Installation for the
5.7 HEMI RAM 1500 (2WD)
By Mark Simonds (MrHemi)
Virginia Beach, Virginia
I’m one of
those guys that just can never get enough… horsepower, that is. Our
HemiTruckClub.com project truck started as a stock ’03 Hemi Ram with 345
horsepower at the flywheel. That was fine for a while, but we soon found
out we wanted more power… so a cold air intake and a cat-back exhaust were
installed, which bumped up the power to approximately 365-370 at the
flywheel. Then along came the Superchips programmer, which added another 20
horsepower. That was all well and good, but we still wanted more… something
that would work well with the previous modifications, and provide a real
noticeable “kick in the pants” performance boost. The answer was simple…
headers! And not just any headers would do - we wanted a complete
performance system that included stainless steel long tubes, the “Y” pipe,
and two high-flow performance catalytic converters. In other words, we
wanted Dynatech’s SuperMaxx headers.
When you first
look at the $1,295 price tag of the Dynatech SuperMaxx headers, you're
tempted to say “that’s a lot of money just for headers!” But Dynatech's
Supermaxx system is a complete package - it includes the long tube headers,
the "Y" pipe, two high-flow cats, and an extension pipe… all stainless
steel. A true “bolt-on” application... and on the 5.7 Hemi, the horsepower
and torque gains are substantial (see dyno chart below). Dynatech’s
SuperMaxx header system is fully OBD-II compatible. They
do not however, carry a C.A.R.B. number… so this system is not authorized
for street use in California or other state that follows California’s
emission restriction laws.
started researching the “Headers Market”, I quickly discovered most
companies offered just the headers… maybe if we were lucky the “Y” pipe
might be included. The results of the Internet journey is best summed up
with the below chart:
|Dynatech Supermaxx $1,295
*Average cost of a
high-flow catalytic converter is $90-$190 EACH (most are a “universal fit”
application). ** Additional cost of
“Y” pipe for this application is $473.
So let’s do
the math – we’ll take the average price for everything needed for a complete
application. Take Gibson headers for example: $500 for the headers, $150
(X2) for hi-flow performance cats, and $400 or so for a “Y” pipe (if you can
find one). The total comes to $1,200 – and that’s for miss-matched parts
that may or may not work together… and definitely have not been tuned to
perfection. So after all the research, the final decision was an easy one.
Not too many days later, there was a big white box on my doorstep with
“Dynatech SuperMaxx” on the side. I called my friends at Dynotuned
Performance, Inc. to set up an appointment to install the headers, and we
were ready to go.
The morning of
the install I stopped by Dunkin’ Donuts for coffee and a dozen donuts… I
wanted to make sure the folks that were going to install the Dynatech
headers would be happy to see me coming! More about the great guys at
Dynotuned Performance, Inc. later in this article… read on!
brochure states the installation should take 2.5 hours… we started at 10am
and finished the installation at 2:30pm – extra time was required to wait
until the engine cooled down and to modify the Gibson Super Truck cat-back
exhaust (more on that later). The first thing we did was review the
comprehensive instruction booklet that came with the kit. I was quite
impressed with Dynatech’s installation manual… 14 pages of very detailed,
step-by-step instructions, which included 28 full color photos to guide you
along the installation process. The booklet also contained safety notices,
safety gear recommended for the installation, and a 1-800 number to call -
if for whatever reason you get stuck somewhere during the install. We
didn’t have to call the toll-free number…
important safety precaution during this entire installation was right at the
beginning – ensure the engine is completely cool before starting.
The most obvious reason for this is the ease of handling the stock
manifolds. But another important reason is with the Hemi’s aluminum heads -
you don’t want to be backing out bolts while the heads are still hot. All
bolts to be removed were sprayed with penetrating oil at this time as well.
While we were
waiting for the Hemi to cool down, the truck was lifted it up on the rack to
make life easier for the installation process. This installation can be
done without a lift (such as a driveway), but since Dynotuned Performance,
Inc. had a lift, it was a no-brainer. The front wheels were removed,
followed by the plastic inner wheel well protectors. Next the thin aluminum
manifold shields were removed, followed by the bolts securing the manifold
to the mid-pipe.
Hemi Ram had an aftermarket cat-back exhaust, we removed the “U” clamp that
secured it to the stock cat pipe, and removed the entire cat-back assembly
(again, for the ease of assembly of the header pipes. Make sure the two
oxygen sensors’ electrical harnesses are unplugged before removing the
pipes. After removing all the bolts holding the stock manifold, mid-pipe,
and cat pipe together, the entire stock exhaust was removed.
This was a
great opportunity to see the difference between the Dynatech headers and the
stock manifold… I was amazed at how small and insignificant-looking the
stock manifold was compared to the headers. The Dynatech headers are a full
2.5” inner diameter, whereas the stock manifold was barely 2 ¼” in diameter.
The new headers literally dwarfed the stock manifold!
Now it was
time to install the new headers… and to no one’s surprise everything fit
perfectly, including the gaskets. We made sure that the header bolts had
anti-seize on the tips, since we were bolting into aluminum heads. Life was
made easier by placing all bolts in before tightening any one bolt (in case
the flange needed to be adjusted). All bolts were torqued to 15 ft lbs.
One note of
concern from one of the guys at the shop – it was a challenge using the
torque wrench on the lower flange bolts of each header.
