Tech Review: Flowmaster’s Scavenger Series Elite Headers
No one was really shocked when Flowmaster announced that they would be rolling out a line of high-quality headers for musclecars. It was as natural of a fit as there ever was, and headers were a perfect extension to Flowmaster’s line of bolt-in performance exhaust components. If anything, it made us stop and think, “You know, Flowmaster really should be making headers!”
Flowmaster has kicked off their Scavenger Series Elite Headers with offerings for both classic and late model musclecars from Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors. We recently had the opportunity to get a first-hand look at a sampling of these new headers, and installed a set to test out the fit and finish for ourselves. Follow along and get all the details as we review the new Flowmaster Scavenger Series Elite Headers.
Features Across The Entire Line
Flowmaster’s Scavenger Series Elite Headers are high-quality in every way. For starters, there are no “universal” applications and every set of Flowmaster headers is designed for a specific application – which translates to easier installation, and no massaging or dinging them to make them fit your car.
Each set may be made specifically for one make and model, but regardless of the application all Flowmaster headers feature the same construction. The entire line of Scavenger series headers are constructed using thick 16-gauge 409S stainless steel, which not only resists corrosion but is also better at holding in high exhaust temperatures. Every set of Flowmaster headers is also ceramic coated for temperature control, and good looks as a fortunate side-effect.“With less expensive headers you’ll typically get a lot of underhood heat because of the thin wall tubing,” says Jeff Thomas from Flowmaster. “All that heat just bakes your wires, hoses, belts and everything else under the hood. The thick 16-gauge stainless and ceramic coating on our Scavenger Series headers really helps lower underhood temperatures significantly.”
Flowmaster Scavenger Series Elite Headers
- High Temp Ceramic Coating
- 16-Gauge 409S Stainless Steel Construction
- 3/8-Inch Thick Laser Cut Flanges
- Mandrel Bent Primaries
- Velocity Spike Welded into Collector
- Gaskets and Hardware Included for Most Applications
- Ball-Socket Collector Flange on Long-Tubes
- Most Short-Tube Headers CARB 50-State Legal
All of Flowmaster’s headers also feature 3/8-inch thick flanges on both the head and collector sides. “These flanges are essentially warp-free,” says Thomas. “You would have to get a 3/8-inch flange extremely hot to warp it.”
Another feature of the Scavenger Series headers is most models have a velocity spike inside the collector. “This serves two purposes,” says Thomas. “One, it strengthens the joint where all four primaries come together at the collector, and provides more weldable surface area. Secondly, the spike directs the exhaust gasses into the collector as they come out of each primary pipe.” Directing the exhaust pulses in this manner makes it much easier for them to follow each other along the exhaust tract, and actually increases the scavenging effect of the headers.
Flowmaster headers typically have tuned length primaries and paired cylinders for entering the collector. They have all been engineered to enhance the performance of every application, both long-tubes for early musclecars or emissions compliant short-tube for a modern car.
Scavenger Series Long-Tubes
The thick 16-gauge stainless and ceramic coating on our Scavenger Series headers really helps lower underhood temperatures significantly. -Jeff Thomas
Flowmaster’s Scavenger Series Elite long-tubes are designed for musclecar owners whose main concern is maximum power. Along with the 16-gauge construction, ceramic coating, and velocity spike, the long-tubes are built using hefty 1-5/8-inch, 1-3/4-inch, or 2-inch primaries. Many models also have Flowmaster’s 3-inch gasket-less ball-socket collector flanges, and as a nice bonus Flowmaster includes the reducer side of the connector as well. That makes for at least one less part for you to chase down before you can finish your install and hit the road. All you need is to install your headers, cut your existing exhaust, and weld it up to the flanges, bolt it up and be on your way.
CARB Certified Short-Tubes
There’s no getting around it. Emissions compliance is a very important consideration for owners of modern musclecars. For those who want more power but still want to keep their new ride emissions legal, Flowmaster also offers CARB certified 50-state legal shorties for many applications. Flowmaster’s shorties are direct replacements for restrictive exhaust manifolds, and bolt directly to your stock exhaust system.
To get a CARB Certification, an aftermarket header cannot physically move any of the emissions equipment on the car. That means that header manufacturers cannot change the location of the catalytic converter on the car. “The outlet of the new header design has to be in the exact same place as the stock manifold,” says Thomas. “You have to work forward of that to design a set of shorties.”
Even so, every set of Flowmaster short-tubes have the same features and construction as the long-tubes, including the velocity spike, 3/8-inch and laser cut flanges, and mandrel bent primary tubes. “We’ve seen some impressive gains from the short-tube headers,” says Thomas. “Especially when you consider that you can install them yourself in just a few hours and bolt them right up to your existing exhaust.”
Fox Body Mustang Flowmaster Shortie Install
We installed a set of Flowmaster’s direct-fit Scavenger Series shorties (Part #814221) on one of our resident beasts of burden – a 1992 Fox Body Mustang. The car is still equipped with it’s original 42,000 mile 5.0L, but has been upgraded with an array of bolt-ons that include a Vortec T-Trim supercharger and a full Flowmaster 2.5-inch American Thunder exhaust system. The Mustang was originally a drag car that went as quick as 10.60 in the quarter, but we’ve recently been converting for road racing, complete with a Maximum Motorsports Grip Box suspension set up and a new Tremec T-56 Magnum 6-speed trans.
The Flowmaster shorties dropped right into place in the Mustang’s tight engine compartment and easily cleared all of the factory brackets, suspension, and steering components with no problem. Unlike some other header installs, we didn’t have to modify the Flowmaster Scavenger Series shorites to make them fit.
The collector flanges mated right up to the Flowmaster American Thunder exhaust downpipes, and the included hardware and correct gaskets just made things go even smoother.
We know the added power from the velocity spike and larger primaries, along with the reduced underhood temps from the thick stainless and ceramic coating, will both pay dividends on the Mustang long into the future. Overall, we were pleased with the final product.
The Final Gear…
Flowmaster’s experience in the performance exhaust aftermarket is evident in the Scavenger Series Elite Headers. They aren’t cheaply built headers, but that’s the point. You’re still getting a lot for the money with these headers considering they are coated and stainless steel – along with the power adding features that are usually only found on more expensive headers.