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Old 02-01-2016, 05:34 PM   #1
pigboat_2
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Default CNT V2 Equal Length header review

Pic heavy.

I've been wanting to get a set of equal length headers for my car for some time now, and I came across this set sold by CNT Racing. Not only were they half the cost of any other header, they offered a military discount and free shipping, so I pulled the trigger.

I wanted to get the best before and after of this header with only changing the header, and a slight re-tune for the new header. I did my best to keep controlled variables- gas (ethanol content), temps, current tunes, etc. This didn't work out quite so well, but more on that later.

The product arrived quickly and as anyone should I immediately threw out the gaskets and hardware that came with the header, as they are well known for blowing out quickly and not being quality parts. Here's some pictures:









Notable mods:
2006 wrx wagon w/181k miles (tuned conservatively as such)
Blouch 20g-xtr 8cm
Ewg
Turbo XS 4" catted downpipe, SPT axleback
E85
MKTuned (https://www.facebook.com/groups/MKtuned/?fref=ts)




So we have a solid foundation to do a before and after now.
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Last edited by pigboat_2; 02-01-2016 at 05:42 PM.
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Old 02-01-2016, 05:34 PM   #2
pigboat_2
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I'll get into the installation in this post. It certainly did not go as planned.

The first time I attempted to install the header, it completely wouldn't clear my oil filter. Annoyed and confused, I put my car back together with the stock header and got online to figure out what was going on. The 02-05 wrx have known issues with a lot of equal length headers hitting the oil pan, but the 06+ oil pan is supposed to not have any problems. However, apparently the 2006-07 wrx has some sort of angled adapter plate for the oil filter. I used a thread where a guy fitted a Perrin header to his 2006 wrx and ran into the same problem, and came up with a solution.

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=2491429

As such, I modified my oil cooler's coolant pipes to clear the timing covers and found the correct rubber hoses to fit the new cooler's location.

Pic shows how I trimmed the coolant hard pipe to clear the timing covers.



Installed:




Quick test fit of the new header- I should note that it went on with no problems, great fitment in this aspect:



And some pictures of how the oil cooler looks reinstalled (with a new gasket), with the coolant lines hooked up, heat sheathing on, and oil filter on:





Alright! Time for the header! Except...





So that's where I am currently. I am looking into different options, smaller oil filters, oil filter relocation, and possibly reinstalling the angle adapter a clock it in such a way that the oil filter clears everything. I can't retune because my tuner is wary of oil temps.

But to feed anticipation, I have a first (cold) start video:


Last edited by pigboat_2; 02-01-2016 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 02-01-2016, 05:35 PM   #3
pigboat_2
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Default

UPDATE April 6, 2016.

The solution to the problem of the header contacting the oil filter was solved by buying a JDM STi external oil cooler. What I did was purchase an aftermarket oil filter sandwich adapter to replace the factory oil cooler. It has 2x 3/8" NPT connections on it, and I used matching 3/8" NPT barb fittings. The JDM oil cooler fitted up beautifully and all I needed to do was run some 3/8" rubber hose between the sandwich adapter and the hoses coming off the oil cooler. Initially the NPT fittings leaked so I used a combination of Teflon tape and thread sealer to solve that.

My goal was to raise the oil filter up and away from the header, via a much thinner oil sandwich adapter as opposed to the very thick factory oil cooler. I not only achieved this goal, but I have about 2 inches of clearance now between the header and the filter- more than enough room to change the filter when I need to. Additionally, going to the external oil cooler will net me colder oil temps, an added perk.

The sandwich adapter used I ordered here:
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/DER-25772

And the barbs I used for the sandwich adapter I ordered here:
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/SUM-220184

Here's some pictures:







The other modification I did alongside the CNT equal length headers is a different turbo back exhaust. Previously, I had a 4" catted TurboXS downpipe mated with an SPT axleback. You can hear the video in the previous post how it sounds- a little bit raspy. Well, I wasn't satisfied with it and I opted to go with something more free flowing. I picked up an Invidia catless downpipe with a Greddy Ti-C catback and bolted it up. Honestly I couldn't be happier with how it sounds now. It's pretty loud of course, but I went ahead and grabbed a stock STi catback to bolt up when I need it to be quieter (IE when I drive to California next month). I'll get a good sound clip of it soon and post it up.

