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Old 07-31-2014, 03:42 PM   #1
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Headers/Exhaust System

So I've been thinking about an exhaust system. I was considering a cat back but they say it wont do a whole lot so if I want to just change the sound and get a bit of a better flow, I could get a Super 44 muffler or something along those lines. But what about headers? I'm not exactly sure of the hp gains but people seem to be quite fond of them. Now my 01 ZX3 is not a track car. I need to pass smog and all that good stuff here in CA so whatever I put on has to be CARB Legal so are there any CARB legal headers out there? And can someone explain to me the different style of headers? like 4to2 or whatever it is. lol

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Old 07-31-2014, 03:52 PM   #2
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for best performance i suggest switching over to the svt header/exhaust etc.. same with intake..

ford really did the best in desigining these... iirc there should be dyno sheets around here that show the comparison between all of em..


if you want to upgrade the exhaust and not go with svt.. you can always look into the fswerks system.. they have a stealth and a race..

imo the best sounding one is the borla.. but harder to come across..


when they say 4-2-1 header that just means the design.. from 4 outlets merged into 2 and finally one that meets the exhaust..


there are different how tos on the top of this page that explains a lot of info and what not..
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Old 07-31-2014, 03:53 PM   #3
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Old 08-01-2014, 09:57 PM   #4
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for best performance i suggest switching over to the svt header/exhaust etc.. same with intake..

ford really did the best in desigining these... iirc there should be dyno sheets around here that show the comparison between all of em..

X2 you cant go wrong with the SVT set up. while it may be a bit more work it is shown to be the best gains and some of the best sounding ones.

also since there is a single one (inline 4) its only a header (not plural).

Get an SVT header, ORF (or high flow cat if you want to stay street legal) and a 2.5" Borla CAT back with a large resonator and it will be one good sounding Focus and wont have a drone at freeway speeds.
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Old 08-01-2014, 10:26 PM   #5
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I'm not sure he can do the SVT header upgrade since he lives in California, I may be wrong though.
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Old 08-02-2014, 12:00 PM   #6
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OEM stuff has to be CARB legal? If thats the case I think the only one that is a short which are basically worthless... might just need a CAT back
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Old 08-02-2014, 02:58 PM   #7
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Would the SVT header count as OEM on an 01 ZX3?
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Old 08-03-2014, 06:14 PM   #8
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Prob. not by the letter, but if it had the stock heat shield on it the appearance would be stock and it IS an OEM part.
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:39 AM   #9
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Not sure.... you could do a complete motor swap to the SVT and it would pass inspection and emissions right? I don't know about California laws. I think if your smart about it, keep the EGR intact and hooked up and functional with the OEM CAT you should be fine, any inspector who might question it will see the ford logo and part #s stamped into the CAT.

I think you will have to realize it is a possible risk. you may just want to keep you other stuff on hand just in case you have to swap it over...

There is a California local forum, you perhaps can get on in there and ask about the CARB laws and SVT exhaust conversion.
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Old 08-04-2014, 03:51 PM   #10
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California laws are such a pain. While we're on the subject of CATs, does anyone know whether it's worth it to upgrade to a high flow CAT or just stay stock? I have to replace mine and I don't know if I should take the opportunity to upgrade or not.
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