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XERD, a new manufacturer to the IS300 community, sent us a couple of their items to install on our test cars. After speaking with representatives at the company, we were pleased to hear that they had put a lot of time (and money) into research and development on these new products. When first laying eyes on the craftmanship of the pieces we received, it was evident this company knew what they were doing.<P>

The XERD stainless header has excellent welds and the finish is beautiful. The mid section race pipe follows closely with equally impressive craftmanship. We waited until our scheduled Dyno day to perform the install and tests all in the same afternoon.<P>

xerd_pipe_1.jpg <B>Race Pipe</B><BR>
We first installed the mid section pipe on our blue 02' 5speed. This car was stock except for an HKS Hiper cat back exhaust system. The install was performed with the aid of a lift, and only took us about 10 minutes. The piece fit right up to the stock downpipe with out any major hassles. We then strapped it to the dyno and did a few test runs. Our best run showed a gain of 9 horsepower. Very impressive indeed.<P>

It was time for a test drive to see just how good an immediate 9hp increase feels. Again, we were impressed with the new torque and pull the car had with just this simple mod. The sound change was immediately apparant, as the pipe added a bit of a raspy growl to the car. After some spins around the block, it was time to head back to the lift to perform the header install on our other test car.<P>

xerd_header_1.jpg <B>Header</B><BR>
Our test subject for the header install is another 02' 5 speed which was converted back to bone stock for this test. Installing the header, again with the aid of a lift, was a bit tricky. Actually, removing the factory header was the biggest pain of the job. Having a lift is almost a requirement for this job, as the factory headers will NOT come out through the top of the engine bay. They must be extracted from the bottom of the car. Removal of the front sub frame brace was needed to make clearance. Once we got the stock header and cats out, the Xerd header was easily dropped in from the top. Stock O2 sensors screw right into the new header.<P>

We went for a quick test drive to heat the car up before the dyno. We took the traction control off and gunned it. The car was all over the place and had noticeably gained torque and horsepower according to our finely tuned butt-dyno. Sound increase was highly apparent, although it sounded pretty choked with the stock exhaust.<P>

Once on the (real) dyno, the car proved our initial guesses. Or best average run with the header wielded a gain of 8 horsepower and 13 torque over our earlier baseline testing. A very respectable gain considering the car was being significantly choked by the factory exhaust.<P>

Now it was time to combine the header with the mid section pipe using an aftermarket exhaust.<P>

<B>Header, Mid Pipe and Hiper Exhaust</B><BR>
We threw our test car back up on the lift and put on an HKS Hiper exhaust system. We also added the mid section pipe. After first starting the car, everyones eyes widened with exitement. This baby sounded like a fully prepped racer. Maybe a little too loud for the average driver. Interior noise increase was apparant, and when accelerating even slowly a mean, deep and raspy growl came from the car.<P>

xerd_dyno.jpg After a few spins around the block, it was up on the dynojet to see what we had accomplished. Our final run gave us an overall climb over baseline of 17 horsepower and 19 torque . We were hoping for a little more horsepower, although the high torque is very nice. There may be a slight exhaust leak as there were no gaskets included with our test kit to put between the header and mid pipe (we used the factory gaskets sort of wedged in place). [All headers released to the public will include this gasket.] Even the smallest leak could be resulting in a power loss. We also have reason to believe that 5 speeds may show less gains than an automatic due to different air fuel mappings in the ECU. The assistance of an SAFC or other air fuel computer device would probably prove benneficial with this many breathing mods.<P>

<B>Final Thoughts</B><BR>
The car performs very well through all gears. First through Second seem to fly by now as the RPM bolt up much faster than before. Power is also noticeable on the highway in the higher gears. 5th gear has much more pull than before, now that the car is breathing much easier. At the time we received our test pieces, the harness box for the O2 sensors was still being developed (This will alleviate the rather tight fitting sensor wiring we encountered). We will include a follow up to this article when we receive the O2 box and gasket piece. Overall we are very impressed with the XERD header and mid pipe combo, and hope to see future products from this company.

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I'm looking to upgrading my automatic '01 IS with headers, race pipe and the full exhaust. I want a nice clean sound, though. As long as it doesn't sound like a lawn mower or a Civic with an exhaust I will be happy. What do you recommend I go with?
 

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I think you can get the headers from MVPmotorsports. As for the race pipe...you guess is as good as mine.
 

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Does this header throw a check engine light? I know someone with one of these they are not using and they're willing to sell it. I was just wondering if it throws a light?
 

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Does this header throw a check engine light? I know someone with one of these they are not using and they're willing to sell it. I was just wondering if it throws a light?
Yeah, it'll throw a CEL, but you can either solder an o2 sim in or get the plug-and-play, which I will do. Im wondering if the car will run like shit until I get the o2 sim, though?
 

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Are there other midpipes that offer the same performance gain? Alsi is that last cat needed? Will replacing just the midpipe cause CEL
 
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