Tested: Burns Stainless NHB Porsche 987 Cayman and Boxster Exhaust System

Tested: Burns Stainless NHB Porsche 987 Cayman and Boxster Exhaust System

by Mike Kojima

The Porsche 987 Cayman has long been one of our favorite cars.  Built from 2006 to 2012, the 987 features a midship mounted 2.7 liter flat 6 or a 3.4 liter for the S Model.  The Cayman has always offered stellar handling, perhaps it was the best handling car of its time.

Many Porsche snobs pan the 987 because its mid engine makes it not a real Porsche in their eyes.  Because of this the 987 can be found for pretty reasonable prices on the used car market. This makes it a great buy in the eyes of the enthusiast who really only cares about performance.

With that in mind, our friends at Burns Stainless, purveyors of some of the finest header collectors, high quality bends and fabrication supplies for most of the hardcore race industry, have set out to build what is probably the best performance exhaust on the market for the 987 Cayman. 

By the way, although Burns markets the exhaust as a Cayman part it does also happen the fit the 2005-2012 987 Boxster.  Although the Boxster is looked down upon as a hairdresser's car by many enthusiasts, the 987 version does have pretty good performance and should not be overlooked! After all,  under the skin, it's virtually identical to the Cayman although the roadster body is not as stiff and thus the suspension calibration is not quite as taut. 

The Burns Stainless NHB or “No Holds Barred” exhaust system fits the 987 Porsche Cayman made from 2006 to 2012.  The NHB exhaust is designed to be a lightweight competition exhaust, however we found it to be quite streetable as well.  The NHB is exquisitely  built with Burns's legendary argon backpurged TIG welds out of thin wall 18 gauge ASTM269 304 Stainless steel.

ASTM269 is an industry metallurgy standard for high quality 304 heat treated corrosion resistant 304 stainless tubing. You won't be getting Chinese melted down pots and pans here!


We got the NHB exhaust version with resonated tips for a little more sound damping.  The exhaust is available with straight tips for slightly less weight and with cat bypassing race pipes. We opted to keep our cats for legal street use. 
The exhaust features a crossover pipe right behind the tips.  This is probably more for sound quality and to help hold the exhaust together than for performance although it may help bottom end torque a little.
The NHB exhaust uses Burns lightweight race mufflers.  We use Burns mufflers on many of our race car projects due to their light weight and efficient sound reduction.  The Burns muffler is a straight though absorption type muffler for just about zero backpressure. Inside the stainless steel can is a heavy stainless mesh inner tube surrounded by high temperature ceramic wool packing. There are no baffles or any obstructions to flow at all, just a straight tube. 

Burns mufflers are rebuildable when they start getting loud. The mufflers are attached to the downpipes with easy to use V-Band clamps so the exhaust can be quickly removed from the car. The slip fit clamps on the other side of the muffler are so adjustments can be made in the exhausts fit to make up for car to car tolerances.  This way the tips can be centered in the bumper cutout perfectly and allowance can be made for hanger sag and other things that affect exhaust system fit. 

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