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    Thread: All about AFTERMARKET HEADERS & FFE.

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      All about AFTERMARKET HEADERS & FFE.

      What is a header?
      It is that part of the exhaust system that pushes the exhaust gases out of the cylinders.

      What is back pressure?
      During the exhaust stroke, the exhaust valve opens at the beginning of the exhaust stroke. The piston pushes the exhaust gases out of the cylinder. If there is any amount of resistance that the piston has to push against to force the exhaust gases out, power is wasted. This resistance is known as back pressure. As already mentioned, back pressure causes loss of power.

      What is the basic purpose of a good after market header?

      1. To efficiently remove as much of the combusted inert exhaust gases out of the cylinder - Because burn exhaust gases can't burn up completely again, if there is some amount of the burn gases inside the cylinder, it takes up space in the cylinder and prevents fresh air and fuel from coming into the combustion chamber to make power.

      2. To see to it that the velocity of the exhaust gases is very high - When high exhaust gas speeds are reached, a wake is created from an exhaust pulse leaving the cylinder head. Following behind this wake is a low pressure wave that acts like a vacuum. This vacuum sucks in more fresh air and fuel at cam overlap, when the intake valve is just starting to open and the exhaust valve is almost about to close. Since both the intake & exhaust valves are partially open at this time of cam overlap, header is actually "connected" to the intake manifold & intake port for a brief period. The exiting exhaust gas helps pull in the next fresh intake air & fuel. This is called scavenging. And scavenging is what helps draw in more oxygen and fuel for combustion.

      More fresh air and fuel coming in, with less inert burnt exhaust gases occupying combustion chamber volume, makes more power.

      Types of headers:

      Typically, based on design, you have two types of headers.

      1. 4x2x1 - Here is how a 4x2x1 header looks like.
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      As the name suggests, a 4x2x1 headers has 4 primary tubes coming from the exhaust port and narrowing down into 2 secondary tubes that finally merges into a single collector.

      4x2x1 headers give you a wider power band with a more lower peak power increase.

      2. 4x1 - Here is how a 4x1 header looks like.
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      It consists of 4 primary tubes merging into a single collector tube.

      What 4x1 headers do is, they have a narrower power band but it transfers the peak power to a higher range in the rev band. Basically preferred for race applications.

      Points to remember while building a set of aftermarket headers
      .

      1. Primary tube diameter - Bigger primary tube dia moves the peak torque to a higher rpm compared to a smaller dia. Bigger the dia, more is the cross-sectional area. Hence the velocity of the exhaust gases reduces considerably hence pushing the peak torque higher up on the rev range.

      2. Primary tube length - Longer tubes will create more torque at the rpms before peak torque. Longer tubes will speed up air flow velocity. Changing the length of the header primary tubes does not increase the value of peak torque like diameter does. Instead length changes the behaviour of the torque around peak torque along the rpm band.

      3. Collector length, dia & angle - Shorter, larger diameter collectors have more peak power.

      Longer , smaller diameter collectors have more power in the midrange.

      The angle of the merge collector tubes should not be steep or sharp, in order to keep the energy or speed of the merging pulses coming from the tubes at a high level.

      4. Pairing of the primaries - Based on the firing order, mainly 1-3-4-2 for most of our cars determines the order of the exhaust pulses leaving the cylinder.

      If the firing order is 1-3-4-2, if we add a few more cycles so we repeat it looks like 1-3-4-2-1-3-4-2-1 etc.

      So with a 4-cylinder engine how many tri-y configurations can we have?

      If cylinder #1 is paired with #2, then #3 and #4 are paired.

      If cylinder #1 is paired with #3, then #2 and #4 are paired.

      However, both these set-ups are considered sequential pairing because each secondary gets 2 back to back pulses.

      Therefore, these set ups are the same and can be considered as 1 configuration.

      Next we pair #1 with #4, and then #2 and #3 are paired. This is considered non-sequential pairing, since the pulses alternate from one secondary to the other.

      We can't pair #1 with anything else and so the fact of the matter becomes there are only 2 ways to configure a 4-cylinder tri-y header.
      Normally, most exhaust headers have a small hole drilled close to the secondary tubes where one can fit a Oxygen Sensor to measure the AFR's.

