Infusing your ride with extra power, fuel economy and sound is as simple as bolting on a performance exhaust system. Not surprisingly, new technologies and refinements to exhausts have made something as simple as tubing as obsolete as the floppy disk. By managing exhaust CFMs, scavenging effects and velocity, exhaust pipes squeeze every bit of flow from modern systems. An X-Pipe or H-Pipe are two exhaust crossover pipe components that serve the same purpose, while operating on very different principles.
An X-Pipe or an exhaust H-Pipe are at the heart of a performance system and bolted in the center of the car. Also known as a crossover pipe, each system works by balancing the exhaust pulses from either side—or cylinder bank of a V-style engine. The result is a smooth exhaust flow and a more efficient engine. But what’s the difference between the two?
An exhaust X-Pipe muffler is, you guessed it, shaped like an x, and allows the exhaust to flow down the path of least resistance. At lower revs, turbulence is formed as exhaust gases try to shuffle past a second column of gases coming from the other side. While always producing more power than the restrictive factory system, the potential gains are not seen until higher rpms are reached. This is where an X-Pipe exhaust stands apart from the rest. Exhaust gas is pushed out harder as the engine spins faster. The X-Pipe merges this chaos into two uniform streams, allowing a smooth flow from engine headers to exhaust tips through the addition of this exhaust crossover pipe.
Both streams keep each other up to speed, which draws even more spent exhaust out the cylinders. Magnaflow X-Pipes provide a boost in horsepower and a higher tone akin to an exotic car.
An H-Pipe exhaust is also shaped like its namesake and relies on exhaust expansion to balance the cylinder banks. A small section of tubing in between the main pipes provides an area for gases to expand into during exhaust pulses. Only a small amount of exhaust flows from one stream to the other as both sides push back and forth in the center section. Flowmaster H-Pipes feature low restriction, so gains in performance are noticed from low rpm and give the exhaust a deeper, muscle car-like tone.
While both X and H pipes serve the same purpose, they use different methods to build power and economy, all while providing a distinctive sound. Think of an X-Pipe muffler as being at home in a high-winding modern V6 or V8 while an H-Pipe conjures memories of tire-shredding torque in classic American iron.
Which Pipe is Best for You?
It can be exhausting choosing the right exhaust system for your ride – but we’re here to make it simple for you. If you’ve got a newer car, and you want to be sporting that feisty zing every time you hit the gas, the X-pipe exhaust option will help to sharpen your tone and your power output along with it.
If you have a more classic beast that needs that throaty roar, an H-pipe gives you that borderline obnoxious sound while still providing you with the most performance gains possible.
Don’t Live in a Pipe Dream
Get the raw power you’ve been searching for, paired with your own custom sound when you choose from the X-Pipe muffler or the H-Pipe mufflers available at AutoAnything. The guesswork gets taken out of the equation with our vehicle finder tool, filtering out all the exhaust products (and any other part or accessory you could need) according to make, model and year. If you’re still unsure about the X-pipe vs H-pipe debate, there are loads of reviews for each product left by auto enthusiasts just like yourself that can help guide you towards the right choice.