Many people choose to upgrade their automobile with a huge variety of aftermarket systems that are available to the general public. Any options that come stock with a car can be tweaked, altered, or replaced with various products to suit the needs of the driver. New parts and systems can upgrade the performance of the vehicle drastically and help save the driver money on gas by boosting fuel-efficiency as well. One of the best ways to increase the performance of your vehicle without cutting corners is to invest in a custom, high-performance, aftermarket exhaust system. We’ll discuss some of what makes an aftermarket exhaust system such a popular upgrade for those looking to boost their vehicle’s performance.
Crush Bends vs. Mandrel Bends
What makes an aftermarket exhaust system one of the most popular exhaust kits for those seeking a performance upgrade for their vehicle? All aftermarket systems are built superior to their stock counterparts, often able to reduce power-robbing restrictions, promote exhaust scavenging, and free up more horsepower. The first major difference between stock and aftermarket exhaust systems is the diameter of the pipes. Larger pipes allow for larger volumes of air to flow. The proper diameter will depend on variables such as rpm, engine size, and practical application. The second biggest difference between stock and aftermarket exhaust systems are the pipe bends. Stock pipes are usually formed using a technique known as crush bending. Crush bending is the quickest, easiest technique for forming pipes but it also causes a lot of performance-robbing restrictions at the pipe bends. To get rid of this problem, aftermarket exhaust manufacturers use a process known as mandrel bending. This method uses a flexible rod to prevent the pipe walls from collapsing or kinking during the bending process. The end result is a custom exhaust system with better airflow and therefore better horsepower.
There are three main types of exhaust systems, header-back, cat-back, and axle-back. Depending on what style you choose, aftermarket systems will come with some sort of combination of header or intermediate pipes, crossover pipes, mufflers, tailpipes, and catalytic converters. A header-back exhaust system will replace the entire stock system, from the header collector to the tailpipes. Replacing the entire exhaust system will allow for greater exhaust gas volume and air flow, but these systems tend to be more expensive and tougher to replace. Cat-back exhaust systems replace exhaust components from the catalytic converter back. They offer the best “bang-for-your-buck” power gains and the freer exhaust flow allows your engine to operate more efficiently, leading to improved fuel economy. Axle-back exhaust systems are even easier to install and offer power gains over that of a stock exhaust but aren’t quite as powerful as cat-back and header-back systems.
These are just a few of the things to consider when purchasing an aftermarket exhaust system. If you don’t work on your vehicle personally make sure you use a trustworthy mechanic. At American Muffler we pride ourselves in the service we provide to our local community, and we’re happy to be a grass roots organization that continues to grow with our community. If you need help choosing and installing a custom exhaust system, or replacing, repairing, or servicing factory mufflers, feel free to contact us to make an appointment or come visit our shop anytime.