5 Best Headers For C5 Corvette on The Market 2022

If you are looking for the best headers for c5 corvette, you are on the right page.

Having done extensive research, we concluded that the BLACKHORSE-RACING Exhaust header for Chevy Corvette 1997-2004 is the best c5 corvette header on the market.

This brand stands out because it features durable construction, thick flanges, and mandrel bent tubing for maximum exhaust flow and top-end power.

All corvette owners know how important having the right headers is. A header is designed to improve the flow of exhaust gas out of the engine to the exit.

Consequently, this increases the corvette horsepower and torque to give you outstanding performance.

In this article, we will look at some of the best headers for c5 corvette on the market according to our research.

Best Headers For C5 Corvette Reviews

01. BLACKHORSE-RACING Compatible with Chevy Corvette



  • Compatibility: Chevy Corvette 997-2004
  • Tube length: 1-3/4”
  • Tube diameter: 1-3/4”
  • TIG weld stainless steel

Looking to provide a boost for your horsepower and engine performance? Well, you may want to check out this header from BLACKHORSE RACING.

This stainless steel header system is high-quality and is made to work best with Chevy Corvette 1997-2004.

It is designed to improve the performance of the HP and the torque of your Corvette.

To connect these exhaust headers, you will need to make an 18” extension.

When it comes to diameter, this header tube measures 1-3/4”. This can provide an exhaust flow of about 210 to 240 cfm, which is adequate for good drivability.

The long tubes go into a 3” collector to prevent leaks for optimal performance while saving on fuel.

The X-pipe that is included in the kit is placed directly in line with the collector to boost the torque.

The tubes allow for maximum exhaust flow while the collector ensures ultra-low backpressure.

It does this without compromising on the power of the header. Hence, you can be assured of exceptional performance at all times.

BLACKHORSE-RACING has constructed these headers with TIG weld stainless steel to ensure durability and maximum strength.

It is welded not only for strength and durability but also to reduce drumming when the C5 Corvette is going at high speeds.

This is undoubtedly an impressive spec for any enthusiast.

Something else that stands out about this header is that the mandrel can be bent for improved performance on the C5.

The bent mandrel decreases the backpressure and helps to increase the velocity of the exhaust for a smooth exhaust flow.

Plus, the pipe can be professionally bent for easy customization based on your specific needs and preference.

The bent tubing also comes in handy when undertaking repairing or building header projects.

The flanges are also thick enough; thus, eliminating the chances of it warping and causing leaks.

Included in this kit are 2 pieces of resonators, 1 piece of X-Pipe, OEM head-bolts, and gasket.

However, this system does not include installation instructions, making it ideal to hire a professional for proper installation.


  • Constructed from high-quality steel
  • Leak-free seal
  • Thick and durable flanges
  • Increased torque and horsepower


  • Omits instructions
  • Requires professional installation

02. Ay-autoparts 2312 Racing Block Hugger Header Exhaust



  • Tight-tuck tube style
  • Stainless steel 304 construction
  • Universal street rod
  • Ensure maximum ground clearance
  • Allows tight-fit installation

If you own a Chevy LS3, LS6, LS7, LS1, or LSX, then this header from ay-auto parts may be worth considering.

Crafted from stainless steel 304, this header is high-quality and designed for a C5 Corvette owner who is operating a stock engine.

It increases the torque and horsepower to give you outstanding performance on the streets.

The heavy-duty steel construction ensures consistency in the reliability and performance of the header.

The header is also a suitable choice in instances where the frame rails and the engine block are close together.

Unlike most headers, it works best where you need to make tight-fit installations. This is a unique spec that is rare in most models.

This unit features a 3 bolt flange that is standard and has a thickness of 3/8”.

The flange is designed to ensure that all the spent exhaust is removed at the exit for exceptional performance.

The tubes of this header system connect to the transition collector that measures 2.5 inches.

The pipe has a large diameter and this increases the exhaust velocity and lowers the backpressure.

The street rod used in this header is universal, making this header great where it is impossible to find a specific fit header.

This is especially true in the case of a custom C5 Corvette.

A unique benefit of this header is that it allows maximum ground clearance. This is because the exit of this collector is parallel to the oil pan rail.

What’s more, all the primaries are available at the same length. Nevertheless, they still provide maximum torque and horsepower.

The construction of this header is durable and it features a great appearance.

For easy installation, this header is equipped with necessary accessories like bolts, hardware, collector reducers, and gasket.

Something to note is that the package does not come with installation instructions.

Hence, there is a need for professional installation especially if you lack the installation skills.


