When it comes to making more horsepower on an otherwise stock car, one of the first, and most cost effective modifications many people make is replacing the stock exhaust manifolds with aftermarket headers. However, have you ever wondered how these pretzel-like contraptions of tubular steel are built? Really, how do they do it?

Thankfully, Hedman Hedders has put together an informative and entertaining (at least for us engineering nerds) video about how they build these crazy things right here in the ol’ USA.

Well it all starts with steel tubing, which is cut down into 20-ft sections. From there, computer-controlled benders shape each section of tubing to exact and precise specifications.

It is important that the bends are exactly on the dot; any deviation has serious ramifications on the fit. That’s why Hedman uses a master welding jig to ensure proper fitment before sending the tubes over to welding.

Afterwards the tubing is sent over to the welding station, along with a 3-inch collector that helps tie the header together. Then it is all up the master welders to seamlessly bring the tubes, collector, and header flange together into one seamless work of functional art. Then, the port welds are ground down with a belt sander before heading to quality control. Finally it receives a heat-resistant ceramic coating.

We love these kinds of videos here at powerTV; there’s something special about watching American manufacturing at its finest, building a functional work of art that every car guy uses right here in our homeland.