Can You Use Normal Muffler With High Flow Catalytic Converter Optimize Vehicle Performance With Exhaust Headers

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Optimize Vehicle Performance With Exhaust Headers

An exhaust header is an aftermarket auto part designed to improve vehicle performance. The slight increase in performance provided by the exhaust pipe is important to high-performance drivers who often make other modifications to their vehicles to increase speed. These changes include the installation of larger intake ports for the engine. The exhaust manifold modifies the exhaust system to prevent back pressure, meaning the cylinders don’t have to work as hard to push the exhaust out as they do in a traditional system. Depending on the needs of drivers, there are different types of exhaust pipes, with some adapted for low performance and others for high performance on the open road.

In a conventional exhaust system, after combustion, the cylinders push the exhaust gases out into the exhaust manifold, which directs them out of the vehicle through the exhaust pipe. However, the exhaust manifold can create back pressure that pushes against the cylinder, meaning it has to put more energy into pushing the exhaust out and getting ready for the next ignition. As a result, some efficiency may be lost.

An exhaust manifold works differently, essentially creating a miniature exhaust pipe for each cylinder and directing the exhaust gases into a centralized manifold that is much larger. The exhaust manifold pipes are bent to fit under the hood and cut to the same length so that the exhaust gases will arrive sequentially into the manifold as each cylinder fires. This eliminates the back pressure problem and allows the cylinders to operate more efficiently.

Aftermarket heads can be bolted on in place of the standard cast iron heads. Small-block heads typically use 1-5/8-inch primary tubes, and big-block heads use 1-3/4-inch tubes. An important factor when choosing a head is the quality of the materials. Header pipes vary in thickness, but a quality manifold should use pipes between 18 and 14. The metal used in the header is also important. Some heads are made of mild steel that rusts and corrodes over time. Heads can be coated with ceramic coating or high temperature paint. Using 100 percent stainless steel construction eliminates the need for coatings, but is usually out of the budget of many buyers. When the heads are shipped, they are sometimes painted. Be aware that this coating is only to prevent rust during shipping and the paint will not withstand the heat once the head is installed. When you add the headers along with a tailpipe exhaust and a high flow catalytic converter, you can typically gain 20-30 horsepower over stock.

In some cases, the exhaust pipe can be set up to pull the exhaust valve of the next cylinder and suck the exhaust gases, which means even less work for the cylinder. Drivers who want more power for city driving and better acceleration under heavy loads usually opt for a low-performance exhaust, while drivers looking for speed on the open road prefer high-performance headers.

Different manufacturers make exhaust pipes for a dizzying array of vehicles, and it’s important to install an exhaust pipe designed for your car. Since exhaust leaks can be dangerous, the exhaust header should be installed carefully or professionally if there is any uncertainty. An improperly installed head can cause exhaust gases to leak into the vehicle’s cabin, causing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning in the driver and passengers.

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