber.jpg
Old 11-27-2007, 12:49 PM
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Unfortunately all a dyno run would tell you is how different headers performed under the same conditions, not how they perform when optimized with the proper turbo, cams, tuning, FI, etc for a "package".
It is difficult to compare anything unless you have an agreed upon baseline.
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'78 911SC Widebody, 930 engine, 915 Tranny, K27, SC Cams, RL8 Headers & GT3 Muffler. 350whp @ 0.75bar
Brian B. (256)536-9977 Service@MKExhaust Brian@RarlyL8
Old 11-27-2007, 01:37 PM
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Brian, providing all our cars including the test car had no cat and a decently flowing muffler, would they not just add or subtract bhp at certain bhp levels no matter what else was done providing they could get to the bhp numbers we are interested in when testing?
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1981 UK 930. G50/01 shortened, 964 3.8RS Fibreglass Body Kit, 18" Alloys 8.5" F & 10" R, 225's F & 285's R, Special Colour Metallic Blue Paint, FIA Sparco Evo's, A/C and Air Pump removed, Electronic Boost Controller, GHL Headers, Tial46 WG.
Fitting - New service kit.
Needs Fitting - Innovate XD-16 Kit, Kokeln IC. Stephen's K27 HFS, EVO Intake Assy & his Modded USA Fuel Head.

1983 UK 911 3.2 Carrera Sport Coupe. Black, Black Leather with Red Piping, Black Alloy Gear Knob, K&N Air Filter Element, Turbo Tie rods.
Needs Fitting - K&N CO Sensor, Round A/F Dial Gauge, Factory Short Shift Kit.

http://www.danasoft.com/sig/Iamnotanumber.jpg
Old 11-27-2007, 02:20 PM
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I wish it were that simple.
As Don stated earlier, header design has some basic assumptions.
Short runners promote fast spool, longer runners promote higher horsepower. Those assumptions begin to blur when you add tuned primaries and a split plenum for the turbo. Now add torque oriented cams and a mid-range split plenum turbo and you have the makings of a torque monster with great driveability and a good top end. Even waste gate location will affect the power curve.
The basic assumptions still apply but the flexibility resulting from mix and match components allows you to buffer the compromises.
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'78 911SC Widebody, 930 engine, 915 Tranny, K27, SC Cams, RL8 Headers & GT3 Muffler. 350whp @ 0.75bar
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Old 11-27-2007, 04:55 PM
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I like my GHL headers a great deal. And the guys at GHL are amazing to deal with - very big on customer satisfaction. And years after I bought the headers from them they still went out of their way to help me decide how best to get Blkbird to pass emissions - five years after the purchase.

But, and I don't know if this was widespread, I found the turbo exit manifold was a degree out from the correct angle. If you run a single outlet exhaust it will never be noticed. But if you run a dual outlet muffler, well it looks skewed. Then again every manufacturer may have the same problem. Kind of tough to get everything lined up correctly and then tighten all the bolts/studs and have it stay in place.
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:44 AM
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The biggest performance upgrade I have done was putting on a B+B heat exchanger/header and a zork pipe.

The seat of the pants feel was about 30 hp. reality may differ. results may vary. But it feels good.
Old 11-28-2007, 08:31 PM
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I agree with Brian....I had to mark the OBX/Other category to vote for the SSI....which as Brian said....clearly doesn't belong there as an "other". With the heat option....it's got to be up near the top. It does'nt appear that the poll is differentiating between those with heat or not.
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Old 11-28-2007, 08:50 PM
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