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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys, back in August I put a new AEM cold air intake with performance filter (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MT5Y8LX) into my car. I don't have pictures, but one thing I do tend to have plenty of is observations. First things first, if you've looked at the dynos, you might be giving this thing a general "meh," but you would absolutely be wrong. So wrong. Here's what's up:

INSTALLATION:
Pretty frikkin' easy as long as you have a 10mm wrench on hand. I don't tend to buy tools until I absolutely have to have it, so I almost screwed things up until I got one. Oh, and for the love of whatever you call holy, don't buy clip removal pliers. They're more likely to tear the heads off the clips than remove them. I still need to replace a couple, as you can imagine. You're way better off just using a flat head screw driver for that. On the bright side of things, the tube comes with a pad to prevent it from vibrating harshly against the frame.

SOUND:
So how does it sound now that it's in? Surprisingly, it's quieter at low RPMs, but I notice a little more roar when I push it over 3000 RPM. In other words, you aren't adding extra noise, and there's no drone like popping in a race exhaust without a resonator.

PERFORMANCE:
The AEM website claims this will lift your max horsepower by 5 (implying 146 max) or a 3.5% increase, but that's not quite the case in actuality. If you look at the dyno chart (https://www.aemintakes.com/dynocharts/AEM-21-800_dyno.pdf) you'll notice the max 'before' HP listed as 110hp, which is obviously not the number in the brochure, right? Well, they're measuring wheel horsepower; the 141 is brake horsepower (bit of an odd name, yes, but it's essentially just the power at the crank before losses to other systems, etc.). SO! I ran the numbers, and it looks like the actual gain is a little over 4.5%, which should put the max bhp at 148. Still not a huge number, but lemme tell ya - I can definitely feel the difference.

FUEL EFFICIENCY:
Until about 30k miles in, I was averaging about 32.1-32.4MPG. I added some basic efficient driving habits a couple months before I put this in and found myself hovering about 34.2. When I put the intake in and kept the exact same driving habits, I immediately found myself averaging about 36.2MPG. And considering the exact same engine in the 2017 model was rated at 34 highway and 28 city (2016 had 35/28 somehow), I'd say that's pretty durn good.

It is worth noting, however, that driving it in colder weather is actually less efficient because it takes the engine longer to warm up. So, if you do live somewhere cold, this probably isn't the mod for you. My original observations with the intake were mostly in 100F heat down to around 75-ish. Anywhere in the 40s and I saw essentially no difference compared to stock, and now that we're below freezing, I'm seeing a slightly lower than stock efficiency. The stock air box may breathe slower than Darth Vader, but it keeps the intake air temperature regulated.

FILTER QUALITY:
"But I heard performance filters are crap and it doesn't really filter!" Yes, AEM piggybacked a lot of their research on the famous/infamous K&N performance filters, but there is one major difference to check out: the Dryflow synthetic filter doesn't need the same careful oiling as most other brands, meaning there's basically no maintenance on it. Oh, and apparently the whole thing is supposed to vibrate with the chassis in some certain way so dirt falls off of it? I dunno, I haven't gotten that far into its lifespan yet, but I certainly haven't had any problems yet.

FRINGE BENEFITS:
Okay, so it makes your engine more powerful and more efficient, but that's it, right? NOPE. The best thing about this is why you get those benefits: the engine isn't working as hard to produce the same amount of power because it's fighting less resistance to breathe. This translates to one very important thing for us modders: longer engine life. Less resistance means less wear and tear, which in turn means you can run it longer.

WHAT ABOUT WATER?
There's a lot of concern over hydro-locking your engine when it rains hard. This concern is mostly raised for other cars, where the filter is put down in a wheel well. For us, it sits right in front of the radiator, so it's not really low enough to take on water if you happen to splash a little. That said, it is still exposed, and I don't think any of us would risk our engine for that. But of course I have a solution for that because why wouldn't I, and it's a fairly easy one: add a hydrophobic prefilter to keep the water out! The one I used and highly recommend (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001CO2JDY) also acts as a filter itself, keeping out anything larger than .005 inches without slowing down the air in any meaningful way.

