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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys, haven't posted here in a while but I have an 02 Dakota, as the title suggests, with a 3.9 six & a manual transmission.

Snapped and exhaust manifold bolt/stud, and am thinking while I'm fixing it, rather than just re-fixing the old system, I'll do some upgrading and add performance headers, get somebody to bend me ups straight dual exhaust, and MAYBE get a wee bit more power out of the old beast?

SO anyway, I'm thinking cat-forward headers. I know there's probably a million options, and that's why I'm turning to fellow Dakota owners to see what people suggest.

I have a somewhat local custom exhaust shop with mandrel benders etc but the gentleman suggested I figure out what headers to orderfor the system, and he'd take it
from there.

Over the years, I've put piles of money into this truck, and usually choose upgrade parts to replace the standard stock bits. I've piece-mealed exhaust bits all along but this time, I want to just do it right. Or do it better in any case. Time for a "real" exhaust.

SO: Performance (CAT FORWARD) headers... What's anyone using on their 2nd Gen Dakota?

Thanks in advance!

Tom aka Ricochetrider
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Found a pair of ceramic coated, cat forward headers by JBA on the World Wide Web. 373.00 USD
Will wait for responses here tho.
 

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You want my honest opinion? Fix the stud and put the manifolds back on.

Headers will not give you much of a performance increase if any at all, and the reason why is, headers work best at high engine rpms, usually above 3500rpm. Most of the time, your engine will be running at low rpm, typically in the 2000-2500 rpm range.

To make matters worse, your little V6 doesn't really breathe well above 3500 rpm where headers would make a difference. Think of an engine as an air pump. Air goes in one side and air comes out the other side. Headers would improve breathing (at higher rpms) on the out side, but you don't have more air getting in, on the intake side and unfortunately, outside of adding a turbo, there isn't many performance parts for the 3.9

The factory manifolds are sufficient for most driving conditions and flow very well at normal operating rpms. They also won't rust out, like headers usually do. Manifolds do not create more under hood heat like headers will, which can heat soak starters and make summer driving a problem. If you want to make an improvement in your exhaust, you could "upgrade" the exhaust with a dual cat-back system.

Ed
 
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