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Old 07-06-2011, 01:36 AM   #1
phdjent
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Full American Racing Headers to Catback Exhaust on the Convertible - Review

OK fellow vert owners, the wait is over. There are countless threads about this subject so I think this will help a lot of people. I went to see Nick at American Racing Headers for my vert. They ship to anywhere in the US, but luckily for me they are located here in Long Island. I already had the Borla catback on the car. The headers are a no brainer for them but Nick hadn't installed his full exhaust on a vert yet so he made me an offer I couldn't refuse. Headers, hi flow cats, 3 inch X pipe to the mufflers and chrome tips. The experience was extremely easy and they were very accommodating. Everything went in perfectly. The only thing they had to re evaluate was the extra bracing on the convertible underneath the car. AKA the two tunnel braces. They fabricated a really cool looking main brace that allows any 3 inch pipe to fit. Once it was powder coated and put in place, I was good to go. I recommend the brace for the coupes also. The holes are already on the coupe to mount it, so why not. A little extra strength couldn't hurt. I got the full system but any part of it can be purchased separately. Call them directly. A big thanks to Nick and the American Racing Headers crew. Best of all, 100 percent american made!

Once finished, I took the car down the block from ARH to The Vette Doctors to re tune it. I had them tune the car when I first got it a few months ago. Carmen was very gracious to tune it again to make sure I was completely satisfied with how it performed. He listened to all of my concerns and did his best to accommodate me. I realize that tuning is a very delicate procedure and everybody prefers their car to run differently. I told him what I wanted and he delivered. A big thanks to him and The Vette Doctors also.

The car starts up nice and powerful with a deep rumble, then settles into a quite purr. At normal cruising the engine sounds are there but very comfortable to talk over and best of all, no droan. It's when you hit it that the sound comes alive.

Check out the new brace in the pics and a quick video of the exhaust sounds in and out of the car.










Here are my dyno results.
This first photo is based on the Airaid Intake, Borla S-Type Catback Exhaust and a tune.
The second photo shows the major improvement of adding American Racing Headers, Hi Flow Cats and swapping the Borla for their 3 inch X pipe and mufflers.


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Old 07-06-2011, 02:13 AM   #2
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:35 AM   #3
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Thanks for posting this phdjent, excellent post by the way. It doesnt appear that you had to do anything different to the two rear braces is that correct?
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Old 07-06-2011, 10:20 AM   #4
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Is it less drone than you had with the Borla "S" type cat back?
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Old 07-06-2011, 10:34 AM   #5
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Thanks for posting this phdjent, excellent post by the way. It doesnt appear that you had to do anything different to the two rear braces is that correct?
When I first brought the car to ARH for them to take a closer look at the bracing underneath. They thought that the two rear braces would be a problem. As a matter of fact, they said their mufflers fit in perfectly with no pinching of the pipes or even adding spacers to the rear braces. It was only the two braces underneath the middle of the car that they had to adjust. This way we all know that American Racing now has a exhaust that will fit the vert perfectly.
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Old 07-06-2011, 10:49 AM   #6
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Is it less drone than you had with the Borla "S" type cat back?
Tough question to answer easily. They are very different exhausts and then the custom tune that you would need makes a difference also. The S Type is normally a very deep sounding exhaust which can cause drone at lower rpm's. Tunning out the AFM on an automatic helped that a lot. A manual transmission shouldn't really have a droan. I really liked the sound of the Borla. I has a deep rich powerful sound. That's what I originally wanted. It was really only when I wanted to add the headers that a new exhaust came up. I figured why not give it a try, especially with the deal they gave me by using my car as the test vehicle.

Long story short. It's personal preference. The Borla was more apparent when just cruising around. The rumble could cause some droaning notes but that's the appeal of it. The American Racing exhaust it more like stock at cruising but then explodes when you hit it hard. I really can't say which is better. I like them both in different ways.
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Old 07-06-2011, 06:09 PM   #7
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Guys, Keep in mind the the Borla system was run without headers. Add headers and the drone would have been considerably worse.

PHDJENT, We really appreciate you giving us the opportunity to get this done. It was great working with you. Stop by anytime and whatever you do, have a great summer.

Nick
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:34 PM   #8
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Very Nice!!!
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Old 07-07-2011, 01:35 AM   #9
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Guys, Keep in mind the the Borla system was run without headers. Add headers and the drone would have been considerably worse.

