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If you own a newer car, and want to start swapping out engine parts, the government has very strict guidelines as to what you change, and how you do it.
Swapping out the factory catalytic converter is usually prohibited, so the best exhaust upgrade is a high flow cat-back exhaust system. This will replace the entire exhaust sytem from the catalytic converter back to the tailpipe.
A well designed cat back system should net you 15 to 50 horsepower, depending on what you're startijng with.