Headers - ARH vs. KOOKS - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016 Thread Starter
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Headers - ARH vs. KOOKS

So I'm planing my build for down the road, not ready just yet. I plan to use a local speed shop for the wrenching (I can't do it anymore). The owner/Dyno-Tuner there is a KOOKS dealer so he pushes the KOOKS and sells them cheaper than any place else I've found.

I like the looks of these ARH headers and I've read a few posts indicating they're easier to tune for with regards to O2 sensors on the Catted-H setup.

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016
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I have the Kooks and I am happy with them. Have you checked out the Maryland Speed pricing? When I was shopping around they had the best prices.

I don't know much about ARH. I believe they are a good brand. I would recommend researching to see if they have the same type of SS that Kooks uses and if the thickness/gauge is equivalent or better than Kooks. I know I have a file somewhere where I did some extensive research and ended up going with Kooks even though they are not a true long tube header and considered midlength headers.


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They are the same grade SS, but I don't what gauge thickness. Yeah, I've looked at Maryland Speed. I can get them about $200 cheaper, but I'm not really so concerned about a couple hundred bucks. I just don't want to have CEL/O2 issues. I'm pretty sure ARH build quality matches the KOOKS, but of course I don't KNOW that to be a fact. I'd just love me to know the pros & cons if there are any.


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They are the same grade SS, but I don't what gauge thickness. Yeah, I've looked at Maryland Speed. I can get them about $200 cheaper, but I'm not really so concerned about a couple hundred bucks. I just don't want to have CEL/O2 issues. I'm pretty sure ARH build quality matches the KOOKS, but of course I don't KNOW that to be a fact. I'd just love me to know the pros & cons if there are any.


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From what I have read (not direct experience) the Kooks have about the best fit and finish of all the headers out there, so the least likely to have any clearance issues on install. That would be pretty important to me.

To avoid the O2 / CEL issues, you need to use the Kooks "green" cats, or so I am told. They are about $350 more over the "regular" cats.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-16-2016
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JBert is likely correct about needing the green cats. I have the regular Kooks cats and I was getting CEL's and had to have the tune eliminate the particular CEL codes that I was getting. There are no emissions testing in my area.

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It probably doesn't matter one bit what you go with. Watch this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azPKIjxmmdU

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It sounds like I may as well go with the KOOKS. I guess there's a reason they're the most popular. It's just that the ARH look like long tube headers, and are designed with a wide spread which makes transmission removal/install easy. I'm sure I'll need a clutch down the road. Plus the ARH just looks more like a header (I know, silly... Who cares).

So I guess I'll just let my shop go with the KOOKS, probably less hassles for everyone. I didn't know about the "Green Cats" so that's good to know. I'll discuss it with him when the time comes.

Thanks for the input...


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Quote:
Originally Posted by PMDmustang13 View Post
JBert is likely correct about needing the green cats. I have the regular Kooks cats and I was getting CEL's and had to have the tune eliminate the particular CEL codes that I was getting. There are no emissions testing in my area.
Well, I "THINK" tuning would be required regardless to avoid the CEL issues and I'm okay with that. I just don't want to HAVE to turn off the rear O2s because the thing is so far out of spec. it's the only way to make the light go off (if that's possible). I could be chasing my tail here, but that's what the thread is for... To learn...


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Quote:
Originally Posted by sqidd View Post
It probably doesn't matter one bit what you go with. Watch this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azPKIjxmmdU
Yeah, I saw that a while back. It makes me wonder how any header can make more power, since the 5.0L has a shorty in stock form.


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Kooks has had some quality problems of late- seen a few headers with gaps in the collector where the primaries are supposed to be welded together. PITA but Kooks took care of it right away. YMMV.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by csamsh View Post
Kooks has had some quality problems of late- seen a few headers with gaps in the collector where the primaries are supposed to be welded together. PITA but Kooks took care of it right away. YMMV.
Since the speed shop I plan to use for the install stocks them at all times, that's probably not a concern. All they do are Mustangs so I'm guessing it'll be a pretty quick install/tune when I make the move.


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I'm pretty sure you always need to tune for headers to get the best performance.

As I understand it, the issue with the CEL / emissions / O2's is that most "high flow" cats don't work very well, so the rear O2's register that they are not working and then the rear O2 has to be turned off to avoid that code / CEL. But that's a catch-22 because you cannot pass emissions with the O2's turned off, all sensors must be reading "ready"

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBert View Post
I'm pretty sure you always need to tune for headers to get the best performance.

As I understand it, the issue with the CEL / emissions / O2's is that most "high flow" cats don't work very well, so the rear O2's register that they are not working and then the rear O2 has to be turned off to avoid that code / CEL. But that's a catch-22 because you cannot pass emissions with the O2's turned off, all sensors must be reading "ready"
Yeah, that was my worry since we have OBDII/emissions testing here. I talked with the tuner today, and he assures me that the car will pass all testing after the install. Hopefully he's a straight shooter here. He's not pushing a sale, and busier than a 3 legged man in a butt kicking contest.

https://www.facebook.com/ProDynoSC

Well, I guess I'll have to trust this and if it doesn't work out so be it.


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I went with Kooks 1-3/4" LT's and a Kooks O/R H-pipe. The guy that did the install has done a tone of work on 5.0's and has found that Kooks are usually a direct fit 99% of the time. However, he has had to re-weld 02 sensor locations on ARH's before, but, never on a pair of Kooks.

My car went from 422 RWHP / 367 RWTQ with a Lethal O/R H and axle-backs to 443 RWHP / 388 RWTQ with Kooks 1-3/4" LT's and an O/R H with a revised tune.

Power and sound is there.

I vote Kooks


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