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Old 03-28-2009, 08:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
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straight pipe, x pipe or H pipe?

Does anyone one have any experience with this? Preferably dyno or race track results. I am putting on new exhaust and wonderinf if adding an H or X pipe is worth it. I have been doing research on the web and get different opinions. I heard more low end torque with the H pipe. One article showed the H pipe out performed the X pipe until about 5200 rpm. How about good old straight pipe?
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Old 03-28-2009, 08:21 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: straight pipe, x pipe or H pipe?

I prefer the X pipe. I just love the sound of a X-pipe. And I do believe the X makes more top end H.P. So you have to ask yourself what your usable rpm band is and how your going to use the car. Even for a street car I prefer the X-pipe. But that is just me.
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Old 03-28-2009, 11:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: straight pipe, x pipe or H pipe?

I have been doing H's on mine and customers since the 80's. It does seem to help low end, and it certainly makes the exhaust sound better, less "blat" with loud exhaust and more growl.

As far as X versus H, my number one determiner is how well either fits. An X on my Mustang would have to hang too low, so I used a 3 inch exhaust with a 3 inch H.

On my F100, I am going to run 3 inch, with a 3 inch X, I don't expect any significant difference over an H, but it fits and has cool points.

My opinion X or H isn't as critical, but either is important over unbalanced straight pipe.
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Old 03-28-2009, 12:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: straight pipe, x pipe or H pipe?

There are so many factors involved, it's almost impossible to say. With an X pipe, the only "tuning" factor you have is the location of the X (how far back from the headers), as that will determine your effective collecter length. With an H, not only do you have the distance from the header, but you also have the diameter and length of the H that will change the resonance frequency of the H, changing the behavior of it through the RPM range. If you have say a 3" diameter H pipe that is only 6-12" long, it will probably perform very similarly to an X pipe. If it is much smaller in diameter or longer, that's when the harmonics start to play a role, and the H could produce more power than the X in one RPM range, but less in others.
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Old 03-28-2009, 03:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: straight pipe, x pipe or H pipe?

Yeah, harmonics, resonant frequencies and fluid dynamics are fascinating 'black magic' in exhaust systems. I recall a cool research paper I read over 20 years ago that showed an H-pipe for a dual exhaust with chambered mufflers. The exhaust collectors reduced to typical pipes, but then entered oversize oval pipes that went to the mufflers. The H was situated at the step-up pipe and not only balanced, but captured and distributed the reflected waves and changed resonance.

This setup showed surprising gains across a wide rpm band, but tended to kill the harmonics upstream. In effect, it flattened the torque band for greater overall (average) power, but less peak power. Great for a road racer or street machine, but bad for marketing.

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Old 03-28-2009, 04:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: straight pipe, x pipe or H pipe?

I would go with a straight pipe. it would be the loudest, but if your racing it would make the most power. For full shreet usage, h pipe, for street and strip, x pipe.
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Old 03-28-2009, 11:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: straight pipe, x pipe or H pipe?

A friend of mine was sponsored by Flowmaster. During his sponsorship, they requested him to take part in some testing of crossover pipes for marketing purposes. Here's the quote of his experiences when someone asked him the same thing:

Quote:
Back when I was sponsored by Flowmaster, I was part of a series of exhaust test on the dyno and on the track. I'll tell you what, I was more confused after the test than before it began. There were no clear cut better exhaust. It was dependant upon where the *X* or the *H* was located. If it was wrong, then the straight pipe was better. Then with the same cam, we changed rocker ratios to alter the camshaft a tad. Guess what? It only changed everything.

The answer here is, it depends. If you want maximum power, you'll test all 3 with your completed combination and see what the engine wants or needs.
So there you have it. And if anyone other than Larry Meaux tells you one will work better with your combo than another for performance reasons (which I find cool that no one from this board did!!)...you can bet he's either selling you something or doesn't have a clue =D. Hell, Larry would even tell you where to put the thing for best power where you want it lol. But for the rest of us mortals...the straight pipe is almost always the safest choice (and least expensive!)