And of course the part that everyone has been waiting for: the power gains. GAINZ. Well, they are extremely noticeable!

With the install of my CNT equal length header and my new turbo back exhaust, I was able to gain 25 whp and OVER 50 wtq!! WOW and man do you feel a difference! Here's a VD graph:



We stopped when my motor began showing the smallest hints of knock. Keep in mind this is on e85 fuel at Denver altitude, on a motor that has nearly 190,000 miles on it. I also put the car on a Mustang dyno, and the numbers were 100% spot on what the VD reads: 359 whp/ 402 wtq.

Of course I have a video for you guys, and will upload the Mustang dyno graph later:


So, final thoughts? For the money, equal length headers are worth every penny. I obviously ran into some fitment issues, but hey, these headers are sold as 04-07 STi fitment. So what did I expect? Along the way I was able to upgrade the oil cooler and of course I gained some serious power.

Here's a quick link to the header since they're actually not very easy to find on CNT's website here.

Last edited by pigboat_2; 04-06-2016 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 02-03-2016, 08:35 AM   #4
edsonmassao
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It doesn't look like a plug n' play header. Just curious to see how you will fit in your car and mainly, the results and your impressions after a proper re-tune.

I'm looking forward to an EL header too, just trying to see if it's worthwhile 'cause it costs a lot here
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Old 02-03-2016, 02:00 PM   #5
pigboat_2
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Well the 06-07 wrx is special for whatever reason...even a brand name header like Perrin comes with instructions to modify the oil cooler like this.

I believe I will be going with a thin sandwich plate adapter and an external oil cooler, to essentially raise up the oil filter and clear the header.
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Old 02-03-2016, 05:20 PM   #6
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That's really close to the oil filter compare to Perrin Equal length headers lot of room to remove the oil filter.
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Old 03-17-2016, 11:32 PM   #7
Bosque2006
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Any more updates? Thinking about getting some.
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Old 03-30-2016, 11:02 AM   #8
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With oil filter relocation there would be no issue with fitment, correct?
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Old 03-30-2016, 04:17 PM   #9
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Update very soon. Just need to get some pictures uploaded.

To answer your question, replacing the factory oil cooler with a 1" thick sandwich adapter routed to an external oil cooler did in fact solve the fitment problems.
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Old 04-06-2016, 03:30 PM   #10
pigboat_2
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Post 3 updated with solving the fitment issues, power gains, results, pictures, dyno graphs, and dyno video.

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...25&postcount=3
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Old 04-06-2016, 03:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigboat_2 View Post
Post 3 updated with solving the fitment issues, power gains, results, pictures, dyno graphs, and dyno video.

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...25&postcount=3
Thank you! This is what I've been waiting for. Gonna order my headers asap now. Your car sounds great
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Old 04-06-2016, 03:57 PM   #12
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Awesome results. I'll definitely be using this on my new build. I think I am going to try keeping the stock oil cooler in place to help warm up the oil on cold starts though and relocating the filter somewhere else.
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Old 04-06-2016, 04:14 PM   #13
pigboat_2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gurusan View Post
Awesome results. I'll definitely be using this on my new build. I think I am going to try keeping the stock oil cooler in place to help warm up the oil on cold starts though and relocating the filter somewhere else.
If I had the extra money, I would get the Mishimoto oil cooler kit for our cars. It has a thermostatic sandwich adapter- meaning it controls the oil going to the cooler to keep oil temps constant. I might get one down the line, but this solution was less than $200 all told, and the Mishimoto cooler kit is just shy of $500.
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Old 04-12-2016, 09:50 PM   #14
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I'm curious how these would fit on an 02-05 wrx hmmm
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Old 04-22-2016, 03:14 AM   #15
pigboat_2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CursezZz View Post
I'm curious how these would fit on an 02-05 wrx hmmm
Should only need the oil pan to do it. Great chance to upgrade the pickup.
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Old 04-22-2016, 03:08 PM   #16
rain_on_me
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nice. i'll check and see if this fits a 12 wrx. kinda interested with it.
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Old 04-23-2016, 09:21 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigboat_2 View Post
UPDATE April 6, 2016.

