Removing Cats from Stock Headers = Full Exhaust - ZX6R Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 04-17-2013, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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Removing Cats from Stock Headers = Full Exhaust

So I did a quick search and found some dated threads on people punching out the cats from the stock headers of 09-12 zx6rs. Mostly how-to's. Seems pretty straight forward and can be done with headers still on the bike. Drill out multiple holes until most of it comes out and scrape off the residual honey combs / dust.

What I'm really interested in is what gains / drawbacks does this create? I have an FMF Apex exhaust with the "boom-box" or pre-muffler removed so this would essentially create a "full exhaust."

Obviously this would require a power commander or a remapping. Has anyone done this and if so:
1) Does this create the same performance gains as you get from full race headers?
2) Could there be performance loss due to lack of back pressure even after re-mapping?
3) Also heard that the cats sit in a small expansion chamber which when cleared, reduce flow through the headers??
4) How does this sound versus leaving the cats in?

Hope to get some real facts on the mod, so thanks in advance for the contributions!!
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post #2 of 30 Old 04-17-2013, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Half Wit View Post
So I did a quick search and found some dated threads on people punching out the cats from the stock headers of 09-12 zx6rs. Mostly how-to's. Seems pretty straight forward and can be done with headers still on the bike. Drill out multiple holes until most of it comes out and scrape off the residual honey combs / dust.

What I'm really interested in is what gains / drawbacks does this create? I have an FMF Apex exhaust with the "boom-box" or pre-muffler removed so this would essentially create a "full exhaust."

Obviously this would require a power commander or a remapping. Has anyone done this and if so:
1) Does this create the same performance gains as you get from full race headers?
2) Could there be performance loss due to lack of back pressure even after re-mapping?
3) Also heard that the cats sit in a small expansion chamber which when cleared, reduce flow through the headers??
4) How does this sound versus leaving the cats in?

Hope to get some real facts on the mod, so thanks in advance for the contributions!!
I have done this, I ran a similar set up to you and had good results so I will try to answer your questions.

1) You will get similar performance gains but not the same, most gain about 9hp with gutted header which is on par with most full sytems give or take 1-3 hp. A full system should gain more in the higher revs while gutted stock header might be a little stronger in the mid range. The true advantage of gutting your header is the money saved vs a full system, I spent 225 on a slip on and you can gut the header for free as opposed to 750-1700+ on a full system.

2) I did not see a performance loss anywhere after tuning, don't know why you think you would that. A proper tuner will tune to gain performance... In fact my bike ran cooler as well.

3) I never heard that and that makes no sense to me, when looking at this pic of my stock header gutted. The whole point of clearing it out would be to increase the flow.


4) Sounds about the same to me maybe a little deeper, I couldn't really hear a difference.

Here's my dyno chart so you can see the power curve etc, (sorry it's sideways) pretty straight and smooth and good power gains through the whole rev range, seems like a win win to me
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post #3 of 30 Old 04-18-2013, 06:14 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Smokey! Very helpful, are you running the PCV?
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post #4 of 30 Old 04-18-2013, 06:30 AM
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He is running a bazzaz ZFI TC which is listed on his post

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post #5 of 30 Old 04-18-2013, 06:31 AM
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Generalization of benefits of an aftermarket full exhaust vs gutting cats:

-- Larger diameter piping.
-- Smoother, faster exhaust flow.
-- Better, lighter materials.
-- Higher total power.
-- Better heat dissipation.
-- Volume/tone (subjective).
-- Looks (also subjective).


Edit - With either aftermarket or modifying stock exhaust you'll have to adjust the tune. Also, with aftermarket, the pieces all work together as designed, modified stock parts do not.

Last edited by Sandman; 04-18-2013 at 07:28 AM.
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post #6 of 30 Old 04-18-2013, 06:53 AM
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I just leave my cat in there.

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post #7 of 30 Old 04-18-2013, 07:54 AM
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post #8 of 30 Old 04-18-2013, 08:40 AM
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Thanks Smokey! Very helpful, are you running the PCV?
Quote:
Originally Posted by martydmb View Post
He is running a bazzaz ZFI TC which is listed on his post
Actually, I was running a PCV for this set up and dyno runs, but yes I'm running a Bazzaz now but with a whole different set up.

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post #9 of 30 Old 04-18-2013, 10:19 AM
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I used to gut cats on the regular......then I got married.
Now, I only gut cat every now & then, so I make sure that I make it memorable when opportunity presents itself.

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post #10 of 30 Old 09-17-2014, 07:30 PM
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Hey smokey11, did you have to remove the header? If so, does that mean you also have to remove radiator?
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post #11 of 30 Old 09-17-2014, 09:35 PM
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Hey smokey11, did you have to remove the header? If so, does that mean you also have to remove radiator?
I actually bought a MJS header so the work was done off of the bike and the header installed but I do recall people saying they drilled and did the chisel work with the header still on the bike, apparently they just used a shop vac to suck out the leftover cat material
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post #12 of 30 Old 09-17-2014, 10:53 PM
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Cool, thanks.
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post #13 of 30 Old 09-18-2014, 05:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokey11 View Post
I actually bought a MJS header so the work was done off of the bike and the header installed but I do recall people saying they drilled and did the chisel work with the header still on the bike, apparently they just used a shop vac to suck out the leftover cat material
If you don't mind your neighbors hating you, you could just start it and give a blip.
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post #14 of 30 Old 09-18-2014, 06:31 AM
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De-catting the headers is a little more physical than just scraping away what's left after drilling. It's worth it, but you're going to be sweating by the time all is said and done.
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post #15 of 30 Old 09-18-2014, 07:28 AM
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De-catting the headers is a little more physical than just scraping away what's left after drilling. It's worth it, but you're going to be sweating by the time all is said and done.

....and certainly bleeding.

........and probably crying.

That makes the trifecta complete.
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