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Top 10 Best Headers for 4.3 Vortec Review [Top Rated 4.3 Silverado Headers]

When it is time to replace any car part that has gone bad, there is usually a great concern about getting the best upgrades.

Finding the best headers for 4.3 Vortec may be a challenge for drivers using the Chevy engine.

The engine of your car is not something you want to take lightly. Any problem with the header means a problem with the exhaust system.

The result of a faulty exhaust system includes; overly noisy engine, reduced fuel efficiency, reduced acceleration and power, burning smell from the engine, gas smell, and a few other awful things you don’t want to experience.

Best Headers for Chevy 4.3 Vortec

Photo Title Buy
High Performance Stainless Steel Exhaust Manifold Header Y-Pipe+Red Cold Air Intake & Heat Shield Kit Fit For 1999-2006 CHEVY/GMC GMT800 Silverado/Sierra 1500 Buy On Amazon
Exhaust Header OCPTY Shorty Engine Conversion Swap Truck Stainless Steel Header for Chevy GMC Trucks LS1 LS2 LS3 C-10 LS Pickups Buy On Amazon
GM 4.3L Turbo Kit Hot Parts T3 Cast 4.3 GMC Chevy Turbocharger V6 Wastegate Oil Buy On Amazon
PaceSetter 70-1355 Black Shorty Exhaust Header Buy On Amazon
Mophorn Catalytic Converter Direct Fit Front Exhaust Manifold High Flow Catalytic Converter Compatible with Subaru Impreza, Legacy, Forester, Outback, 06-12, 4 Cyl 2.5L Except Turbo W/Gasket Kit Buy On Amazon
ECCPP Exhaust Manifolds Automotive Replacement Engine Racing Stainless Header Manifold Exhaust Gaskets for 1988-1997 Chevy GMC C/K Truck 5.0L 5.7L Buy On Amazon
BLACKHORSE-RACING Compatible with 6 CYL 3.5L 3.9L 4.3L 1937-1962 Chevy Chevrolet Truck BG Stainless Steel Exhaust Header Manifold 216-261 Buy On Amazon
SS Exhaust Header Shorty Engine Conversion Swap Truck Stainless Steel Header for Chevy G-MC Trucks LS1 LS2 LS3 C-10 LS Pickups -Increase Horsepower Buy On Amazon
JBA 1842S-10 Stainless Steel Shorty Exhaust Header for 14 GM Truck 4.3L V-6 Buy On Amazon
Racing Stainless Exhaust Manifold Headers Kit For 1982-2004 Chevrolet S10 Blazer LS1 Sonoma Engine Swap Buy On Amazon

The 10 Best Headers for 4.3 Vortec Review 2021

Although it does not happen very often, when a header goes wrong, you want to be sure you have the correct replacement.

As a way of helping you, this article will reveal a list of the best headers for your Chevy 4.3 Vortec that you can buy for your car should the current one go wrong.

01. Better Cloud Header

Highlighted Features & Details

Better Cloud is one of the best headers for chevy 4.3 Vortec. It is a hundred percent brand new header with all the hardware needed for its installation.

The material used in making it is the T-304 stainless steel which is finished using chrome. The size of its outlet and the primary tube is 2.5 inches and 1.66 inches, respectively.

Also, it has a 7/16 inches head flange thickness and a 3/8 inches outlet flange thickness. 

Operation

Designed with lightweight yet efficient performance, Better Cloud allows free movement of significant gases out of your engine.

The free airflow results in proper ventilation of your machine and a consequent increase in power and performance. If you are looking to optimize your engine function, you probably want to get one of these. 

Compatibility

Excluding the 2002 Chevy Silverado 1500 5.3L and 2006 Chevy Silverado 1500 Base Standard Cab Pickup 2-Door 4.3L, Better Cloud header can fit other 2002-2006 Chevy Avalanche 1500 5.3L and 1999-2006 Chevy Silverado 1500 4.8L 5.3L respectively.