  • Superior construction
  • Suitable for areas that need tight-fit installation
  • Offers great ground clearance
  • Highly durable


  • Doesn’t include instructions

03. BLACKHORSE-RACING Exhaust Headers LS Hugger Headers Swap Conversion



  • Primaries size: 1 5/8”
  • Collector size: 2 1/2”
  • Construction: 304 stainless steel
  • Designed for V8 engines only
  • CNC-machined flanges
  • Mandrel-bent header tubing
  • Gains: Over 18 rwhp

Are you after high-quality headers that are rust-resistant and have great compatibility?

If so, then you may want to give the BLACKHORSE-RACING LS Hugger headers a try.

These headers are crafted from polished 304 stainless steel construction for maximum performance and unmatched quality.

The headers are also TIG-welded to give it a durable and sturdy construction.

This means that the headers can withstand the harshness that is associated with racing.

What’s more, this system can put out great gains of more than 18 rear-wheel horsepower. This is good news for enthusiasts who are after more power.

They are designed to work with numerous car models including the 1953-1967 Chevy Corvette.

The flanges are machined and have the right thickness that fits well and prevents noisy leaks. 

The inner diameter of the header tube measures 1 5/8 inches while the collector measures 2 ½ inches.

The mandrel-bent length primaries are useful for lowering the backpressure without compromising on exhaust velocity.

Included in this package are manifold gaskets made from graphite. Bolts are also included for easy installation.

Another thing to note about these headers is that they are only made for the V8 engines.

The swap headers can only work with LS series engines and are not compatible with the standard BBC or SBC.


  • Great compatibility
  • Durable stainless steel construction
  • Can gain beyond 18 rwhp
  • Great value for money


  • Designed only for V8 engines
  • Omits installation instructions

04. CCIYU 3” Long Tube Exhaust Headers



  • Tube size: 1 ¾”
  • Collector size: 3”
  • X pipe size: 2 3/8”
  • Construction: T-304 stainless steel
  • TIG-welded and CNC cut machine flange
  • 4-1 piping design

Next on our list of the best C5 Corvette headers is this unit from CCIYU that is designed with performance, quality, and durability in mind.

You will most likely love these exhaust headers if you own a 1997-2004 Chevrolet Corvette.

This header system is designed with a 4-1 piping design and is made from high-quality T-304 stainless steel.

Each piece is crafted from industry-leading material for great performance and excellent durability.

The long tubes that measure 1-3/4” lead to collectors that have a diameter of 3 inches.

These headers also have an X-pipe inlet and outlet that measure 2-3/8 inches.

The X-style pipe is placed directly on the 3” collectors to help boost the torque without affecting the overall power.

The collectors also help lower the backpressure and boost the flow of spent exhaust to the exit.

All the components are high-quality and will give you great value for your money.

This header system helps to enhance the performance of the exhaust velocity without compromising on other important aspects.

It is designed to ensure better airflow, which in turn improves the performance of the horsepower and the torque.

The unit features high-quality construction that not only renders it durable but also makes it leak-resistant. This is thanks to the machined flanges.

When installed, this system does not have any exhaust leaks, which is a great plus for any corvette owner who is conscious of the fuel economy of their engine.

The machine flange is TIG-welded and is CNC cut for durability and a precise fit. Each piece can be bent to fit any custom design.

Better yet, this header system comes with all accessories like a gasket and OEM head bolts for easy installation, especially if you are highly skilled.

Nevertheless, professional installation may still be necessary for optimum performance. It is also important to note that you will need to make an 18” for this system.


  • Increases the horsepower and torque
  • Crafted from high-quality material
  • Thick machined flanges
  • Offers great performance gains


  • Requires 18” extension

05. BBK 40000 1 ¾” Exhaust Headers



Tube size: 1-3/4”

1 5/8” mandrel-bent tubing

Laser-cut flanges that measure 3/8”

Polished silver ceramic finish

Made in the USA

Pressure tested for quality and leak performance

To maximize the release of the spent exhaust in the C5 corvette, the BBK exhaust headers are designed to enhance the stock manifolds.

These headers can increase 10 to 15 horsepower, and this can drastically boost the horsepower and torque of your C5 corvette. Hence, this is a great C5 Corvette for top-end power.

The mandrel-bent tubing is CNC cut to ensure an increased flow overstock of up to 35 percent.

This tubing measures 1 5/8 inches and allows unrestricted airflow in the header for superior performance and great sound.

These headers have a shorty-tuned length that connects directly to the Chevrolet Corvette (1997-1999).

Nonetheless, they offer a greater fit and performance than most models on the market.