      Here is a handy tool to get an approximation of your header and collector lengths & dia. All you need to know is your engine displacement, exhaust valve opening degree (BBDC) and your max engine RPM.

      http://www.wallaceracing.com/header_length.php

      Here is a more complicated tool, but for that you must register yourself. It is surely worth it.
      http://www.headerdesign.com/login/header.asp

      Source - http://www.team-integra.net/sections/ar ... ticleID=18

      Additional read - http://www.centuryperformance.com/exhau ... g-137.html

      Note of caution - As you would have already noticed, most of the above parameters need a lot of accurate calculations. Most of the tuners in India, have neither access to most of the data required to design headers or the necessary software. It is done on a pure human trial and error basis. Hence, if you want to really gain something out of a good set of headers, kindly go to a tuner who knows his stuff.

      Next post will explain the rest of the FFE.
      2002 Tata Indica DLS.
      2004 Suzuki Zen - A G13B eater.
      2005 Suzuki Baleno - India's fastest Naturally Aspirated Baleno timed on a drag strip officially!
      2008 Suzuki Swift VDi - The Rattle King.
      2011 Chevrolet Cruze - A monster in the making.
      2016 Ford Ecosport 1.5 TDCi Titanium - The SQ Machine in the making.
      2014 MOC SQ Pro Champions.
      Harmonixx Audio Inc - Importers for Audiofrog & Zapco.
      Dealers for Rainbow/Mosconi/Dynaudio/Micro Precision/Audible Physics/AIV/Morel/Flux/PHD/Gladen/Focal/Rockford Fosgate/Dampmat/E4 Damping and more.

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      Catalytic Converters.

      How does a Catalytic Converter work?

      In chemistry, a catalyst is a substance that causes or accelerates a chemical reaction without itself being affected. Catalysts participate in the reactions, but are neither reactants nor products of the reaction they catalyze. In the human body, enzymes are naturally occurring catalysts responsible for many essential biochemical reactions [source: Chemicool].

      In the catalytic converter, there are two different types of catalyst at work, a reduction catalyst and an oxidation catalyst. Both types consist of a ceramic structure coated with a metal catalyst, usually platinum, rhodium and/or palladium. The idea is to create a structure that exposes the maximum surface area of catalyst to the exhaust stream, while also minimizing the amount of catalyst required, as the materials are extremely expensive. Some of the newest converters have even started to use gold mixed with the more traditional catalysts. Gold is cheaper than the other materials and could increase oxidation*, the chemical reaction that reduces pollutants, by up to 40 percent [source: Kanellos].

      The reduction catalyst is the first stage of the catalytic converter. It uses platinum and rhodium to help reduce the NOx emissions. When an NO or NO2 molecule contacts the catalyst, the catalyst rips the nitrogen atom out of the molecule and holds on to it, freeing the oxygen in the form of O2. The nitrogen atoms bond with other nitrogen atoms that are also stuck to the catalyst, forming N2. For example:

      2NO => N2 + O2 or 2NO2 => N2 + 2O2


      The oxidation catalyst is the second stage of the catalytic converter. It reduces the unburned hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide by burning (oxidizing) them over a platinum and palladium catalyst. This catalyst aids the reaction of the CO and hydrocarbons with the remaining oxygen in the exhaust gas. For example:

      2CO + O2 => 2CO2

      There are two main types of structures used in catalytic converters -- honeycomb and ceramic beads. Most cars today use a honeycomb structure.

      The third stage of conversion is a control system that monitors the exhaust stream, and uses this information to control the fuel injection system. There is an oxygen sensor mounted upstream of the catalytic converter, meaning it is closer to the engine than the converter. This sensor tells the engine computer how much oxygen is in the exhaust. The engine computer can increase or decrease the amount of oxygen in the exhaust by adjusting the air-to-fuel ratio. This control scheme allows the engine computer to make sure that the engine is running at close to the stoichiometric point, and also to make sure that there is enough oxygen in the exhaust to allow the oxidization catalyst to burn the unburned hydrocarbons and CO.

      The catalytic converter does a great job at reducing the pollution, but it can still be improved substantially. One of its biggest shortcomings is that it only works at a fairly high temperature. When you start your car cold, the catalytic converter does almost nothing to reduce the pollution in your exhaust.

