Single Exhaust vs. Dual Exhaust Systems. Which is Best?
The term “cat-back exhaust” has nothing whatsoever to do with what you may find in little Fluffy’s litter box. No, a cat-back exhaust system is really an aftermarket exhaust system that replaces everything from your vehicle’s catalytic converter all the way back to its exit at the rear. A system like this usually includes a muffler and, in some cases, a resonator for better sound quality and in many cases includes exhaust tips. But you still retain the factory installed head pipe and catalytic convertor, or “cat”.
Of course the main reason for replacing the factory exhaust in the first place is due to several factors that inhibit its performance. The bends are very restrictive “crush bends” instead of smoother mandrel bends, the material used is cheap, the system is designed more for quick and easy installation at the factory, and quiet operation over performance.
So if performance and sound are the main reasons for installing an aftermarket exhaust system, why not go all the way and replace everything from the engine back? Why only from the cat back? Well, in many states and localities it’s simply illegal to tamper with or remove the catalytic converter. So if you live in one of those places you really have no choice. (Missouri and Kansas are two states where it’s illegal so 4 Wheel Parts won’t remove them). But even if you don’t and it is legal for you to remove the cat in your state, there are reasons not to do so. Unless you also plan on reprogramming your vehicle’s computer, it needs to have that back pressure of the cat to maintain the proper engine tune. In most cases, retaining the factory cat is not necessarily a bad thing.
Okay, so now you know you want to buy and install a cat back system, now what? There are about a bazillion different styles out there in the market place. Which do you choose?
Some of the factors that drive your decision are based on what’s under your ride now. Do you have dual exhausts with twin cats or just a single cat? If you have a single cat, do you want the dual exhaust look? Do you want a significant performance improvement, a richer, throatier sound, or both?
The first type of cat back exhaust is a single pipe, single exit system. This basically replaces all of your factory exhaust from behind the catalytic converter to the rear of the vehicle with a single pipe, muffler, tail pipe and usually includes a tip. You do have the option with this type of system for a rear exit or a side exit behind the rear tire. In other words the exhaust is routed all the way out the back of the vehicle, or it turns and exits to the side either just in front of or behind the rear tire. Systems of this type usually go to oversized pipe that is larger in diameter than your factory system, letting it “breathe” easier. There is some difference in performance between these types and the choice is strictly a cosmetic one. If your vehicle already has dual exhausts with twin cats from the factory you can get cat back systems for these too. And again you have the same choice of rear or side exit.
But what if you have a single exhaust but want the look of duals. You can get that too. A single-to-dual cat back system will include a muffler that has a single inlet and two outlets. Then two tailpipes are routed to the back of the vehicle. And again they can be either rear or side exit. The twin exhaust tips protruding out from underneath really add no-nonsense performance look to any vehicle.
All of the major aftermarket exhaust suppliers have cat back systems in their catalogs and they cover all popular vehicles. Brands such as Magnaflow, Flowmaster, Borla, Corsa, and Gibson have systems that fit everything from diesel trucks to sport compacts, Corvettes to muscle cars and systems that fit every budget.
4 Wheel Parts is your headquarters for aftermarket cat back exhaust systems. The guys who you’ll meet there are experts and they carry all of the top brands listed above. They can help you find just exactly what you need no matter what you drive. Give them a call today or check them out on the web and get started on giving your ride more performance, better sound, and the hot look that you can only get from a quality cat back system from 4 Wheel Parts.