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for exhaust, if you want stock looking then get a prelude muffler and have a shop make the piping the same size as the prelude exhaust (which is 2.25 i think?) if you want sleeper exhausts then get two 2-1/2" dynomax race bullets $27.95 ea. from summit. and a Magnaflow street muffler in your style of choice. $120?? get 1 race bullet welded in just behind the cat or header and the other back before the first 90 degree bend and the muffler welded on.
This is the best way to make a super sleeper. Magnaflow's are super quiet.
Race bullets act as resonators. they are only available in 2.5" in/out but thats ok.
check where the headers come off of the engine exhaust leaks are generally quite loud and you will either be at the headers/exhaust manifold or just as you come off that bend there will be a flange gasket inside the two pipes joining. from the bend to the straight pipe just as it passes the gearbox and starts to straighten out.
simple test. like beverly hills cop put a cloth or a potato in tail pipe(clog it up. have someone start cat and with t hood up, you'll hear where the noise is centrally located. don't do it for long, as we don't want damage. or take it to your local mechanic. no it's not a problem; things just wear out with age.
had the same on my girlfriends car. there is a tiny heatshild on the topside above the catalyic converter and there is also a small one on the seperate exhaust pipe (same pipe, but bolted on the headers and to before the cat) where is bends to connect to the headers to the back of the car.
The O2 sensors are mounted into the headers. If by aftermarket exhaust you mean a cat-back exhaust system with midpipes and mufflers, then the O2 sensors are a non-issue - they won't be touched. If you are doing cat-back, headers, and maybe high-flow cats, the O2 sensors will just screw directly into the new headers - they'll be set up to receive them.
No it doesn't hurt anything but the environment and the smog polices feelings. Power improvements from a free flowing pipe. no additional power going bigger except for more noise which might make you think it is faster