So yeah, I won't presume to tell you whether or not this is worth it for you (unless you live in California where it's not legal), but I do hope this will have helped you make your decision if you've been on the fence. Let me know what you think!
 

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".....the engine isn't working as hard to produce the same amount of power because it's fighting less resistance to breathe." By that line of reasoning the engine isn't working as hard at full throttle as at part throttle which is of course, nonsense.. Anything other than full throttle is an intake air restriction at the throttle body. At idle the restriction is huge.

I am not a believer in these intake kits because I find it very unlikely that automotive engineers capable of such sophisticated things as variable valve timing, etc. would be foolish enough to throw away power with an intake that measurably restricted air flow.

Don in Austin
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I wondered about the argument "if it's so great why don't they come stock" for quite a while before I realized the answer: manufacturers build something meant to work in all types of conditions. Changing to a cold air intake reduces some of that adaptability and costs more to develop.

I agree that the throttle is an obvious limiting factor, but my statement isn't intended to compare WOT to idle. It was to compare air resistance before the throttle, such that when the throttle opens it has more air at the ready, especially for sustained acceleration.

But hey, if you're not even open to the idea, then I don't think any amount of numbers or charts would convince you otherwise. To each their own.
 

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I wondered about the argument "if it's so great why don't they come stock" for quite a while before I realized the answer: manufacturers build something meant to work in all types of conditions. Changing to a cold air intake reduces some of that adaptability and costs more to develop.

I agree that the throttle is an obvious limiting factor, but my statement isn't intended to compare WOT to idle. It was to compare air resistance before the throttle, such that when the throttle opens it has more air at the ready, especially for sustained acceleration.

But hey, if you're not even open to the idea, then I don't think any amount of numbers or charts would convince you otherwise. To each their own.
Do you have objective third-party charts?

Designing a non-restrictive intake is absolute child's play compared with variable valve timing, cylinder deactivation, modern EGR systems, etc. etc. Looking at my HRV, the air intake is well ahead of the radiator so taking in air at ambient temperature.

The notion that an engine is stressed to pull air through an intake but not through a closed or partially closed throttle plate is a fallacy.

Don in Austin
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Given the observed numbers I posted above for efficiency, which were in back to back weeks with nearly identical weather and the same streets, mileage, system settings, and driving habits, and the gain noted has been sustained as described in relation to the weather. However, if you would like to say that a 2MPG gain is somehow due to the placebo effect, well, I guess you have that right.
 

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Given the observed numbers I posted above for efficiency, which were in back to back weeks with nearly identical weather and the same streets, mileage, system settings, and driving habits, and the gain noted has been sustained as described in relation to the weather. However, if you would like to say that a 2MPG gain is somehow due to the placebo effect, well, I guess you have that right.
Being in the car repair business I see placebo or reverse-placebo effect on a regular basis. Often much more pronounced than the numbers you report.

Don in Austin
 

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I appreciate your thorough review, and I"m sure others will also.

Some good info on the 1.8 are here
http://asia.vtec.net/Engines/RiVTEC/index.html

I typically drive under 3000rpms, trying to maximize fuel efficiency, so this product probably would not have much effect in my HR-V.
But it's nice for people that want a better sounding/performing engine that there is a fairly inexpensive option like this.

This has been a complaint of several people on this forum, the engine is under-powered for them, so maybe this little boost may make them happy.
Agreed Don, numbers from the manufacturer need to be taken with a grain of salt, and mileage may vary.

It would be interesting if 10 people on the forum tried this product and all found similar improvements

Read many reviews of people happy with similar upgrades, and some fairly convincing tests that showed improvement.
And lots of skeptical people,
http://speed.academy/dyno-tested-aem-cold-air-intake-2015-subaru-wrx/
 

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We just recently purchased a used 2016 HRV and I have been studying the original air intake asm.
We have another 10 months of full warranty and I'm hoping I won't modify this thing.

It really is a cold air intake, drawing air from behind the grill, in front of the rad support.
It is a huge pile of useless air resonator plastic. It is ridiculously large and makes it difficult to service that side of the engine bay.