It is also compatible with 1999-2006 GMC Sierra 4.8L 5.3L, 2001-2006 GMC Yukon 4.8L 5.3L, and all 2000-2006 GMC Yukon XL 5.3L, Chevy Tahoe 4.8L 5.3L, and Chevy Suburban 1500 5.3L. 

Pros

  • Vast compatibility
  • High performance
  • Lightweight 

Cons

  • No mandrel bends

02. OCPTY Header

Highlighted Features & Details

If you prefer the use of cast iron in making headers, then you should go for the OCPTY conversion swap truck header. Although, it is sometimes made of stainless steel as well.

It comes with two pairs of V-shaped collection tubes and a single primary line which is 1/2 inch and 5/8 inch, respectively. Also, it comes with standard manifold gaskets made of graphite.

Durability

Durability is one of the features to consider when you want to buy your car exhaust header, else, you may end up changer the header more often than it should be.

The cast iron or stainless steel used in manufacturing OCPTY manifold makes it long-lasting. It prevents it from breaking or eroding due to heat.

Also, the material does not allow rusting due to chemical reaction with the environment 

Fitment

In addition to its superior sealing features, it fits perfectly in the engines with which it is compatible. It is advisable to study the part number of your old header so that you can buy the correct size.

The standard of its design is high such that when you use it in your vehicle, you can not tell it apart from the original one. 

Compatibility

OCTPY header is one of the best chevy 4.3 headers available. It is compatible with a wide range of 4.3 Vortec, including Chevy GMC Trucks, LS1, LS2, LS3, and C-10 LS Pickups

Pros

  • Long-lasting
  • Perfect fitness

Cons

  • Heavyweight 

03. Motorsports Header

Highlighted Features & Details

In addition to the manifold made of cast iron, this brand comes with a turbo kit, including the turbocharger, wastegate block, and crossover pipes.

The manifold design has three outlet tubes, a mid tube, and the primary tube. It is solid and long-lasting because the material used I’m making is a cast iron. 

Efficiency

The turbo kit present in this brand allows for maximum efficiency, including the engine’s volumetric efficiency. The turbocharger ensures volumetric efficiency.

It does so by increasing the density of air collected into the system. It compresses the air before sending it to the manifold at a higher pressure. 

The increased pressure, in turn, results in increased power per engine cycle. The turbocharging system allows you to increase the capacity of smaller engines rather than upgrading to a bigger one.

The turbo kit makes it the best header for chevy 4.3 Vortec.

Installation

Also, it comes with the accessories needed to install the device easily into the system. When appropriately installed, the header exhaust manifold will fit well into the system.

Compatibility

Although it comes with many good promises, only a limited number of vehicles have the advantage of benefiting. The design of this brand mainly fits Chevy/GMC 4.3 V6.

Pros

  • Increases horsepower
  • Volumetric efficiency

Cons

  • Heavyweight
  • Complex installation

04. Pacesetter Shorty Header

Highlighted Features & Details

If you prefer shorty headers that have mid-tube, Pacesetter is a good choice. It is very durable and it is manufactured with stainless steel.

Its shorty feature makes it very portable yet more efficient and durable. Also, CNC technology which guarantees perfect outcomes is used in manufacturing it.

Styling

With its mandrel-bent tubing, it maximizes the system’s efficiency, and the tube will not limit airflow as opposed to hydraulic-bent tubing. Also, this header comes in two types of finishing.

The black painted type is more common. The armor-coated type has a metallic ceramic coating of 2000 degrees resistant to corrosion and rust.

The armor coat also retains its color, unlike the kind with paint. 

Efficiency

A combination of stainless steel and mandrel-bent tubing makes it the right choice for optimum engine performance. It allows for unrestricted airflow within the exhaust system, which in turn improves the vehicle power.

Fitment and Compatibility

Gaskets and flanges, alongside other necessary gadgets, allow for easy installation and proper fitting are available. 

