If you're not entirely comfortable with the mathematics of engine performance you'll really appreciate Larry Meaux's PipeMax Header Design software from maxracesoftware.com. This comprehensive program predicts engine performance based on your input specs and it also calculates all of the optimum intake and header dimensions for maximum performance. For less than fifty bucks it also computes all the relative rod angles, piston positions, velocities and other important information that will allow you to make sound component choices based on your specific application and operational requirements. It's a "Must Have" for anyone brainstorming new engine combinations.
Calculating Header Dimensions with PipeMax
PipeMax is a popular software program available on the internet and used by numerous successful race teams. It’s a comprehensive, but easy to use engine parameter calculator offered by Meaux Racing Heads. You can download it for a reasonable price directly from their website at www.maxracesoftware.com. It is primarily a header design program, but it incorporates enough input parameters to function as a basic engine simulation program and it does calculate torque and horsepower output based on VE and the recommended header specs. It offers a wealth of good information about header dimensions and the proper design of headers to accommodate wave tuning. Users input the usual engine information along with details about their cylinder heads and camshaft and it calculates optimum primary pipe diameters and cross-sectional areas, primary tube lengths and collector specifications for optimum performance. The results screen displays dimensional values for a single primary pipe or 2 and 3 step header designs. It provides recommended pipe diameters and lengths for the primary pipes and the collectors. It also displays the best and worst specifications so you can avoid them. It calculates primary pipe harmonics for the first through eighth reflected wave and collector harmonics with mufflers and tailpipes. All of these specs are delivered in US units and metric units automatically.
The program is based on projected VE and it has a function to estimate VE for your particular engine specs. It allows you to select a dyno acceleration rate for the simulation and you can specify the mean flow velocity to be used in cross-sectional area computations. It is quite inexpensive at $45 and it makes a perfect complement to other simulation and evaluation programs you might be using. PipeMax pinpoints the ideal header dimensions for your engine and simplifies header design. If you study it closely it teaches you a lot about the effects of pressure wave activity in the engine’s inlet and exhaust systems. You can model your application’s mathematical header requirement in PipeMax to determine the optimum dimensions when modeling your vehicle’s actual headers with the icengineworks header modeling system. With PipeMax selected dimensions, it is easy to manipulate the modeling blocks to meet the targeted requirements. It’s not often that two separate systems complement each other so completely, but in this case it’s clear that each brings a lot to the party and the end result is the best possible exhaust system for you specific application.