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I know this may sound like a stupid question, but I am in California and have a limited selection of SMOG friendly headers.I have 1994 Trans am LT1 stock. From the pictures it looks like they are over glorified exhaust manifolds. Mine is 25 years old and rusted everywhere and needs to be replaced in the near future. So, is it worth it to get certified headers that adhere to CA SMOG requirements? Or simply just replace with stock exhaust manifold? Will there be a performance difference?
 

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I know this may sound like a stupid question, but I am in California and have a limited selection of SMOG friendly headers.I have 1994 Trans am LT1 stock. From the pictures it looks like they are over glorified exhaust manifolds. Mine is 25 years old and rusted everywhere and needs to be replaced in the near future. So, is it worth it to get certified headers that adhere to CA SMOG requirements? Or simply just replace with stock exhaust manifold? Will there be a performance difference?
Long tubes are way better than shorties, shorties is an ok upgrade from stock manifold, shorties will pass emissions
 

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If you choose headers over stock exhaust manifolds, be sure to get either ceramic coated headers, or better yet, stainless steel headers.

Painted headers rust rather quickly. And the steel they're made of is much thinner than original cast iron manifolds.

ceramic coated last longer, but stainless lasts even longer.
 

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I use stainless headers for all of my engine transplants then after all fitment or modifications are done, get the ceramic coated to keep them from turning colors. My answer to the OP is that being in Ca, you need to pass all the BS regulations so I would get certified headers if you are planning on keeping the car indefinitely.
 
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