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Motovicity Ticket to Ride Spotlight: BBK 11-13 Mustang Shorty Headers

By Justin Banner


Let's face it, we want our cars to sound better, look better, feel better, and perform better. It's in our very nature and one of the first places that can knock out a majority of that need lies in the Shorty Header. For the S197 Mustang enthusiasts with the 5.0GT that comes in the 2011 to 2013 models, BBK has introduced their Tuned Length Shorty Header. Most shorties on the market are of standard tubing that just happen to meet at the merge collector with no attention paid to runner length and testing for powerband optimization. The BBK Tuned Length Shorty Header, on the other hand, has had its primary runner lengths optimized for the best powerband in the limited space available by the taking advantage of the scavenging effect that occurs as each exhaust pulse exits the merge collector.


Project Ford Mustang
Coming out of the box (for 2013) with 420 Horsepower and 390 Pound Feet of torque on premium fuel, the Mustang has evolved since the original Fox Body 5.0 GT in the early 1980s. At that time, the GT put out only 140 Horsepower. That's right, out of the gate, the 2011-2013 Mustang GT makes around triple the horsepower and gets far better gas milage.


5.0L Mustang

The secret is, of course, modern technology. The new 5.0L V8 has 32 valves that are variably timed, where the pushrod 5.0L had only 16 and static timing. It also utilizes modern improvements in cylinder head design, fuel curves and injector technology. Even when compared to the 4.6L that was in the previous generation Mustang, there have been substantial improvements.


Vince Mustang

The Mustang drives better, handles better, looks better (subjective, I know, but just follow with me), and performs better overall. It's now compared to BMWs rather than just Camaros. The horsepower per dollar can't be beat either with a MSRP of $30,750. That's more power than the BMW 328is for $20,000 less - or more, depending on options. The Mustang has also shown that it is nearly its equal in handling.

So, how do you top something like that? What can you really do to make more power out of something that is already well-tuned out of the box? You remove the compromises.


BBK Tuned Shorty Header
As many Mustang enthusiasts do, you start with the exhaust; and BBK has a really trick set of Shorty Headers for them. Instead of the typical shorty that has tubes running straight out of the exhaust ports to the collector, BBK has tuned the lengths of each primary tube.


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Friday, March 15, 2013 10:32 PM
Eww. That merge collector in the first image is seriously ugly-looking. I know its welded, but they did such a sloppy job it looks soldered together. It probably makes no real difference to performance, but I guess I've just been spoiled by all the insanely sexy plumbing usually seen here on MotoIQ.
Turbo Shangbanger
Turbo Shangbangerlink
Friday, March 15, 2013 10:59 PM
The merge is one of the most important parts of a collector. That one is U-G-L-Y and will be down on output compared to a properly executed piece. This design is straight up ebay.
Saturday, March 16, 2013 9:56 AM

Ok, I was wondering about that. It SEEMS like it would negatively impact performance, but they had done dyno testing so I thought perhaps it was found not to be important. I've just seen so many amaaaaazing merge pieces here on MotoIQ (like on Miatabusa) and this one didn't seem to be anywhere near that standard.

Typical low-end after-market stuff then. What a shame.
Saturday, March 16, 2013 4:08 PM
Yup, needs a cone in the middle of that collector. Add $50 to the price, make more power, profit.
Dusty Duster
Dusty Dusterlink
Monday, March 18, 2013 4:08 AM
I'm interested in seeing a few dyno plots of this, especially since the 5.0s come with "shorty" headers from the factory.
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