Whether you want to improve horsepower or just help your engine operate smoothly, a header is a great solution. Finding the best headers for 5.3 Silverado trucks is a great way to help your engine breathe properly and release unnecessary pressure, thereby helping the engine itself stay well for longer.
These bolt-on components help with performance by assisting an engine in releasing the gases from its cylinders. Instead of simply ending up in the manifold, these give the pressure a better direction and help your engine run smoothly.
- 1 Top 10 Best Headers for 5.3 Silverado Reviews
- 1.1 01. Pace Setter Exhaust Header (ID:70-2265) – Ideal for Fine-Tuned Performance
- 1.2 02. DNA Motoring Manifold Exhaust Header (ID: HDS-GY99) – Great for Efficient Airflow
- 1.3 03. Gibson Stainless Steel Header (ID: GP129S) – Awesome Black Painted Option
- 1.4 04. Pace Setter Armor Coated Header (ID: 72C2265) – Ideal for Streamlined Design
- 1.5 05. Maxon Auto Corp Headers for 5.3 L – Great for Older Silverado Models
- 1.6 06. PaceSetter Long Tube Header (ID: 72C2268) – Ideal for Simple Installations
- 1.7 07. Pacesetter Header for Long Tube Exhaust (ID: 70-2267) – Awesome for Tough Steel Needs
- 1.8 08. Tunerbits Long Tube Steel Headers – Ideal for Mid-New Silverado Models
- 1.9 09. PaceSetter Tube Header (ID: 70-2268) – Great for A Simplistic Design Approach
- 1.10 10. Patriot Exhaust System for Chevys (ID: H8059-1) – Great Choice for Diverse Vehicles
- 2 Buying Considerations Best Headers For 5.3 Silverado
- 3 FAQ About 5.3 Silverado Headers
- 4 Final Thoughts
Comparison Table of Headers For 5.3 Silverado
|Pace Setter Exhaust Header|
|DNA Motoring Manifold|
|Gibson Stainless Steel Header|
|Pace Setter Armor Coated|
|Maxon Auto Corp|
|PaceSetter Long Tube|
|Pacesetter Long Tube Exhaust|
|Tunerbits Long Tube|
|PaceSetter Tube Header|
|Patriot Exhaust System|
If you want to focus on keeping your engine running optimally, this is definitely a product you’ll want to check out.
Top 10 Best Headers for 5.3 Silverado Reviews
01. Pace Setter Exhaust Header (ID:70-2265) – Ideal for Fine-Tuned Performance
Once upon a time, all machines were analog. When factories created products, they were subject to small scale errors. These issues ranged from tiny problems like uneven paint jobs to larger ones like problematic seals and poorly sized fittings.
Thankfully, technology bred a new approach to manufacturing: CNC machining.
This method uses computerization to program all the specifics of product generation. It reduces errors and provides a truly fine-tuned result.
The item seen here uses this technique to ensure a top-quality product by coupling this exactitude with heavy-duty steel and a thorough topcoat, Pace Setter makes a great exhaust header option.
- Thick flanges for sturdy seal
- Does not restrict airflow
- Both silver and black options
- Formed with CNC machines
- Mandrel bending on tubes
- High-grade steel for longevity
- Sturdy and durable
- Ideal airflow supply
- Comes with gaskets
- Low-temperature black paint
02. DNA Motoring Manifold Exhaust Header (ID: HDS-GY99) – Great for Efficient Airflow
Rust is a problem anywhere there is metal. Usually, when you hear the phrase ‘stainless steel’ it doesn’t refer to your run of the mill stains. Instead, it represents damage commonly caused by corrosion.
This header uses stainless steel to avoid the pitfalls common to humid environments. Since the entire focus of the unit is on promoting airflow, this is a critical feature.
Air itself doesn’t cause rust, but the air that leaves the cylinders isn’t strictly oxygen or carbon dioxide, rather a composite of gases and air-bound fluids.
Referred to as humidity, the air your header manages has a fair amount of water in it. Though it seems small, it can definitely build up over time and lead to corrosion (making the whole system worthless).