The solution to the problem of the header contacting the oil filter was solved by buying a JDM STi external oil cooler. What I did was purchase an aftermarket oil filter sandwich adapter to replace the factory oil cooler. It has 2x 3/8" NPT connections on it, and I used matching 3/8" NPT barb fittings. The JDM oil cooler fitted up beautifully and all I needed to do was run some 3/8" rubber hose between the sandwich adapter and the hoses coming off the oil cooler. Initially the NPT fittings leaked so I used a combination of Teflon tape and thread sealer to solve that.

My goal was to raise the oil filter up and away from the header, via a much thinner oil sandwich adapter as opposed to the very thick factory oil cooler. I not only achieved this goal, but I have about 2 inches of clearance now between the header and the filter- more than enough room to change the filter when I need to. Additionally, going to the external oil cooler will net me colder oil temps, an added perk.

The sandwich adapter used I ordered here:
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/DER-25772

And the barbs I used for the sandwich adapter I ordered here:
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/SUM-220184

Here's some pictures:







The other modification I did alongside the CNT equal length headers is a different turbo back exhaust. Previously, I had a 4" catted TurboXS downpipe mated with an SPT axleback. You can hear the video in the previous post how it sounds- a little bit raspy. Well, I wasn't satisfied with it and I opted to go with something more free flowing. I picked up an Invidia catless downpipe with a Greddy Ti-C catback and bolted it up. Honestly I couldn't be happier with how it sounds now. It's pretty loud of course, but I went ahead and grabbed a stock STi catback to bolt up when I need it to be quieter (IE when I drive to California next month). I'll get a good sound clip of it soon and post it up.

And of course the part that everyone has been waiting for: the power gains. GAINZ. Well, they are extremely noticeable!

With the install of my CNT equal length header and my new turbo back exhaust, I was able to gain 25 whp and OVER 50 wtq!! WOW and man do you feel a difference! Here's a VD graph:



We stopped when my motor began showing the smallest hints of knock. Keep in mind this is on e85 fuel at Denver altitude, on a motor that has nearly 190,000 miles on it. I also put the car on a Mustang dyno, and the numbers were 100% spot on what the VD reads: 359 whp/ 402 wtq.

Of course I have a video for you guys, and will upload the Mustang dyno graph later:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7onWPX4pXTM

So, final thoughts? For the money, equal length headers are worth every penny. I obviously ran into some fitment issues, but hey, these headers are sold as 04-07 STi fitment. So what did I expect? Along the way I was able to upgrade the oil cooler and of course I gained some serious power.

Here's a quick link to the header since they're actually not very easy to find on CNT's website here.
I think I just posted on your youtube channel asking if you suggest these, not knowing you were the same thread on Nasioc haha...so worth every penny? I called CNT and they said they offer a 1 yr warranty as long as i just bolt it up and not heat wrap etc...seems like a decent deal. So many mixed reviews
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Old 04-24-2016, 01:26 PM   #18
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How would you comment on the sound difference? That must mean mo more rumble no?
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Old 04-24-2016, 05:41 PM   #19
pigboat_2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rain_on_me View Post
nice. i'll check and see if this fits a 12 wrx. kinda interested with it.
Should, but not 100% My tuner has a super nice EL header that actually won't fit his car because it's designed for the newer GR wrx. If you might have interest in buying it, let me know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan04_hybrid View Post
I think I just posted on your youtube channel asking if you suggest these, not knowing you were the same thread on Nasioc haha...so worth every penny? I called CNT and they said they offer a 1 yr warranty as long as i just bolt it up and not heat wrap etc...seems like a decent deal. So many mixed reviews
Well worth the benefits, yes, to go to a EL header. My year wrx threw some curveballs at me fitment wise, but I can't comment if a different brand header would have fit better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TypeSRT View Post
How would you comment on the sound difference? That must mean mo more rumble no?
Nope, no more Subaru rumble. Currently the header is off getting ceramic heat coated and I have the stock UELs back on. And as it is now, I really miss the EL sound. I've come to associate the unequal length rumble as imperfections in design, because I've gotten such good improvements from the new equal length.

I'd say it sounds unique, there aren't many cars on the road that sound anything like mine. It's certainly nothing like a Honda. I'll try to get a really high quality sound clip of the UEL header next to the EL.
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