PHDJENT, We really appreciate you giving us the opportunity to get this done. It was great working with you. Stop by anytime and whatever you do, have a great summer.

Nick
Thanks Nick, I can't get enough of revving that engine. I'm sure I'll see you around.

And by the way, of all the things I reviewed so far, I never really mentioned the performance gains for all of this. I still need to get some dyno figures, but I can tell you that the car really pulls now. Stay tuned for some exact before and after numbers. Hopefully very soon.
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:54 AM   #10
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Orderd my ARH and new brace yesterday!
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:51 PM   #11
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Will the ARH, high flow cats and x pipe installation cause the car to throw check engine lights?
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Old 07-07-2011, 01:13 PM   #12
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Will the ARH, high flow cats and x pipe installation cause the car to throw check engine lights?
So far no check engine lights have come on. All good
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Old 07-07-2011, 02:16 PM   #13
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So far no check engine lights have come on. All good
phdjent, I glanced back at your old posts, you have not had your car tuned? If not are you planning on having it tuned?
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Old 07-07-2011, 04:54 PM   #14
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phdjent, I glanced back at your old posts, you have not had your car tuned? If not are you planning on having it tuned?
I did have it tuned by The Vette Doctors. I just don't have the dyno numbers yet. We tweaked the tune while driving so far. I'm actually going back to him again to fine tune the throttle response. They have been great. I will get back on the dyno for some new figures. I have the old dyno numbers from just the borla without the headers. That'll be the comparison when the tune is perfect. Hang in there, I'll post them when I get them.
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Old 07-07-2011, 05:01 PM   #15
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Sounds great!
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Old 07-07-2011, 09:17 PM   #16
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Thanks dude. I am looking for someone who can tune my car in central Illinois, got a few names. May have to drive to Chicago.
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:00 AM   #17
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Leave it to ARH to innovate once again and step up and support the Camaro community.

They were the first to come up with the V6 Header package, I was one of the firsts to rock em

And now incredible support for the convertible community!!

Great job Nick and ARH!!
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:45 PM   #18
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What does a shop usually charge to install headers and exhaust?
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:54 PM   #19
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I love the color, nice job!!!
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Old 07-09-2011, 04:18 AM   #20
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What does a shop usually charge to install headers and exhaust?
It's usually an hourly charge. They figure how long it should take and charge accordingly. It's definitely not a whole days work for all of it. My guess is a few hours. So a few hundred bucks.


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I love the color, nice job!!!
Thanks wex777. I'm really enjoying the work they did.
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Old 07-10-2011, 08:04 AM   #21
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My ARHs and new brace should be shipped this week, I have a buddy who has a lift and will be helping me install them on Friday!
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Old 07-17-2011, 04:53 PM   #22
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Aftermarket exhaust

Am also contemplating the many different aftmkt exhaust systems. I have the look now I want the sound, but...does installing Flowmasters (or whoever) myself or a shop void my warranty? If so does it only void the exhaust part of the warranty or the entire warranty? Do I have to go to a Chevy performance shop to keep my warranty in tact?
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:28 PM   #23
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That's kind of a loaded question. If you change the exhaust and you have an exhaust problem. You go the the person whop did the exhaust. If yo have another type of problem. You go to the dealer. You can always call American Racing and ask them how they handle warranty issues. They are extremely helpful and I would recommend them to anyone.
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Old 07-18-2011, 05:03 PM   #24
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Well American Racing has done it again. Just when I thought that last brace they fabricated was awesome, I get a phone call from Nick saying,"We made it better, so come on down." This thing is really cool. The pictures don't do it justice. The fit is perfect. Check out the last photo to see how much ground clearance there still is to allow for lowered cars.

I just had a friend of mine who has a coupe drive my vert. He couldn't believe how stiff my car felt. His exact words," Wow, this car is solid" Nuff said. I give it 2 thumbs up. Coupe or vert. See the thread for more info on it:
http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=158856







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Old 07-18-2011, 05:13 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Blade View Post
Leave it to ARH to innovate once again and step up and support the Camaro community.

They were the first to come up with the V6 Header package, I was one of the firsts to rock em

And now incredible support for the convertible community!!

Great job Nick and ARH!!
Yeah, There are a few guys in our local NY camaro group with the headers and exhaust for the V6 with the Trifecta tune. That set up works very well too.
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