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Old 08-14-2018, 03:43 PM   #1
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Looking to buy header - question about exhaust fume smell

Hello folks,

I'm seriously considering buying a set of headers for my car and so far I've only been looking at catted headers. Reason for this is that I really hate the smell of exhaust fumes (perhaps more so than regular people), so I thought a catted header would be the way to go with this.

However, catted headers tend to run above $1100 CAD while uncatted can be had for a little over half that. My question is, how bad is the exhaust fume smell when running a catless header with the stock catted frontpipe? I'm fine with a faint whiff of it when driving hard, but I really don't want to be able to smell it when I'm just puttering around with regular traffic, or when stopped at a traffic light.

I'd rather not spend an extra $500-600 just to get rid of a smell if its only minor.

Thanks in advance

For reference, I was looking at the Gruppe-S uncatted UEL header vs the JDL catted UEL header.

Last edited by localhost; 08-14-2018 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 08-14-2018, 04:19 PM   #2
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I have a JDL catless header. I commute in Southern California traffic. The only time I smell it is at startup when letting in warm up in my driveway. Other than that, it is not an issue.
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Old 08-14-2018, 04:23 PM   #3
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It’s pretty bad catless...but my setup also had a high flow secondary cat.

I wouldn’t smell it when I was moving, but coming to a stop with the windows down the smell would totally get in the car.

I was catless for nearly 3 years but decided to go back to oem cats/ stage 1 to get a more pleasant driving experience. I may have lost 10hp...but no smell = no regrets.
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Old 08-14-2018, 04:45 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by localhost View Post
Hello folks,

I'm seriously considering buying a set of headers for my car and so far I've only been looking at catted headers. Reason for this is that I really hate the smell of exhaust fumes (perhaps more so than regular people), so I thought a catted header would be the way to go with this.

However, catted headers tend to run above $1100 CAD while uncatted can be had for a little over half that. My question is, how bad is the exhaust fume smell when running a catless header with the stock catted overpipe? I'm fine with a faint whiff of it when driving hard, but I really don't want to be able to smell it when I'm just puttering around with regular traffic, or when stopped at a traffic light.

I'd rather not spend an extra $500-600 just to get rid of a smell if its only minor.

Thanks in advance

For reference, I was looking at the Gruppe-S uncatted UEL header vs the JDL catted UEL header.
When going Catless Header with a Stock Front Pipe, I didn't really notice a smell difference.
After going Catless Front Pipe, I can smell it now, but I don't normally smell it while driving, just every now and then. You really notice if you're standing behind it, loading your trunk or something.

I have been considering going HFC Front Pipe.
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Old 08-14-2018, 04:50 PM   #5
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You'll still have a cat in the system so the smell shouldn't be bad. Or go E85, you'll get rid of the petrol smell completely and probably welcome the smell of ethanol on the morning!

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Old 08-14-2018, 04:52 PM   #6
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You'll still have a cat in the system so the smell shouldn't be bad. Or go E85, you'll get rid of the petrol smell completely and probably welcome the smell of ethanol on the morning!

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This I would do if my city had more than literally just a single E85 pump. 1.3 million people, and only a single E85 pump
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Old 08-14-2018, 05:08 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by D-rek07 View Post
I have a JDL catless header. I commute in Southern California traffic. The only time I smell it is at startup when letting in warm up in my driveway. Other than that, it is not an issue.
This would be perfect for me I think, but now I have conflicting answers from other people. I'm still just as confused as I was when I started haha
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Old 08-14-2018, 05:30 PM   #8
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This would be perfect for me I think, but now I have conflicting answers from other people. I'm still just as confused as I was when I started haha

It's down to a lot of things like there tune and how sensitive their noses are to smells. I wouldn't buy a header without an OFT or a similar offering from ecutek, more bang for the buck and it makes the mod worth it power wise, and no more CEL or torque dip.

As for me with the Stage 2 93 octane tune and CNT uel, with stock front pipe, I couldn't notice any smell. Only on cold starts when the secondary cat is warming up, but editing in a quiet cold start meant it took longer for that cat to warm up as well, but didn't have the ridiculous loud overlap or cold start smell as bad. Running E85 the smell disappeared completely and was replaced with a sweet ethanol smell only in certain situations .


I wouldn't worry about the smell honestly, the power increase and the removal of torque dip makes it worth it. Keeping the stock front pipe will definitely help, plus you don't really lose a noticeable amount of power keeping it in a NA setup.
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Old 08-14-2018, 05:42 PM   #9
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It's down to a lot of things like there tune and how sensitive their noses are to smells. I wouldn't buy a header without an OFT or a similar offering from ecutek, more bang for the buck and it makes the mod worth it power wise, and no more CEL or torque dip.

As for me with the Stage 2 93 octane tune and CNT uel, with stock front pipe, I couldn't notice any smell. Only on cold starts when the secondary cat is warming up, but editing in a quiet cold start meant it took longer for that cat to warm up as well. Running E85 the smell disappeared completely and was replaced with a sweet ethanol smell only in certain situations :lol;.


I wouldn't worry about the smell honestly, the power increase and the removal of torque dip makes it worth it. Keeping the stock front pipe will definitely help, plus you don't really lose a noticeable amount of power keeping it in a NA setup.
Yeah that makes sense. I already bought an OFT a month or so ago with the intention of buying a header eventually. I'm fine with the smell while the second cat is warming up - as long as it doesn't get into the cabin after that I'm fine with it.

I think I'll get the Gruppe-S uncatted UEL header in that case then. $650 CAD for it vs $1200 for the JDL catted one I think is a no-brainer.
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Old 08-14-2018, 06:21 PM   #10
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I am completely catless(Gruppe-S, Fujitsubo FP), the smell is not noticeable unless the wind is blowing the exhaust back up to the front of the car when you're stopped, and or at a drive-through. If you can smell it while you're driving you have an exhaust leak into the cabin.
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Old 08-14-2018, 06:41 PM   #11
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Best bang for your buck Gruppe-S UEL header and keep stock OP and FP. Smell is only on cold start. After that you don't smell anything. Also if you work with your OFT tune, you can disable the cold start which should help with smell at start. IMO Gruppe-S UEL + used OFT and stock FP,OP over a catted UEL Header any day.
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Old 08-14-2018, 07:43 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by D-rek07 View Post
I have a JDL catless header. I commute in Southern California traffic. The only time I smell it is at startup when letting in warm up in my driveway. Other than that, it is not an issue.
Same here. This is 100% the right answer. You'll never smell it when driving.
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Old 08-14-2018, 07:57 PM   #13
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Same here. This is 100% the right answer. You'll never smell it when driving.
But what about at rest? A smell on a cold start makes sense (and is fine), but I'm more curious if there will be a smell when I'm idling at traffic lights or similar.
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Old 08-14-2018, 08:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
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But what about at rest? A smell on a cold start makes sense (and is fine), but I'm more curious if there will be a smell when I'm idling at traffic lights or similar.
If you have the stock FP you will be fine.

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