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[Z06] Review/install: 1 7/8" TPS LT's + custom exhaust

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[Z06] Review/install: 1 7/8" TPS LT's + custom exhaust

 
Old 04-30-2019, 11:11 AM
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smitty2919
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Default Review/install: 1 7/8" TPS LT's + custom exhaust

I had been on the search for a decent set of headers. I read all the horror stories about Texas Speed/OBX/Pasetter etc etc. The price is great but I wasn't willing to potentially deal with the AC line contact or steering column contact. I stumbled upon TPS thread about their headers and looked into them.

This thread was the most proof of fitment I have found. Not bunch of reviews on these which I found odd. For the price and fitment ability I figured there would be more reviews. So I took a gamble and ordered a set without coating, without AIR and only the extensions.
https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...e-install.html
http://www.tpsmotorsports.com/corvette-c5-1997-2004/exhaust/headers-xipes/tps-rpm-c5-corvette-1-7-8-long-tube-headers-w-x-pipe.html

Keep in mind as you read this...I look at dollar value and functionality more than "look at me I have XXX part on my car." I am willing to put in a little work if it saves HUNDREDS of dollars. I weigh my options of what I am willing to put up with and what I am not. I have access to a welder in my home garage and metal working tools, and a full performance shop with a friend of mine. However this was all done at home with the car 18" off the ground. My car is no show queen (will never be put in a situation like that). It is a 90% daily driver since I bought this to ENJOY. I also autocross it almost once a month. Parts I buy may not LOOK the best, but they need to work and be reliable. OK on to the install.

Here is the box as it was delivered from CA to NKY. Packing could use some work with bubble wrap and or thicker box walls.


Parts as they came out of the box:


However all looked OK. I looked them over and noticed the AIR delete welds. This is a $65 additional option. If I had known these would show up like this I would have left AIR on and cut/welded the pipe myself. I cleaned up the welds with a grinder/flapper wheel.


This is inside the AIR provision. On one header it slightly protruded into the primary. Again, not overly concerned since I have a carbide die grinder to clean it up.


Inside the collector. No merge spike, but I already knew that. I'm skeptical on the real benefit on mass produced headers. I had entertained cutting the collector off, adding a spike then re-welding the collector. But meh...I have enough fabricating to do later.


You may be cringing at this point and thinking these are not worth it. HOWEVER, now we get to the good parts. Overall fitment in the car. I removed both coil packs, spark plug wires and alternator. I already removed AIR a while back. BOTH headers installed from the bottom with ease. Simply move aside any wires in your way on the driver side. The Passenger side I removed the block ground bolt/wires. No starter wire removal, no starter removal no jacking up the engine. TONS of room to the AC line (one of my biggest concerns). TONS of room to the steering column and they tuck up VERY well.




Exits are nicely centered and clear everything even after I added a DEI tunnel insulation kit which takes away roughly 1/8".




Since these tuck up SO high, the bellhousing bolts get tight (maybe 1/8" to 1/4" clearance). The motor/headers move together so this clearance should be maintained.


This is the ONLY snag I ran into...Driver side O2 sensor contact to the frame. Now MY sensor was roughly 2 5/8" long from mounting surface to the tallest point on the case. If you have about a 1/2" shorter sensor you may not have an issue. Again, not big deal after a little heat and strategically massaging the bung to be more vertical I now have 1/2" clearance.


I continued to mock up the rest of the exhaust and make a game plan on what I want. For the price I can't argue given how well these fit. In the 4 hours I worked on the car (already had stock stuff removed) I had the PS header in/out 3 times and DS header in/out 4 times...goes to show how easy these are to put in/take out. I installed them as is out of the box, then removed to clean up welds/port work inside and again for DS bung modification. Everything was as advertised in the thread I linked above.

So 4 hours for removing headers MULTIPLE times and even got MOST of the exhaust mock-up done. I will continue this as time goes on about the custom exhaust build but as for the headers...I'm happy.

To be continued...

Last edited by smitty2919; 04-30-2019 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 04-30-2019, 02:33 PM
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I've been strongly considering these myself . Good info!
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Old 04-30-2019, 04:26 PM
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I was between Hinson (also 1 7/8") and these since they are similar in price and reported good fitment. I couldn't bring myself to risk even $500 on OBX or the other cheaper ebay brands. Some of the ebay designs/collectors are atrocious. On the flip side, given the world of mass produced headers I also could not bring myself to spend $1200+ for Kooks/ARH/SW. You pay those prices for guaranteed fitment and higher quality stainless. Doubtful you see a worthwhile gain between high end headers and these of the same primary size (1 7/8"). IF you do it can't be more than 10hp/tq. Regardless of header brand you should see about 20-30HP more just going with LT's. So, since this is not a "max effort" build I decided to buy wisely (saving money) and chose these TPS. The money I saved going with TPS allows me to buy a ATI damper...again another functional/reliable upgrade.

The only other header I looked into was the XS Power Version 4 headers which seem to be better for fitment. I wasn't able to locate any in stock.

I'm hoping to have the rest of the exhaust worth sharing by next week. Then hopefully get the car in for a cam/ATI damper upgrade and on the dyno 2 weekends from now. So to save on tuning time I won't have "header+exhaust" numbers, only to go back again for the cam tune.
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Old 05-01-2019, 04:20 PM
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Bueller?


