CLICK TO GO BACK TO THE FIRST PART OF THE EXHAUST SECTION
Green and Clean
You normally don't think of Catalytic converters as being a "performance" piece, but in this day and age, pretty soon NASCAR will be running them, too. Like anything, there are performance converters that reduce restriction and improve flow over stock OEM units. Even though your vehicle may not need to be tested for emissions in your location, removing the catalytic converters from a vehicle originally equipped with them is a Federal offense anywhere in the United States, regardless. Therefore, keeping Uncle Sam happy as well as your rear tires, can still be had with performance catalytic converters.
As for other emissions devices, such as the EGR (Exhaust Gas Re-circulation), they in many cases actually "help" in performance and fuel mileage by going into an "extreme lean" mode when in light cruise situations. This is where the computer realizes that performance is not the primary consideration and tries everything in it's power to run the motor as efficiently as possible. In many cases, once the driver demands any appreciable acceleration, the computer, for safety as well as performance reasons, immediately temporarily disables most emissions devices. Emissions are generally highest at idle, particularly during engine warm-up. As a matter of fact, the EGR, as opposed to the old wives tales, does not really "re-burn unburned fuel in the exhaust." The EGR is meant to introduce an inert gas to cool the combustion process (which is abnormally hot due to the leaner, efficient burn) in order to reduce emissions and Nitrous Oxide levels, which is blamed primarily for acid rain. Very little exhaust gas is needed to accomplish this, and when more throttle and power that is needed, the less exhaust gas is re-circulated, proving that removing good working emissions devices can most certainly reduce performance and economy.
(Photo inside of cat. converter comparison- standard performance): We made an initial visual inspection of several converters to narrow the field down to two of the best choices we would be testing on the flow bench. With a 100 watt light bulb placed on one end of the converter tube, we simply looked through the other side to see how much light passed, therefore giving a rough guess-timate on the internal restriction. This converter is a popular "high-performance" version.
(Photo inside of cat. converter comparison- high performance): Even before we flow tested the converters we knew good things were about to happen. With the same light shining through this converter, it's obvious the Random Technologies unit was going to be much less restrictive even compared to the so-called "high-performance" version. Now we needed to confirm our theory.
(Photo of standard performance Cat being flow bench tested): We had the opportunity to flow test several catalytic converters to "see" inside these mythical beasts. First we tested a typical after market high-performance converter, which flowed considerably better than a stock OEM unit.
(Photo of Random cat being flow bench tested): Then we flowed the Random Technologies piece. Dave Emanuel at Random stated that their units out-flow most others, and they were right. The Random converter flowed so well, the SuperFlo 600 flow bench couldn't keep up at the typical 28 inch pressure standard, so we had to re-test at a lower 27 inch baseline. The airflow we used simulated approximately a 2,500 rpm engine at 60mph.
(Photo of muffler being flow bench tested): George Forge at Motor Masters Racing also tested a typical performance turbo muffler for a "grins and giggles" comparison. We were surprised to find that the Random catalytic converter out flowed the muffler by almost 11 percent better, which proves that illegally removing this type of converter has no significant performance advantage over a standard performance exhaust. As our very impressed bench operator mentioned, "Flow bench numbers don't lie."