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Old 01-21-2016, 09:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Spec D Tuning Full Exhaust w/ CAI

I purchased a Spec D Tuning Full Exhaust w/ CAI (4-2-1 header) from Amazon.com and just got it in the mail today, pulled it from its packaging and am not quite sure I'm as excited about my purchase as I was when I ordered it.

A quick forward, I had to rebuild my engine and as I was under my car to pull it I was thinking I could use an exhaust that wasn't quite so dented... and when I pulled off the cast iron exhaust manifold and down-pipe and finding out just how heavy it was I decided to look up an inexpensive header to boost my mid-range power a bit. Since I don't trust ebay I went to amazon and ended up finding this for about $212 with free shipping. I figured why not - it also had a CAI for about $40 more and I can just use my K&N air filter. I ordered it monday about 4am (couldn't sleep) and it arrived thursday sometime before I got home.

Present - I've pulled out the parts and things were a little bit rougher than I had expected. Granted, I've never dealt with welding but the welds did look fine to me but in my eyes the execution of the final product left something to be desired. Some scuffing on the mating surface of the header, a chunk taken out of the mating surface of the header, a dent in my piping, and the muffler does leave something to be desired. I'm already preparing to get a magnaflow muffler to replace it with.

Just from opening my packaging and looking it over I'm feeling I would've done better to purchase a better quality header and a quality cat-back system. However it should still prove to be considerably better than my stock exhaust system and it was something I could afford on the fly to compliment my rebuild.

My block is a rebuilt D15B7 - head is a JDM PM3 - the blocks should be identical and I just had the head rebuilt (going back together tomorrow) so it should be identical to before I rebuilt it performance wise. Should give me a good base start for noticing a difference in performance. I have a 2" exhaust now and this is a 2 1/2"... still not looking forward to the muffler it came with though. The CAI is 2.5" piping which is replacing a 3" short ram. I'm also putting a competition clutch ultralight flywheel on with a new clutch and slave cylinder. I'm hoping the exhaust and CAI will compliment the rebuild and lighter flywheel.
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Old 01-21-2016, 09:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 01-21-2016, 09:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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And some more. If there's any other pictures someone would like to see I can add more later. These just show the basic problems I had, like the air filter and its box, the dent in the pipe and the poor condition of the header flange as well as the gaps on the inside of the flange welds on other parts of the pipes. As I said, don't know squat about welding so I don't personally know how bad or good these are done.
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Old 01-21-2016, 09:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I should have this all on tomorrow and running - I'm considering doing a video so others can hear the exhaust system to see what they think of it. I'm not removing the silencer because I know I'll take a hacksaw to the muffler if I do. If anyone would like me to do so and post it please let me know so I have more incentive to follow through with it.

EDIT: Do the video, not hacksawing the muffler.
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Old 01-22-2016, 03:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Was it used or new
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Old 01-22-2016, 07:02 AM   #6 (permalink)
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It's supposed to be new. Here's the description from the page.

Product Description
Brand New In Original Box, Never Been Tried On & Used Exactly The Same As Picture ! Cold Air Intake Made Of High Quality Light Weight T-304 Aluminum Provide Better Throttle Response & Stop Sucking In Hot Air From High Temperature Engine Component Better Fuel Mileage With Improved Combustion Comes With Aluminum Intake Pipes, Cone Air Filter, Mounting Brackets, Vacuum Hoses, Reducers, & All Necessary Hardware 4-2-1 Manifold Header Made Of High Quality Stainless Steel Mandrel Bent Pipes Hi-Performance C.N.C. Chrome Finished Header 4-2-1 Light Weight Racing Design Comes With 02 Sensor Insertion & Metal Gasket High Flow Test Pipe Made Of High Quality Light Weight T-304 Stainless Steel Tip Diameter : 2" (Inlet) / 2.35" (Outlet) Length : 16.50" N1 Style Catback Exhaust System Made Of High Quality Light Weight T-304 Stainless Steel With Mandrel Bend & C.N.C. Machined Flanges 4" Outlet Tip W/ Removable Silencer With Polished Finish 2. 5" Inlet Tip Piping Featuring Patented

Not sure why it cuts off, it's got a 30-day money back guarantee and 90-day warranty.
Amazon.com: Honda Civic 2/4Dr Sohc Cold Air Intake Filter+Header+Catback Exhaust System: Automotive Amazon.com: Honda Civic 2/4Dr Sohc Cold Air Intake Filter+Header+Catback Exhaust System: Automotive
here's a link to the page.

