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Headers Comparison (95-03)

Old 02-25-2007, 09:39 PM
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Headers Comparison (95-03)

I thought I would be nice and share it here

http://forums.nycmaximas.org/showthread.php?t=20592


UPDATE 9/12/14:

sadly after 7 years, NYCMaximas.org has been shutdown.
The original thread is gone.

But have no fear, as all pictures and data is still saved on my computer.

UPDATE 1/13/15:
I'm in the process of organizing and re-doing the Header comparison, (have time again) it will be back real soon.

here's a few pics in the meantime while I get the writeup going again..






Last edited by vipervadim; 01-13-2015 at 03:10 PM.
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Old 02-25-2007, 09:46 PM
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Very nice work. If the OBX had an equal length y-pipe they could almost be cool.
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Old 02-25-2007, 10:18 PM
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Excellent thread

I'll be getting my cattman's this summer
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Old 02-26-2007, 03:57 AM
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wow...but for a useful thread!!!
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Old 02-26-2007, 06:17 AM
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This is just what we need more of in our community, tests like these. Numbers would have been even better, but that would be a HECK of a lot of work. Good job guys!
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Old 02-26-2007, 09:39 AM
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Great job!

Headers are finally sorted out. Now, sticky this thing up and keep flamming those who don't search.

-Peter-
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Old 02-26-2007, 10:32 AM
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really nice..really nice very good thread i agree..make this a sticky!
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Old 02-26-2007, 12:50 PM
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STICKY!!!!! That is an awesome thing to do, to actually lay them out side by side to compare. Thank you very much!
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Old 02-26-2007, 01:21 PM
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Great thread, TTT
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Old 03-02-2007, 08:07 AM
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I have plenty of pics of the newest Cattman headers (not shown in comparison) if anyone wants to see the quality of the welds/pipes up close and from different angles. Fitment is dead on, and I have no codes (running an O2 sim)
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Old 03-03-2007, 12:30 PM
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Wow, you put a lot of work into this, nice effort! I'd like to make a few additional observations.

1. First, I can't expect someone to go out and buy a new Cattman header set to write a review, but one of our current headers would look good there, or at least a new set to compare with the others. The Cattman product shown is a used header and not only a design that's no longer in production, plus this is one of the crudest early versions of that system (slab head flanges, ugh!). Have to say, it definitely looked better after being painted!

This what our current header design look like. We've incorporated quite a few improvements since the set you reviewed, plus (and this is a huge plus) the company that's making them is about 10,000x more reliable on build quality and production schedules. Here they are:



Check out those sleek head flanges, the extra length US-made flex section, the beautiful TIG welding (OK, I'll admit, its too small to see the welding), the thick 16 gauge 304 stainless tubing from the US-based Rath Mill, those beautiful 3-1 and 2-1 collectors (collectors are a big part of performance, try to find anything like these on other parts, you won't), and a beautifully machined EGR port that should be on exhibit in an industrial museum. Whoa, better stop before I get carried away, but check out the skid plate under the y-pipe's equalizing loop...

2. Second, the headers made by my mates in New Zealand have been in production for almost 10 years, so I believe that good Kiwi ingenuity was the first to market with a Maxima header (we imported these previous to making our own s/s design in the States).

3. Regarding OBX headers, the O2 sensors are not in the appropriate position, they should be at the base of the 3-1 collector, not way below. Not sure why there are four, if the secondary sensors are screwed in at that spot, there will be two instant ECU codes, so that is baffling. You'd have to find plugs for the two ports that weren't used, and then wire in an O2 simulator.

The flex between the two manifolds is only there for installation purposes so the y-pipe does not have to be built to fit precisely. There is no flexing that takes place there once its installed on the engine. The primary flex is too short, increasing the risk of premature failure.

I agree with your point about the undersized tubing on the Y, that really stands out. The area of OBX's 2.125" tubing cross section is about 3.5 square inches, but the cross section of a 2.5" tube (like on the Cattman or Hotshot) is 4.9 square inches, 40% more cross-sectional area than the OBX. I'm wondering if the OBX design was originally designed oversears for the VQ20DE motor with tubing that size.

