Read these 7 Exhaust Systems Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Auto Parts tips and hundreds of other topics.
When switching to an aftermarker exhaust system, there may be other changes that need to be made, as well. Not only are you using an exhaust system that is possibly larger or may give your engine better back pressure, but it's also different than what the car manufacturer installed.
Many times, aftermarket exhaust systems and kits exceed the manufacturers suggested OEM (original equipment manufacturer) exhaust. One of the main concerns when switching to an aftermarket exhaust system is the oxygen sensor. Sometimes these sensors need to be replaced for top performance of the exhaust system. Also, consider the location of exhaust when installed. Changing the location of the exhaust pipes and muffler may interfere with other working components of the undercarriage or may deplete the exhaust's ability to perform as needed. Using accessories, such as aftermarket exhaust or silencers, can also effect the exhaust's performance.
Internal combustion engines are basically big gas powered air pumps. If you enlarge and/or smooth the passage the air takes as it travels through the engine, you will move more air, and make more horsepower. Intake systems direct the oxygen rich air and gas into the combustion chambers, where they are burned. The exhaust system funnels the spent gasses out the back of the car, and usually filters and muffles this gas.
An exhaust system tip: From the factory, exhaust systems are not built for top performance. With a better designed, high performance exhaust system passing gear will have a whole new meaning.
It's a good idea to get your undercarriage cleaned about every month, and even more frequently in the winter. Just take it through an automated car wash and spring for the 'undercarraige spray'. This will remove most of the caked on salt and dirt that can promote rust and rot. Unless your spending big money on a stainless steel exhaust system, it will rust out if not maintained. Although your muffler warranty may cover that expense, the labor and other materials will cost you. Better to spend a little money each winter then have to spring for the whole thing!
Ferrari and Porsche owners put Borla exhaust on their cars for many reasons: built from stainless steel, they are impervious to any corrosion; formed from mandrel bent tubing, they extract every last horsepower from the engine; due to their all-welded construction, there are no slip-fit unions to vibrate loose over time. Borla Performance Industries focuses mainly on current production, high performance cars, and they carry a huge array of all-out race mufflers.
Your 8, maybe 9 years old and it's your first car show. As you stand watching the hot rods and customs file out, there's always one that gets your full attention. A nice staccato BRAP BRAP BRAP flutters your chest when it coasts by. The car pulls out, and lays rubber; you look up at your dad, and can read his lips: "CHERRY BOMBS!". Although you can't toss a pair cherry bombs on your '04 minivan, hope is not lost. Some states exempt antique vehiucles from emission standards, allowing you to run everything but open pipes on the road.
If you are looking for this kind of sound, a dual exhaust like a flowmaster exhaust system may be just the right fit. Not only does a dual exhaust look sweet and vastly improve your engine power, but you get that head turning sound you have always wanted! If you decide to go with a custom system like this, make sure you find a shop that specifies in exhaust systems and don't be afraid to grab the car parts online and bring them to your mechanic.
Don't think you can just throw a big muffler on your car and start blowing the doors off other cars. To get the most out of your engine, look at the exhaust as a system, from exhaust port to tailpipe.
Keep in mind; some exhaust modifications are illegal on newer cars, so let's just say you have a 69 Charger. Replace your factory cast iron exhaust manifolds with a good pair of higher flowing headers. The exhaust pipes going back to the mufflers should be as straight as possible, to aid airflow. If you're running more than 500 horsepower, don't go with anything smaller than 3 inch pipe. Finish it off with muffler of choice, and nice chrome tips. THAT'S an exhaust system.
So you want some extra power and you're not sure whether to go with a turbocharger or a supercharger? The key difference between a turbocharger and a supercharger is from where they get their power. In a supercharger, there is a belt that connects to the engine that supplies power to the air compressor. A turbocharger, gets its power from the exhaust. The exhaust fumes run into a turbine, which spins the compressor, giving it power. A turbocharger is thought to be more efficient because it uses the energy from the exhaust for its power source. On the downside, a turbocharger causes some amount of back pressure in the exhaust system and tends to provide less boost until the engine is moving fast. Superchargers are typically easier to install but they tend to be more expensive. If you go with a turbocharger, you should really consider upgrading your exhaust system to something like a Gibson exhaust at the same time. You don't want a less than optimal amount of energy feeding the power of the air compressor.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|