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What is the difference between a Mustang H-Pipe and X-Pipe?

Last Updated 12/9/2016 by Trey Pridemore

In the Mustang community you won't go a day without hearing the question "What is the difference between a h-pipe and x-pipe?". Well let us answer that question for you!

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The Basics

If you plan on upgrading your Mustang’s exhaust then you’ll definitely want to upgrade the mid-pipe. The mid-pipe is the section of exhaust piping that connects the exhaust manifolds or headers to the cat-back exhaust system. Getting rid of the restrictive factory mid-pipe will give you better flow in your Mustang exhaust system. This additional flow will unleash more horsepower and torque! There are different types of mid-pipes, but the most common are the X-pipe and the H-pipe.

What Is The Sound Difference?

There are plenty of differences between the two mid-pipes, but the most obvious difference is going to be the sound. The exhaust tone produced by these two Mustang mid-pipes both provide a uniquely different exhaust tone. Deciding which mid-pipe is good for you will depend upon what type of sound you are looking for.
The piping of the X-pipe intersects in the shape of an “X” so that exhaust gasses may cross to create an even flow and help to efficiently evacuate the system. The X-pipe is going to create a louder, more raspy tone than an H-pipe. In most cases, you are more likely to see power gains in the higher RPM’s and a slight loss in low-end torque.
The H-pipe intersects as an “H” and isn't going to be quite as good at balancing exhaust gasses as the X-pipe. It will still do a pretty good job; however, the H-pipe is going to have a deeper, more mellow tone than that of the X-pipe, and will retain the low-end torque that you can lose with an X-pipe. This mid pipe gives you the old school "American Muscle Car" sound that we have all grown to love!

Catted vs Off-road Mid Pipes

Another thing you will need to consider when you are planning to upgrade the exhaust in your Mustang is whether you would like a catted mid-pipe or an off-road mid-pipe. Catted mid-pipes are the most popular options. They have catalytic converters on them, and are street legal in most states. They also help reduce exhaust tone when compared to off-road mid-pipes, but might not be quite as efficient. This would be the most practical option for a Mustang that you are using as a daily driver and have to hear the exhaust every day.
The other type of Mustang mid-pipe is an off-road mid-pipe. The off-road mid-pipe is going to come without catalytic converters and is not street legal. It will produce a much louder tone than a catted mid-pipe, but will be more efficient and produce more power. They are a great choice for a Mustang that you are going to use at the track, or for a Mustang that you typically bring out on the weekends. Some people may find their tone too aggressive or loud for daily driving.


Deciding on which mid-pipe you choose can have a big difference on the sound & performance of your Mustang. The best question you can ask yourself is "What am I going to be doing with my Mustang?". If your answer is hooning around with my friends on the weekends or tearing up the local drag strip. You might want to consider going with an off road X or H-pipe. If you are looking for increased performance while still maintaining a tolerable tone that won't make your whole neighborhood hate you, go with the catted h-pipe or x-pipe. You'll enjoy whichever route you take, we can guarantee that!