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Old 02-25-2011, 03:07 PM   #1
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Do headers and muffler really improve mileage?

While doing a pre-Spring inspection on my 2000 Bounder (F53 chassis with Ford 6.8), I discovered that the exhaust is shot from the muffler to where it exits the passenger side of the motorhome. With the price of gas going up, I was wondering if you TRULY gain mileage by installing headers and low restriction muffler. I could just replace the bad pipe from the muffler back (about $100), do a Thorley cat back system (about $275) or do a complete Thorley exhaust from headers back for about $1000. For those of you who have invested in your exhaust (especially on the Ford V10), did you notice a big difference in power and/or mileage or not? Your answers will determine which route I take to fix my problem.
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Old 02-25-2011, 03:14 PM   #2
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Go to banks web site.
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Old 02-25-2011, 05:49 PM   #3
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Stump,

On my F53 w/460 V-8 I saw a big power gain and for me that alone was worth the $1000 for headers and exhaust.

If you are looking for mileage gains, you might see a 1 mpg improvement. Pretty hard to justify the expense simply on fuel mileage. There just doesn't seem to be any "magic bullet" for better MPG on the big gassers.
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Old 02-25-2011, 06:01 PM   #4
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You will see a power gain and MAYBE a small increase in fuel economy, but it will take you a lot on miles and a lot of years to pay for the headers.

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Old 02-25-2011, 09:27 PM   #5
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Check your manifolds and manifold studs and nuts. The manifolds crack, and the studs snap off.

If the manifolds and studs were good, I wouldn't touch em.
Cracked manifolds or more than 1 broken stud each... as long as they need fixin get the headers.

Either way, I would do a low restriction muffler.
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:38 PM   #6
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Had the complete Banks system installed on our 2000 coach with the v10, no increase in fuel mileage, but a slight increase in power. The only reason I had it installed is I got a killer deal in TX I couldn't pass up, $1,000 for the hardware and $700 to install.
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:27 PM   #7
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I also put the Banks on a f53 with a 460. The power difference was very good and the engine ran cooler on the hill climbs and the inside around the doghouse was cooler also, but mpg was very little , if any,
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:32 PM   #8
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Give 5star a call, they have pretty prices on headers & exhaust kits.
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:01 PM   #9
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I don't think you will see any mpg increase in a 2000 engine. Much older ones, yes, but not more the recent ones. Banks has lots of data for their system and can show you how much torque, hp and mpg you get for any given engine upgrade. You will find they don't claim much, if any, mpg improvement in last 10 or so years vintage engines.

A cat back system won't do much unless you happen to have a really poor exhaust pipe from the factory, which is not very common these days. To make any real gains, you have to increase air flow through the entire engine: intake, exhaust header, and pipes.

I had the full Banks kit on a 1996 Ford 460 and gained some hp and torque but little, if any, mpg.
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Old 03-04-2011, 02:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
I don't think you will see any mpg increase in a 2000 engine. Much older ones, yes, but not more the recent ones. Banks has lots of data for their system and can show you how much torque, hp and mpg you get for any given engine upgrade. You will find they don't claim much, if any, mpg improvement in last 10 or so years vintage engines.

A cat back system won't do much unless you happen to have a really poor exhaust pipe from the factory, which is not very common these days. To make any real gains, you have to increase air flow through the entire engine: intake, exhaust header, and pipes.

I had the full Banks kit on a 1996 Ford 460 and gained some hp and torque but little, if any, mpg.

gary, i agree
i did not see any gains (fuel or performance)when i installed headers and dynomax mufflers on my 2007 31' Fleetwood with the GM 8.1
i averaged 8.2 mpg before and 8.2 with headers
it looks like the powertrain guys at GM designed a good system.
$1100 wasted

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Old 03-07-2011, 12:12 PM   #11
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Headers and high flow mufflers increase the volumetric efficiency of an engine. The degree of improvement is proportional to how restricted the engine was in the first place. If your muffler and cast iron manifolds were choking the engine you'll see a noticeable increase in power. If your system was reasonably free flowing in the first place, you won't see much of an improvement. The more air you can flow through your engine, the more power potential there will be (assuming that your fuel:air ratio remains constant). Any fuel economy gains would be minimal though. A good set of tuned headers will scavenge the exhaust from the cylinders by utilizing sonic shock waves to vacuum any unburnt gasses out of the cylinder but that's not going to yield big fuel economy gains, if any.
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:21 AM   #12
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I know I'm late to this discussion but thought I would share my experience with others. I own 97 Pace Arrow Ford 460. Put over 25,000 miles on it only getting approximately 5 MPG the best 5.5. Recently took a trip to Florida 2600 miles and wanted to see if I could get better MPG. I hit the internet looking for cheap ways to get better mileage. All said exhaust but did not have the money. What I did do was change the oil to synthetic (mobil 1) and replaced the resignator with straight pipe 3" approx 33" long $35.00 and installed Magna Flow muffler $125.00. I consistently got between 6.5-7 MPG. I was very impressed with the results and wishing I had done this years ago. To start with the MH was completely stock. These mods can be done at home if you can weld. The one down side it that the MH sounds like a race car. When on the road it is also a little louder in the living area as well. not bad though.
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Old 01-24-2012, 10:29 AM   #13
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Had an F53/460 in a class A. Same as just about everyone else, I added a Flowmaster muffler and several other goodies with a little increase in power and NO increase in mileage.
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Old 01-24-2012, 12:09 PM   #14
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Had a full Banks system, including trans command on my former Class C. Much better shifts, a bit more power, and a decline in mpg. The latter probably because it was easier to drive it a little harder.
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