The exhaust system on a vehicle affects several different aspects regarding performance. Get ready for a detailed look at a high performance vehicle exhaust system from beginning to end.
The exhaust system is responsible for removing harmful gases such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and nitrogen monoxide caused by the combustion of fuel inside the engine. These harmful gases or not good for the environment which is one of the reasons why we have exhaust systems on all vehicles. Of course that is a another story when it comes to racing, racers want performance not eco-friendly exhaust systems.
Lets start from the top
After the engine finishes the power-stroke the piston shoots upwards pushing the exhaust gases out into your exhaust manifold thus known as an exhaust stroke. During its travel in the exhaust manifold one tube has already pushed some fumes out, when it passes the opening of another tube the pressure passing by creates a vacuum affect and pulls the fumes out of that tube faster (which is why certain headers work better than others because of its design). After it escapes the headers it travels through the flex tube and passes the first O2 sensor, the sensor sends oxygen readings to the computer to compensate the air/fuel ratio. The harmful gases then travel through the catalytic converter to get converted to carbon dioxide and water vapor. The converted fumes then enter the muffler which muffles the exhaust noise exiting out into the world.
The Travel Sequence
- Exhaust Manifold
- O2 sensor (before catalytic converter for OBDII vehicles)
- Catalytic Converter
- O2 Sensor (After the catalytic convert)
Now to the meat of the subject! Exhaust systems play an important role for performance vehicles. when it comes to upgrading your ride you need to plan for what size of exhaust tubing you need based on your engine build. There is a math formula to figure out the exact diameter of pipe that you will need, or you can visit http://www.mk5cortinaestate.co.uk/calculator5.php and let the Exhaust Size Calculator figure it out for you. Of course the diameter of the pipe is important because the exhaust needs to flow 2.2 cfm per engine horsepower in order to achieve optimal performance.
High performance exhaust systems create a great sound but it also allows your vehicle to breath better which causes better performance. If your exhaust is to big or you have too many tail pipes you will lose back pressure and actually lose horsepower, of course you don't want that. Racers need that perfect balance of pressure in the exhaust system to create horsepower and not just a whole bunch of noise.
Enjoy the slide show!
Drive safe my fellow tuners and exhaust responsibly