Most people I've found using Spec D Tuning exhaust are running cat back's and all that looks good but I'm still not sure what to think about the condition of the header welding.
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Old 01-22-2016, 11:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Send it back if your not happy with it
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Old 01-22-2016, 03:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Contact seller, let him know shit is damaged, and ask him what can be done. Do not suggest anything. Let him/her message you back and lets see what they offer.

Sometimes they are willing to seriously help you out, othertimes they will send out new parts, and send a shipping label for your damaged goods to be returned
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Old 01-22-2016, 06:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robscrx View Post
Send it back if your not happy with it
I don't think it's bad enough to need to send it back. I'm just going to copper spray all the gaskets before I put it in the car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattliston View Post
Contact seller, let him know shit is damaged, and ask him what can be done. Do not suggest anything. Let him/her message you back and lets see what they offer.

Sometimes they are willing to seriously help you out, othertimes they will send out new parts, and send a shipping label for your damaged goods to be returned
I'm going to let him know, but I'm still going to use it.
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It'll probably be sometime sunday before I can finish this review. I was supposed to get my engine back in my car and get everything put together but everybody that was supposed to help bailed on me and I'm not getting anywhere fast trying to get it in by myself.
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Old 01-23-2016, 06:11 AM   #10 (permalink)
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If you are doing it yourself, make sure you do the rear engine mount first. then sit the motor on a jack and piece of wood, so you can do your height adjustment to get everything settled.

Leave axles to be last

Have the engine harness all plugged in and simply draped over the motor
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Old 01-23-2016, 08:00 AM   #11 (permalink)
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We just pulled the engine. After getting it back out it looks like the only thing holding me up is that I didn't get an alignment tool with my clutch kit and it was just far enough off to keep it from sliding in.

So, anyone who reads this - make sure everything is in your clutch kit before you leave the store to save yourself a headache later on.
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Old 01-24-2016, 08:52 PM   #12 (permalink)
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It's been a long freaking day but my car is together and running beautifully.

I copper sprayed the gaskets for better sealing, I think it has turned out great except that it still sounds like a fart can. The tip is too big and so I've had to zip tie the muffler to the brackets for the time being until I can trim the plastic away to mount it with the rubbers that were on my car. The mounts beneath the shifter were a small struggle to get on but it's working out great and has moved my exhaust away from my short shifter - no more clunking or hangups when I shift which is awesome.

I was skeptical about the positioning of the hangars when I was assembling it but it all mounts where the old exhaust did. It was a bit of a hassle shimmying around under my car to get it together on jackstands but I managed. My exhaust has actually quieted down significantly with the exception of the pitch it breaks into the upper end of the RPM's. This might sounds stupid but I can actually feel the difference in the weight of the stainless steel over the old cast iron manifold and heavier tubing.

BONUS!! If you are on jackstands you can put in the header with the downpipe from the top! Well, if you don't have A/C or power steering. I stuck it down at an angle and turned it. However I also didn't have my radiator in the car, I'm not sure that would've gotten in the way though so long as you have a half radiator like I do.

To install the bolts into the upper piece of the header I had to use a 7mm combo wrench, the provided gasket wasn't cooperative but I got it on enough to tap it snug with the downpipe. All other bolts were 14mm. Aside from crawling under the car on jackstands though it was a rather easy job, a little time consuming though. Getting the pipes lined up was a little frustrating because there is no lip to guide it, so if you aren't paying attention it is very easy to misalign the piping and ruin the flow. The O2 bungs that I didn't need to use had plugs, I sprayed the threads with copper spray just to ensure they didn't leak.

