6 Features to Consider for Cat Back Exhaust Systems

October 31, 2012

A cat back exhaust system is an aftermarket exhaust system that sits behind the manifold. It runs from the catalytic converter back. It can increase the horsepower and performance of your vehicle. Take a number of aspects into consideration to determine whether A cat back is right for you.

Type of Car
A vehicle used for average trips to take you from one place to another will not really benefit from the exhaust. On the other hand, a vehicle that has been modified and is designed for display will suit the exhaust better. The condition of the car will also be a consideration, as the exhaust will be out of place on an older run down vehicle.

Brand
There are several different manufacturers that produce a variety of cat back exhaust systems, making it necessary to do some work to find the right one. Do some research and read reviews on brands, such as MagnaFlow and FlowMaster to determine which option is the most reliable. The brand that choose will dictate what components are included, whether just the tail pipe or all the parts needed to connect it to the catalytic converter.

Cost
There will usually be a correlation between the brand of the cat back exhaust and its cost. When considering the cost, think about the quality of the parts and whether they will add any value to the vehicle. Remember to include the labor cost that will be involved in taking it to a mechanic. There may also be a cost involved in obtaining a replacement car for the period the car is being worked on.

Noise
The level of noise produced by a cat back exhaust will be greater than that of a standard exhaust. Consider the area in which you live and the manner in which it will be used to ensure the sound will not prove an annoyance.

Installation
Fitting the exhaust will require a significant amount of work to ensure the task is completed properly. It will be necessary to find a competent mechanic that can do the work efficiently. When using a mechanic, do your research in respect of the cost of the exhaust in addition to obtaining a quote from them.

Insurance
Check the terms of your auto insurance policy before making a purchase. You are required to advise your insurance company of any modifications made to the insured vehicle. This includes parts such as the exhaust, so it will be prudent to contact them before making any commitments.

Tips for Installing Cat Back Exhaust Systems

There are a few ways to make the installation of a cat back exhaust system easier.

Removing Old Bolts
To remove the old bolts, use penetrating oil, giving it time to soak in fully before you remove them. Don't re-use the bolts. It's worth the minor expense of buying new ones.

Getting the Right Fit
Don't immediately tighten all the fittings. It will be much better if you slip fit the cat back exhaust system first to obtain the best fit. Move it around and make changes until you're happy with the fit. Install the clamps, but don't tighten them yet. It's important you keep the clamps positioned so you'll be able to tighten them easily with the socket wrench. Give enough clearance on the rubber hangers.

Center the tips on the cutouts for the exhaust on the body, and adjust the pipes to be certain they both project for the same distance.

Securing the System
There's no need for welding when you fit the cat back exhaust system. Use a torque wrench when you're tightening the bolts and the hangers. Where pipes overlap, be sure to spread a thin layer of antiseize compound. When you finally come to disassemble the pipe, this will make it much easier to separate them. Be extremely careful when applying it or you could stain the chrome on the pipes.

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