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***Cattman VQ30DE Headers***

The new Cattman header/downpipe sets for the VQ30DE Maxima/I30 are ready and should arrive at our warehouse on Thursday. Although they will fit all VQ30DE engines, the O2 ports are set up for all 1995-1998 Maximas/I30s, and 1999-2001 Federal emissions. They do not have the O2 sensor ports for the 1999-2001 Maximas/I30s with CA/NLEV emissions (but the next batch will include these elements).

The headers are made of carbon steel because stainless was unaffordable, so they have been coated inside and out by HPC Coatings, to give them the valuable thermal containment properties and corrosion resistance of stainless, plus much lower friction along the tubing walls; they also carry HPC's lifetime warranty. Overthick flanges, equal length secondaries, a beautiful under-the-hood appearance, and the sound... Once you've heard these, you'll find out just how nice this V6 really can sound, its pure ecstasy.

The set is complete from the engine to the cat, replacing the stock manifolds and y-pipe. There is no possibility of using just the headers with another y-pipe. It is not a scheme to make your y-pipe obsolete, it is because the front and rear downpipes on a y-pipe are not of equal length (nor do they need to be since the tubing upstream from them is not equal length); even if that wasn't an issue the top of the downpipes are so high that there isn't room for the primary runners top extend down from the heads.

I have a set on my old 100+k '97, and did a before and after dyno, comparing the headers with a stock y-pipe. The car had an intake and exhaust. Many will wish that was a comparison with a performance y-pipe, but the circumstances were limiting at the time and there was no possibility of a three-way test. Since it had to be one or the other I decided that the stock pipe is a better baseline since aftermarket y-pipes vary in the power they make.

On my somewhat tired engine, a non-ceramic-coated prototype added 16+hp at peak, 18+ hp off-peak, at the wheel. I've heard some pretty rediculous claims for y-pipes over the years, but under similar circumstances I would expect around 10hp more at peak, 12hp more off-peak, so my crude reckoning estimates a 40-50% power advantage over the "typical" performance y-pipe on a car with basic bolt-ons. I'm sure there will be a fair bit of testing once these are available.

Based on my experience the HPC-coating should add an additional 2-3 hp. They will certainly do better on a stronger engine (particularly the 225hp versions) and should really open things up for seriously built motors. No point in further speculation, but I won't be surprised if 20hp gains are pretty commonplace and no matter what anyone may say about their y-pipe -- and I know y-pipes as well as anybody since Cattman was first to market with one five years ago -- they don't make anything close to that kind of power under normal circumstances. Nissan's stock header design is not that bad, and 18-20hp is a significant accomplishment.

Price is $750, and a full gasket and hardware set is an additional $20 (includes the two manifold gaskets). There are only about a dozen uncommitted sets in the batch that I expect by the end of the week and orders can be placed in advance at 800.759.9920. We will not charge credit cards until shipped.

That's about all the information I can provide. I'll be available to answer questions through Thursday, but have to leave the country on business till later in the month -- I'll be in touch, but won't have the time for correspondence I do now. Pictures will be available if these get here before leave on Friday, but I don't have any with the silver ceramic coating yet. These are not mentioned on our current website, but will be on the new one, which is in the final stages of development.

Dyno Results:

Brian C Catts
Cattman Performance