How to Boost Your Subaru’s Performance with Header Wrapping: A Step-by-Step Guide

Subaru enthusiasts understand the importance of maximizing their vehicle’s performance. One of the best ways to do this is by wrapping your Subaru headers. Header wrapping not only improves engine performance but also drastically reduces heat levels, which can have long-term benefits for your Subaru’s life. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of wrapping Subaru headers step-by-step, including the materials required and the best techniques to use.

Benefits of header wrapping

Before proceeding to the process of wrapping your Subaru headers, it’s necessary to understand the advantages of header wrapping. A properly wrapped header offers significant benefits, including:

Improved engine performance

Header wrapping works by insulating the exhaust gases that flow through the header tubes, resulting in improved scavenging and reduced back pressure. This lowers exhaust gas temperature, leading to improved engine performance. Your Subaru will have better power, torque, and throttle response.

Reduced heat levels

Heat reduction is perhaps the most significant advantage of header wrapping. The reduced temperature levels reduce the risk of premature wear of engine components, such as the exhaust valve, gaskets, and spark plug wires. Further, heat reduction increases cooling system efficiency and lowers the coolant temperature, which allows your Subaru to run cooler even under extreme performance conditions.

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How to wrap Subaru headers

Now that we’ve covered the benefits, let’s dive into the process of wrapping your Subaru headers. Here are the step-by-step instructions:

Step 1: Gather materials

You’ll need the following materials before starting the header wrapping process:

  • Exhaust wrap
  • Self-locking stainless steel cable ties
  • Safety glasses
  • Heat-resistant gloves

Step 2: Preparation

  • Wear your safety glasses and heat-resistant gloves.
  • Remove the headers from your car.
  • Clean the headers to ensure that they are free of dirt, oil, and debris.

Step 3: Wrapping the headers

  • Start wrapping the headers individually from the furthest end towards the engine. Overlap each wrap over the previous one by a third.
  • Continue wrapping tightly and evenly while angling the wrap towards the next tube.
  • Use the self-locking ties to secure the wrap in place. It’s essential to note that the header must be properly sealed for the best outcome.

Step 4: Aftercare

After wrapping the headers, it’s recommended to allow them to cure by running the engine at idle for the first 15 minutes, then shutting it down for half an hour before running it again. This process will allow the wrap to properly expand and cure tightly around the headers.

Safety considerations and common mistakes

Here are current misunderstandings and mistakes while wrapping headers:

  • Always follow the instructions, especially regarding the use of gloves and safety glasses, to avoid injuries.
  • Wrap the headers when they are cold and not hot.
  • Ensure that you don’t cover your O2 sensor with the exhaust wrap, as it needs the atmosphere to work correctly.
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Tips for achieving the best results

Finally, here are some tips that can help you achieve the best results possible when wrapping your Subaru headers:

  • Ensure that every part of your header gets wrapped.
  • Use the gloves and safety glasses throughout the process to avoid getting stray fibers in your eyes or burning your skin.
  • Make sure the gaps between the wraps are tight to avoid carbon buildup that can damage the wrap.’,
  • Avoid wrapping the header’s end pipes due to the extreme heat produced by that portion, as this can lead to premature wrap failure.


Q: Can I use any brand of exhaust wrap for my headers?

A: It’s advisable to use a high-quality brand like DEI, Design Engineering or Thermal Zero, as cheaply-made wraps may not last long and could damage your headers.

Q: What is the recommended temperature rating for the exhaust wrap?

A: Make sure that the exhaust wrap you’re installing has a temperature rating of at least 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Q: Is header wrapping legal?

A: Header wrapping is street legal. However, specific rules and regulations may vary depending on where you’re located. Ensure that you are compliant with the laws in your area.


Wrapping your Subaru headers is an excellent mod that boosts your vehicle’s performance while reducing heat-related problems. Follow the steps we’ve outlined in this article, and you’ll be able to wrap your Subaru headers with ease. Remember to prioritize your safety, follow our guidelines, and you’ll have a wrapped header that delivers results.

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Billy Covington

With a passion for all things automotive, Billy is our go-to expert on Subaru performance upgrades and modifications. He's been featured in several car magazines and blogs, and his extensive knowledge and expertise make him a valuable member of our team. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys playing guitar and writing music.

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