Pacesetter shorty fastens suitably to give maximum and improved efficiency and power, making it the best header for 4.3 Vortec.

It fits nicely into 1996 to 2001 Chevy S10/GMC S15, 4.3L, and 4WD. Compared to others, its compatibility range is not too wide.

Pros

  • Mandrel-bent tube
  • Varied finishing available
  • CNC technology 

05. Mophorn Turbo Header

Highlighted Features & Details

Mophorn Turbo Header is a shorty exhaust header that improves the vehicle’s efficiency. Its shorty and turbo feature allows it to increase horsepower and enhance the vehicle’s performance.

The turbocharger can change the sound of the car engine, giving it a deeper and lower one. This softer sound helps to reduce the noise produced by the engine.

Styling

Aside from its high performance, it comes in a polished stainless finishing that makes it shiny, strong, and durable. The stainless material also accounts for its lightweight.

It has a perfect leak-proof property because the manufacturer uses advanced technology in welding it. It equally employs CNC technology. 

Installation 

Gaskets, screws, and bolts are available in this package for easy installation. It also comes with flanges that ensure proper fitting, allowing it to replace the old one comfortably.

Although it comes with a bolt-on design for easy installation, it is not advisable to do it yourself. Hire a professional.

Compatibility

If your truck or SUV uses an LS-based engine, the morphon header will serve as a good choice for you. Its design fits Chevy LS1, LS2, LS3, LS6, and LS10 engines and optimizes their performance if you do well to install them properly.

Pros

  • Turbo header
  • Lightweight
  • CNC technology 

Cons

  • Not mandrel-bent

06. HDSG-MC85 Exhaust Header

Highlighted Features & Details

Nobody wants to carry a heavy exhaust header around when you can get a lighter one with excellent quality.

Manufacturers of the HDSG-MC85 exhaust header use lightweight stainless steel, and it comes with all the gadgets you need to fix it properly into your car exhaust system.

It equally comes with a gasket and an adjustable model number. These features qualify it as a good chevy 4.3 V6 header.

Installation

For easy installation and fitment, the HDSG-MC85 exhaust brand looks precisely like the original device of the specified vehicle.

Aside from the outlet and primary tube, it also comes with all the manifold kits that will help in making installation easier.

It will help if you note the trim level, make and model that your vehicle uses so that you can get a suitable header when it needs replacement. More so, it is heat-resistant, durable, and long-lasting.

Efficiency

All parts of the manifold header are neat because of proper welding, and it also ensures that it is leak-proof. Also, it increases the power and efficiency of the engine.

Compatibility

Designed for Chevrolet vehicles, it is compatible with 1989 to1994 Chevrolet, 4.1L 1989 to 1995 Chevrolet 4.3L, 5.0L, and 5.7L. This brand offers a heat-resistant, durable, and long-lasting header for compatible cars.

Pros

  • Easy installation
  • Durability
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • No mandrel on tube

07. Blackhorse-Racing Header

Highlighted Features & Details

Although called a Blackhorse-racing header, it is not necessarily black. Its material is the T-304 stainless steel, which gives it a shiny appearance. It also consists of two neatly welded collection tubes with narrow diameters, which increase air velocity.

The steel makes it durable and resistant to corrosion, heat, and warping.

Performance

Vehicles instantly gain about 10 to 15 horsepower and torque upon installation of this header. It increases airflow, which the engine needs for enhanced performance and absolute efficiency.

When it is used and maintained correctly, it can last for a very long time.

Fitment

The header comes with a complete set of materials needed to install it properly. The manufacturers use CNC technology in welding their flanges.

Also, it comes with a 02 sensor bung insertion and metal gasket. If you use all the materials needed to install the header correctly as provided, it can fit in properly and serve as a better replacement.

Compatibility

For the Blackhorse-raising manifold to function effectively, it must be compatible with the vehicle. This brand is one of the best chevy 4.3 v6 headers and it is consistent with trucks that use 1937 to 1962 chevy 3.5L, 3.9L, and 4.3L 6 cylinder engines.  