You can see why AEM designed their over-priced system the way they did.
They needed a straight piece of pipe for the MAF and they wanted to draw cold air from the same spot as the original air intake.

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If you study the original air filter box, its totally fine. Its the air resonator upstream that is so lame.

I'm thinking that all one has to do is remove the entire air resonator assemby and then fabricate a simple pipe to the stock air filter box.
Perhaps route the pipe up and over the rad support like the original system and draw cold air from there.
Or perhaps route the pipe forward, around the battery and draw air from the driver's side fenderwell in front of the tire.

I've got a ton of experience with aftermarket cold air intakes and modifying a stock air intake. This would add ZERO power to the HRV, just get rid of the some clutter, clean up the engine bay to make it easier to service.

Maybe one day, I'll mod the air intake system.
I hope I don't modify the exhaust either, like cutting off the huge resonator under the passenger door!
 

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I put an AEM on my 2014 Honda accord. It looks very nice, but I didn’t see any increase in power, nor torque. Didn’t really sound any different unless I was really trying to listen for it… But like I said, it looked nice…
 

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I used to use something that helped boost hp and mileage...an amsoil air filter...just clean the foam filter and soak in their oil once a year. It made a noticeable difference..that was in the day of circular air filters..not made anymore
 

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We just recently purchased a used 2016 HRV and I have been studying the original air intake asm.
We have another 10 months of full warranty and I'm hoping I won't modify this thing.

It really is a cold air intake, drawing air from behind the grill, in front of the rad support.
It is a huge pile of useless air resonator plastic. It is ridiculously large and makes it difficult to service that side of the engine bay.

You can see why AEM designed their over-priced system the way they did.
They needed a straight piece of pipe for the MAF and they wanted to draw cold air from the same spot as the original air intake.

If you study the original air filter box, its totally fine. Its the air resonator upstream that is so lame.

I'm thinking that all one has to do is remove the entire air resonator assemby and then fabricate a simple pipe to the stock air filter box.

Perhaps route the pipe up and over the rad support like the original system and draw cold air from there.
Or perhaps route the pipe forward, around the battery and draw air from the driver's side fenderwell in front of the tire.

I've got a ton of experience with aftermarket cold air intakes and modifying a stock air intake. This would add ZERO power to the HRV, just get rid of the some clutter, clean up the engine bay to make it easier to service.

Maybe one day, I'll mod the air intake system.
I hope I don't modify the exhaust either, like cutting off the huge resonator under the passenger door!
Lol - I've worked with AEM on designing intakes, they are hardly overpriced - what you see is just some pipe starts out being scanned and modeled in CFD to improve not only capacity but air speed as well - most companies bend up a 3 inch chrome pipe and put a filter on it and call that good, put it on a static dyno with the hood open, cheat some numbers up and sell it.

The dry flow filters are unique to AEM requiring little maintenance and maximum air flow - the rubber is the most durable and the inside designed on a computer to minimize turbulence and maximize airspeed - they are trying to put the smallest and most efficient air filter on as possible that the stock engine can fully utilize. Larger filters can flow bigger numbers but the engine has to draw that in and there is more chance for the filter mesh to heat soak, fail somewhere or draw in hotter air.

The size of the tubing is specifically chosen for the application and the coating is unique to improve resonance, reduce turbulence, maintain airspeed and insulate and reflect heat from the system.

The OEM HRV has a smaller surface area than the aem filter, has a lower efficiency and is designed to pull in the coolest air but then bounce it around to reduce noise not move it to the engine as quickly and efficiently as possible, which is what the AEM intake is trying to do.

If the ambient air is 80 the road surface can be 120 - you dont want to pull air from any closer than where they are now, unless you can lengthen the intake tract and can account for ram air on the fly - To do that at a professional level you start with a 50K motec ECU, a host of sensors, a team of engineers, weatherman and laps and laps and laps on a race track and then you have an average for that specific time and place. I spent some time in the pits with Real Time Racing and there TSX to see how they did it using the largest NSX air box, a hamp filter with the foam removed and tons of custom tubing to start.

One thing AEM does is they buy all of there competitors intakes and ruthlessley test against them ensuring that in most if not all cases they have the best commercially available intake you can get.

