Another one of those age old debates. Are headers better than manifolds or are manifolds better than headers. In the typical Jeeper type answer – it depends. Personally on a trail Jeep manifolds will get the job done and sometimes will be an advantage.
Manifolds: More restriction usually equals more low end torque. Torque is good on a trail Jeep that spends all day moving at 2mph. Manifolds also are less prone to exhaust leaks. I have spent a good amount of money on header gaskets, even gimmicky ones that still fail eventually. I guess crappy headers can’t help the situation, but find a set of “good” headers for an AMC V8 in a CJ. Manifolds will pass the heat along downstream in the exhaust system reducing underhood temperature. The down side is
Headers: Less restriction allows for freer flow at higher rpm. Since most trail Jeeps never see rpm of any significance it seems that headers may not provide any benefit. On a Jeep racer or street warrior headers may make more sense.