Construct Your Own Ls Header

LS headers collect the combustion gases.

Building LS headers is not a job for a novice or amateur automobile mechanic. The job requires welding, fabrication, design and mechanical experience that most novice mechanics do not have. The header attaches to the side ports of your car engine and collects the combustion gases from the pistons, then sends them into the exhaust pipes. The best way to fabricate your LS headers is to purchase a header kit. These kits have the header components required to build your own LS headers for your engine.


1. Sketch the layout of the LS headers you need to build. Determine the composition of tubing, angle of each piece and length required to fit the type of motor. Measure the distance from the piston outlet valves and the fender wells of the engine compartment. Ensure your layout leaves enough clearance from the header pipes and the fenders. Make sure you know the exact route of each header pipe before making any cuts.

2. Cut the first tube that will be used as the collection point for all of the other exhaust pipes. Remove the header and clamp each joint in place. Grind off each tack weld, and then weld all the way around each joint, one at a time. Grind down each weld until it is smooth.

Cut a starter tube for each piston outlet on the manifold. Connect these starter tubes to the header flange and bolt in place. Cut the first bend out the U-bend pipes that came with the LS header kit. Grind down the sharp edges and remove any burrs. Flare the ends of the first bends if necessary to allow them to fit onto the starter tubes. Make sure each bend is cut to your design specifications.

4. Cut the down pipes from the straight pipe that came with the header kit. Clean the edges with a grinder. Tack weld each piece of tubing you cut as you set them in place to ensure the pieces are fitting properly. Cut each exhaust pipe individually and route the pipe to the collection pipe. Tack weld each header pipe in place so when you move onto the next run, you can make adjustments to the bends and the route.

5. Cut the same size collection pipe for both sides of the engine. Clean the sharp edges of the cuts or any burrs with the grinder to make them smooth.3. Sketch out the completed LS header so you can use the same design on the other side. Make sure you write down the pipe bends used, final angles required and the size of each pipe. Mount the LS headers onto the manifold