Furthermore, the system is designed with quality and durability in mind thanks to the aircraft’s construction.

It is built and designed in the USA to ensure quality. Durability and longevity are also ensured by the polished silver ceramic finish.

This finish also ensures reduced temperatures and exceptional performance.

Additionally, the headers are constructed from heavy gauge tubing that measures 1 ¾ inch and adds adequate power in stock.

The tubes are connected to large connectors that also feature a high-quality construction.

Every flange is laser cut, measures 3/8 inch, and features a long-lasting construction. Hence, they guarantee a solid and leak-free seal.

Moreover, to ensure that you get quality and leak-free performance, the headers are first pressure tested.

Hence, you can drive easily knowing that everything is properly sealed up.

The BBK 40000 exhaust headers include hardware and gaskets for easy installation. Overall, it is state of the art and crafted to meet the racer’s needs.


  • Increases horsepower and improves torque
  • Durable construction and finish
  • Made in the USA
  • Pressure tested for leaks


  • The dipstick bracket needs to be bent for proper alignment

Buying Guide

Buying the best headers for the C5 Corvette is not easy owing to the numerous models available.

To help you make an informed decision, we have compiled some of the most important factors to keep in mind when making your buying decision.

1. Quality

When choosing C5 corvettes headers, you need to examine their quality to ensure that you get value for your money.

You want a C5 Corvette that delivers the best value and will work suitably for you.

2. Features Available

Before you make any buying decision, it is important to do your research and examine your needs.

This will enable you to know which C5 Corvette header features matter most to you.

3. Compatibility

C5 Corvette headers are designed for various corvette models.

Therefore, it is paramount to check compatibility and ensure that the product you are considering suits your model.

There is the danger of damage when you use a header that is not compatible with your C5 corvette.

4. Type of Collector

Generally, there are two types of header collectors to choose from including a parallel collector and merge collector.

In the parallel collector, four tubes merge to form a larger secondary pipe.

On the other hand, a merge collector features four tubes that also merge into one.

However, for this collector, the tubes first get into an area that features a venture shape before forming a secondary pipe.

Because of the complex design of the merge collector, you can expect them to cost more than the parallel collector.

Nonetheless, they are worth the investment since they provide more power and torque when compared to the parallel collector.

5. Installation

Something else to keep in mind when scouting for a header is the installation process.

Of course, the installation process may vary from one model to another.

For instance, some are a little bit more complicated than others and may need professional installation.

Also, keep in mind that installation instructions may not be included, making it hard to install the header as a DIY project.

6. Durability

Durability is an essential factor that will assure you that a header will serve you for years to come.

The durability of a header is determined by the quality of the material used to construct it.

Generally, C5 Corvette headers that are crafted from stainless steel are considered more durable than their counterparts.

Since steel comes in varying grades, it is advisable to choose one that is high-quality and rust-resistant.

Overall, you want a header that is sturdy and you can rely on it in the long run.

Similarly, the coatings and finishes of the header matter. Some header finishes include ceramic, chrome, high-temp paint, and regular paint.

However, regular paint coating may not be very durable like the other three coatings.

Ceramic is most recommended for durability since it prevents rust and reduces underhood temps.

7. Flange Thickness

It is good to check the flange thickness for longevity’s sake. A good tip is to go for headers with thick flanges to ensure that they don’t warp or cause leakages.

Otherwise, a thin flange may seal up correctly.

8. Tubing Thickness

In the same way, the thickness of the tubing will affect its durability and performance.

Thicker tubes like 12-gauge and 14-gauge are of higher quality than the standard sizes like 16-gauge and 18-gauge.

9. User Views

Before you settle for a specific C5 corvette header, see to it that you research customer reviews and ratings of the product and the brand.

This will give you insight into what previous users think about their product and its functionality.

Ultimately, customer reviews could save you from making a costly buying mistake.

Nonetheless, as you examine the customer reviews and ratings, it is advisable to take them with a pinch of salt.

Do not rely entirely on them to make a final decision. You may just want to use the reviews to get a feel of what others think about the headers.

10. Price

Although not the most important, price should also be considered when scouting for C5 Corvette headers.

Factor in your budget and consider a model that you can afford.

However, you should not settle for cheap headers since they may be of poor quality and lack durability and performance.


If you are in the market for the best headers for c5 corvette, we hope that these reviews come in handy.

Most importantly, you need to ensure that the header you choose is compatible with your C5 corvette and comes with features that matter most to you.

With the right header, the horsepower and torque of your corvette should now be able to reach its full potential.

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