There has been an enormous amount of press about getting more out of performance exhaust systems. By incorporating "cross-over" or "X"- pipes in dual pipe systems, to balance out flow, many enthusiasts have found an extra edge. However, the perception is that this is new technology. Nothing could be further from the truth. But, why is an "X" pipe better than an "H"?
The reason an X-Pipe crossover works better than an H-pipe crossover isn't more flow because of volume, but more effective use of exhaust gas velocity. Exhaust gas (or air) has surface tension, and flows much like liquid would through the same pipe system. As the cylinders of each bank on a "V" style motor fire, they create a pulse in the system. The pulses will alternate back and forth from bank to bank as the motor runs. With multiple cylinders, such as a V-8, the eight cylinders alternately fire creates lots of pulses in the system.
If you put your hand behind the tailpipe, it would feel like a constant flow of air, but what it really is a lot of singular pulses giving the impression of constant flow. The idea behind the H and X style crossover is to unite the two banks of cylinders for better exhaust gas scavenging. Instead of two separate banks of four cylinders doing their own work, the crossover uses the pulse created by a firing cylinder of one bank to create a vacuum in the other bank because of surface tension. When a cylinder of the other bank is ready to fire, instead of the piston having to force the exhaust gas out of the cylinder, the vacuum that was created by the other cylinder bank helps suck the exhaust gas out of the cylinder, hence the term "scavenging."
Whenever you can reduce the load on an internal combustion engine, you are likely going to see performance and efficiency benefits. The difference between an H and X crossover is a smoother path for the exhaust gas to follow. Exhaust gas, like a liquid, will follow a path with the least amount of resistance. An H crossover has a path with two sharp 90-degree angles that are close together. An X crossover has a path with a much more gradual bend to allow the exhaust gases to continue their path back out to the ends of the tailpipes, rather then turning sideways for a short distance, then turn again to head out the tailpipes. Smooth flow with high velocity means more power by use of scavenging. Using an exhaust system with too large of piping diameter work against scavenging in the same way that running an exhaust with too small of tubing chokes the motor and forces it to work harder to expel the exhaust gases.Thanks Stealth V