Wow, 250 views and 1 response. Figured there would be more interest. Maybe I should have bought OBX headers and wrote a terrible review due to fitment. Maybe it would have generated more responses LOL.
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Old 05-01-2019, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by smitty2919 View Post
Bueller?


Wow, 250 views and 1 response. Figured there would be more interest. Maybe I should have bought OBX headers and wrote a terrible review due to fitment. Maybe it would have generated more responses LOL.
😂😂

I think its prob because a lot of people dont know about TPS. I didnt know myself until I was searching around and I almost thought it was a typo on a set or TSP headers. Lol I do like that they tuck up tight. Pretty sure they tuck better than TSP and OBX. That's a perk for us guys that like to ride lowww. Lol
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Old 05-01-2019, 09:03 PM
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I think they saw those welded AIR holes and didn't know what to say? How much did these headers cost again?

Also I would hardly call the Texas Speed headers as Nightmares or Horror stories. They're not perfect, but the O2 sensors fit and they often do take one dimple for the steering shaft. I'd rather fix one dimple for the steering shaft and have miles of clearance over an O2 sensor hitting the frame that is not really easily fixable without some swiss cheezing.

I am happy to see you made a review thread though. It's always good for those in the market to see what's doing no matter the brand.
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Old 05-01-2019, 09:32 PM
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I threw a set of TSP headers on my ZR1 cause I picked them up local for $500 brand new in the box with the 3" O/R X. They are in fact 1-7/8". Buddy and I put them on in the garage. They look nice and fit surprisingly well. Not bad at all for the money. Figured they were worth a shot. If they didnt fit... I'd sell them but they worked out.

Last edited by WickedVetteLT4; 05-01-2019 at 09:34 PM.
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Old 05-02-2019, 06:02 PM
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Thanks for the review - it should be helpful to those considering that brand of headers.
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Old 05-03-2019, 04:38 AM
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I have these coated with x pipe and cat, good price but some issues with the o2 sensor on DS that touches the rail.
I did get the plate with heat insulation and i have no heat problems inside the car.
Also some adjusnting needed in the back with connecting to aftermarket XS catback system but not sure if that can be blamed on thi system.
Looking forward to your comments when ready.
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Old 05-03-2019, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by WickedVetteLT4 View Post
I threw a set of TSP headers
Just checking, but don't confuse TSP with TPS. Two different companies.
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Old 05-10-2019, 03:02 PM
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So, now is a good time to update this...I started this before I went on vacation this past weekend. I expected to have all of this done BEFORE I left. But....

Headers were in, rest of the exhaust was tacked up and then I decided to LOOK at the primaries and measure them. And what I find is 1 3/4" primaries....ruh roh. So I called Mike a TPS last Friday and the same day he had a new set of verified 1 7/8" headers sent out w/ AIR provision (which I said to send due to timing and I would take care of doing the AIR delete). Not 100% how this happened...maybe someone grabbed the wrong tube size to put in the CNC bender. Mike was confused and surprised as I was.

I received the new set yesterday CA to KY shipping, and install was just as easy. Slid in from the bottom and an added bonus the DS O2 sensor has ZERO frame rail issues. Perfect fit. The BEST part is that the rest of the exhaust lined up the same as the old set did, WHEW.

I SHOULD have exhaust fully welded and done by tomorrow. I'm beginning the "final weld" stage removing it from the car to sort it out.

So this is taking a lot longer than I wanted, but TPS has been great getting me taken care of.
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Old 05-12-2019, 02:33 PM
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New 1 7/8" headers are in and exhaust done.


My AIR delete job:


Finish welded


Coat of paint and final product:




V-Bands make everything better


Purrty purple after a couple of heat cycles
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:41 AM
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Yes this drones, between 1500-2000 rpm. Already planned for this so I will be adding Helmholtz resonator pipes to the rear at 29". I have done this on two cars in the past with great results.


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Old 05-15-2019, 01:36 PM
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Tune scheduled for tomorrow night. Will post results.
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Old 05-20-2019, 10:24 AM
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Dyno results 360/334 on Mustang Dyno. I don't have pre-header dyno numbers due to dyno calibration issues at the time.

This setup is NOT for the faint of heart for drone. Drove 45min to local autocross yesterday and drove back...the J pipes are HIGH on my priority list. 70-75mph i'm around 1750-1900 rpm...right in the peak drone range.

I will pick up some of these:
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/sum-623008

and copy this approach:
https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...-no-drone.html

Last edited by smitty2919; 05-20-2019 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 05-21-2019, 03:43 PM
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Question for you, why did you weld the v-bands after the small pipes and not right at the header? Iím thinking clearance. I ask because Iím about to do the same. Thanks
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Old 05-21-2019, 04:37 PM
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Not much room around the bellhousing and tunnel sides that far up. You need to put Vbands in a decent straight section so the pipe isn't distorted from the bending process. I MAY weld the slip fit between the headers and extensions to get rid of the band clamp. However, the ability to rotate/tweak the front midpipe section CAN aid in Vband alignment.

If you put the Vbands in the diverging midpipe legs then it gets a little more complicated making sure they mate up again since you can only move the midpipe front to back, the Vbands on the midpipe move at an angle to mate to the vband on the header extension. It's a little more feasible than if you tried to connect the slip fit extensions on the headers at those 45* angle which is IMPOSSIBLE to do.

Adding them where I did makes it easier to slide the midpipe forward and butt up flush against the vband on the header extension.

Goodluck!

Last edited by smitty2919; 05-21-2019 at 04:44 PM.
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