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Remaining Aftermarket 3 Inch Exhaust Options

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  • Remaining Aftermarket 3 Inch Exhaust Options

    After driving the car around forever with what is a completely cobbled exhaust comprised of a stock downpipe, welded in aftermarket cat, and an aftermarket OEM style N/A exhaust on a turbo car, I've decided to finally rip the Band-Aid off and spend the cheese to replace some metal pipe. What better timing than now where e v e r y t h i n g seems to be in short supply? This brings me to my plight: there isn't much in the way of premade aftermarket turbo back exhausts, or even cat backs, now that Certified Muffler is out of the game. From the digging I've done, I've come across four options for three inch systems:
    • Kakimoto R
      • Kakimoto part number NS321 for 2+0.
      • Kakimoto part number NS322 for 2+2.
      • Single tip only. ~4.5 inch tip (115mm).
      • Cat back only, though it looks like they also offer a test pipe if that's your jam.
      • No downpipe for the VG engined cars. They only make one for the 200ZR.
    • Avante dual tip or single tip
      • Dual tip muffler has 70mm diameter tips and single tip muffler has a 90mm diameter tip.
      • Stainless steel.
      • Downpipe available for VG engined Z's.
      • High flow, metallic catalytic converter is also available.
      • N/A engine cat back available with 60mm main piping and 60mm dual tips from the muffler.
    • MSA 3 inch
      • This has been available for what seems like forever. The only thing that has changed is the price over the years.
      • Single tip only. 4.5 inch tip.
    • Custom
      • This is wholly dependent on your locale and what you want.
      • From mild steel, to stainless steel, to titanium, to even Inconel if you're a big dick baller. The sky is the limit.
      • Not every business has mandrel benders.
      • Parts and labor costs can vary widely.

    I've come across the Kakimoto cat back on the various JDM import sites like Nengun or RHD Japan. I've usually seen it priced in the mid $500 range though you'll get reamed with the shipping costs. The muffler tip is unique in the way that there is an "outer" portion and an "inner" portion. They claim that it helps reduce carbon from forming on the bumper. Reading Kakimoto's site (translated, mind you) I'm not sure what material they use. I don't really care, though I'm sure some people find that important. These also pop up on Yahoo Japan auction listings, so you can probably use Jesse Streeter or other businesses to bid in the auctions for you. Apparently, Streeter's site explains that they are able to get reduced rates on parts due to their partnerships. I haven't reached out to them yet to see how that would apply to the Kakimoto or Avante exhaust, though it may be something to consider. Oh, and you also need a downpipe to make everything three inches.

    The Avante dual tip looks pretty stock appearance-wise, and I prefer the dual tip look on these cars. I can't say I've come across any pictures of the single tip system installed on a car. They do have a video of how it sounds on a turbo car. I'm guessing you could also use Streeter's services to purchase this but I've come across this little gem on eBay. I'm not sure how valid this link will be years down the line, but here is the eBay store for what they offer. As of 1/29/2022, both the single tip and dual tip exhausts are $850 with an additional shipping charge of $270. The downpipe is $350 with a $150 shipping charge. As a side note, their metallic cat lists at 79,500 JPY according to their site. At current exchange rates as of 1/29/2022, that puts it at about $690. Clearly, the pricing is pretty steep, but it looks to be quality stuff from the pictures I've seen. Not exhaust related, but they have some neat stuff for Z31's on their site.

    Then there is the MSA 3 inch cat back. This is a known quantity at this point. It's been around for as long as I can remember and fortunately, still appears to be available. Just like the Kakimoto, to make this a true three inch system from the turbo back, you'll need a down pipe and a cat or test pipe.

    Lastly, there is always the custom route. I suppose the sky is the limit with what you want to do with the car, though it can be dependent on where you live. Not all places have options like mandrel bending or stainless steel piping, and so on. As far as pricing, that is also dependent on where you live. Fortunately, I've recently moved to the central Florida area recently, and there are a handful of big name tuning shops around here, but again, that's not always the case for everyone else.

    As far as what I'm thinking, I've been leaning towards either the Kakimoto or the Avante dual tip now that I know it is a readily available option and at a lesser level, being a nerd for having some JDM parts. As far as downpipe options, I only see Avante, custom shops notwithstanding. I strongly prefer to keep a cat. For the longest time my car did not have a cat (unbeknownst to me) and I can't say I'm a fan being cat less. I know Vibrant has a high flow cat product line, and I'm sure there are others that don't cost a mint. It appears Certified Muffler used Magnaflow part number 94009 in their three inch catted turbo back exhausts. Looking at Magnaflow’s site, this is a standard, Federally compliant (non-Califorina CARB), three inch inlet and outlet catalytic converter with a total length of 16 inches. It has a ceramic core.

    Wowie zowie, this was much longer than expected, but I hope at least one person on here finds this helpful. I just want to make sure I haven't left any stone unturned with our already limited aftermarket options. Are there any other three inch exhausts I've missed in my research?

    Thanks for tuning in.
    Last edited by Espeed; 02-03-2022, 12:46 AM.