Pros

  • CNC technology
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Not mandrel-bent

08. SS Shorty Header

Highlighted Features & Details

SS shorty engine header has stainless steel as its material. This makes it durable and strong. The headers have mandrel-bent pipes.

The mandrel on the line allows for better flow of air which is of importance to the functionality of the exhaust system. Also, it has an adjustable model number.

Fitment 

Gasket and other additional gadgets needed for the header to fit perfectly are available. Also, CNC technology ensures accurate measurement and design of products.

The precise measurement helps deliver excellent fitting for vehicles provided you make the order for the correct model, year, and creation. Check this information on the old manifold before you order.

Compatibility

Whether you have a three-door, four-door, or two-door vehicle, the SS header is designed to fit into it.

It has a vast compatibility range with Chevrolet S10 Blazer, C-Chevrolet S10, G-MC Jimmy, GMC Sonoma, and Oldsmobile Bravada vehicles. It fits into cars of different years and door numbers.

Additionally Features

Some features added to boost the efficiency of this shorty engine header includes Port Matched Flanges, CNC technology, Polished 304 Stainless Steel, and over 18+ up.

The matched flanges help to ensure a perfect fitting which will enable the manifold to function correctly.

Pros

  • Wide compatibility
  • CNC technology
  • Mandrel bent tube

09. JBA Shorty Header

Highlighted Features & Details

Having three outline tubes and one primary tube, JBA-1842S-10 is an exhaust header made of stainless steel and designed with mandrel bends that allow for proper airflow in a car’s engine.

JBA is, therefore, the best header for 4.3 Vortec. It comes with two types of finishing. One is the polished metallic ceramic coating, and the other is titanium ceramic.

Heavy Duty

JBA 1842S-10 produces exceptionally high power, thanks to the JBA fire cone technology and its heavy-duty features.

Being made of steel, it can equally survive daily driving, racing, and towing. It has very thick collector domes and is leak-proof.

Performance

Allows unrestricted airflow, which increases engine power and efficiency. It is designed from the former long tube header, but it is more durable and practical and offers an enhanced response from the throttle.

Also, it is created using racing technology which allows it to attain maximum horsepower and torque.

Fitment and Compatibility.

Generally, it has suitable quality hardware, such as flanges, that allow easy installation, prevent leaks and warping.

It has extra-large ports that accommodate cylinder head porting and increase flow. The compatibility of this header is limited to 2014-2016 GM Truck 4.3L V6

Pros

  • Available variants
  • Heavy duty

Cons

  • Limited compatibility

10. WXX Header

Highlighted Features & Details

Made of durable T-304 stainless steel, the header inlet and outlet are 1.5 inches and 2.0 inches, respectively.

This brand provides increased airflow and gains about 10 to 15 horsepower and 7 torque for your vehicle immediately after installation. It is designed for racing, and it also comes with a metal gasket.

Performance

The racing technology employed in its design helps it to offer adequate airflow to the truck engine, which in turn makes the vehicle fast and powerful. WXX manifold is also very durable and resistant to heat corrosion.

Fitment

Metal gasket, alongside other accessories needed for proper fitment, are available. The fitment of the header is important because if it is not fixed correctly, the performance it gives will be affected.

It is necessary to check for the exact year and model of the old header so that you can make the correct order.

Compatibility

This brand of chevy 4.3 header is designed with a wide range of compatibility with many vehicles, including the 1996 to 2001 Chevy S10, blazer, and Sonoma 4.3 V6. It equally comes with other gadgets that allow for a perfect fitting.

Pros

  • Durability
  • Lightweight 

Cons

  • Not mandrel-bent tube

Frequently Asked Questions for the Best Headers for 4.3 Vortec

How do I know if I have a 4.3 Vortec?

To confirm that the vehicle you are driving is a 4.3 Vortec;

First, find your vehicle identification Number (VIN), which is usually written on the driver’s side, at the far corner of the dashboard. Looking at it from outside through the windshield will give you a better view.

