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Cat-Back Performance Exhaust System Review

Custom Fit Exhaust

Typical model of a cat-back exhaust system

Several types of exhaust systems exist today, but cat-back systems are among the most common and basic. They include all parts located behind the catalytic converter and operate in gas and diesel-powered vehicles. Every exhaust system is custom fit for a specific vehicle and that vehicle's engine.





Typical Parts in a Cat-Back Exhaust System


Extension pipes connect the cat to the muffler. They are sometimes called "mid-pipes," "inlet pipes" or "intermediate pipes." The length of extension pipes depends on the vehicle size and the position of the cat. Some systems have multiple extension pipes to accommodate dual mufflers. Pipes often contain bends or turns that restrict airflow. Generally, airflow restriction decreases engine performance.


Mufflers help to reduce airflow noise in the exhaust system. Some mufflers have a series of internal chambers in which sound waves bounce off the walls and cancel each other out. Other mufflers have an internal pipe surrounded by insulation to quiet airflow noise. As with extension pipes, the fewer internal twists and turns mufflers have, the more freely the air will flow. Dual exhaust systems have two mufflers.


Tailpipes carry gases from the muffler to the end of the exhaust system. The gases exit at the rear or side of the vehicle, depending on the tailpipe's position. Some mufflers lie farther toward the front of the exhaust system. In this case, an extra pipe called a "tailpipe extension" connects the muffler to the actual tailpipe. Single exhaust systems have one or two tailpipes; dual systems have two or four.


Tips are usually included in aftermarket exhaust systems. Exhaust gases can reach very high temperatures. Tips cover the end of the tailpipe and help to protect the vehicle from heat damage. Some tips are oval or rectangular in shape, but most are round. Single exhaust systems use one or two tips; dual systems have two or four.


Clamps and flanges connect various exhaust pipes together via clamping or bolting.


Hangers extend from various exhaust parts and connect the system to the vehicle's frame.






Other Types of Exhaust Systems

Cat-Back is the most common exhaust system available, but there are other types which may be available depending on your specific vehicles.


Axle-back exhaust systems are very similar to cat-backs. Unlike cat-backs, they do not include extension pipes but only the parts from the axle to the tip. Axle-backs are designed for gas-powered, compact sport vehicles.


Crossmember-back exhaust systems are designed for gas-powered, pre-1975 vehicles made without catalytic converters. They include all parts of the exhaust system except the manifolds and catalytic converter. As dual exhaust systems, crossmember-backs have X-pipes in the mid-section where the two extension pipes temporarily merge to aid in airflow.


Downpipe-back exhaust systems resemble cat-backs except they do not start from the catalytic converter. Designed for diesel-powered vehicles, these systems include all parts from the downpipe to the tip. The downpipe appears behind the catalytic converter.


Filter-back exhaust systems accommodate diesel-powered vehicles and replace all parts from the diesel particulate filter (DPF) to the tip. The DPF is positioned behind the catalytic converter and disintegrates soot from the exhaust system.


Manifold-back exhaust systems are virtually identical to crossmember-backs. Both are used for older, gas-powered vehicles without catalytic converters; both incorporate X-pipes and include all parts from the manifold to the tip.


Turbo-back exhaust systems are similar to downpipe-backs. They accommodate diesel-powered vehicles with turbochargers, devices that increase an engine's air intake to create more power. Turbo-backs include all parts from the turbocharger to the tip.























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