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California legal headers/exhaust for maximum HP gains?

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Old 01-17-18, 10:46 PM
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Lawzndr
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Default California legal headers/exhaust for maximum HP gains?

Hello people, this is my first time and post here. Recently my father purchased a 2017 GS F after months of deciding between that or a Nissan GT-R. The past two weeks, he has been bugging me on what mods he should get to increase the performance on the car as he really wants to push the engine to the 500+ HP mark at the crank or at least 400+ HP at the wheels. I've been looking at aftermarket headers and exhaust from a variety of companies online for awhile and have been getting no luck when it comes to emission testings for the state of California or being CARB compliant. I am also not very knowledgeable about the the catalytic converters on this car or where are they placed, is it placed on the headers or the exhaust system? If you guys know any system that comply with California emissions, I would greatly appreciate your inputs.

Thank you.
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Old 01-18-18, 12:54 AM
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There are none, and likely will never be any. CARB certification is extremely expensive and there are not enough buyers in California to make it worthwhile.
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Old 01-18-18, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by kitabel View Post
Nitrous...
Sadly, that too is not CARB legal. But at least with a sneaky install, you might pass smog with it.
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Old 01-19-18, 01:12 PM
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No wonder there are parts of California (mainly the rural communities) that want to split off and form a 51st state called New California because of the taxes and regulations
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Old 01-19-18, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by MileHIFcar View Post
No wonder there are parts of California (mainly the rural communities) that want to split off and form a 51st state called New California because of the taxes and regulations
This is why I am SO appreciative on living in WA State, no laws that will curtail the minor engine tweaks I have
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Old 01-20-18, 10:31 PM
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What about a supercharger?
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Old 01-20-18, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by GSF4RL View Post
What about a supercharger?
CARB legal? Not even a slight chance. We couldn't get a simple single turbo approved for the Supra and there were plenty of them in California (I was one of them at the time) who would have jumped for a single turbo setup.

CARB approval is a money game. A LOT of money game.

When I was in the Air Force, we had a saying - Disapproved; resubmit for further disapproval. CARB operates under that mindset unless you bring in wheelbarrows full of cash.
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Old 01-22-18, 11:39 AM
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None of them are carb legal. Contact us and we'll assist you with passing smog though.

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Old 04-21-18, 05:38 PM
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It does suck that there are no CARB legal options but trust me when I say CATS are for EVERYONES good. Anyone who lives in the SOCAL and especially in LA on a hot summer day can attest to the smog we deal with here. Anyone of the companies making headers could very easily have two high flow cats on their units so at least even if its not "CARB" certified you could pass a legit smog test. They choose not to however. I have buddies running various header set ups and can smell all the junk coming out the back and its not cool. You could do a custom midpipe with high flow cats and relocate the o2 senor though. I may go that route at some point.
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Old 04-22-18, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by GSFDreams View Post
It does suck that there are no CARB legal options but trust me when I say CATS are for EVERYONES good. Anyone who lives in the SOCAL and especially in LA on a hot summer day can attest to the smog we deal with here. Anyone of the companies making headers could very easily have two high flow cats on their units so at least even if its not "CARB" certified you could pass a legit smog test. They choose not to however. I have buddies running various header set ups and can smell all the junk coming out the back and its not cool. You could do a custom midpipe with high flow cats and relocate the o2 senor though. I may go that route at some point.
I could not agree more with you. While having the advantage of better performance from a set of headers is enticing, I wouldn't even consider it without installing GESI cats along with it. I'm not what anyone would call an "environmentalist" by any stretch of the imagination, a lot more of a doubting Thomas on that whole front, but there is no doubt running cats is a good thing for everyone, and the few hp you gain from running catless is utterly pointless on a street driven vehicle. Some countries have gone as far as to require cats on all gasoline burning engines including racing vehicles, so the technology to both clean up the exhaust AND make good power exists. When I eventually put headers on my IS F, there will be GESI cats immediately behind them. The same is true for our GS F, although I have my doubts about ever getting that far down the road with the GS.
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Old 04-26-18, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Lawzndr View Post
Hello people, this is my first time and post here. Recently my father purchased a 2017 GS F after months of deciding between that or a Nissan GT-R. The past two weeks, he has been bugging me on what mods he should get to increase the performance on the car as he really wants to push the engine to the 500+ HP mark at the crank or at least 400+ HP at the wheels. I've been looking at aftermarket headers and exhaust from a variety of companies online for awhile and have been getting no luck when it comes to emission testings for the state of California or being CARB compliant. I am also not very knowledgeable about the the catalytic converters on this car or where are they placed, is it placed on the headers or the exhaust system? If you guys know any system that comply with California emissions, I would greatly appreciate your inputs.

Thank you.
You won't find a CARB Legal Exhaust or Header. Many enthusiasts that mod their cars are running parts that are technically "Off-road Use Only" so no shop here should mislead anyone into thinking you can't get in trouble for these mods. There is an element of smog shops have discretion, for example I used to own a 240SX weekend car. It had a CARB Legal Intake on it, JUST AN INTAKE. and the smog guy refused to smog my car since it looked a bit fixed up.

On the other side, we had a customer with an IS F running a PTS Catback Exhaust that gain him about 25 WHP and had zero issues passing emissions even the visual. Its really up to you what you want to deal with. I can safely say though if you install those headers you will almost 100% certainly fail an emissions test. The worst part is the labor time and rate to install those headers is about 8-10 hours so anytime you need to get your emissions you are paying that twice to take it on and off. Lets say you are able to pass the emissions test, you may fail the visual if the tech noticed you changed out CATS or headers, or down right refuse to test you.
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