      One simple solution to this problem is to move the catalytic converter closer to the engine. This means that hotter exhaust gases reach the converter and it heats up faster, but this may also reduce the life of the converter by exposing it to extremely high temperatures. Most carmakers position the converter under the front passenger seat, far enough from the engine to keep the temperature down to levels that will not harm it.

      Preheating the catalytic converter is a good way to reduce emissions. The easiest way to preheat the converter is to use electric resistance heaters. Unfortunately, the 12-volt electrical systems on most cars don't provide enough energy or power to heat the catalytic converter fast enough. Most people would not wait several minutes for the catalytic converter to heat up before starting their car.
      Diesel Cat Cons
      Catalytic converters in diesel engines do not work as well in reducing NOx. One reason is that diesel engines run cooler than standard engines, and the converters work better as they heat up. Some of the leading environmental auto experts have come up with a new system that helps to combat this. They inject a urea solution in the exhaust pipe, before it gets to the converter, to evaporate and mix with the exhaust and create a chemical reaction that will reduce NOx. Urea, also known as carbamide, is an organic compound made of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen. It's found in the urine of mammals and amphibians. Urea reacts with NOx to produce nitrogen and water vapor, disposing more than 90 percent of the nitrogen oxides in exhaust gases [source: Innovations Report].
      Source - http://auto.howstuffworks.com/catalytic-converter2.htm
      2002 Tata Indica DLS.
      2004 Suzuki Zen - A G13B eater.
      2005 Suzuki Baleno - India's fastest Naturally Aspirated Baleno timed on a drag strip officially!
      2008 Suzuki Swift VDi - The Rattle King.
      2011 Chevrolet Cruze - A monster in the making.
      2016 Ford Ecosport 1.5 TDCi Titanium - The SQ Machine in the making.
      2014 MOC SQ Pro Champions.
      Harmonixx Audio Inc - Importers for Audiofrog & Zapco.
      Dealers for Rainbow/Mosconi/Dynaudio/Micro Precision/Audible Physics/AIV/Morel/Flux/PHD/Gladen/Focal/Rockford Fosgate/Dampmat/E4 Damping and more.

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      End Cans.

      Mufflers or End Cans.
      Name:  HKS Carbon Ti muffler.jpg
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      Where Does the Sound Come From?
      Sound is a pressure wave formed from pulses of alternating high and low air pressure. These pulses makes their way through the air at -- you guessed it -- the speed of sound.

      In an engine, pulses are created when an exhaust valve opens and a burst of high-pressure gas suddenly enters the exhaust system. The molecules in this gas collide with the lower-pressure molecules in the pipe, causing them to stack up on each other. They in turn stack up on the molecules a little further down the pipe, leaving an area of low pressure behind. In this way, the sound wave makes its way down the pipe much faster than the actual gases do.

      When these pressure pulses reach your ear, the eardrum vibrates back and forth. Your brain interprets this motion as sound. Two main characteristics of the wave determine how we perceive the sound:

      * Sound wave frequency - A higher wave frequency simply means that the air pressure fluctuates faster. The faster an engine runs, the higher the pitch we hear. Slower fluctuations sound like a lower pitch.
      * Air pressure level - The wave's amplitude determines how loud the sound is. Sound waves with greater amplitudes move our eardrums more, and we register this sensation as a higher volume.
      How Can You Cancel Out Sound?
      The key thing about sound waves is that the result at your ear is the sum of all the sound waves hitting your ear at that time. If you are listening to a band, even though you may hear several distinct sources of sound, the pressure waves hitting your ear drum all add together, so your ear drum only feels one pressure at any given moment.

      Now comes the cool part: It is possible to produce a sound wave that is exactly the opposite of another wave. This is the basis for those noise-canceling headphones you may have seen. Take a look at the figure below. The wave on top and the second wave are both pure tones. If the two waves are in phase, they add up to a wave with the same frequency but twice the amplitude. This is called constructive interference. But, if they are exactly out of phase, they add up to zero. This is called destructive interference. At the time when the first wave is at its maximum pressure, the second wave is at its minimum. If both of these waves hit your ear drum at the same time, you would not hear anything because the two waves always add up to zero.
      Inside a Muffler
      Located inside the muffler is a set of tubes. These tubes are designed to create reflected waves that interfere with each other or cancel each other out. Take a look at the inside of this muffler:
      Name:  muffler-cutopen.jpg
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      The exhaust gases and the sound waves enter through the center tube. They bounce off the back wall of the muffler and are reflected through a hole into the main body of the muffler. They pass through a set of holes into another chamber, where they turn and go out the last pipe and leave the muffler.

