How Can Individual Parts of a Performance Exhaust System Help You Improve Your Ride?

Posted on: 10 July 2017

If you are a true automotive enthusiast, you will probably be thinking about modifying your vehicle so that you can get better performance and turn some heads at the next automotive show. One of the areas you may be looking at is the exhaust system and you may be wondering how each particular component can affect how your car works, as well as improving the engine note. What are the components and how do they contribute to your goal?

Considering the Header

Perhaps the most important part of the exhaust system is the header. This is sometimes referred to as the "manifold," and is made up of several individual tubes attached to a flange. This bolts onto the cylinder head and a performance version is a considerable improvement on the stock manifold provided by the OEM. These individual tubes come together in a collector that merges them into one, so that it can be attached to the remainder of the system.

You have several options when it comes to your selection of aftermarket headers. Basically, they can be either short, mid or long and the latter will give you the biggest increase in horsepower.

You will need to know what size of primary tubing to choose to mate with your overall system, so that you can get the most power gains possible. Just remember to check whether you will still be legal in terms of your emissions when you fit one of these options.

Going down

The next section is the downpipe that connects the manifold to the main system underneath. You may be able to find a specific design that gives you performance advantages here, as well.

In the Middle

The downpipe connects to the mid-pipe and this can be either dual or single exhaust. Some designs allow for crossover between dual pipes, or for the tubes to otherwise come together through a connector. These options can equalise pressure and help the flow of gases and can provide a distinctive exhaust tone.

At the Back

Finally, you need to consider the back exhaust and there are a wide variety of options here. Much will depend on the configuration of your vehicle and how the tubing passes over the rear axle, if applicable.

Making Your Decision

Get some advice from performance exhaust experts, to see what your options are. You'll want to consider them carefully as the exhaust is a significant upgrade and you may need to balance performance, practicality, engine noise and cost.