X Pipe vs H Pipe – Difference Between X Pipe and H Pipe

X pipe vs H pipe

People having credible amount of knowledge about automobiles know what are ‘X pipes’ and ‘H pipes’. However, even a common man can distinguish the two by their shape. They occur in the exhaust system of a car at its final portion and serve to release exhaust gases. To choose better between them, it is necessary to understand X pipe vs H pipe in terms of their practical use and their individual characteristics.

x pipe and h pipe difference

What is the difference between X pipe and H pipe?

The basic difference between an X pipe and an H pipe are:

X pipe

H pipe

  • Very basically, these have a shape of an X.

X Pipe
X Pipe
  • These pipes, true to their name, have the shape of an H.

H Pipe
H Pipe
  • X pipes produce loud sounds, thus providing the ambience of an exotic car.
  • H pipes are relatively quieter, producing the classic growl of an American muscle car.
  • X pipes produce less power at lower RPMs but at higher RPMs, they produce slightly more power than their counterparts.
  • The torque boosting offered by these pipes is relatively low.
  • The crossing of the exhaust streams obtained due to its design evens out the flow and streamlines the exhaust gases through the rest of the system.
  • No exhaust gas balancing is obtained in a H pipe system.
  • The less torque produced at the earlier stages can be attributed to the turbulence observed when the two streams of exhaust gases collide.
  • The flow is smooth and the mixing of exhaust gases is minimized in h pipes.
  • At higher RPMs, the exhaust streams come out of the exhaust manifold at higher speeds. This serves to overcome the turbulence encountered by the mixing of two streams of gases. Finally, the streams are pushed out of the automobile with a higher force. This explains the increase in torque at higher RPMs in an X pipe.
  • Since the two streams are maintained separate, a difference in torque is not felt as much as it would in an X pipe. Hence, there is a feel of drop in torque.


  • High torque and power is produced in the latter stages of operation. Hence, the ‘pull’ of the automobile is felt later during its operation.
  • High torque is produced in the early stages, thus providing higher ‘pulling power’ when the automobile starts. This makes it ideal for a muscle car.
  • Back pressure is not maintained by an X pipe. This is the direct cause for its loud operation.
  • H pipes maintain back pressure at the end thus providing for its quiet nature and early torque boosting.
  • Higher scavenging is provided by the presence of smooth bends, particularly at the convergence.
  • No huge difference in scavenging is observed.
  • As a result of its tendency to produce higher power at higher RPMs, its usage is best suited for automobiles which always operate at high speeds.
  • Due to the torque boost obtained at early RPMs, automobiles using an H pipe need not reach top speeds to achieve their maximum power.

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