Hope that helps!

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Old 03-29-2009, 03:42 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: straight pipe, x pipe or H pipe?

I'm going to go out on a limb here (with no test data) and say that a crossover will help power in 90% of cases. I don't think it would hurt in any combination. Being that a "H" type is cheap and easy to do, I think it's the safe bet.

That said, I have an x-pipe. My headers hang down so far that ground clearance is not something I worry about. It's already bad. I had the x-pipe put in as close to the headers as possible, but I don't know if it's "right". It's just as close as we could get them. In general closer to the collector is better, but must people just put it where it will fit.

I also got a an x-pipe with the same diameter tubing as the collector. I've read if you use smaller pipe than the collector for the crossover than then it doesn't work well.

I also like the x-pipe because it quiets the exhaust some. An H-pipe would, too. I've still got one noise ticket so far, but it'd be worse if I had straight pipes.

I like the sound quality of the x-pipe, too. It sounds unreal at 6600 rpm. Higher pitched than straight pipes or an h-pipe. It really screams. Makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Or is it the hairs on my back that stand up?

JMO,

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Old 03-29-2009, 08:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: straight pipe, x pipe or H pipe?

I dont know which one is "better", but straight pipes sound like crap. Go for either the H or the X
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Old 03-29-2009, 08:52 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: straight pipe, x pipe or H pipe?

I read something on another board when looking for the placement of the crossover. use a crayon and run it along the exhaust after the header. go out for a quick blast and find where the crayon is burned off and transistions to not burned off. that spot is supposed to be the location for the cross over.
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Old 03-29-2009, 08:59 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: straight pipe, x pipe or H pipe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by trashline View Post
I read something on another board when looking for the placement of the crossover. use a crayon and run it along the exhaust after the header. go out for a quick blast and find where the crayon is burned off and transistions to not burned off. that spot is supposed to be the location for the cross over.

ive heard and read about performing this task as well to find proper location for the crossover. Did it specify though, the point where the crayon transitions, the H pipe would be welded in right there. On the X pipe however, is the transition spot where the middle of the X should be or the beginning of where the X crossover is?
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Old 03-29-2009, 09:04 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: straight pipe, x pipe or H pipe?

I read an article in one of the car magazines that showed where to install the H or X. They marked the exhaust with a crayon and where the melting ended is where they marked the spot.
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Old 03-29-2009, 09:06 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: straight pipe, x pipe or H pipe?

A little off in my timing.
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Old 03-29-2009, 09:14 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: straight pipe, x pipe or H pipe?

X pipes definitely change the sound of the exhaust. They do pretty much the same thing as an H pipe.

As for performance...

X pipe quality varies DRAMATICALLY. A good one might work just fine, and provide a cool sound and possibly a tiny boost in power somewhere in the powerband. However...

You can't just run one pipe thorugh another one and call it an X-pipe! The cross section of the merge has to be taken into account. If one pipe is simply crossed through another, the area of the merge is only the size of ONE of the pipes, and ALL of the exhaust is forced thorugh only HALF the area of the combined pipes!

An X-pipe that will not COST major power NEEDS to be built with MANDREAL BENDS, and NEEDS to be assembled so there isn't a large loss in cross sectional area. The inlets and outles of the X also need to be in alignment, and there shouldn't be a lot of welding slag in there to create a problem.

In other words, it's a lot easier to produce a crappy X-pipe that will REDUCE power, than it is to produce a good one that may, or may not pick the car up any. H-pipes do not reduce the area of the exhaust, are a lot more idiot proof, and do pretty much the same thing. They just aren't as 'trendy' as the cool sounding X pipes.

There you have it!
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Old 03-29-2009, 09:23 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: straight pipe, x pipe or H pipe?

I have had all three straight, H and X's. I will never have straight pipes again, because of the sound. The H needs to flanged to the outside of the tubes so it doesnt impede flow. I have the Magnaflow true X exhaust system. It sounds great and all the bends are mandrel bent.

Last edited by alanmacdougall; 03-29-2009 at 09:25 AM.
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