4. I have nothing bad to say about Hotshot headers, but their mild steel, MIG-welded headers were never in quite the same league as the stainless steel, TIG-welded Cattman parts.

5. I notice that you don't discuss materials, which shouldn't be overlooked because they are critical to durability and performance. Its useful to touch upon the advantages of stainless over mild steel (check this out - Burns Stainless tech article).

Materials thickness - particularly the gauge of tubing. A caliper can be used to check the thickness of the stainless steel in the tubing walls. Thin-walled imported steel - even stainless steel - is subject to premature cracking.

Also worthwile to discuss the relative merits of TIG-welding over MIG-welding. This makes a lot of difference in header durability (and production cost), and even performance (check out the intrusions into the exhaust stream from MIG-welding).

Just my $0.02.

Brian C Catts
Cattman Performance
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Old 03-04-2007, 05:33 AM
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Any info on JDM T-304 Racing Headers?
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Old 03-05-2007, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Ronniels
Any info on JDM T-304 Racing Headers?

Anybody have those SS Autochrome headers/y-pipe set? Does it sound any difference? Could you feel a big gain or gain at all? Worth the buy? Yes or no-
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Old 03-06-2007, 12:30 AM
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Lightbulb

Originally Posted by vipervadim
I thought I would be nice and share it here

http://forums.nycmaximas.org/showthread.php?t=20592
Great information, very impressive!

You could add some info to the fed spec oem exhaust manifolds.

When I pulled my engine and did a lot of work 4 to 5 years ago there weren't any 4th gen headers. I took the stock manifolds and first weighed them. Then I ground and ported and polished them and when finished they weighed 1 lb. less per side. There were some areas that were perforated and had to be brazed. Then I took them to a shop and had them finished with a hi temp coating inside and out.

I really don't think I would gain much with a set of headers at this point.
They now flow much better.
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Old 03-08-2007, 12:32 PM
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Since Cattman and Hotshot both no longer list headers for the Maxima on either of thier websites, is OBX the next best thing compared to what is available now?

Thanks!
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Old 03-08-2007, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Ronniels
Since Cattman and Hotshot both no longer list headers for the Maxima on either of thier websites, is OBX the next best thing compared to what is available now?

Thanks!


Before we get any unfounded rumours started, I'll point out that our website has always sucked, and we sell all kinds of stuff you won't find there (someday, someday, it will get better...).

But the main point is that we just brought a new header design into production with 50 sales so far, and we are most definitely the current source of the finest header/y-pipe system available for the Maxima.

Brian C Catts
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Old 03-10-2007, 08:37 PM
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+1 on the Cattman headers I owned a Gen I set that I bought waaay back in December 2004 and they are definately the best design available for 1995-2003. Even used the demand is good enough that I was able to sell mine for 650$ shipped in early 2006. So people would rather pay 650 for used Cattmans than any of the cheaper sets lol got tons of PMs asking if they were sold.
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Old 04-27-2007, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Cattman
Wow, you put a lot of work into this, nice effort! I'd like to make a few additional observations.

1. First, I can't expect someone to go out and buy a new Cattman header set to write a review, but one of our current headers would look good there, or at least a new set to compare with the others. The Cattman product shown is a used header and not only a design that's no longer in production, plus this is one of the crudest early versions of that system (slab head flanges, ugh!). Have to say, it definitely looked better after being painted!

This what our current header design look like. We've incorporated quite a few improvements since the set you reviewed, plus (and this is a huge plus) the company that's making them is about 10,000x more reliable on build quality and production schedules. Here they are:



Check out those sleek head flanges, the extra length US-made flex section, the beautiful TIG welding (OK, I'll admit, its too small to see the welding), the thick 16 gauge 304 stainless tubing from the US-based Rath Mill, those beautiful 3-1 and 2-1 collectors (collectors are a big part of performance, try to find anything like these on other parts, you won't), and a beautifully machined EGR port that should be on exhibit in an industrial museum. Whoa, better stop before I get carried away, but check out the skid plate under the y-pipe's equalizing loop...

