Corvette Long Tube Headers - Do I need a Tune

Corvette Headers and a Tuning

It's Long Tube Header Season, better known as "Corvette Christmas". Corvette X-Mas happens every year right around Tax Return Season and we are pretty sure that it's not a coincidence. There are a couple things you need to be aware of when adding Long Tube Headers to your Corvette. The first things is that you can install Headers at home. This is by no means an easy job and takes some serious mechanical skills and some equipment that the average person may not have. Most Long Tube Headers install from the bottom up, meaning that you need to be able to get the car up in the air. To safely install Long Tube Headers on your Corvette, you need a Lift. While there are examples of people doing it without a lift, we do not recommend that you try it. It is EXTREMELY Dangerous. 

The second thing you need to know is that you will have to tune your Corvette after installing Headers. Installing Long Tube Headers will drastically change your fuel map and your Corvette will be running Lean. While your Vette will start and run, running any motor in a lean condition can cause permanent damage and/or catastrophic failure. You will get a Check Engine Light that will code as Lean Right Bank and Lean Left Bank, as well as other various related codes. The good news is that tuning your Corvette for long tube headers is a pretty easy process. Headers are a fairly common modification and there are several solutions out there. There are two basic types of tunes. The first type is called a Bench Tune. This is the type of tune that most of you will be using. A Bench Tune is a tune that has been done before and proven to work for your specific size headers, engine and intake. It is a simple process of Flashing your ECU (Computer) to adjust the operating parameters for your new set up. It takes about 15 minutes and costs between $100 and $150. The second kind of tune is a Custom Tune. As its name implies, it is a tune custom built for your specific Corvette. This type of Tune is required if you had drastically changed your engine parameters. Adding Heads, CAM, Porting, Super Chargers, Rockers, Springs, Turbo's would be examples of things you would need a custom tune for. A custom Tune can run between $400 - $1000 and takes a skilled engine tuner to perform well and may require several adjustments to get it just right. The good news here is that no matter what you can dream up for your project, it can be custom tuned for your specific needs.

Custom Corvette Accessories has extensive industry contacts and can help you locate a Corvette Tuning Professional in your area.


  • Chip

    Richard: A basic LT Header install does not require a complex tune. The tune is pretty basic and is called a “Bench Tune” There are several Tuners that you can just mail your ECU to and they can flash it for you – or – if you are good with computers, they can send you the file. We recommend East Coast Supercharging (ECS) – 1-609-752-0321 or Chuck Cow Tuning 1-914-332-0049

  • Richard Dickson

    I’m going to install headers on my 2004 Z06. I’m having trouble finding a tuner in my area. I live in the Portland, Oregon.
    I have questions regarding the sound I will get with the header install. I want to leave the stock z06 muffler set up. I’m looking for an aggressive sound on acceleration and not have the drone sound at lower rpm freeway speed.

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