What Is a Cat Back Exhaust System?

The Borla “Cat Back” name implies the exhaust system is located behind the factory catalytic converter where there factory emissions remain untouched and vehicle stays emissions compliant. This remains distinct from the Axle Back exhaust system that is located behind the rear axle. Alex Borla coined the phrase ‘Cat Back‘ and introduced the Cat Back performance exhaust in 1978, a bolt-on replacement performance exhaust system requiring no welding, thus being secured using the factory hanger locations.

What does a cat back exhaust do?

The cat-back system improves airflow, which means the engine doesn’t work as hard to eliminate exhaust fumes. The reduced resistance minimizes the load on the engine, which leads to less fuel consumption. That said, the vehicle miles per gallon (MPG) or fuel economy increases in freeways and city roads.

Are cat back exhaust systems worth it?

Adding an aftermarket cat back exhaust can provide several benefits, the first of which is more power. … An increase in fuel economy is often experienced after installing a cat back exhaust system. This is the result of the engine not have to work as hard pushing exhaust gases through the piping.

How much HP gain from cat back exhaust?

The Most You Can Gain is 2-5%. If you want to know how much power you can expect to gain from adding an exhaust system to your car, assume that your engine will get 2-5% more powerful. More specifically, large engines like a big 6.0L V8 typically see about a 2%-3% horsepower increase.

Has the performance of your car slumped lately? This issue could be linked to your exhaust system. On that note, its prudent to consider acquiring a catback exhaust system.

The catback exhaust system provides a vital boost to ensure the vehicle produces maximum horsepower and torque. The catback system has a larger diameter than a standard muffler; the wide opening creates more space for the free flow of air.

The catback system improves airflow, which means the engine doesnt work as hard to eliminate exhaust fumes. That said, the vehicle miles per gallon (MPG) or fuel economy increases in freeways and city roads. Car enthusiasts prefer dual exhaust because of the sporty look, unique growl, and superior performance.

Dual exit is a modification of the single exhaust it comprises one head pipe, converter, and a muffler with two exhaust tips.

Then it became my mission to help other gearheads, just like myself, find the right exhaust system for their car or truck without the hassle. Here youll find in-depth reviews on cat back systems to help you get more power without spending a fortune.

Aftermarket parts companies have made a fortune by creating custom cat back exhaust systems for almost every make and model of vehicle. If youre looking to boost your performance without spending a fortune, a cat back exhaust system is a great place to start.

Deciding to purchase a performance exhaust system for your car is no easy task. There are loads of options, all offering different benefits, and the amount of research you do can quickly turn to frustration when you realise the minuscule differences between the many options.

All of the design elements are more for show than functionality, with the system tuned in such a way that the lower sounds are more prevalent than in other exhausts, which is immediately one of the noticeable differences. Cat back exhaust systems are a great way to enhance the performance and look of your vehicle without having to take out a small loan.

The difference in price is often due to the materials used (which we will discuss in detail a little bit later) as well as the level of customisation you opt for (also touched on further down). It is important to note, however, that going too large may cause a dip in performance when gases pile up and exit the system slower resulting in torque, rpm, and horsepower loss. Once you know which system is the best match for your year, make and model you can assess the maximum pipe diameter which will maximise the performance for your particular engine.

A straight-through or flow-through, muffler features perforated baffles with packing material that absorbs a significant amount of sound while still providing a loud output Glasspack mufflers are like resonators and do not have any sound-absorbing packing material resulting in a louder and higher pitched noise Depending on your make and model, cat back exhaust systems can lead to an increase in fuel economy. The engine doesnt have to work as hard pushing exhaust gases through the piping which reduces its load and leads to higher efficiency and MPG.

Your neighbours may disagree that this is a benefit, but as weve mentioned earlier, and depending on your muffler choice, your vehicle will have a lot more grunt. Made from traditional steel thats been coated on all sides with aluminum-silicon alloy, these systems are very strong thanks to the metallurgical bond which still provides a level of corrosion resistance.