By using stainless steel and offering a quality seal to prevent leaks, the unit here avoids early degradation and lasts over the long term.
Coming with everything necessary to install the piece, the streamlined product makes it easy for you to get set up with a high functioning header that is both effective and durable.
- Made using precision machinery
- Uses top-quality stainless steel
- Improves flow to major tubes
- Complete mandrel bending on tubes
- Includes gaskets for installation
- Durable structure
- Long-lasting product
- Features full setup kit
- Challenging installation
- Weak gaskets
03. Gibson Stainless Steel Header (ID: GP129S) – Awesome Black Painted Option
There are lots of different approaches to coating the exterior of the header unit. Though ceramic gained popularity over the last few years, the classic black topcoat is an option that has proven effective for many years.
The piece here pairs this paint with a stainless-steel interior to maximize the rust resistant properties.
Featuring a wide range of useful traits not specific to durability, the item is incredibly light (so you can install it easily) and pairs that virtue with a simple bolt-on design.
The structure itself facilitates airflow towards the main tube so that it minimizes resistance and keeps your engine breathing properly.
Since you can install it with the factory system, it is ideal for trucks that haven’t undergone reconfiguring underneath the hood.
It meets all environmental standards in the USA and functions well over the long term. Compatible with a wide range of Silverado truck years and models, this is a popular go-to choice for many dedicated truck drivers.
- Simple bolt-on installation for home setups
- Weighs in at 17.3 lbs for easy handling
- Successfully on the market for 4 years
- Improves overall airflow to main pipe
- Doesn’t need welding
- Meets all eco-friendly standards
- Installs with OEM connection setup
- Only includes black-coated option
- 1 ⅝ inch tubing not always compatible
04. Pace Setter Armor Coated Header (ID: 72C2265) – Ideal for Streamlined Design
If efficiency is your focus, then you want to take a look at this option. The value is its straightforward design features.
Instead of convoluted piping, the sleek choice seen here takes all the pressure off your engine so that you get the most value from the item. Functionally speaking, this is a great choice due to its streamlined features.
The fringe benefits of the structure come down to an easy installation. Instead of accounting for strange structural choices in piping, you can simply align it with your truck’s sensors then bolt it in place.
- Includes metal ceramic paint coating
- Made with CNC machines for precision
- Simple installation with bolted design
- Thick steel for sturdy design and long-lasting item
- Includes gaskets for setup
- Unencumbered airflow to main tubes
- Simple connection to factory systems
- Some vehicles need welding for setup
- Requires extension for long-tube designs
05. Maxon Auto Corp Headers for 5.3 L – Great for Older Silverado Models
Reliability is a key focus when you seek out truck accessories of any type. When you are the kind of person who looks after their Silverado for years, you probably put a lot of value on reliability.
This header choice is great because it fits with 5.3 Silverados made between 2000 and 2006. If your truck is from this time period, it already proved its reliability. Opt for an accessory that is equally reliable – like this one.
With sturdy design features and a thick piping, you can count on this unit to relieve pressure on your engine.
Using strong welds and precise measurements, it fits like a charm on your truck so that you don’t have to worry about the lasting power of the header. Once you install the unit, it is with you (and your truck) for the long haul.
- Compatible with Silverados made between 2000 and 2006
- Includes welded construction features for sturdy build
- Designed with CNC machinery for exactitude
- 5-inch outlet size and ⅜ inch thickness
- Head size of 1.75 inches and 7/16-inch thickness
- Extremely lightweight design
- Sturdy product
- Long-lasting performance
- Only works on older models
06. PaceSetter Long Tube Header (ID: 72C2268) – Ideal for Simple Installations
It’s no secret that long tube headers are trickier to install. That said, if you are a heavy-duty driver, you need a strong solution to improve horsepower.
The long tube solution works well to eliminate pressure on your engine by giving the exhaust somewhere to go. There are a few things to keep in mind if you want to get a header like this one.
First, are you comfortable doing some small-scale reconfiguration of the system when you do the setup. The installation is pretty straightforward on its own (provided you have the room).
