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Benefits of a Full Exhaust Upgrade for V8 LS Engines

Performance exhaust systems for LS V8 and for any performance car usually aims to satisfy two requirements:

Improve Performance.


We notice that good performance system make more power at high rpm. The torque at high rpm drops off slower and this gives a higher peak power result. Also we notice that Torque is higher everywhere with good systems, even at low rpm. This is despite them having larger primary pipes and could be because good exhaust systems are closer to the true tuned length.  Tuned Length is difficult to make suit the engine bay so many headers are just a collection of different length pipes that simply “do the job” of getting the exhaust out. 

Provide the enjoyable sound the owner wants

V8 exhaust can sound beattie like an old school muscle car if the pipes are closer to the tuned length. But enjoyment is in the mind of the owner and some prefer more of a wailey sound with lots of crackle on decel!

Factory catalytic converters present quite a restriction, They can be replaced with high flow metal substrate cats that help provide better flow.

The images include an explanation of the factory cats, the look of inside a factory style cat and a metal high flow cat.

The metal cats are more reliable during performance applications as well. We prefer to use good quality thick walled cats and we notice that 200 cell cats have less associated “white noise” and give a more pleasant exhaust note in the cabin. 

Performance Headers  (or extractors):

Draw maximum exhaust from the cylinder during the duration of the exhaust stroke.

The escaping exhaust gases moving through the header pipes creates energy pulses that form vacuums, pulling additional exhaust out of the combustion chamber so that the maximum amount of fresh fuel and air can be drawn in. Headers draw maximum exhaust from the cylinder during the duration of the exhaust stroke.

For a header to work its crucial that the individual primary pipes are manufactured the right length and the right diameter. This is specific to the engine and its modifications.

We commonly use Headers with long primary pipes that are between 1″3/4 and 2″ diameter on the VT-VF V8 LS1 LS2 L98 L76 L77 LS3 engines that we tune. We prefer long 4 int 1s with 1″7/8 for mist cam upgrade builds. Calculators indicate the best length primaries for cam upgraded engines aiming to make power peak at 6600rpm is around 32-33″ long and a little under 1″7/8 in primary size. Maybe meaure the headers you plan to use and see how that compares. We are making custom headers with exactly the right length and diameter for our Sports Sedan Race Car. 

Below are some ceramic coated headers

Performance Catback:

Systems should make a good sound. We find stainless steel systems sound the best and last much longer. Beware of cheap droney exhausts which are poorly designed. They may save you money but often people grow to regret the money spent.

Our systems are manufactured in superior 409 stainless steel which gives the best sound and they come with a 5-year warranty. We also have special bimodal mufflers to use on cars that have the bimodal feature from the GM factory. We offer exhaust systems for Commodores VT-VF, Jeep and Chrysler SRT and many other makes.

Late model 6 & 6.2L Commodores often gain around 50 rwkw from the combination of an OTR cold air intake, Full exhaust upgrade with an accompanying tune. Around 20rwkw of this improvement is contributed by the exhaust. Plus they sound much more like a V8! 

We also offer and post DPE Manta Pro systems which sound deep and beattie. Call us for the different sizes and models available.

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