What is a Cat Back Exhaust System?

Catback exhaust systems generally use larger diameter pipe than the stock system. Good systems will have mandrel-bent turns that allow the exhaust gases to exit with as little back pressure as possible.The mufflers included in these kits are often glasspacks, to reduce back pressure. If the system is engineered more for show than functionality, it may be tuned to enhance the lower sounds that are lacking from high-RPM low-displacement engines.

Reason 1: They look great

The cat back is the section of the exhaust that runs from the outlet of the catalytic converter to the exhaust tips. Exhaust systems that include this often feature a large pipe running from the converter to the muffler, with mandrel-bent turns and glasspacks for reduced back pressure.All of the design elements are more for show than functionality, with the system tuned in such a way that the lower sounds are more prevalent than in other exhausts, which is immediately one of the noticeable differences.

Reason 2: Increased power

The design of these systems often sees an increase in horsepower compared to the factory design of a vehicle. Why? Because stock models try to minimise materials and maximise space, with horsepower as a lower priority. This is why stock exhaust systems are relatively ineffective. Aftermarket custom cat back exhaust systems increase the efficiency of an exhaust system because of the mandrel-bent turns and reduction in back pressure.

Reason 3: Easy installation

You will be able to find a cat back exhaust system for just about every make and model of a vehicle, and they are easy to install, making them great for people who love a bit of DIY.They directly bolt on to where the original exhaust sits and do not require any further modification. Cat back exhaust systems come with exhaust pipes, muffler and exhaust tips, so you have everything you need to replace the exhaust.

Reason 4: Price

Cat back exhaust systems are a great way to enhance the performance and look of your vehicle without having to take out a small loan. An average exhaust will start at around $300 and can go up to anywhere around $3000.The difference in price is often due to the materials used (which we will discuss in detail a little bit later) as well as the level of customisation you opt for (also touched on further down). The main point here is, they don’t have to break the bank.

Reason 7: Save on fuel

There is a range of muffler types you can choose from with a cat back exhaust system with most people opting for a glasspack or straight-through muffler. Both of these options are designed to work well within the system to reduce back pressure.The difference, besides looks, is sound output, for example:

Reason 8: You’ll be a lot louder

Your neighbours may disagree that this is a benefit, but as we’ve mentioned earlier, and depending on your muffler choice, your vehicle will have a lot more grunt. This may well be the area you need to do the most research into and the sound quality, and type, can range drastically per system.

Reason 9: Choose your steel

When it comes to picking a cat back exhaust system, you will likely be choosing between stainless or aluminized steel. The majority of the performance systems are made from stainless steel which is favoured as they won’t oxidize and corrode over time like traditional steel can.If you are looking to save a little money but still get most of the benefits of a cat back exhaust system, however, aluminized steel may be the way to go. Made from traditional steel that’s been coated on all sides with aluminum-silicon alloy, these systems are very strong thanks to the metallurgical bond which still provides a level of corrosion resistance. While the aluminum coating reflects heat well, the steel can corrode if the aluminum layer is chipped or scraped off. Most catback systems will come in either an aluminized or stainless steel version.

Reason 10: Split and custom designs

If you are looking for something a little more unique, you can opt for a split rear or custom cat back exhaust system design. The split models feature an exhaust pipe that, as the name suggests, splits into two side-by-side pipes at the end, often with polished muffler and exhaust tips to really make a visual impact.It should be noted that a split system will often provide an aggressive noise increase, and some designs will split the two pipes to opposite sides of the vehicle.Custom setups, especially for vehicles that do a lot of off-roading are also available. If you have modified your 4×4 with lifted, lowered, or air type suspension systems, you can opt for a specially designed catback system with more pipe curvature before the rear axle. This is necessary for off-roading as it allows a higher degree of wheel travel and greater clearance for reduced-height springs and airbag suspensions. The custom exhaust systems available let you pick from a selection of pipework that allows you to adjust the exhaust to suit your noise preference.