With a bolt-on setup, all you need is the wiggle room beneath the hood. If you don’t have this, it may take some moving around to get the proper space.
Still, with the high grade of this solution, it is well worth the wait. Designed with machine-driven precision, the thick primary tube measures in at just under two inches for easy flow.
Bent using the industry-leading mandrel technique, these headers are top of their class. With a ceramic coating covering the exterior of the system, it resists rust and you can count on this system over the long term.
- Made using mandrel bending techniques
- Primary tubes measure in at 1 ⅞ inches
- Includes all setup components
- CNC designed structure for precision
- Metal ceramic exterior structure for safety
- Comes with fasteners and gaskets
- Fits in with factory sensors
- Resists corrosion and rust
- Does not fit well with modifications
07. Pacesetter Header for Long Tube Exhaust (ID: 70-2267) – Awesome for Tough Steel Needs
Some truck drivers love to swap out their roadrunner for the newest model every couple of years. Others tend to stick with the tried and true options and hold on to a good thing for as long as possible.
If this speaks to you, then chances are you have an older Silverado which you put a lot into over the years.
The great part of this is that you have a reliable truck that has proven its value over the long term. The challenge is the fact that you may have a tricky time sourcing parts and accessories.
The header seen here solves these issues perfectly since it fits onto 2007 through 2009 Silverados (5.3 Liters, of course).
Instead of having to customize a newer part, you get the benefits of a well-designed item that fits onto the unit perfectly. The unit itself is made of sturdy carbon fiber steel for a hardy and durable structure.
Coming in a range of different coating options, you get to choose both the best appearance as well as from the benefits of either black paint coating or ceramic.
- Includes high-grade carbon steel structure
- Simple installation procedure even for beginners
- Fits on Silverado vehicles between 2007 and 2009
- Available in ceramic or black paint coatings
- Rust and corrosion prevention
- Simple setup process
- Quality seals for safety
- Limited vehicle compatibility
08. Tunerbits Long Tube Steel Headers – Ideal for Mid-New Silverado Models
Before machines came around to take care of some of the heavy lifting in product manufacturing, the process for bending was a lot less precise.
Instead of handling the bending process from the interior and exterior simultaneously, the exterior would withstand the worst of the force by the operator.
This caused flaws in the interior of the header pipe which encumbered the airflow. Since easier airflow is probably the chief purpose of the header, this was fairly problematic.
That is where the famed mandrel bending technique stepped into the game. Used by CNC machinists across the world, this process uses a steel rod in the interior of the pipe during the bending process.
This prevents any flaws from developing and allows you to have the best quality pipe available. Additionally, it encourages precision folding of the exterior, thereby giving a good fit even in tight spaces.
Since this header fits into all 5.3 Silverados between the years of 2007 and 2014, the ability to sneak into smaller spaces is especially useful.
Another great benefit of the item is its ability to work both on vehicles with sensor devices and those without.
Generally, the ones with sensor requirements are the newer models whereas those requiring a bypass are the older trucks.
In either case, this header system accommodates. The sensors integrate perfectly and there is a blocking device in the event your truck doesn’t have the connection setups.
- Fits in with all 5.3L Silverados from between 2007 and 2014
- Includes stainless steel polishing on exterior
- Uses industry-leading mandrel bending method
- Accommodates vehicles with and without sensor hookups
- Fits with 3 oxygen sensors
- Includes blank plug for compatibility
- Sturdy and durable construction
- Doesn’t fit with new models
- Won’t work with older Silverados
09. PaceSetter Tube Header (ID: 70-2268) – Great for A Simplistic Design Approach
Even for passionate home mechanics, a simple installation is always welcome. In order to make the most out of your header system, you want to get the truck out on the road quickly.
An efficient setup allows you that opportunity. It comes in a single piece, which means installation could not be any simpler.
Provided you have the room under the hood, all you have to do is bolt the unit in place and you are ready to hit the asphalt in a jiffy.
