There are a lot of car and bike enthusiasts out there losing their sleep over choosing the right exhaust system. Unfortunately, most of them do it for all the wrong reasons. What they are looking for is something that looks good or sounds good, but they forget the fact that exhaust system also has a vital function in a vehicle. For those of you wondering if the exhaust system in some way affects engine performance, the answer is YES. Here are some of the reasons the exhaust system is important.
Structure of the Exhaust Pipe
If you want to know how the exhaust pipe works, first you need to learn which parts it consists of and what are their functions:
- Exhaust Manifold is the first contact that the exhaust gasses from your car have with the exhaust pipe. It’s also one of the most commonly upgraded parts of the entire exhaust system. Two things done most often with manifold are either increasing the exhaust piping diameter or increasing exhaust scavenging by aligning the exhaust pulses in just the right way.
- Catalytic converter is probably the most important part for your overall safety. Namely, NOx, CO, and unburnt hydrocarbons are all extremely dangerous for you. Catalytic converter turns them into much safer N2, O2, CO2, and H2O
- Piping is basically just there to prevent gasses from being pumped directly underneath your car.
Apart from these mandatory pipes, there are two optional ones:
- Resonator is there just to make your car less noisy. By deflecting sound waves and canceling them out, it significantly reduces noise levels and can be a genuine lifesaver for cars with loud engines.
- Mufflers are also there to tone down your exhaust pipe a bit, but it does so by using different methods. Most commonly it achieves this by redirecting the airflow.
The most interesting thing about improving your exhaust system (and also what interests most people) is that it can actually increase your horsepower. A standard exhaust pipe might have several restrictions, which may intensify the pressure in the cylinder and reduce the exhaust velocity. Catalytic converter or a narrow exporter are the greatest obstacles here, so eliminating them or getting a larger exhaust can help greatly.
Why is Using a Huge Pipe Bad?
Unfortunately, some people just install a single 6-inch pipe because, in their mind, this will massively unburden the engine. What they don’t know, however, is that engine relieves itself of burnt gases in pulses. Now, these pulses of air create different pressure areas (because of the speed they move at). So, a larger pipe means a larger pressure differential which may be especially troublesome with multiple cylinders being attached to the same pipe. To put it simply, you need to balance restrictions and the size of the pipe if you want to get the most horsepower out of your engine. Sport exhaust systems are usually best suited for the task and you can find a great selection at Cobra Sport Australia.
Keep the Reversion in Mind
Finally, there is one more thing you need to think about and this time it is the reversion. In the simplest of terms, the reversion is when gases in your engine flow in the wrong direction. It can be either exhaust gas flowing back into the piston or even up into the intake. Either way, this is not only a massive waste of energy, but also quite harmful to the machinery. Luckily, this can be remedied with anti-reversion. All you need to do is wait for the pressure inside of a piston to fall below the pressure inside the intake. The easiest way to do this is to reverse restriction by tapering the pipe.
Different people want different things from their car and what is ideal for a taxi driver may not be that good for a track car. Even something as simple as using heat wrapping to capture and redirect heat has both upsides and downsides. While it gives you more energy, it also gives increases the chance of your exhaust overheating. Make sure to conduct thorough research on specifics, advantages and drawbacks of a certain upgrade. This will allow you to make a sound decision on whether you really need it and is it worth it. After all, no one knows your car better than you do.