2. Second, the headers made by my mates in New Zealand have been in production for almost 10 years, so I believe that good Kiwi ingenuity was the first to market with a Maxima header (we imported these previous to making our own s/s design in the States).

3. Regarding OBX headers, the O2 sensors are not in the appropriate position, they should be at the base of the 3-1 collector, not way below. Not sure why there are four, if the secondary sensors are screwed in at that spot, there will be two instant ECU codes, so that is baffling. You'd have to find plugs for the two ports that weren't used, and then wire in an O2 simulator.

The flex between the two manifolds is only there for installation purposes so the y-pipe does not have to be built to fit precisely. There is no flexing that takes place there once its installed on the engine. The primary flex is too short, increasing the risk of premature failure.

I agree with your point about the undersized tubing on the Y, that really stands out. The area of OBX's 2.125" tubing cross section is about 3.5 square inches, but the cross section of a 2.5" tube (like on the Cattman or Hotshot) is 4.9 square inches, 40% more cross-sectional area than the OBX. I'm wondering if the OBX design was originally designed oversears for the VQ20DE motor with tubing that size.

4. I have nothing bad to say about Hotshot headers, but their mild steel, MIG-welded headers were never in quite the same league as the stainless steel, TIG-welded Cattman parts.

5. I notice that you don't discuss materials, which shouldn't be overlooked because they are critical to durability and performance. Its useful to touch upon the advantages of stainless over mild steel (check this out - Burns Stainless tech article).

Materials thickness - particularly the gauge of tubing. A caliper can be used to check the thickness of the stainless steel in the tubing walls. Thin-walled imported steel - even stainless steel - is subject to premature cracking.

Also worthwile to discuss the relative merits of TIG-welding over MIG-welding. This makes a lot of difference in header durability (and production cost), and even performance (check out the intrusions into the exhaust stream from MIG-welding).

Just my $0.02.

Brian C Catts
Cattman Performance
How much for this current header + y-pipe system for the vq30? And is there anything available for the VQ35 in a similar stainless steel, equal length runner version?
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Old 04-27-2007, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by L0R1DA
How much for this current header + y-pipe system for the vq30? And is there anything available for the VQ35 in a similar stainless steel, equal length runner version?
Check out the Group Deal section. $799 for VQ30DE headers. Here's one link to check out...
http://forums.maxima.org/showthread.php?t=519473
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Old 04-28-2007, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by L0R1DA
How much for this current header + y-pipe system for the vq30? And is there anything available for the VQ35 in a similar stainless steel, equal length runner version?

We're expecting a batch of Cattman headers to arrive around the end of next week - most are sold already, but there are 3-4 still available. The price is regularly $849.99, but if you order in advance there's a $50 discount (and we still don't charge your CC till we have the part).

We have versions for all the 95-03 Maximas (and 95-04 I30/I35), they're virtually identical - the 95-01 versions having EGR ports, and the 2001.5-2003versions don't.

Let me know if you have additional quesions. We take most of our orders over the phone, 520.575.6195, open 9:30-5:30 MST/PDT M-F.

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Old 04-30-2007, 07:09 AM
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Brian may I humbly suggest you get that website looked after? IMO in today's market it's better to not have one (or of course have a great one), than have an old outdated one that probably isn't very useful at best and at worst might possibly be misleading.

Maybe the website is not as important for you being in a niche market with the Maxima.... But I know I use the internet a lot to source parts/order things, and several times I've wished I could have used your website. Well anyways I'm not bashing you, I have a lot of your stuff on my car and have no complaints with any of it at all, it's just an opinion/suggestion...
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Old 05-18-2007, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by DandyMax
Brian may I humbly suggest you get that website looked after?
agree 100%, i think that would be an extremely wise decision
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Old 05-22-2007, 08:24 AM
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hey vipervadim (for the NYCMaximas thread) or nismology (for this thread here), would it be possible for you to at some point incorporate to this sticky grey99max's findings of the OBX fitment and what needed to be done? He has great info that should be put together into here

Ref. http://forums.maxima.org/showthread.php?t=513336

Thank j00
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Old 05-23-2007, 04:05 AM
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Brian, gotta go with the other guys. Although I have always been impressed with your level of service and quality of parts, for years I have visited the same website only to be disappointed to see that it still says *new website coming soon*

I am more than sure that you could find someone to update your site and it would not break the bank since you already have one up and running.

