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Old 07-27-2014, 06:17 PM   #1
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Cat or Axel backs performance gains

Been looking around to see if there are any performance gains by adding a cat or axel back exhaust. My GT has an Airaid and also planning for a Bama tuner and noticed on the Airaid site they have a video of a GT with stock engine compared to adding CAI and Bama with much Improved hp and tq but no mention of updated exhaust. So is the exhaust for improved sound or performance? I know from experience that when adding intake airflow it makes sense to match it with an open exhaust, so looking for some products that match up well. Any links appreciated.


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Old 07-27-2014, 06:24 PM   #2
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Been looking around to see if there are any performance gains by adding a cat or axel back exhaust. My GT has an Airaid and also planning for a Bama tuner and noticed on the Airaid site they have a video of a GT with stock engine compared to adding CAI and Bama with much Improved hp and tq but no mention of updated exhaust. So is the exhaust for improved sound or performance? I know from experience that when adding intake airflow it makes sense to match it with an open exhaust, so looking for some products that match up well. Any links appreciated.


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An axle back will net you next to nothing, purely for sound. A catback you'll see some gains, but very small. MAYBE 5 hp. The measurable gains will be from replacing the mid pipe and headers.
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Old 07-27-2014, 07:50 PM   #3
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So I'm guessing that headers and straight pipes to some free flowing mufflers will be costly and may not pass a NH state inspection. Any idea on the hp/tq gain here?


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Old 07-27-2014, 08:47 PM   #4
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So I'm guessing that headers and straight pipes to some free flowing mufflers will be costly and may not pass a NH state inspection. Any idea on the hp/tq gain here?


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Not necessarily costly, it just depends on the brand you decide on getting. The biggest gains you would see would be a Long Tube header + Catless midpipe (X or H, the sound is different and they produce more power on opposite ends of the powerbands) and straight through design mufflers.

Will all of that pass inspection? Not a chance. You might be able to replace the headers with some shorties instead, keep your stock midpipe to keep the catalytic converters in place and pretty much any muffler is OK. It will net you some measurable power.

Not exactly sure how much on your 3v 4.6L I'd estimate ~30-35 with the first options and ~20-25 with the 2nd. Not all of that to the wheels of course.

If you're decent mechanically, you COULD run the first option and when inspection time comes near, slap on your stock system, get your inspection done and then put your aftermarket stuff back on. You still run the risk of being pulled over and ticketed for modified exhaust, but nearly all of us do.
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Old 07-28-2014, 07:58 AM   #5
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Not sure I'd be interested in climbing under the car every year to swap exhaust, and if all I get from an cat or axel back is sound then I will stop at the CAI and tuner for now and suspension will be next. Thanks for the helpful information.


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Old 07-28-2014, 09:24 AM   #6
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Been looking around to see if there are any performance gains by adding a cat or axel back exhaust. My GT has an Airaid and also planning for a Bama tuner and noticed on the Airaid site they have a video of a GT with stock engine compared to adding CAI and Bama with much Improved hp and tq but no mention of updated exhaust. So is the exhaust for improved sound or performance? I know from experience that when adding intake airflow it makes sense to match it with an open exhaust, so looking for some products that match up well. Any links appreciated.
Both Axleback and Catback exhaust systems are no tune required. They'll net very small gains, if any. All of the power gains will be from deleting the Cats or a set of Long Tube Headers.

Hope this helps!

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Old 07-28-2014, 09:52 AM   #7
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I thought that would be the case with the cats as they will restrict air flow. Downside is if I remove the cats it will fail inspection which is not an option for me. Thanks for all replies and validating my options.


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Old 07-29-2014, 11:29 AM   #8
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I thought that would be the case with the cats as they will restrict air flow. Downside is if I remove the cats it will fail inspection which is not an option for me. Thanks for all replies and validating my options.
No problem! Glad we could help. Let us know what you decide on going with! Don't get me wrong, an axleback and/or catback exhaust will definitely sound awesome. They're just not real big power adders.

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