I have a 95 neon sohc 2.0L that I am planning on building for track use. I would like to hear some opinions on which would be a better idea for this car...giving it a straight pipe or buying an aftermarket exhaust with cat, muffler, etc. I am leaning towards straight piping the car due to the expense of a exhaust kit, and Im not willing to pay hundreds of dollars more just to get 5-10 hp. Is chopping off the old exhaust and just fabricating some new pipes good enough? How much time/money would go into custom making pipes? Any help will be apprecieated.
First, I would suggest that you go to Neons.org which is a great
Neons-specific message board. I would consider a high-flow catalytic
converter. Be careful in putting in exhaust piping that's too big in
diameter because you could lose backpressure. As for the muffler, I would
consider something in stainless steel like the Borla. If you're looking
for a cheap muffler mod, try to find the 1996+ Neon DOHC muffler which has
demonstrated gains on the SOHC motor.
Based on what I've read on Neons.org, you're not going to get more than 3 to 5 extra HP with pipes and mufflers alone. You'll have to consider headers and also a larger throttle body & cold air intake system for a balanced approach to making more HP.
2.5" straight back is your best bet. Backpressure is a thing the old farts
say you must have on N/A engines but really isnt true... On every test ive
seen with straight pipes on N/A engines they gain A LOT more power than
muffler/cat equipped exhausts. I'm assuming you want to use this car for
SCCA purposes? They have tons of classes with Neons in them and most of
them run open exhausts and have N/A engines still...so that might tell you
something. In a recent test I saw they pitted your typical aftermarket
exhaust (I believe it was a Greddy) on a stock B16a1 Honda engine against a
2.5" straight pipe from the header back and the 2.5" exhaust simply killed
the aftermarket exhaust in power. The aftermarket exhaust gained 5-6whp
while the 2.5" straight pipe gained a peak of 15whp and 10whp across most
the rev range.
And let's be honest here...
Aftermarket Exhaust for a SOHC neon - around $400
2.5" Straight pipe mandrel bent - maybe $150 at the most