But if you’ve been turning
wrenches for awhile, you can gauge pretty close to what 15 foot pounds feels
like. One minor item that was not addressed
in the instruction manual is on the passenger side upper control arm mount
(rear), there are two little tabs that stick out. These must be bent just a
hair to properly fit the headers. This also ensured us that during engine
operation there will be no chance of vibration from the headers touching
these mounts tabs. A pair of regular pliers did the trick!
included in the header kit was some heat shield fabric for fuel lines and
miscellaneous wiring that comes fairly close to the driver’s side header (Dynatech
thought of everything!). It is recommended that the shielding by wrapped
around these lines and wires prior to installing the driver’s side header
(makes it easier to install).
the installation of the catalytic converters - these high-flow catalytic
converters deliver a 106% increase in exhaust flow compared to the stock
cats! We placed the stock oxygen sensor into the cat (the other sensor on
the mid pipe), making sure to use anti-seize on the threads. The mid pipe
was then attached with the stainless steel clamps provided in the kit. The
final piece of plumbing was the extension pipe, that fitted with a “ball and
socket” joint… a very professional fit.
Now if you
have a stock exhaust, the extension pipe fits directly to the rest of the
exhaust system and you’re pretty much done. Our project truck had a Gibson
Super Truck cat-back, so we had to do some modifications.
approximately 7” off of Dynatech’s extension pipe, and another 8” off of the
Gibson’s pipe (front of the muffler). A Saws-All did the trick quite
nicely. We then took the extension pipe to a local muffler shop, and for
ten bucks had them widen the tip for proper seating to the cat-back pipe.
Everything fit perfectly afterwards, so the cat-back was re-installed and
all bolts were tightened. Dynatech thought this one out… it fits perfectly
to a stock rear exhaust, but in addition, they give you enough length on the
extension pipe to make modifications if necessary to fit just about any
aftermarket cat-back exhaust.
One of the
mechanics at Dynotuned Performance stated that out of the 40+ header
installations he has done in his lifetime, the Dynatech system was by far
the easiest install he has ever done. Great job fellas!
excerpt form Dynatech’s web site which lists the features of this system:
SuperMaxx Features & Benefits
Heavy-wall aircraft quality stainless steel
tubing throughout the system (1 3/4” headers, 2 1/2” x 3” Y-pipe) for
outstanding performance and durability.
Extra-thick (.375”), laser-CNC-machined header
flange for superior gasket sealing.
Factory-style O2 sensor bungs for direct fit
and fully ODB-II compatible.
Hi-flow, stainless steel catalytic converters
for increased horsepower and torque.
Slip-together union in the “Y”-pipe assembly
allows for easy installation without welding.
Hi-flow merge-style “Y” pipe for maximum
Stainless steel “Y” pipe flange retains the
factory “ball & socket” connection.
collector/converter connection utilizes a self-aligning, sintered metal,
donut gasket for a long lasting leak-free connection.
Okay… now for the numbers. It was another hot and humid day
once again here in Virginia Beach…
92 degrees in the dyno shop and 45%
humidity. Not the best day to see the maximum horsepower the Hemi had to
offer! We did three runs on the dyno, running 3rd gear pulls
(1:1 ratio), and used a 23% drivetrain loss factor. The baseline horsepower
and torque was achieved with the 3:92 rear end running 20” wheels, and the
following modifications (previously installed): aFe cold air intake, Gibson
Super Truck, Superchips Programmer, and AMSOIL Series 2000 0W-30 synthetic
Baseline: Dynatech headers install results:
Est. Flywheel HP: 365 RWHP: 298
Est. Flywheel HP: 387
RWTQ: 304 Est. Flywheel TQ:
395 RWTQ: 319
Est. Flywheel TQ: 415
I believe if it had been a
much cooler day (temperatures in the low 70s and low humidity); there should
have been no reason not to see the above numbers at three to four percent
higher than they were.
A positive note –
there were discussions about the use of long tube headers and the Superchips
programmer… folks were concerned that the Hemi might run too lean with the
combination of the two. After three dyno runs with both of these products
installed, the Hemi never once ran lean… in fact, it actually ran 0.5 richer
than with the stock manifolds!
We owe a special thanks to
Frank, Brent, and Shawn at Dynotuned Performance, Inc., located in
Chesapeake, Virginia. Their professional knowledge and expertise made a
fairly easy installation even easier! And the fact that they have an
on-site dynamometer made life very easy for the “before and after” results.
Give them a call at (757) 549-DYNO or stop by their shop… three runs on
their Chassis Dynamometer for one very low price. And by the way - Brent
just bought himself a 2003 Hemi Ram 3500 Dually! He is now waiting
patiently for Dynatech to offer headers for the Hemi 3500 series…
In summary, we couldn’t be happier with
this header system… very easy to install, outstanding sound, and increased
performance. This Hemi truck now sounds like the Hemi of yesteryear!
Dynatech continues to be the exhaust leader in all forms of racing and high
performance applications. Since 1991 Dynatech has produced headers and
exhaust applications for drag racing and circle track racing (including
NASCAR Late Model Sock). And now we can enjoy the benefits of their
performance products in our trucks and SUVs. They are truly from a racing
background, and they know what it takes to manufacture a high quality and
dependable exhaust system! But don’t take just my word for it – at the 2002
SEMA show in Las Vegas, Dynatech achieved two prestigious awards: Best New
Product, and Best Off-Road Product. Achieving these awards from over 4,000
competitors is truly a significant accomplishment! For more information on
Dynatech’s products, go to