Of course, there are some other benefits to a single component header. One main value is the high level of durability. Since there are fewer connection sites, there is less opportunity for humidity to wriggle into the mix.
Humidity causes rust and therefore degradation. With a simpler setup, there is less wear and tear on the piece since it is thoroughly protected from this damage.
With a broad (three inch) collection unit, it gives all the necessary room for the exhaust gases to flow smoothly throughout the system.
This releases the pressure on your engine and improves the overall horsepower of the unit. Featuring strong seals and coming with everything you need to pop the unit in place, it is a favorite option amongst Silverado drivers everywhere.
- Manufactured using CNC technology for exact fit
- Single piece unit for simplified installation
- Includes all necessary components for setup
- Features a 3-inch slip fit collection unit
- Effective seal structure
- Durable design features
- Simple setup process
- Doesn’t meet CARB standards
10. Patriot Exhaust System for Chevys (ID: H8059-1) – Great Choice for Diverse Vehicles
Exhaust emissions are quite a hot topic in eco-forward circles. With heavy climate change considerations, many jurisdictions have adopted serious emission standards.
These regulate the exhaust on trucks registered to the area. It is important to check on the local rules since it applies directly to any kind of system modification on your exhaust and manifold system (like with headers).
This is a great option if you are looking to keep the environment in mind. It also has tonnes of other valuable features to make it highly functional both in terms of installation and performance.
It comes with everything you need to hook the header up to your truck’s system and features a sturdy 18-gauge tube structure. Even though it only works on small block Silverados, its high-performance rating makes the unit a great choice for drivers.
As an added bonus, the unit comes with a variety of exterior coating options. Chrome is popular for its sheen, leaving you with an attractive accessory regardless of your truck’s color.
Alternatively, ceramic is both aesthetically appealing and sturdy. It is relatively difficult to scratch and also works to prevent rust and other forms of corrosion.
Of course, the thing that really sets this header apart is the option for an uncoated unit. This allows you to truly personalize the item to your preference with individualized flair.
- Includes all components for setup (gaskets, bolts)
- Comes with collector reducing mechanisms
- Options for chrome or ceramic coating
- Available in uncoated formats for personalization
- Lower on pricing spectrum
- Rust and corrosion prevention
- Strong 18-gauge tubing structure
- Only works on small block Chevys
Buying Considerations Best Headers For 5.3 Silverado
In order to have the best possible purchasing experience for your 5.3 Silverado header, there are a few important things you should keep in mind.
As long as you consider these tidbits and ensure that you source the product from a reputable merchant, you will have the ideal buying experience. Keep your truck’s manual handy and take your time shopping while bearing in mind the following thoughts:
Airflow is a critical consideration. Headers make it so your engine has an easier time ridding the cylinders of gas from exhaust.
Since a good header gives a pressure release to the manifold by offering an exhaust pipe for every cylinder, it helps to have a wider tube for flow. Physically, this works best with a wider tube.
Of course, you can’t sacrifice seals for size. In order to get properly functioning headers, you must balance an effective seal with a large enough pipe. This way, you give the gases enough room to flow properly while avoiding leakage from a faulty connection.
There are two main things you should keep in mind in terms of finishing. The first (and arguably less important) is overall appearance. You want the setup to look sleek without sacrificing functionality.
With many options for you to choose from, you can opt for the one that meshes with your truck’s look. Choose from chic colors like plain black or bolder metallic looks like chrome.
Of course, each value carries different merit. This is especially important for things like rust and overall corrosion resistance.
Since there is a small amount of humidity in the exhaust (and the air surrounding the header), you want something to avoid degradation.
The black powder coating is a resistant option, though once you scratch it, rust develops quickly.
Generally, it is wise to go with stainless steel interiors and a chrome or ceramic coating. These two options are durable against impact and work well over the long term.
Both short and long headers have virtues. Each impacts your vehicle’s overall performance in a different manner. Short headers join up into the large pipe over a shorter space (thus the namesake).
They suit more compact system designs that work best at a low RPM function. If you use your truck mainly in an urban setting or to haul heavy amounts (like with a work truck), then a short length is a suitable option for you.
