View Full Version : fabricated exhaust

02-04-2002, 09:55 AM
ok i just read yet another post where someone said to buy catback because universal with custom piping is a waste of money. Can anyone actually prove this? I really don't want to come off like a **** but i have posed this question in other threads before with no response.

for example i have estimated tha if i buy a blitz nurspec universal muffler and have my mechanic do the piping i'm only looking at spending about 350 bucks. if i where to buy the nurspec catback it's like 600 bucks. does the difference in power make the catback worth 250 more? if we are only talking 1 or 2 horses i would think a homemade system would definetely not be a waste of money.

somebody please tell me some facts. http://www.freshalloy.com/

edit: i guess this would only apply to us street performance people. if you want to get every little bit of power possible then i can understand spending the money.

[ 02-04-2002: Message edited by: battle demon ]

02-04-2002, 10:02 AM
Well I don't have the facts, but I am going to be using a universal muffler and have a shop run me 3" pipes to my cat.
I personally didn't want to spend $600 on a full exhaust, I didn't think the power difference would be that big anyhow.
I'll let you know how mine turns out.


02-04-2002, 11:33 AM
But remember...

With a pre-made system, you not only get the R&D of the company, but you get a quality peice that is pretty much guaranteed to fit better, perform better, meet sound regulations, etc...

And most of the "cat-backs" you'd have made at a muffler shop don't utilize a resonator (by resonator I mean a straight through smaller muffler with a perforated center tube...like a Magnaflow universal muffler), and not having a resonator will most likely make the exhaust horribly loud...and it will absolutely drone on the highway.

If you had a cat-back made that was mandrel bent, made with quality tubing, used a resonator, it would cost close to the same as a system like the ones from GReddy, Apex, Blitz, 5Zigen, etc...

In the end, the HP gains may be similar, but there are quality, fitment, and noise issues that everyone ignores to save a few $$$'s...but then a month later, as you begin to get annoyed by the raspy sound, or the resonation during highway driving, or the fact the muffler (or tips) are a little crooked, you'll be wishing you spent the money up front on a good system...

I know this from experience...Before I bought my GReddy MX, I spent probably 2 years trying to build a good system...and all it did was frustrate me...and cost me a lot.

Here's the cut and paste version from my website:

"...I started by getting a DynoMax Super Turbo muffler welded onto my stock exhaust tubing ($90 installed). It sounded better than stock, but gave no real power gains. I was changing my oil one day not long after that and saw that the stock resonator actually was smaller at the inlet and outlet than the rest of the exhaust tubing. I figured I could get some power and a little more sound by cutting it out and replacing it with pipe that matched the rest of the exhaust system…so I did ($15). It sounded better, and felt a little faster, but it was still not what I was looking for.

So I went to the exhaust shop again, and had them bend me up some 2.25 inch tubing to replace the stock tubing from the catalytic converter on back to my Super Turbo muffler ($95). Now I actually felt a change...I lost low-end torque, gained a little mid-range torque, and got a little better top-end. Not bad for a $200 investment so far…this was the best my car ever felt on a budget.

After a while, though, I felt the need for more power, and searched out a universal muffler…one of those straight through designs that’s all chrome ($140). I cut off my trusty Super Turbo and had the new muffler welded on ($25). Now I began to realize that I really messed up. I lost even more low-end torque, made my car very LOUD, and was pretty disappointed. (I think we all know, the KA24DE is known for its monstrous torque off the line, and not its top end horsepower, so the loss in low end I experienced actually slowed my car down so much as to make it no fun to drive…this change in muffler alone set me back almost a full second in the quarter mile).

So now I’ve spent almost $400 on an exhaust system that doesn’t quite fit right (It hit the underside of my car when I went over speed-bumps and the tips weren’t straight) and it was way too loud.

I should have just taken the advice of everyone else…and bought a cat-back system like my Greddy MX ($550).

So what’s the moral of the story? LEARN FROM OTHER PEOPLES MISTAKES!!!!!

You almost can’t do better than an exhaust designed specifically for your car without spending a lot more money and time trying. For example, think of the time involved here. I had to drop my car off at the muffler shop for work on multiple occasions, and that took up a lot of time I could have spent doing something else.

It’s not worth the time and aggravation to save $150 (at the very most), especially when you look at the quality of the end product…You could either have a stainless steel setup that will last a lifetime, give excellent performance, and have an incredible sound (Greddy, HKS, Tanabe, Apex’i, etc...) OR you can have a half-assed, tin can sounding, low performing setup that will need to be replaced as the pieces rust out in a year...

It’s hard to take someone’s word for it, but save your money and spend it on quality stuff. You won’t be happy unless you do..."

Sorry for the long post...I hope it makes my point.

Later - Brian

[ 02-04-2002: Message edited by: orion ]

'97 S14 SE Turbo
02-04-2002, 11:44 AM
Yup, like Brian said, $600 buys you Stainless steel Blitz or Stainless steel A'PEXi exhaust.

Go ask your local muffler shop to see if you could get the same thing done in stainless steel and be cheap.

02-04-2002, 11:52 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial[/img]quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by orion:
But remember...

And most of the "cat-backs" you'd have made at a muffler shop don't utilize a resonator (by resonator I mean a straight through smaller muffler with a perforated center tube...like a Magnaflow universal muffler), and not having a resonator will most likely make the exhaust horribly loud...and it will absolutely drone on the highway.

2.5" from the cat to the muffler. my 11 year old muffler and pipe just after the resonator was rusted through. had i had the money at the time i would have gone for an N1 or Fireball. now it's loud and throaty, at least it doesn't sound like a honda with a resonated tip http://www.freshalloy.com/. doesn't sound bad, just loud

02-04-2002, 01:24 PM

thank you very much for your post. that is the kind of thing i wanted to hear........ http://www.freshalloy.com/

02-04-2002, 01:34 PM
That was useful information for me, too. Thanks orion. http://www.freshalloy.com/

02-04-2002, 02:49 PM
I fabricated a 3 inch downpipe and exhaust with a hooker ultra flow muffler... looks stock, doesnt sound stock, personally i would like it quieter. Mine cost about $120 for piping and u bends, but of course i have a welder and I did all the work (4 hours with no help). I also have an sr, so i guess i wouldnt know the low end loss with a turbo.
also, my piping does scrape sometimes (gonna fix that this weekend)
bottom line: if i couldnt weld my own, i would have bought a nice downpipe and cat-back exhaust...wouldnt even think twice

02-04-2002, 04:47 PM
I picked up my Blitz Nur Spec R cat back system from PROJECTSILVIA, and I haven't regretted spending the money once. It's truely an awesome exhaust! Thanks again Robert! http://www.freshalloy.com/

02-04-2002, 07:04 PM
thanks orion, i was deciding myself what exhaust setup i was going to do for my sr when i get it....my bro vik said to jsut get a custom turbo exhasut setup for a muffler shop..lol i said i would look into it...but i think i will jsut get a Trubo 5zigen exhaust...