After about 15-20 miles and probably an hour of running outside of driving my header has started to turn a goldish bronze which I'm actually liking the color of. Switching to the 4-2-1 header over the 4-1 cast iron manifold has definitely helped my low end, even with an ultra lightweight flywheel I still have use of 3rd gear in the 15-20mph range. I was having trouble getting up to speed up hills but my new clutch is starting to grab and I think that's where my problem was.

The CAI has moved my air filter and has greatly reduced cabin noise when I am under hard acceleration over the ram air that was in my car. I feel the drop to a 2.5" piping over the 3" short ram has made a good curve in my powerband - before with the 3" I felt it was trying to bring in more air than my car could take in, from the bit of running around I did I feel the 2.5" piping has cured that problem and is bringing in a more proportionate amount of air to what my engine uses. It was a little bit of a pain to install as I had to removed the old bit of airbox that was where the filter is now and pull down the flap to fit in the filter. The main drawback is that filter size is semi-limited in the more confined space.

All in all this exhaust system seems to be pretty good and worth the $212 I spent on it. I will add pictures when I'm able to and get a video clip. I'll update this sometime next month after I've put some miles on it.
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Old 01-28-2016, 07:39 AM   #13 (permalink)
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the single biggest shortcoming on those exhausts will be the perforated core of the muffler failing in a few years. Then it spits out all the matting lol
in my car i had 2 of those exhausts, one the core disintegrated and since i had the crx exhaust i had a giant ball of fiberglass clog the bend before the tip and had to cut it off, the other had NO matting at all and was super buzzy. the piping is decent quality, and the cost of SS piping alone makes it worth it imo.
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Old 01-28-2016, 09:13 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I've been pretty surprised with my exhaust so far. I finally got over 400 miles on my rebuild and I don't know if it's my engine finally breaking in or the exhaust getting used or both but the note is deeper than it was when I installed it.

A friend wanted to hear what it was like without the silencer and it was louder but wasn't as raspy and the peak pitch isn't as high anymore.


Quote:
Originally Posted by v4lu3s View Post
the single biggest shortcoming on those exhausts will be the perforated core of the muffler failing in a few years. Then it spits out all the matting lol
in my car i had 2 of those exhausts, one the core disintegrated and since i had the crx exhaust i had a giant ball of fiberglass clog the bend before the tip and had to cut it off, the other had NO matting at all and was super buzzy. the piping is decent quality, and the cost of SS piping alone makes it worth it imo.

I definitely agree that just the piping is worth it, I was a little disappointed that the exhaust flanges didn't line up and installing by yourself makes it a little difficult to line them up perfectly. That's still my biggest pet peeve with the installation. I actually bought this with the intention of cutting off the muffler and installing a better one but I've come to like it honestly. However here in another year or two I will probably be putting a better muffler on it.

Thanks for the heads up on the core disintegrating. Definitely puts emphasis on upgrading the muffler within the first two years in my eyes. But for a little over $200 for header to the muffler + a CAI and then another $100-300 depending on your taste in upgrading the muffler (borla is facking expensive) I feel it's definitely a worthwhile purchase.



UPDATE:

I will be getting pictures uploaded this weekend and hopefully a video if I can get it done.
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Old 01-28-2016, 09:13 AM   #15 (permalink)
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After seeing first hand a dozen crappy china headers & exhausts, this looks like a much better kit. Most will have the header pipes slip into the middle flange, so half the time it's placed too far in & pushes the flanges apart for a wonderful leak. That header has them welded to the face & has some minor grinding to remove any slag. The flanges also appear to be sanded flat, which is another issue with china goods.

I recently purchased two $110 cat-back kits (2.5" and 3") and both were lower quality than yours. I decided to not use the included resonators and instead put on $20 Thrush cherry bombs. The 2.5" with the included fart can actually sounds okay (and I hate fart cans) despite not having a cat. Mine were the louvered type, so a perforated Magnaflow would sound much better. Think about that if it starts getting raspy/loud in a year or two. The straight-thru Magnaflow mufflers are also a good replacement for fart cans, although many people choose Vibrant too.