The only time I have used a better intake actually was what comptech came up with after working with real time and it was only in some specific applications - if you look at them you see they lengthened the intake as much as possible, draw from the absolute coolest air, but out of direct airflow that can cause ram air and screw with drive-ability and use air horns, thermoplastic and few free flowing filters because the box isnt open under the hood.

When I did the AEM intake on my Ridgeline my 0-60 dropped by .4 seconds - some of that was the extra 12hp but most of it was throttle response because of the superior design. I bet on the HRV its close to .3 seconds - Ive ordered one and I will pick it up in a few weeks.
 

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The dry flow filters are unique to AEM requiring little maintenance and maximum air flow - the rubber is the most durable and the inside designed on a computer to minimize turbulence and maximize airspeed - they are trying to put the smallest and most efficient air filter on as possible that the stock engine can fully utilize. Larger filters can flow bigger numbers but the engine has to draw that in and there is more chance for the filter mesh to heat soak, fail somewhere or draw in hotter air.

The size of the tubing is specifically chosen for the application and the coating is unique to improve resonance, reduce turbulence, maintain airspeed and insulate and reflect heat from the system.

...

When I did the AEM intake on my Ridgeline my 0-60 dropped by .4 seconds - some of that was the extra 12hp but most of it was throttle response because of the superior design. I bet on the HRV its close to .3 seconds - Ive ordered one and I will pick it up in a few weeks.
AEM drycharger filters are the way to go. Whoever designed the oiled filters never realized that the oil will eventually clog up the MAF sensor.

Did you try wrapping the intake tube with insulation? We did that on a Civic with a D16. Our lap times stayed consistent, so we just left it on. The idea was to prevent heat soak from the intake tube getting hot and keep the air as close to ambient as possible. Seemed good in theory, didn't help/hurt in practice.

.3 seconds could mean the difference between podium or not on track, but I think it's unlikely that you're typical grocery-getter shifting at 3,000 will notice any improvement.

As for fuel economy, a DoE study showed that a clogged air filter and brand new air filter had virtually no effect on fuel economy. Power was reduced, but fuel economy wasn't affected.


Despite the filter restrictions, however, no significant changes in fuel economy were observed.
...
The changes observed by clogging the air filter produced no significant effect on the fuel economy of the vehicles tested, when tested over these three standard cycles that represent a wide range of driving conditions. It is possible that there may be some isolated operating conditions under which the fuel economy may be more susceptible to a clogged air filter. However, such operating conditions are not likely to be consistent from vehicle to vehicle.
 

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I’ve been using he exact intake for about 10k miles now. Havent cleaned it yet which I should soon but what I noticed is a better sound coming from the engine. I also have an aftermarket muffler and straight piped from cat back but I still have my resonator. It does make your engine sound good but I don’t notice quite a power increase.
 

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Hey guys, back in August I put a new AEM cold air intake with performance filter (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MT5Y8LX) into my car. I don't have pictures, but one thing I do tend to have plenty of is observations. First things first, if you've looked at the dynos, you might be giving this thing a general "meh," but you would absolutely be wrong. So wrong. Here's what's up:

INSTALLATION:
Pretty frikkin' easy as long as you have a 10mm wrench on hand. I don't tend to buy tools until I absolutely have to have it, so I almost screwed things up until I got one. Oh, and for the love of whatever you call holy, don't buy clip removal pliers. They're more likely to tear the heads off the clips than remove them. I still need to replace a couple, as you can imagine. You're way better off just using a flat head screw driver for that. On the bright side of things, the tube comes with a pad to prevent it from vibrating harshly against the frame.

SOUND:
So how does it sound now that it's in? Surprisingly, it's quieter at low RPMs, but I notice a little more roar when I push it over 3000 RPM. In other words, you aren't adding extra noise, and there's no drone like popping in a race exhaust without a resonator.

