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I mentioned a month or so ago that I wanted to replace the exhaust system in my Mazda 6. I narrowed down the parts list to Magnaflow cat-back, Magnaflow high flow cat, and Ebay headers. I have two questions for the knowledgeable Mazda 5 community.

1. Will the parts all fit together without excessive modification/are any of the parts redundant as in the header package comes with stuff the cat-back package comes with.

2. Are Ebay headers okay to go with. They look almost identical to the ones MSDS has out for literally a quarter the price. If the only difference is 1-2 hp I just cant see paying four times the price.
 

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The old saying of "You get what you pay for" comes to mind. Looking the same and being the same are two different things. I can only speak from my experience with my MSDS headers and working on numerous other exhaust projects over the years, so take it for what value you want.

Headers are not a place to cheap out on. They are absolutely the most abused/stressed component on any vehicle, seeing temperature swings of over 1000 degrees while being splashed with rain water. The thermal stresses are incredible. The are generally hard to install and the last thing you want to do is to have to take them back off to have cracks repaired. Cracks that can cause an engine fire or leak carbon monoxide into the cabin fresh air system. One repair will cost more than any money saved.

The quality of construction of my MSDS headers is first rate. The fit and assembly was perfect. (This is rarely true when working on exhausts, to answer your first question.) They are also available with the necessary electrical components to deal with all 4 O2 sensors. It is a shame you weren't ready to purchase in March when MSDS had a 30% off sale.

In my opinion, the difference is not in the price or the performance, but in the quality. If the EBAY ones were so good, you would hear alot more people on here talking them up???????
 

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I don't know what year your's is. Mine is a 2006 V6 3.0 litre. Make sure your new system is 2 1/2" exhaust. Stock should be 2 1/4". Go bigger than this and lose bottom end. The Mazdaspeed cat back is good at 2 1/2". Get a magnaflow Catalytic converter at 2 1/2". re-work your exhaust 3 ft in front of the catalytic towards the Y pipe with 2 1/2" (this is a very bad stock area). Install a K&N intake, using the shorter version. the mazdaspeed intake is lousy and uses stock piece by throttle body and strictly long to cold air. With K&N you can go short or long. Long is not good in winter or car washes. You should see an increase of 30 hp above stock at the wheels. see my pics in the gallery. I show old exhaust and new. BigALDJ.
 

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i bought ebay headers and besides being a bitch to put on they r doing pretty good so far..I did have to buy different gaskets wich was like 15 bucks but other than that mine bolted directly up I dont really know if i feel a dif in performance but i didnt drive the car for about a month before i had money for the new engine and had it installed. I also took my cai off because running the engine lean is horrable for your car which i think is what causes the cats to go bad in the first place.
 
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