Best Headers for a 2003 Xterra SE? - Nissan Xterra Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 01-25-2013, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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2003 Xterra
Best Headers for a 2003 Xterra SE?

Hi all,
I have a CAI and a cat back on my Xterra and I want to move on to headers next. I have a friend working on my timeingbelt on monday or tuesday so he told me he'll do the headers,he owes me. Can someone please either explain how the headers work for the 1st gen or show me a previous thread about this because I havn't seen one. i know 4x4parts sell some, yet so does jc whitney and 4x4parts sells are the little odds and ends i need for it, i feel i can get the headers cheaper from jc whitney. but 4x4parts doesnt say what name brand they sell you, does anyone have any input on that? when i have the headers installed, are the cats eliminated completely? will i feel the difference in my engine with the CIA, cat back, and headers? HELP PLEASE!

Like what about these headers?

What are these Dough Thorley everyone talks about? Can i have a link to them and to the AC ones?

Please and thank you !

Last edited by vinmonty; 01-25-2013 at 09:07 AM.
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post #2 of 3 Old 01-25-2013, 12:16 PM
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On 2002 and up year models the headers replace the primary cats, so you will still have the secondary ones. On 2000 and 2001 models there were only primary cats, so you end up with none.

As far as the ones AC sells, they have 2 different ones. They have the doug thorley ones, and they also have another set that have no brand, or are their own brand. The way I understand it is the DT ones are coated, where the AC ones are just stainless. People have had good luck with both, but the DT ones seem to be the more popular choice.

Power wise, I cant vouch for that, but you should notice a difference. Its not going to be world changing. The X is going to be a slow truck no matter what. its the nature of the beast.

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post #3 of 3 Old 01-25-2013, 03:57 PM
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They're long tube headers so they don't do anything for low end power- you need to get up into the higher RPMs to notice the gains. And who wants to do that when you can watch your gas gauge go down?

I think with stock size tires, you will feel a little improvement with the intake, headers and cat back. But like Intender said, these trucks will be slow no matter what. And yeah, the Doug Thorleys are ceramic coated and the ACs are stainless.

2002 Super Black 5 Speed 4x4
Lift/Suspension: AC Shackles and UCAs, Bilsteins, 2" BL
Armor: front ARB w/ XRC-9.5 w/ synthetic line, rear Skid Row bumper
Steering: Bandit4x4 IA bushings, AC HD TRAs, Calmini IAB; Moog TREs; 555 centerlink
Wheels/Tires: 33x12.5x15 Goodyear Duratracs on desert runners
Performance: K&N intake, Doug Thorley headers, Magnaflow muffler
Electronics: backup camera, Pioneer head unit, JBL 770w amp, JL 12" W0, front Infinity Reference components, rear Sony Xplods
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