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What makes a header 50 state legal?

Posted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:10 pm
by timk225
I have a 5 SXT ATX, and it's getting tuned a bit. One of my mods will be a header. I've been looking at the Pacesetter headers on eBay. Are they a good brand that won't leak, crack, or break on me?

I'll get a black painted one, I don't need any of that chrome coated BS.

But after reading some header descriptions, I got to wondering why some are 49 state legal and some are 50. This is of concern to me since my Neon and I are moving to Los Angeles later this year. I personally couldn't care less if my car is emissions legal or not, but I don't want to deal with some snivelly, whiny, government A-hole saying some insignificant detail makes the header illegal and I have to change it and all that. I don't need to get into trouble for applying my shoe to his ass forcefully and with feeling and emotion! :thefinger:

So what's the criteria? The header has to have an O2 sensor in it? Or that little metal tag welded on? Both? Neither?

Here's what I'm looking at:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Pacesetter-Exha ... 3339wt_956

Posted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:34 pm
by r/tguy02
last state is probably cali knowing their strict emissions laws. Most times a short tube header will pass no issues, mainly because the cat is still there and isnt moved. some states have rules about moving the cat from its original location, even if you run a cat on say a LTH, because it isnt in the factory location it will fail emissions.

Posted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:46 pm
by packfan88
the 50th state in those 49 state legal cases is always going to be California. They are strict when it comes to emissions.

So its safe to assume you live in one of the other 49. Cause you woulda known about that as a wee young lad hearing your Pops curse out the govt for all their restrictions while looking at a Summit Racing catalog.

Re: What makes a header 50 state legal?

Posted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:18 pm
by occasional demons
timk225 wrote: I personally couldn't care less if my car is emissions legal or not,
Good luck with that in Cali.

It has to be CARB Exempt. You will need to keep the certification for emissions testing.

A Pace Setter is not a direct bolt on either. They were designed for 1gn's and never made to fit the 2gn downpipe.

Why would you bother with a Pace Setter, when THIS is a far better bolt on option? You could sell the down pipe and recover some of the cost...

Stainless > Chrome > paint. Of course ceramic coated SS beats them all. :lol:

Posted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:41 pm
by SJT2
I have the painted Pacesetter longtubes on my 95 Camaro and it took about a half mile before the paint burned off. It looked like my car was on fire. ALWAYS get stainless or ceramic coated unless you like rusty headers. Good luck.

Posted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:16 pm
by racer12306
Yeah, you're going to not want to move to LA if you don't want the emissions hassle.

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 1:05 pm
by timk225
Got the Pacesetter last week. I checked the website and it has Code 11 for CARB approval, and a metal tag welded to the headers gives its approval number.

I also got the right female adapter pipe from NAPA, 2-1/2", to bolt up to it.

So I'm ok. I'll still get a paper copy of the exemption, as it's hard enough to read the metal tag out of the car on a clean header, much less trying to do it in the car.

It looks like it was chrome at one time but it's mostly burned off. Chrome headers are crap, just as much as header paint.

I wonder if I should thermal wrap it and if it'd make any difference.

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:19 pm
by occasional demons
Thermal wrap voids most header warranties. But I have not seen one fall apart from it either.

Chrome depends on the quality of the plating. The Doug Thorley header on my Jeep is at least 7 or 8 years old now, and isn't really rusting that much at all.

Chrome or stainless is going to blue or turn black from the heat, there just isn't too much you can do about that. If you want them to stay pretty, then ceramic coating is about the only way.

Ceramic's looks is only a side benefit tho.

Re: What makes a header 50 state legal?

Posted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:26 pm
by NickKo
timk225 wrote:This is of concern to me since my Neon and I are moving to Los Angeles later this year.
There's still time to NOT move to CA., if you change your mind !! :lol:


- Nick