Just don't be surprised if it eventually rusts. Nearly all stainless used for exhaust is 409, which can actually be better than 304 in the long run. It does rust on the surface, but 409 is less prone to fatigue cracks around welds.
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Old 01-31-2016, 02:47 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiProfile View Post
After seeing first hand a dozen crappy china headers & exhausts, this looks like a much better kit. Most will have the header pipes slip into the middle flange, so half the time it's placed too far in & pushes the flanges apart for a wonderful leak. That header has them welded to the face & has some minor grinding to remove any slag. The flanges also appear to be sanded flat, which is another issue with china goods.

I recently purchased two $110 cat-back kits (2.5" and 3") and both were lower quality than yours. I decided to not use the included resonators and instead put on $20 Thrush cherry bombs. The 2.5" with the included fart can actually sounds okay (and I hate fart cans) despite not having a cat. Mine were the louvered type, so a perforated Magnaflow would sound much better. Think about that if it starts getting raspy/loud in a year or two. The straight-thru Magnaflow mufflers are also a good replacement for fart cans, although many people choose Vibrant too.

Just don't be surprised if it eventually rusts. Nearly all stainless used for exhaust is 409, which can actually be better than 304 in the long run. It does rust on the surface, but 409 is less prone to fatigue cracks around welds.
It's good to hear that for being a low cost knock off that it's put together well. I hate fart cans as well and have already been called a ricer within 3 days of having it on. My brother says I should put the silencer back in, I don't think I'm going to though, while it is quieter in general I cannot stand the pitch the muffler makes under acceleration. And it is loud. My classmate could hear me hitting the highway from the college and that's roughly a 1/3 of a mile away.

I took it out into the mountains yesterday and muffler tones seem to have quieted down a little more, again I'm not sure if it's the exhaust getting a workout or my engine breaking in. I can also say that it's definitely helped my car get up to speed. I have a stretch of road a few miles from my house that has S bends and opens up into an uneven straight. By the time I hit the corner I'm normally just barely hitting 100mph with a pretty good run at the S bends. I had stopped part way into the bends and still hit 100mph about 30 yards sooner from a stand still.

Given my use-able torque with an ultra lightweight flywheel I am left with the impression that even with a stock flywheel this system will produce significant gains in your powerband. Going from an SI cast iron manifold to this 4-2-1 I don't see a huge difference in how quickly I accelerate at high speed high RPM, I think with a stock flywheel you probably would see it/ feel it have more get up and go. I feel that this has been an excellent all around system - it's great through the twisties as long as I keep my RPM above 3800-4k and almost sounds like a turbo when I shift from 1st to 2nd under mild to heavy acceleration and wait until at least 20mph to shift. Going from 2nd to 3rd at about 63mph I'm just at 4k RPM and it wants to pull nice and smooth where my old system kind of fell on it's face for a moment.





I should hopefully get more pictures up by the end of today and at least have a short video of the exhaust note.
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Old 02-02-2016, 10:42 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I finally have video but my phone won't let me upload it, so here's a before and after of the header. It's now getting purple spots which are actually kinda cool looking. Video coming asap.
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Old 02-05-2016, 07:26 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Couldn't upload it, here's a link to youtube video. The timing is somewhat retarded. I've since advanced it and working on getting a new video clip.

https://youtu.be/j5zZ8Zd7Mo8
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Old 02-06-2016, 04:40 PM   #19 (permalink)
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That actually sounds pretty good.
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Old 02-07-2016, 09:18 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oaken81 View Post
That actually sounds pretty good.
I've been pretty surprised with it and it's been getting better over the rpm range with pitch as I've gotten the timing adjusted and spark gap adjusted and my throttle cable adjusted. With each little tweak it gets a little quieter and less burbley but that's more of a combustion issue than anything but the exhaust definitely amplified it.

Even with all my adjustments it still has that pitch to it but it's definitely live able. Now that I've gotten my engine adjusted it's really quite quiet going through town and plenty of low end grunt when you're stuck running around stop sign to stop sign in the suburbs.

I definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a cheap upgrade in exhaust just keep in mind the 4" tip (only one I could find at the time) will require longer rubber mounts for the muffler or some other form of customized mounting or trimming the plastic molding because the tip is just too large to fit factory rubber mounts.

I'd also like to reiterate on the exhaust getting a deeper tone with use.
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