Header Design Secrets: Interview with John Grudynski of Hytech Exhaust

This past week I interviewed John Grudynski, the owner, artist, and innovator behind Hytech Exhaust.

John has been designing and building race headers for many major racing series and organizations such as SCCA, USAC, Trans-Am, World SportsCars, Dirt Track and NHRA Drag racing for nearly 30 years. He is easily one of the foremost experts on the "black art" of Header design and has an incredible reputation in motorsport and in the aftermarket.

John has also developed some seriously impressive aftermarket headers for cars such as the Honda Integra Type-R (which gained almost 20hp over factory), the Eclipse V6, the RSX Type-S and many more.

John also earns the distinction of being recognized as one of the Tuner University Certified Experts and the first to receive the honor. This honor is one given only to companies and individuals who have earned their stripes and demonstrated unique abilities and innovations in motorsport, OEM, and aftermarket parts/services.

During the interview, John shared his story about how he came to be in the "header" business and along the way he demonstrated his intense passion for creating only the best exhaust systems.

As we spoke, John talked about the importance of understanding that the fastest car is the one that gets around the track (or down the strip) the fastest. He pointed out that while the dyno and other tools give us valuable information that ultimately it's the track that tells us what the fastest combination of parts is. In one example, he explained how one of his race teams went to the track and tested several setups and when the dyno results were in, the fastest setup was actually the one that put down "average" even unexciting dyno numbers compared to the other setups in the test.

John explained that while dyno numbers can be useful, they don't tell you the whole story of what's actually going on in between shifts, at certain engine loads and so on.

The interview went on for a little over an hour, but here are just a few of the other incredible nuggets of wisdom John revealed:

  • An incredible and EASY trick that almost anyone can use (especially on newer cars) to improve the flow of their factory catalytic converter and often achieve the same gains as an aftermarket header while remaining completely legal and "eco-friendly"
  • Non-sequential vs sequential pairing of cylinders in header design and how you can use this technology from Formula Atlantic cars to uncover hidden power
  • When to use a "4-1, 6-1, 8-1¬† collector" vs a "Tri-Y" 4-2-1, 6-2-1, etc, style collector
  • Why a bigger exhaust may produce more power on the dyno, but not always a faster car
  • Why the key to a faster car is transient response, not necessarily horsepower.
  • How John's favorite "anti-reversion" chamber technology works and how these unique chambers add power and improve transient response.
  • 2 very valuable recommendations for aftermarket "high flow" catalytic converts that don't fail every 10,000-15,000 miles. Hint: one of them is used to legalize exotic cars imported to the United States and has been used on cars such as the McLaren F1.
  • Lessons from the incredibly competitive Formula Ford racing series that you can apply to your car, regardless of the manufacturer
  • The simple but very counter-intuitive tweak to the collector of your header that can create HUGE power gains for you. Almost no aftermarket header utilizes this trick but it's been an exploited trick in F1 for decades.
  • How to best size your exhaust system for the street including how to use the "step" system.
  • Exactly how John was able to extract 20 horsepower from the already highly developed Integra Type-R engine almost on his first try. Where he started and what created the majority of the gains.
  • Why you shouldn't run an open header, but how you can still get maximum power
  • and a LOT more.

This class was one of the special, exclusive classes available to Tuner University Member's each month. Each class is available to members for a month and then placed in the TU Vault.

While it is now in the Tuner University vault, it is available from the TU Webstore. TU Premium members receive a significant discount on all courses in the vault as well as other exclusive benefits. Find out how you can take test drive of the many benefits of TU Premium and receive a free copy of "Performance on A Sip of Fuel" (a $49.95 value)

Tuner University Vault

This class is now in the TU Vault. As a TU Premium member, classes in the vault are available to you at a deep discount. You may purchase a copy of this class here.

 

 


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