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The Anatomy of Aftermarket Exhausts

By on Last modified: May 18, 2018

If you’re on the market for an aftermarket exhaust system, then you should probably get familiar with all the parts that comprise an exhaust system so that you know what to look for. Similarly to how you discussed anatomy of the human body back in high school, we’re going to discuss the anatomy of an exhaust system now, and the discussion won’t be all that interesting this time around either. Regardless, you’ll hopefully get enlightened and get some understanding of all the different parts that make exhaust systems whole.

Ford Courier exhaust

But before we get into that, why would you choose an aftermarket exhaust for your vehicle in the first place? Well, vehicle manufacturers usually leave quite a bit of space for improvement when it comes to exhaust systems, due to the fact that stock exhaust systems are built with cost in mind. In other words, stock exhausts aren’t built with quality and durable materials like aftermarket exhausts are (stainless steel or aluminised steel), but instead, they’re built with mild steel which is far more prone to rust and corrosion.

You can buy aftermarket exhausts for your specific model and make of vehicle to ensure a tight fit. For instance, you can buy a Ford Courier exhaust that will fit your Courier without having to make modifications to it. However, you can also find exhaust systems that aren’t model and make specific, and depending on the type of vehicle you have, you might have to do minor or major modifications. This isn’t advisable, especially if you aren’t very car savvy. Searching for a specific model and make of Ford Courier exhaust is the safest way to buy an aftermarket exhaust for a Courier.

The first exhaust part that handles the exhaust gases released from the engine are the headers. Aftermarket headers are usually mandrel-bent to reduce restriction, allowing gases to exit more freely from the engine. This not only reduces backpressure, but it also helps build flow velocity to create energy gases that scavenge spent exhaust gases from the engine.

Next, there’s the catalytic converter, whose sole purpose is to reduce the amount of harmful emissions the vehicle releases into the atmosphere. Catalytic converters are mandatory by law, and state and federal regulations require that every vehicle on public roads is equipped with one. Catalytic converters operate by letting exhaust gases through 2 ceramic honeycombs which are coated with a combination of precious metals. Once the gases come in contact with the precious metals, a chemical reaction converts the vehicle’s emissions to oxygen, water, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen before releasing them into the air.

Then there’s the muffler, which is one of the most recognizable parts of the exhaust system. Simply put, the muffler’s purpose is to reduce the noise that comes out of the exhaust. Even though its task is rather simple, the way it performs can get quite complicated. Depending on the style of the muffler, it can use a combination of perforated tubes, baffles, chambers and sound deadening materials to accomplish this.

Lastly, there are the pipes. Exhaust systems usually have downpipes and tailpipes, and if it’s a dual exhaust system – crossover pipes. The purpose of the pipes is quite simple – to transfer the gases from the engine to the parts they connect, and eventually out of the vehicle into the atmosphere.