PERFORMANCE:
The AEM website claims this will lift your max horsepower by 5 (implying 146 max) or a 3.5% increase, but that's not quite the case in actuality. If you look at the dyno chart (https://www.aemintakes.com/dynocharts/AEM-21-800_dyno.pdf) you'll notice the max 'before' HP listed as 110hp, which is obviously not the number in the brochure, right? Well, they're measuring wheel horsepower; the 141 is brake horsepower (bit of an odd name, yes, but it's essentially just the power at the crank before losses to other systems, etc.). SO! I ran the numbers, and it looks like the actual gain is a little over 4.5%, which should put the max bhp at 148. Still not a huge number, but lemme tell ya - I can definitely feel the difference.

FUEL EFFICIENCY:
Until about 30k miles in, I was averaging about 32.1-32.4MPG. I added some basic efficient driving habits a couple months before I put this in and found myself hovering about 34.2. When I put the intake in and kept the exact same driving habits, I immediately found myself averaging about 36.2MPG. And considering the exact same engine in the 2017 model was rated at 34 highway and 28 city (2016 had 35/28 somehow), I'd say that's pretty durn good.

It is worth noting, however, that driving it in colder weather is actually less efficient because it takes the engine longer to warm up. So, if you do live somewhere cold, this probably isn't the mod for you. My original observations with the intake were mostly in 100F heat down to around 75-ish. Anywhere in the 40s and I saw essentially no difference compared to stock, and now that we're below freezing, I'm seeing a slightly lower than stock efficiency. The stock air box may breathe slower than Darth Vader, but it keeps the intake air temperature regulated.

FILTER QUALITY:
"But I heard performance filters are crap and it doesn't really filter!" Yes, AEM piggybacked a lot of their research on the famous/infamous K&N performance filters, but there is one major difference to check out: the Dryflow synthetic filter doesn't need the same careful oiling as most other brands, meaning there's basically no maintenance on it. Oh, and apparently the whole thing is supposed to vibrate with the chassis in some certain way so dirt falls off of it? I dunno, I haven't gotten that far into its lifespan yet, but I certainly haven't had any problems yet.

FRINGE BENEFITS:
Okay, so it makes your engine more powerful and more efficient, but that's it, right? NOPE. The best thing about this is why you get those benefits: the engine isn't working as hard to produce the same amount of power because it's fighting less resistance to breathe. This translates to one very important thing for us modders: longer engine life. Less resistance means less wear and tear, which in turn means you can run it longer.

WHAT ABOUT WATER?
There's a lot of concern over hydro-locking your engine when it rains hard. This concern is mostly raised for other cars, where the filter is put down in a wheel well. For us, it sits right in front of the radiator, so it's not really low enough to take on water if you happen to splash a little. That said, it is still exposed, and I don't think any of us would risk our engine for that. But of course I have a solution for that because why wouldn't I, and it's a fairly easy one: add a hydrophobic prefilter to keep the water out! The one I used and highly recommend (Amazon.com: Injen Technology X-1033BLK Black Hydro-Shield Pre-Filter: Automotive) also acts as a filter itself, keeping out anything larger than .005 inches without slowing down the air in any meaningful way.

So yeah, I won't presume to tell you whether or not this is worth it for you (unless you live in California where it's not legal), but I do hope this will have helped you make your decision if you've been on the fence. Let me know what you think!
Did yours fit perfectly? I put mine into my 2019 hrv and it didn't quite fit so I had to force it in.
 

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I wouldn’t bother wrapping the intake it can actually cause hot spots and fatigue more quickly also the engine consumes that volume of air in like .3 seconds or something, not enough time to heat soak, as long as the filter is placed into the lowest stable temperature air possible it’s usually best. KNs oil reduces airflow sometimes even below the oem filters they are really designed for off-road use or when you can fit a larger filter, dna does this by actually making the filter area as large as possible and they flow 12% more than a comparable kn filter. Aems filters are some of the best if not the best overall air filters available to consumers for daily drivers. On a race track that .3 0-60 seconds becomes .1-.2 seconds every time you accelerate from a low speed in a lap. One thing I mentioned is resonance tuning this is a key consideration for manufacturing, wrapping the intake can actually reduce peak hp. Even using things like zirconia inside of the pipe is not a good idea, on the exhaust it is, if you look inside a moto gp or f1 exhaust your likely to see a white coating at the merge collector, that’s zirconia.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Did yours fit perfectly? I put mine into my 2019 hrv and it didn't quite fit so I had to force it in.
At first I thought mine wasn't fitting perfectly, but once I adjusted the angles a bit it seemed pretty much perfect to me. I started by setting the filter down into the pre-radiator space, pushed the back end of the pipe all the way against the throttle body inside the sleeve, adjusted the front to set the front screw (I admit I probably overtightened it, but I haven't had any issues), then tightened the rubber sleeve connector in back and attached the filter to the front.

