5.0 Exhaust Upgrades - Equal Length Header Installation
Ford was on the right track when they introduced tubular headers and dual exhausts on the first 5.0 Mustangs. However the factory systems still fell short in performance, as they were designed to minimize sound and emissions, rather than maximizing performance. Consequentially it didn't take long for the aftermarket to realize there were substantial horsepower gains to be had through better headers, h-pipes, and cat-back systems. On a stock 5.0 engine upgrading to shorty headers and a 2.5" cat-back will yield in the neighborhood of 15 - 20 rear wheel horsepower. However the real benefit of a free-flowing exhaust system comes when you start improving on the induction end of the motor. A good 2.5" h-pipe and cat-back, teamed with a set of shorty headers, will handle near 400 horsepower; which means as you upgrade things like the intake, cam, and heads, your exhaust system will be able to handle the additional output.

Our bone stock '88 LX, with over 110,000 miles, was begging for some upgrades. We had already installed an off-road h-pipe some time back. We had a Dynomax 2.5" Super Turbo cat-back system laying around, so we decided to pick up some Dynomax equal length headers and round out the system.

Dynomax's Ceramic coated Equal-Length Shorty Headers
Upgrade your Mustang Exhaust with headers, mid pipes, and tail pipes from AmericanMuscle
Installation - Equal Length Headers
1 The stock 5.0 headers have severe restrictions and bends, reducing the tube to less than 1" in some places.. The Dynomax equal lengths improve flow dramatically with smooth bends and larger
1 5/8" tubes.
2 The transition from the head to the header is very smooth with the Dynomax. Many other aftermarket headers have rough edges and welding flash hanging into the tubes. 3 The Dynomax header come complete with high quality composite gaskets (not paper), bolts, and instructions.
4 The first step is to spray the old old header bolts with WD-40. Ours had never been removed before and we didn't want to risk breaking one off in the head. 5 Remove the plugs and wires. On the passenger side you'll need to remove the intake hose.... 6..and mass air meter. We found it easier to remove the bracket which holds the mass air meter to the shock tower.
7 It also helps to move some of the smog hoses and vacuum lines out of the way on the passenger side. 8 With the car secured on jack stands, remove the 5/8" nuts which hold the h-pipe to the headers. The h-pipe does not need to be removed to install the new headers. 9 Loosen the header bolts. Note our engine still had the lift brackets. Don't reinstall these with the new headers.
10 With all the bolts out, the header can be removed. Shown here is the drivers side. 11 The dipstick tube needs to be removed in order for the new headers to go in. Unbolt the nut which secures the tube to the head, and the tube will pull out with a slight twist. 12 One drawback to equal lengths is their tight fit. You'll have to jack the engine up slightly to gain enough clearance between the head and shock tower to allow the header to slip in between.
13 It's not as difficult as it looks; remove the single nut on the motor mount, and jack the engine so it tilts over. Use a block of wood between the block and pan. 14 With the driver's side header and gasket installed, replace the dipstick. Clean the end of any oil and use RTV. 15 Use the bolts and lock washers provided to secure the header to the head.
16 The old passenger side header comes out the same way. 17 You'll need to jack the engine over slightly to fit passenger side header as well.
18 With the headers installed, be sure to replace the plugs and wires in the correct firing order. Check that the motor mount and h-pipe nuts were replaced.
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