  • #2
    I decided to get a custom exhaust made instead of importing one. Shipping and customs taxes are quite expensive but labor rates here are not as high as in the US. Since it's full length from the turbo elbow, it might have been a bit cheaper than importing an equivalent, but not sure. It's 2,5" stainless steel. The guy who made it does good work and it looks nice. My initial plan was 3" but the people who I showed it to all said that 3" would be tight and tricky to make so I went with 2,5", which was also fine for me. The high flow cat and exhaust were already bought for 3", but that wasn't much of a problem. The muffler is a Dynomax unit and it's almost exactly the same size as the stock muffler. Couldn't find a muffler that would fit nicely and have 2 outlets so the dual tips had to be made from a Y pipe. The muffler makes it pretty quiet at low RPM, but it makes nice sounds when it gets proper throttle. All in all I'm happy with the result.
    Attached Files


    • JSM
      JSM commented
      Editing a comment
      You can tell the know what they are doing on how they have the car on the lift.

  • #3
    That looks like a nice setup. That muffler almost looks like the stock version. Nice find.


    • #4
      Has anyone stepped up to offer 3in downpipe like Certified Muffler used to make? I really like the sound of the MSA 3in exhaust with the Sebring muffler it comes with.
      I've got the 3in CM downpipe/MSA exhaust on 2 cars. Gonna need downpipes for the other 2. I should get the MSA systems while they still have them.

      84 AE/Shiro #683/Shiro #820/84 Turbo


      • #5
        Like I mentioned in the first post, Avante Auto Service in Japan has a three inch down pipe. Here’s what I’ve been able to find on eBay. As far as pre-made pieces, I think this is it unless you find a used CM down pipe.

        I’ll have to follow up with the seller on eBay to see if shipping costs can be combined if there are multiple orders. For my own curiosity, I’ll also check with Jesse Streeter if there are any deals to be had on the Kakimoto.
        Last edited by Espeed; 01-31-2022, 01:38 PM.


        • Z_Karma
          Z_Karma commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks for doing the legwork, can't believe I totally missed that (slaps forehead), sorry.

          Would be cool of Pucker Factory or Past Power could fabricate a mild steel or SS version.
          iirc, Pucker Factory recently got a mandrel bender?

      • #6
        If Pucker Factory got a mandrel bender, that would be cool, and I'd hope they could look into making them? I'm unsure what the cost/benefit ratio would be, but they already have some super niche stuff on the site so it's a possibility. I'm semi-local to them now, so the convenience can't be beat. Their website doesn't show much, and unless I'm totally blind, I'm not sure how to see all of their blog posts that would show if they made an announcement about getting a mandrel bender.
        Last edited by Espeed; 01-31-2022, 09:01 PM.


        • #7
          If you doing you own inmport it is a pain, I imported a bunch of stuff for the Q45 but I had someone that knew the ropes to do it, so I was giving them my CC and picked up the parts (shocks and springs). I would just go custom at a good muffler/exhaust shop and use a dynomax muffler. I pretty much did that in 1994 and while my Z is garaged and doesnt see rain or elements the system is very solid and I like the sound it gives off.


          • #8
            Ok, so after some follow up with Streeter, the shipping costs were outside of what I envisioned. That's an obvious duh moment, but I just had to find out. Those on the west coast will most likely fare better. I didn't get pricing on the parts themselves since I didn't want to waste any more time. If anyone else is curious, go ahead and give them an ask. The response time is really quick.

            I'm still waiting to hear back from the eBay seller regarding the combination of shipping costs though.


            • #9
              It would make sense that someone would eventually pick up this empty niche left after CM stopped making their kits. Z31s are going up in price and there should be some demand for them. How long it takes is hard to predict of course.


              • #10
                I would hope so. I’m sure the demand is there, it just has to be known. To me, the community seems quite splintered since he advent of Facebook, but that’s an entire different horse that’s been beaten senseless at this point.

                If anything, it would be nice just to have some options that don’t cost an arm and a leg to ship. Speaking of which, the eBay seller with the Avante stuff mentioned shipping could be combined and would be calculated when it comes time to pay for the order.


                • #11
                  If one goes the eBay option with the Avante exhuast and down pipe, this is the combined shipping cost per the seller.


                  • #12
                    Geez you can probably do just about the whole thing for less than their shipping costs. At what point is there just stupid money thrown out to say you have this setup vs. good performance oriented muffler shop that puts together a nice setup for you. Perhaps if you live in a state where there are not smog restrictions (I live in CA and pass tough smog tests every other year) then maybe you can find yourself a few more ponies, but I would guess it will be about even HP wise with either of these setups.


                    • #13
                      I figured I'd update this space as I've now figured out that Knight Premium Imports carries Avante Auto Service exhaust components mentioned herein among several items from them (springs, cams, etc.) as well as the Kakimoto R cat back. For the Avante Auto Service exhaust stuff, if you use the coupon code vg30bestengine you get 10% off list price. No, I am not affiliated. I found this code completely by chance on their Instagram page. Screenshot included for funsies.

                      Last edited by Espeed; 06-12-2022, 09:59 PM.


                      • #14
                        Originally posted by badq45t View Post
                        Geez you can probably do just about the whole thing for less than their shipping costs. At what point is there just stupid money thrown out to say you have this setup vs. good performance oriented muffler shop that puts together a nice setup for you.
                        yeah, this, custom exhaust shops are not hard to find and the z31 is pretty straightforward. I didn't spent as much for *two* custom exhausts (my z and my altima) as they are asking for shipping.


                        • #15
                          Originally posted by FrozenZ View Post

                          yeah, this, custom exhaust shops are not hard to find and the z31 is pretty straightforward. I didn't spent as much for *two* custom exhausts (my z and my altima) as they are asking for shipping.
                          With a new down pipe in stainless steel too?
                          71 240z

                          80 280zx 10th Anniversary

                          88 300zx Turbo, 89 300zx Turbo

                          Datsun Jeff