      A chamber called a resonator is connected to the first chamber by a hole. The resonator contains a specific volume of air and has a specific length that is calculated to produce a wave that cancels out a certain frequency of sound.
      The Resonator
      When a wave hits the hole, part of it continues into the chamber and part of it is reflected. The wave travels through the chamber, hits the back wall of the muffler and bounces back out of the hole. The length of this chamber is calculated so that this wave leaves the resonator chamber just after the next wave reflects off the outside of the chamber. Ideally, the high-pressure part of the wave that came from the chamber will line up with the low-pressure part of the wave that was reflected off the outside of the chamber wall, and the two waves will cancel each other out.

      In reality, the sound coming from the engine is a mixture of many different frequencies of sound, and since many of those frequencies depend on the engine speed, the sound is almost never at exactly the right frequency for this to happen. The resonator is designed to work best in the frequency range where the engine makes the most noise; but even if the frequency is not exactly what the resonator was tuned for, it will still produce some destructive interference.

      Some cars, especially luxury cars where quiet operation is a key feature, have another component in the exhaust that looks like a muffler, but is called a resonator. This device works just like the resonator chamber in the muffler -- the dimensions are calculated so that the waves reflected by the resonator help cancel out certain frequencies of sound in the exhaust.

      There are other features inside this muffler that help it reduce the sound level in different ways. The body of the muffler is constructed in three layers: Two thin layers of metal with a thicker, slightly insulated layer between them. This allows the body of the muffler to absorb some of the pressure pulses. Also, the inlet and outlet pipes going into the main chamber are perforated with holes. This allows thousands of tiny pressure pulses to bounce around in the main chamber, canceling each other out to some extent in addition to being absorbed by the muffler's housing.
      Source - http://auto.howstuffworks.com/muffler1.htm
      2002 Tata Indica DLS.
      2004 Suzuki Zen - A G13B eater.
      2005 Suzuki Baleno - India's fastest Naturally Aspirated Baleno timed on a drag strip officially!
      2008 Suzuki Swift VDi - The Rattle King.
      2011 Chevrolet Cruze - A monster in the making.
      2016 Ford Ecosport 1.5 TDCi Titanium - The SQ Machine in the making.
      2014 MOC SQ Pro Champions.
      Harmonixx Audio Inc - Importers for Audiofrog & Zapco.
      Dealers for Rainbow/Mosconi/Dynaudio/Micro Precision/Audible Physics/AIV/Morel/Flux/PHD/Gladen/Focal/Rockford Fosgate/Dampmat/E4 Damping and more.

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      Exhast MYTHS.

      SOME EXHAUST MYTHS TO DEBUNK FROM BEGINNERS

      1. Myth 1: The Obsession Over Exhaust Sound Quality: "What Makes A Good Sounding Exhaust?" AND "It Sounds Loud. So It Must Make a Lot of Power!"

      The Exhaust Noise is the most common sound source of engine noises, and is usually 10 to 15dB higher than the overall noise level of the engine. The exhaust is of high temperature (800 to l000íŠ) and high pressure (3 to 4 barometric pressures). The exhaust process is divided into two stages: free exhaust and forced exhaust. The exhaust gas spews out of the exhaust valve and enters into the muffler along the exhaust manifold before draining into the atmosphere from the tail pipe. This process yields wide band exhaust noise.

      The exhaust noise contains complex noise elements, including the exhaust noise with a base frequency measured in the number of exhausts in unit time, the resonance noise of the gas column in the pipe, the gas stream blowing noise at the exhaust manifold, the exhaust gas jetting and impact noise, the Helmholtz resonance noise of the cylinder, the Karman eddy noise and the turbulent noise inside the exhaust system.