I'll also add that I noted a small difference decrease in volume when I cranked down that front screw, but then again I also don't aspire to a loud engine in a car critics call dramatically underpowered. The only other change I've made to the air systems is a new muffler (Dynamax Super Turbo, model 17730), which I picked out to increase airflow / reduce backpressure without significantly increasing the noise. A straight muffler is unnecessary in this car because it doesn't produce enough exhaust for that to make a difference.

I have been driving with my AEM intake for about 40k miles and haven't needed to clean the filter yet (they say it needs it every 100k), but part of why I haven't had a problem may be the pre-filter I put on it.
 

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At first I thought mine wasn't fitting perfectly, but once I adjusted the angles a bit it seemed pretty much perfect to me. I started by setting the filter down into the pre-radiator space, pushed the back end of the pipe all the way against the throttle body inside the sleeve, adjusted the front to set the front screw (I admit I probably overtightened it, but I haven't had any issues), then tightened the rubber sleeve connector in back and attached the filter to the front.

I'll also add that I noted a small difference decrease in volume when I cranked down that front screw, but then again I also don't aspire to a loud engine in a car critics call dramatically underpowered. The only other change I've made to the air systems is a new muffler (Dynamax Super Turbo, model 17730), which I picked out to increase airflow / reduce backpressure without significantly increasing the noise. A straight muffler is unnecessary in this car because it doesn't produce enough exhaust for that to make a difference.

I have been driving with my AEM intake for about 40k miles and haven't needed to clean the filter yet (they say it needs it every 100k), but part of why I haven't had a problem may be the pre-filter I put on it.
It might be that my car is a 2019 so my CAI doesnt fit perfectly no mater what angle I put it in. I did make it fight but a little part of the filter is touching the vehicle but it shouldnt cause a problem since it’s just the rubber part.
 

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Straight exhausts are always better - the engine is trying to push the exhaust out and it takes hp to do that. If the piping is stainless steel and of proper size and the mufflers free flowing but with effective sound absorption and cancellation the power band will always be better. One of the big sins with aftermarket exhausts is they dont take advantage of scavenging properly, the perfect aftermarket exhaust would look like the factory one but without complications and chambers. N1 mufflers are an attempt at this because N1 rules are so tight and every advantage helps but aftermarket they act like all the design does is allow hot exhaust gas to rise and speed up instead of dumping it into a low pressure zone where airflow will scavenge it.

Length also helps, Honda's motogp bikes have an exhaust for each cylinder bank to maximize power - both are as long as possible.

30594
 

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Straight exhausts are always better - the engine is trying to push the exhaust out and it takes hp to do that. If the piping is stainless steel and of proper size and the mufflers free flowing but with effective sound absorption and cancellation the power band will always be better. One of the big sins with aftermarket exhausts is they dont take advantage of scavenging properly, the perfect aftermarket exhaust would look like the factory one but without complications and chambers. N1 mufflers are an attempt at this because N1 rules are so tight and every advantage helps but aftermarket they act like all the design does is allow hot exhaust gas to rise and speed up instead of dumping it into a low pressure zone where airflow will scavenge it.

Length also helps, Honda's motogp bikes have an exhaust for each cylinder bank to maximize power - both are as long as possible.

View attachment 30594
So I’m Planning to get a straight through Borla muffler to replace my shitty N1 that’s already rusting after a year and a half. The car is straight piped from the CAT back but still has the red. Should I get rid of the res to make it flow better? Also what straight through muffler do you recommend? My exhaust note is pretty low and I get a few pops and bangs here and there but I would like my exhaust to be a little louder and the pops to be louder.
 
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