How To Determine Proper Exhaust Tubing Size

How To Determine Proper Exhaust Tubing Size

The table below is intended as a basic reference guide to give you an idea of the general exhaust-pipe size needed to balance the prevention of excessive back-pressure while maintaining adequate exhaust-gas velocity.

Engine Displacement

H.P.

Pipe Diam, Single

Pipe Diam, Dual

150-200

100

2.0

2.0

 

150

2.25

2.0

 

200

2.5

2.0

200-250

150

2.25

2.0

 

200

2.5

2.0

 

250

2.5

2.25

250-300

200

2.5

2.0

 

250

2.5

2.25

 

300

3

2.5

300-350

250

3.0

2.25

 

300

3.0

2.5

 

350

3.5

2.5

350-400

300

3.0

2.5

 

350

3.5

2.5

 

400

4.0

3.0

400-450

350

3.5

2.5

 

400

4.0

3.0

 

450

4.0

3.0

450-500

400

4.5

3.5

 

450

4.5

3.5

 

500

4.5

3.5

Quick Exhaust System Math



Easy Way To Estimate: Your intake system needs to flow 1.5 CFM per engine horsepower, and your exhaust system needs to flow 2.2 CFM per engine horsepower.

Good Way To Estimate: Take engine RPM x engine displacement, then divide by two. This is the intake volume. Use this same volume of air for the exhaust system, but then correct for thermal expansion (you need to know exhaust temps to figure things out).

Exhaust Pipe Size Estimate: A good section of straight pipe will flow about 115 CFM per square inch of area. Here’s a quick table that shows how many CFM each common pipe size will flow, as well as the estimated max horsepower for each pipe size:

Pipe Diameter (inches) Pipe Area (in2) Total CFM (est.) Max HP Per Pipe Max HP For A Dual Pipe System
1 1/2 1.48 171 78 155
1 5/8 1.77 203 92 185
1 3/4 2.07 239 108 217
2 2.76 318 144 289
2 1/4 3.55 408 185 371
2 1/2 4.43 509 232 463
2 3/4 5.41 622 283 566
3 6.49 747 339 679
3 1/4 7.67 882 401 802
3 1/2 8.95 1029 468 935

NOTE: These numbers are just estimates. All pipes are assumed to be 16 gauge steel.

Exhaust Back Pressure and Diameter

Learn about back pressure and how it works and why it is important to your engine. Al will also give you a break down of which diameter exhaust tubing you should choose depending on if you choose a single or dual exhaust and the horsepower of your engine.

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