Anyways, beating a dead horse here. Big props to the header comparo, although I already pretty much knew the cattman headers were better. It is always nice to provide this type of information in one place so that people can see it without looking too far.

Mr Catts, do the current design of headers still employ a coating of some sort, or is that option still available?
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Old 06-05-2007, 06:25 PM
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for a 99 maxima would you guys sudgest a cattman header and y-pipe combo?
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Old 06-13-2007, 10:58 AM
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What Do you guys think about Having a Shop Custom Make Headers is there any advantage to this or no.
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Old 06-13-2007, 12:01 PM
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anything custom, if done right, is well worth it...
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Old 06-13-2007, 12:15 PM
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so is it safe to say, that for the price, obx is a strong competitor?

btw amazing thread.
havnt seen somethin like this in a great while.
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Old 06-13-2007, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by DragdMax
so is it safe to say, that for the price, obx is a strong competitor?

btw amazing thread.
havnt seen somethin like this in a great while.

lol what? go read through all the threads, search for a little dont be lazy. The obx are just a waste of money, cheap pieces of ssshhhaaayyyttt in my opinion. They are mass produced for who knows what model of our cars unlike the cattmans and hotshot that were directly designed for our cars.
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Old 06-13-2007, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by STILLENGLE
What Do you guys think about Having a Shop Custom Make Headers is there any advantage to this or no.


Because its custom work, if they create a part that's equal in fitment, component quality, design and performance to our header set, you'll pay way more than retail.

Very few shops are capable of this level of work on a one-off project. One-piece mandrel-bent tubes can't feasibly be used for custom work, the setup on the benders is too expensive to make one piece of each unique tubing section, so the headers have to be pieced together from cut bends. This means that each primary tubing section might involve 3 or 4 seperate pieces of tubing that have to be welded together. Properly done, that works fine, but if welds aren't prefect there can be weakness or obstructions on the inside, and this hand-work adds enormously to the costs.

I could go on and on, there are many considerations. Obviously we're in business to sell our headers, but we try to give honest advice, and my honest advice is that you'll be better off - in terms of the quality of part you end up with, the amount of money you spend, the time you invest, and very possibly the frustration - to go with a well-designed production set.

Note that each production batch of the Cattman headers continues to be 90-100% sold-out before we receive it, so call in those header orders in advance to reserve one, we don't charge the CC till the parts ready.

Brian C Catts
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Old 06-14-2007, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by SuperStasiu
lol what? go read through all the threads, search for a little dont be lazy. The obx are just a waste of money, cheap pieces of ssshhhaaayyyttt in my opinion. They are mass produced for who knows what model of our cars unlike the cattmans and hotshot that were directly designed for our cars.

well based on what i read in this writeup the new gen header is a step up from previous headers they have made.......

[email protected]@me......
*smh*
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Old 06-18-2007, 06:00 PM
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ok heres a question. I've searched and I'm not the only person to ask but never really seen an answer. in all the millions of header threads This header on ebay for usually around $150
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Nissa...QQcmdZViewItem

People are going to say you get what you pay for but I don't really beleive that as most of these company's like this paid somebody to make one header and then send it over seas to Korea or whereever to be mass produced for next to nothing. Somtime taking shortcuts using cast flanges and such but the fitment I've seen isn't too bad. Maybe a torch and prybar is needed but for the $600 savings that's worth it.

So anybody know if the Altima headers would fit, if not which part doesn't.
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Old 06-18-2007, 06:33 PM
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from wat I recall, its the y-pipe that wont fit. Altimas dont have x-member, so the ypipes on those cars are routed almost at the center, and if put on our cars it would hit the x-member. So a Custom y-pipe, or simply a normal aftermarket ypipe would need to be hacked up, flanges welded to the ends to meet the headers.