Your VIN contains seventeen alpha-numeric codes. The eighth one is what you use to identify your engine. Usually, the letters ‘W,’ ‘X,’ and ‘Z’ are used to represent the different types of 4.3L V-6 available 

Next, find the block casting number. In some models, it is located towards the end of the engine block, just after the cylinder head on the driver’s side. Unlike the VIN, this code is numerical, and it is made up of eight digits.   

Finally, find a list of known Chevrolet 4.3L casting numbers and search for the number of your car. Some lists contain possible differences between engines in addition to the year they were manufactured. 

How can I get more horsepower out of my 4.3 Vortec?

You can quickly increase the horsepower of a 4.3 Vortec by simply buying a new engine head or a new exhaust system. However, these options are expensive. For less costly methods of increasing the horsepower of your vehicle, do the following;

Reprogram the car’s computer using a programmer to enhance its performance. You can also introduce a performance chip and do away with the car’s ROM chip.

Get a new air filter. This is important because your air filter limits flow over time due to the accumulation of dirt. The best headers for 4.3 Vortec engine requires as much air and gas as possible for optimum performance

More so, changing the vehicle’s gas to higher octane or trying a better lubricant can help increase the horsepower a little.

Are shorty headers legal for Chevy Silverado?

Not only are they legal, but shorty headers are also better than long ones. Catalytic converter can be absent in the long-tube headers of some engines. This makes it illegal and unsafe for street use.

Can you turbo a 4.3 Vortec?

Yes, you can turbo a 4.3 Vortec. All you need it just to work on it a little.

Is the Chevy 4.3 V6 a suitable motor?

Chevy 4.3 V6 is an excellent motor. It is the only product of a Vortec engine that has lasted for a very long time, and it is super powerful and durable.

However, engines always need proper maintenance to sustain and maximize capacity. Also, the machine can last up to three hundred thousand miles, but it may cause you to replace a good number of its parts like the transmission, water pump, distributor, etc. 

Are all 4.3 blocks the same?

All 4.3 blocks are mainly similar. However, there are a few differences. 1985 to 1986 blocks have two-piece main seals at the rear.

From 1992, 4.3 blocks started to have countershafts that are useful in balancing out vibrations. Those made after 1996 were also designed with a balanced shaft and a weaker crank.

Is the 4.3 Vortec an LS?

4.3 Vortec is not an LS; it is just LS-based. The most significant difference between an LS and a Vortec engine is the height of the intake manifold and the depth of the supplementary package.

Also, it isn’t easy to fit a vortex truck engine in a car due to the difference in the size of some parts.

Are bigger headers better?

Bigger headers are not better, even though they allow for greater flow than the smaller primaries. The pipe with a smaller diameter increases the flow velocity and creates resistance suitable for enabling good mid-range and low torque.

How long will a v6 Silverado last?

The longevity and durability of engines typically depend on maintenance and use. If used and maintained correctly, V6 Silverado with a good year model should last about 200,000 to 300,000 miles or more. That is approximately ten to twenty years.

Can headers be too big on my Chevrolet?

Yes, headers can be too big for your Chevrolet, and it is not good. When there is a reduction in torque output and possible reversion of exhaust gas, you know that the header is too big.

Conclusion

Headers are generally referred to as an upgrades version of the stock exhaust manifold. This makes them the better option for your vehicle. However, deciding which is the best header for 4.3 Vortec may be a bit challenging.

This article reviews some of the best headers for chevy 4.3 Vortec present in the market. If you read through to know their features, pros, and cons, it will help in guiding you on which chevy 4.3 headers are best for your car model.

Generally, the chevy 4.3 v6 headers listed here are efficient and durable. But other features exist which will determine your preference depending on what you want.

As a general precaution, it is better to employ professional help in installing headers, except you have a pretty good knowledge of how to go about it.

The installation may be a bit tricky and, when not done correctly, can affect the engine’s functionality.

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