Hi everyone, I’ve lurked here for a while, and comment on Jalopnik fairly often but this is my first Oppo post.

Today I dove into the devilish nightmare that is exhaust manifold gaskets on my ‘99 F-150 with the 5.4. After spending 5-1/2 - 6 hours taking the manifolds off I discovered that my passenger side manifold has a hole in it, and due to a stubborn bolt and some excessive grinding my driver side might as well be replaced as well. After a bit of looking it looks like I can get a set of short tube headers for about the same price I can get factory manifolds, so I’m considering buying a set. Naturally my search on various forums didn’t turn up much useful information other than dick measuring contests, and contests of who can be the biggest asshole. So, my questions for you are, does anyone have experience with short tubes on this generation of truck? And do you think I would see any gains, even if minimal? Everything else on the truck is stock, except for a cold air intake, which arguably does nothing anyway, so do you think it would be worth it, or not?

Edit: After some more research and thoughts I think stock manifolds are the way to go. Actually, long tubes with high flow cats and a nice stainless cat back system is the way to go, but being a responsible debt paying adult sucks, and I gotta be budget oriented on this project.