Prety much, youd need to do the same thing for those headers as you would for OBX headers for the Maximas... but for ~$140 less than the OBXs, they seem like QUITE the worthwhile investment to me.
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Old 06-18-2007, 07:05 PM
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Damn can we get somebody around here to make some nice Y pipes for the OBX, or those, something. It would still be cheaper than the cattman headers.
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Old 07-31-2007, 08:04 AM
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I recently installed a set of those newly designed OBX headers on my 2001 5 speed maxima. Firstly, as said in this forum and others, you will have fitment issues from the front manifold to y-pipe/second manifold (two piece combo). My friend heated and bent my piece about 35-40 degrees to the left (the left meaning toward the driver side door). It took us two days to complete the install because my buddy had to bring the piece to his job to complete the bending.

The next issue: there were several leaks; one was because I used the POS gasket mentioned, LoL. There was one leak from the front manifold (passenger side), one from the high flow CAT connection to the y-pipe/second manifold (damn gaskets), and one in the rear from the Greddy b-pipe to the Greddy muffler (another damn gasket from when I installed my catback two years ago!).

To stop the leaks, I bought three tubes of that muffler cement from Pep Boys, and I covered all the connections (front manifold, rear manifiold, pipes, etc) to stop any leaks. That cleared up any tractor sounds that I had.

Let me tell you, too, the sound is amazing once all the issues are fixed. Of course, this sound is a preference for each driver, but I just love the rumble the engine makes when I hit WOT or punch it a 'lil. The car gets even more looks now than it did (Maximas always get looks). My friend who drives a 350Z had to admit that my car sounded better than his.
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Old 07-31-2007, 08:09 AM
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Another problem you will need to overcome with installation of these OBX headers is the location of the O2 sensors, as also mentioned. You will need to lengthen the wires (which I did) or buy those simulator pieces. I will post pictures and videos with sound on youtube or photobucket once I buy a digital camera, so people can critque and review.

As for gains, I am sure my Maxima has made some considerable gains. I have a Berk Intake, OBX headers/ypipe combo, high flow cat, and Greddy Evo2 exhaust. Dyno would tell best, but I probably will not be getting one, as I am eventually planning on parting out and selling this car (New Projects).
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Old 07-31-2007, 12:20 PM
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I intended to send this directly by PM because this is meant as useful advice rather than criticism of another header brand, but since you can't receive PMs I'll drop it into the thread.

You'll probably have some issues over time with the exhaust cement used to plug up the holes. Its not a permanent solution, especially in high stress locations (meaning closer to the motor, with more heat, vibration and internal pressure).

That said, if the holes are very small and you got a good bond between the cement and the steel (it will work best if you roughed up those polished surfaces a little before applying the cement), a patch might last quite a while. No matter what, keep an eye on things - expecially during the winter - because you don't want to run the risk of carbon monoxide building up in the cabin from those leaks.

If you used the cement in locations that aren't too hard to get to then it might be possible to weld them (while still on the car) if they leak again, but getting a good weld will require completely removing the cement from surfaces that need to be welded.

BTW, keep an eye on that tubing section that had to be so sharply heat-bent, it will be somewhat more prone to cracking over time than the rest of the set. OBX and many other Asian manufacturers use a thinner gauge tubing than you'll find on most US-made parts (18-20 gauge rather than 16 gauge), which increases the overall likelihood of cracking.

Brian
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Old 08-25-2007, 09:07 AM
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Video clip (done using my cell phone) OBX headers on 2001 Max

Here is a clip of my Maxima with the OBX Headers, High Flow Cat, and Greddy EVO2. I also have a Berk Intake set up.



In the second clip, my boy is driving. He rides the clutch a lil'



Here is one other clip. Thought he was going to turn toward the camera. I need a new audio/video team.

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Old 11-02-2007, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by ShiftVQ35 View Post
to people that have installed catman gen u headers how is the fitment ? does the y-pipe line up with the actual headers? and is the y-pipe centered in the tunnel ?
The fitment for the whole cattman exhuast is absolutely perfect, I had no problems with fitment just putting the headers on lol. From what I have heard everyone says that cattman has the best fitment out all exhuast systems.
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