      Key factors deciding the exhaust noise of the engine includes the cylinder pressure, the exhaust valve diameter, the discharge capacity of the engine and the opening characteristic of the exhaust valve. For one same engine, the rotation speed and the loading of the engine are among the most key factors that contribute to the exhaust noise.

      Loudness does not equate to power gain...loudness AND SOUND QUALITY depends on these:

      - muffler length and size (volume or displacement: a bigger can is quieter),
      - having a resonator pipe (no resonator = coffee can or bee hive and loud),
      - length of the resonator pipe (longer is quieter),
      - the type of sound absorption material in the muffler (glasspacks suck, they melt),
      - whether the pipe inside the muffler has louvers or holes (holes are quieter and flow better),
      - exhaust tip size/length (big tip is loud),
      - the exhaust's design (3 types as described above).

      So when you shop around, compare and ask about these features that affect sound quality. The more features, the better the sound.

      Straight-through designs with a resonator, or a chambered design, or a twin-pass design are quieter than a straight-through design without a silencer cone or resonator. Having no resonator ensures a coffee can sound. Straight-through resonators that have the same ID as the rest of the exhaust tubing is better for performance. The number of passes through the muffler, like in the quieter 2-pass Mugen or Hy-Tech exhausts, determine how quiet an exhaust is.

      If you want a non-coffee can quiet throaty sound, look for the exhaust design characteristics I have listed..a longer muffler and having a resonator are good starting points. Power depends on how the exhaust works with the header collector size and catalytic converter size, to help maintain a high exhaust gas velocity compared to the amount of fresh air you are dumping into the engine...most experts agree that the exhaust flow should be at least 70-85% of the intake flow (if it's more than this...even better). So for exhausts as related to power?:

      remember, please pay attention to diameter, diameter, diameter that will suit your hp goal.

      A big newbie misconception: My exhaust is loud so it must be great!

      2. Myth 2: Big huge diameter tips are better.

      You design the tip size to fascilitate where you want the bulk of your power to be along the rpm band. Bigger tips tend to push the peak hp up but at some cost to lower rpm power.Changing tip size affects the pitch of the exhaust note. Bigger tips have a lower tone. Don't make the exhaust tip, even a resonated one, your focus of attention. It plays a minimal role in your system's performance gains.

      3. Myth 3: I Need A Little Bit of Backpressure For Midrange Power

      THE MIGHTY BACKPRESSURE MYTH:

      You want zero backpressure not some backpressure as you may sometimes hear from a salesman or an old timer V8 hot rodder.

      Stock backpressure is around 16 psi in a GSR. Good aftermarket exhausts yield 2-5 psi backpressure. "Bolt-ons only" engine packages, in the past, used exhausts with some backpressure, since there is this incorrect belief that having a little backpressure prevents the fresh air/fuel from shooting into the header at cam overlap (when both the opening intake valve & the closing exhaust valve are simultaneously, partially open). The backpressure supposedly "pushed" the fresh air/fuel back into the combustion chamber rather than having it go into the header. This shooting of fresh air/fuel from the intake manifold and intake port into the header cannot happen at cam overlap, since the pressure inside the header is already much higher than on the intake side , even when there is zero backpressure.

      In reality, having more backpressure reduces the difference between the higher pressure in the head's exhaust port and lower pressure in the header and cat. You need this difference in pressure going from the head to the exhaust system or "pressure gradient" to keep the exhaust flow speed or energy at a high level. Having some backpressure during cam overlap and the exhaust stroke means that the exhaust gas must now push against something and therefore, this backwards force slows exhaust gas down.

      This need for backpressure no longer exists when you have a properly tuned (timed) engine and a good stepped header. In fact, increased backpressure may lead to backwards flow or "reversion", where the exhaust gas travels backwards into the combustion chamber and dilutes the fresh intake charge at cam overlap. At the very least, it slows exhaust flow velocity or energy and prevents the creation of a vacuum for scavenging.

      So please ignore the obsolete "you should have at least some backpressure" sales pitch. It's all about the creating high exhaust flow velocity/speed or energy leaving the exhaust port, in order for the header-cat-exhaust SYSTEM to do it's job properly (i.e. remove all the burnt exhaust gases and help pull in fresh intake charge by scavenging at cam overlap) and make power for you.

