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article details
Author Jeff Palmer
Categories Project Cars, Dyno Testing, Performance Parts, TSX
Create Date April 26, 2005 09:40
Last Update October 26, 2005 14:12
DC Sports AHC6016 Ceramic-coated 4-2-1 Headers for 2004-up Acura TSX

Introduction


Stock Manifold vs. DC Sports

OEM "funnel" collector
For quite a while our TSX Project car's sole upgrade under the hood was an AEM Short Ram System Intake, which we tested about a year ago. The gains from that simple and rather inexpensive upgrade were pretty impressive, so our next plan was to see what a set of headers would add to the equation. We didn't think it would take another year for us to take that next step, but gosh, time flies. Fortunately that long drought led to a virtual monsoon of performance parts testing - in the last two months we have installed and tested 4 engine-related upgrades on the project TSX, starting with the Hondata ECU Reflash. The DC Sports 4-2-1 header was the 2nd to be tested.

Design

DC Sports' header offering for the TSX is a fairly standard 2-piece 4-2-1 design, constructed of ceramic-coated mild steel. This is compared to the stock header, also a 2-piece design, which gives the appearance of a 4-1 design, but is actually a somewhat crude 4-2-1 internally. The OEM design has 4 rather short primaries dumping into a large diameter funnel shaped collector which then connects to a single large diameter pipe to deliver the spent gases to the catalytic converter. Inside the collector, there's a plate about 6 inches long that bisects it horizontally (see photo), effectively merging the primaries of cylinders 2-3 and 1-4 together. The DC Sports is a proper Tri-Y design, using merge collectors which improve flow characteristics compared to the stock system.

Impressions

My past header purchases have been stainless steel Mugen pieces, each running over $1000, so I was surprised when I saw a list price of only $435.24 on the DC Sports header. That's quite a deal IF the header delivers gains. Of course one reason it's so reasonably priced is the ceramic coated mild steel construction, but if performance is your main concern, the cost savings are a nice bonus. If you really want to have a pretty set of stainless pipes sticking out of your TSX's motor, don't forget that the header is mostly hidden between the engine and the firewall, so most people wouldn't even notice your extra expense. The question then comes down to durability. I don't personally have any experience with ceramic coated headers, but I understand that there can be problems if the coating becomes compromised. During installation it's important that the headers are handled properly. Basically you want to ensure that the finish remains fully intact and that the headers are very clean and free of oils before firing up the motor for the first time. Other than that the only other thing I noticed about the appearance of the DC Sports Ceramic Coated headers was that the (less costly to produce) MIG welded joints aren't as pretty as TIG welded joints seen on some of the pricier alternatives, but again, that's something that's nearly invisible once the headers are installed. Everything you need to perform the installation (except of course, the tools) is included in the box.
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Date Thread Starter Thread
10-19-2005 19:33 Headers Cracking?   (Score: 1, Normal) nindoo
10-19-2005 19:40 nindoo
04-29-2005 10:24 Hey jeff, time for some forced induction!   (Score: 1, Normal) LilChowWow
04-29-2005 14:17 JeffX
04-26-2005 20:03 HHC5022 for '03 K24 Accord   (Score: 1, Normal) civic_cx_92
04-28-2005 16:38 civic_cx_92
04-28-2005 17:55 civic_cx_92
04-28-2005 14:23 Why was the headers removed?   (Score: 1, Normal) civic_cx_92
04-28-2005 14:57 JeffX
04-28-2005 17:12 gahnrud7
04-27-2005 23:24 Plans to test other headers?   (Score: 1, Normal) MrChad
04-28-2005 08:34 JeffX
04-27-2005 11:55 Why wasn't this done with Hondata?   (Score: 1, Normal) Pauly1
04-27-2005 14:18 JeffX
04-27-2005 15:45 Dren
04-27-2005 10:16 Little explaining!!!!   (Score: 1, Normal) 6SPDTL
04-27-2005 13:52 notyper
04-27-2005 14:31 JeffX
04-27-2005 01:35 What other options are there?   (Score: 1, Normal) gahnrud7
04-26-2005 19:55 Impressive   (Score: 1, Normal) 99SI
04-26-2005 19:54 Amazing...........TSX   (Score: 1, Normal) Acura fanatic
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