On the other hand, long tubes fit best with high RPM function. If you drive fast and want the most power possible, this is the best choice.
Make sure to check with your jurisdiction’s guidelines to see that you meet emission guidelines. Whereas they add a lot of ability to your truck, they tend towards tricky installations.
Another facet of length, one of the matters you should consider is whether your truck has the space to accommodate the header you desire.
If there is insufficient room, you may have to do some extra work on the system to rearrange its components. Generally speaking, it is more challenging to install a long tube header, since it can be tricky to get all the parts in place properly.
Other installation considerations include what the product contains. Some options offer the whole setup features. To make sure you get the most bang for your buck, take a look at the product specs.
Check to see if it comes with gaskets and bolts so that you have everything ready to go for installation. Provided all the pieces come with the unit, you limit your time investment for installation – and can get more time on the open road.
Compatibility & Durability
The next thing to keep in mind is whether the item fits your vehicle. In terms of fit, the first thing you should do is check the dimensions against your model’s specs.
If in doubt, insert your model’s specifics into the merchant system. This will clearly show you if the item is compatible with your truck model.
Of course, if you modified your truck (especially major configuration overhauls), you need to do some extra digging. Look at the header’s dimensions and compare it to the room you have under the hood.
FAQ About 5.3 Silverado Headers
Do headers make trucks run louder?
While you will probably notice a bit of a noise increase, headers don’t usually make trucks much louder. Since they make the gas release more efficient, the release translates to bigger sounds.
Typically, long tube options cause a more significant noise level rise, though short tube options do add sound to the system.
Because headers are just one component of the exhaust system, they don’t do much to make your truck louder on their own. Instead, this is more typical of muffler systems.
The good news is that, even when you add a header system, you can comfortably rev your engine at all hours without waking the neighbors.
How much do headers usually cost?
These truck accessories come in a very wide range of pricing choices.
While you can get a header system for as little as the low three figures, they also run as much as the low four figures. The cost is directly related to the manufacturing, size, and overall functionality.
Basically, a simpler header model with fewer parts and thinner tubing will cost you less than a higher-end model with a sturdier structure. Typically, short tube options are less expensive than their long tube counterparts.
It is ultimately a matter of the materials and design; so, choose what you are comfortable investing for best results.
What is the best header for a 5.3 Silverado?
When it comes to finding the best truck accessory, it is ultimately a matter of preference. The best header is the one that you get the most benefit from.
Identify your priorities and choose the item that best fulfills those needs (which has also proven its worth on the market). This is the most sure-fire way to get the best header unit.
Of course, some brands are more popular than others. Generally, fans angle towards the Pace Setter brand. It comes in a wide range of options that give you the chance to find the right model for your needs.
Other popular brands include the Patriot and the Tunerbit models.
Will long tube headers give more horsepower?
Due to the fact that long pipe headers cause less back pressure in the exhaust system, they do actually result in higher horsepower.
This is because it ups the uptake of oxygen to the system, giving the engine the raw materials needed to increase horsepower. Of course, this depends on the range of your functioning RPM.
The longer tube systems tend to increase this force at medium to higher levels of RPM. There is little benefit at lower ranges of RPM, so you will only see a horsepower increase at these higher thresholds.
Which is better, a short or long tube header?
If what you seek is an improvement on the exhaust manifold system that came off the line, then a short tube header answers the call perfectly.
Though (even at lower RPMs) it won’t really up your horsepower, it does improve function and reduce pressure. It is best for either hauling cargo or standard city driving.
Long tube headers, on the other hand, work best for demanding drivers. If you want to seriously increase your horsepower at the higher RPM range, then a long tube is the right call.
While they are trickier to install, they are durable and outperform the shorter counterparts on challenging terrain and fast speeds.
Now that you know how to spot the best headers for 5.3 Silverado trucks, you are set to up your horsepower and help your engine breathe. Whether long or short-tubed, these systems keep your truck healthy.
After a quick installation process, your truck will be set to hum smoothly down the road for miles to come.