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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ah, here goes the annual crap-I-put-on-the-car-and-promptly-took-off review event! All are for a '96 USDM EX VTEC sedan with I/H/E, and Flowmaster American Thunder muffler.

OEM- nice and quiet inside the car, even with a Flowmaster attached to the end. Efficient. Rusts a lot around all welds and immediately in front of rear flange. May need hangar adjustment to clear short throw shifter. Observed service life, in northern state: 3 years, give or take. About $140 from the dealer.

Auto Value- definitely a piece of junk. In conjunction with their muffler, fuel economy isn't good, and its noisy. Way too much back pressure. Resonator looks like a cherry bomb. Noisy inside the car with the Flowmaster, but less so than the custom pipe listed below. When the manifold was replaced with the header, it quieted down somewhat. Loves to rust away. Heat shield tends to break welds and buzz. Auto Value muffler and midpipe resonator tend to rust out at the same time. Crush-bent piping. Service life: about 2 years. I think it was under $200 for cat-back system.

DNX- what a piece of $%@&. Construction is very good, with excellent welds and fully stainless steel piping. Design flaws include an excessively long front hangar, which interferes with any short throw shifter, and a poorly-chosen pipe size of 2 3/8" OD, which makes interior noise pretty much intolerable and kills high-end power. Fuel economy dropped from 34mpg OEM to about 28mpg on the DNX, in similar conditions. Service life: unknown, but it didn't rust at all in 3 months, so a few years at least. About $120 from Summit racing.

Custom, no resonator- at least it works. Used my old rear bends and a custom 14ga. 2" straight pipe from the cat to the first bend in front of the gas tank. In the car, noise is much louder than OEM but quieter than the resonated DNX. Has a smooth and somewhat deep tone, probably from the Flowmaster. Any fart can will sound like a million bees and be even louder. Rear seat noise is quite loud. When in VTEC, exhaust noise is audible from well over a mile in front of the car, and maybe farther behind the car. Use welds when within 3' of catalytic converter due to pipe deterioration issues, as clamps won't hold over time. Torque isn't a problem anywhere if all gaskets seal up, and top-end power is extremely good. Mileage is comparable to OEM. Service life: depends on quality of job. Mine was made with extremely thick piping that hasn't rusted at all in 2 months, so probably the remaining life of the car. Cost about $50 from local muffler shop.
 

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Nor Cal D-series rider
1991 Honda Civic STD
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810 Posts
Damn, I'm glad you did all this field testing for us! Seems like a custom exhaust is the best bang for your buck, unless you come across a great condition used system. I hate 1.5 inch stock STD exit piping...:TD:
 

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well damn, i was going to get the DNX midpipe, and their superturbo muffler, for the rear, that muffler is money!!!! so nice and quiet, but has a little growl on my crx!! looks like im going to get a 99-00 stock si catback, maybe get the super turbo for it anywyas later??
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Here's my custom one next to an OEM version. I loved that straight pipe into the Flowmaster, it made LOTS of torque down low. Drop the clutch at 2k rpm and still get a good burnout! Top end was nice too. The old Auto Value s-bend rusted away at the flange tho, so I had to let it go. I don't miss the noise... sounded identical to a Mitsubishi Eclipse, only a lot louder (I set off a car alarm backing up once).

I kinda like the OEM. It seems to need time to build flow through it, so there's some kind of lag when running it. Low end power sucks. Top end is decent. Noise is not an issue, its dang quiet. Pain in the BUTT to make it clear the short throw shifter-- I had to make the rubber isolator push DOWN instead of holding the pipe just so I can shift into 5th. Odd observation- I don't have to hold the gas pedal as far down as my old one to cruise at 55.

EDIT: More!
My loss of low end was a combination of my timing resetting itself to 12deg again, a new resonator, and me forgetting to move my seat after I quit wearing my winter jacket. Duh. Low end is real good now, and top end too.

Pics of the DNX and its royal crappiness coming up soon.

(If this pic doesn't show up, reload the page.)
 
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