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Cat Back Exhausts – Everything You Need to Know
A cat back is the section of an exhaust that attaches after the last catalytic converter in the system. It overarches several components of an engine that exhaust gases flow through after exiting the catalytic converter. Some of these include a muffler, mid-pipe, gaskets, tailpipe and tips.
The cat back is a simple power modification that works to free up gas flow, producing an engine sound that is more enhanced than a stock model. This upgrade takes place in the exhaust behind the catalytic converter, hence its name “cat back”.
Read on to find out the benefits of an upgrade – and while you’re at it, check out our titanium systems here.
Pros of Buying a Cat Back Exhaust
The design elements of a cat back are prominent and considered more for display than for functionality. The system, similar to other engine packages, is tuned to create more prevalent and deeper sounds, with a noticeable difference.
The cat back may also deliver on an increase in horsepower in comparison to the factory installed model. This is predominantly because stock models are aimed at minimising materials and maximising space, without giving much priority to horsepower – rendering them a relatively inefficient choice.
The wider pipe design in an aftermarket cat back system allows the vehicle to breathe better, resulting in an increase in performance. However, choosing a too-large fit may cause a dip in performance when gases pile up and begin to be expelled slower, resulting in a reduction of torque, rpm and horsepower, as well as the potential to overheat. Check out our range of heat protective accessories.
Will it increase horsepower?
Absolutely – that’s part of its selling point. But ask us how much horsepower, and we’ll tell you that's subjective. Whilst you’ll find a significant difference in sound quality, a new exhaust will add roughly two pound-feet of torque and 2.5 horsepower, but only once Variable Valve Timing & Lift Electronic Control (VTEC) kicks in and the engine requires additional airflow.
If you’re looking to maximise performance, why not shop our range of exclusive cold air intakes.
Top tips when you’re looking for a cat back exhaust
- Cat back systems can attach in a number of places under the car, but most often connect in the middle of the vehicle, just behind the catalytic converters.
- Never put an exhaust on your car that is less efficient than the material used on the original vehicle. These days,that typically means stainless steel.
- Don't let your tips stick out too much past the bumper. They will become a hazard sooner or later.
- Clean your tips with a non-abrasive metal polish at least after every other car wash. Carbon can become permanent if not removed.
- Compression bent tubing flows less than mandrel bent. Compression bends show wrinkles in the metal on the inside of the curve. Mandrel bends are smooth throughout, making these the only way to go.
Is a cat back better than an axle back?
If you’re looking to not only increase sound and volume but your performance as well, a cat back is best. However, if you’re purely looking for more sound, an axle-back will suit you better as it’s designed to increase overall volume and produce a more aggressive sound.
Still not sure? Have a chat to our friendly team at Pro Speed Racing today. We know our stuff.