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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking at getting an exhaust. Most likely I'll get FSWerks Street Exhaust because it's 50 state legal, and I can't find a quieter aftermarket exhaust that keep both cats in place.

For me this will be getting my feet wet with mods. I always keep everything stock, but I think I'm ready to start trying bolt-ons, and since exhaust is probably one of the most harmless mods I want to start with that. Question is: will I see/feel any gains with just an exhaust or do I need an intake for it to make a difference? If I need the intake I just won't bother, but if exhaust makes any sort of difference I'll most likely eventually buy a SRI.
 

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Hatch Nation #136
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A short ram is mainly going to make the noise change. You will feel like it is doing something, but unless it is sheilded from heat it won't really do much to up your HP.

With the cat back exhaust, it will make a better noise and might give a slight increase in power. However, since you still have the restrictive exhaust manifold and cats in place, so the gains will be minimal.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
A short ram is mainly going to make the noise change. You will feel like it is doing something, but unless it is sheilded from heat it won't really do much to up your HP.

With the cat back exhaust, it will make a better noise and might give a slight increase in power. However, since you still have the restrictive exhaust manifold and cats in place, so the gains will be minimal.
As long as the cat-back exhaust provides some sort of gain (even if very small) I'll be happy. Unless I misunderstood you, it will.

My opinions on intake are unconventional and probably wrong. I'm not too convinced that the factory intake system is extremely restrictive to begin with, but I imagine a SRI or CAI is less restrictive. I'd prefer a SRI because it floods in the spring/summer here and we get a fair amount of snow in the winter.

It usually snows by Halloween and snows through the end of April. From October-Early May it's expected to see freezing temperatures and Dec-Mar it's normal to see lows below 0*F and highs colder that 15*F. During the winter, I seriously have to let me car idle 5-10 minutes while plugged in to be sure the coolant will get up to temp by the time I get to work. What I'm trying to say is, I'm not really interested in a Cold Air Intake, especially since the engine bay stays pretty cool in the winter. I imagine that the freezing air (even if slightly warmed by the engine) should be cold enough. I appreciate your input on intakes though.
 

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Hatch Nation #136
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You are in North Dakota, so the heat sink won't be that bad, even in the warmer months. But, having a SRI on my own car, I wish that I had done a CAI. I know that you can get ones that have the bypass so that you don't have to worry about hydrolock and that you can do a heat sheild on a SRI if you're into the fab work.

The exhaust will give you a small boost, but probably not enough to make a big difference in driving feel.

On both, the sound improvement is nice, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, sounds like exhaust is an okay place to start. I was thinking about buying a Steeda intake after tax season, I don't suppose the fancy metal cover it comes with would be considered a heat shield?
 

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w/ my magic bag
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^^^^ I'd go w/ the Steeda SRI , they work great & no worry's w/ water. I'd do that 1st. You will feel that more than the exhaust for the money. The original air filter is pretty restictive= you try breathing thru that huh! After tax cash come's rolling in get a FSwerk's header & stealth system & a tune rollin'.
 

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Absolutely agree with previous post. Do the Steeda SRI. And yes, that metal box is a "heat shield." Also, save your money on the Street Exhaust and just do a lunchbox delete for the time being. It will remove SOME restrictions (though minimal), but make a difference in sound. Here's a how-to for the lunchbox delete:

http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=161654.

Here's a video of my car with the Steeda SRI and lunchbox delete, so you'll get a feel for how it sounds:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPrWjOj_2PU - Inside
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-b7FkIjZ4J4 - Outside

The Street Exhaust will not remove enough restrictions to justify the money spent. I have a Stealth Exhaust, which keeps one of the cats, and haven't had any issues with emissions inspections.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My home of record is in California, I may consider going to school there when I get out so I want to keep both cats in place to remain compliant. This means no header and street exhaust is my only real option. I may do the intake first if I can find a used one.
 

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I think K&N makes an intake that is compliant with California's emmission codes.

If you want more sound, the intake / lunchbox delete will give you that with more gains that you'll see from an exhaust alone. The Street Exhaust just seems like a lot of money to spend for 3-4 hp tops. I picked up my Steeda in the BST Forum for $100 shipped, so keep your eyes open. The only performance part I bought new for my car was the exhaust.
 
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