      Regarding the backpressure issue:

      Many people use backpressure to get midrange driveability at the sacrifice of lower power potential at the upper powerband rpms. Using back pressure is the wrong way to build a high performance exhaust system. The exhaust system should extract the exhaust from the header, to minimize parasitic pumping pressures.

      The proper way to make an exhaust system that will act as an extractor is to properly size the tubing so that the the exhaust gas' flow velocity creates a "vacuum" behind the header.

      Also, you have to realize that making a sytem which provides the best performance at all throttle positions and all powerband rpm ranges is next to impossible. There's always going to be a compromise and giving up some optimal power potential in one area of the rpm range.

      You must tune the exhaust size/length for the throttle positions and rpm ranges where you want the most performance knowing that you'll sacrifice performance at the other end of the rpm range.

      C. SUMMARY

      If the exhaust has the design characteristics you want and is cheaper, get it. Please try not to be hooked by a sales pitch or brand name hype. There's not much separating exhausts these days in terms of performance and design features for 2.25 to 2 3/8 in. straight-through designs. They are all pretty much the same.

      In summary, plan where you want your peak torque will be and how wide your power band will be along the rpm range. Then choose a header-cat-exhaust system with the design characteristics that facilitates that goal.

      You may get more midrange power but give something up at the top rpms.

      Or the opposite, you can plan that you want more power in the upper rpms with some compromise losses at the midrange rpms.
      Source - http://www.team-integra.net/sections/ar ... ticleID=16
      2002 Tata Indica DLS.
      2004 Suzuki Zen - A G13B eater.
      2005 Suzuki Baleno - India's fastest Naturally Aspirated Baleno timed on a drag strip officially!
      2008 Suzuki Swift VDi - The Rattle King.
      2011 Chevrolet Cruze - A monster in the making.
      2016 Ford Ecosport 1.5 TDCi Titanium - The SQ Machine in the making.
      2014 MOC SQ Pro Champions.
      Harmonixx Audio Inc - Importers for Audiofrog & Zapco.
      Dealers for Rainbow/Mosconi/Dynaudio/Micro Precision/Audible Physics/AIV/Morel/Flux/PHD/Gladen/Focal/Rockford Fosgate/Dampmat/E4 Damping and more.

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      Great article!

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      Nicely compiled.

      Does FI headers differ from NA ones? If not, then why is this in the NA mods section? :shock:

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      Great one, Rahul. I am in front of Howstuffworks and gearheads all the time in office now. Dunno when they are going to throw me out.

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      Quote Originally Posted by srijit
      Does FI headers differ from NA ones? If not, then why is this in the NA mods section? :shock:
      I shall soon compile a different thread on FI manifolds in the FI section. The header part is applicable to only NA engines.
      2002 Tata Indica DLS.
      2004 Suzuki Zen - A G13B eater.
      2005 Suzuki Baleno - India's fastest Naturally Aspirated Baleno timed on a drag strip officially!
      2008 Suzuki Swift VDi - The Rattle King.
      2011 Chevrolet Cruze - A monster in the making.
      2016 Ford Ecosport 1.5 TDCi Titanium - The SQ Machine in the making.
      2014 MOC SQ Pro Champions.
      Harmonixx Audio Inc - Importers for Audiofrog & Zapco.
      Dealers for Rainbow/Mosconi/Dynaudio/Micro Precision/Audible Physics/AIV/Morel/Flux/PHD/Gladen/Focal/Rockford Fosgate/Dampmat/E4 Damping and more.

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      Nicely written article Rahul

      Quote Originally Posted by srijit
      Nicely compiled.

      Does FI headers differ from NA ones? If not, then why is this in the NA mods section? :shock:
      Yes turbo exhaust manifolds are differnt Srijit.

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      Woooooow

      This is what we call useful contribution. Well done dude.

      I studied these bits sometime back when i was making a big decision of adding FFE to my M-800.

      Some of my M-800 Header pics

      3x2:1 = got the 2 pipes a bit long (customisation you see )

      Added a flexible hose in between

      One more end can at the tip(lost the pic will upload it later)

      Work done by Shabbir and Boys
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      All work no play makes Jack a dull boy!

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