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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Choosing your new exhaust!
An unofficial and incomplete guide to your exhaust system. I’m not sure whether there is a thread about this or not, but I’ve been drinking caffeinated beverages all day, so I might as well do something with my time!
*THIS IS NOT A HOW-TO INSTALL EXHAUST, JUST INFO ON WHAT EACH PART IS/ DOES.

There are a number of decisions to make while choosing your new exhaust setup and components. And most likely just as many, if not more, manufacturers that make exhaust parts for our cars. Please keep in mind, the order in which I post these would be, IMO, the most straight-forward and sensible way I see. And please remember, boosted applications will sound different.

All choices are yours to make, although you will probably refer to our wonderful forum members to make your choices for you, since doing what you like depends so heavily on others’ opinions of what you like!

To begin, the most obvious choice would be what kind of sound you want; deep and low roar, “Scratchy” or “raspy” and LOUD! The choice is up to you, and there are thousands of possibilities. Different parts will make different sounds while all net approximately the same power gains (headers excluded).

Exhaust Components from Front to Rear with description and info:
(I will only cover aftermarket pieces, not stock replacement)

1) Header, or exhaust manifold: collects exhaust from three (V6) or four (V8) cylinders and collects them into one centralized pipe. Variants of aftermarket headers can have what is known as ‘tuned’ pipes. All this means is all the primary collectors (first set of smaller pipes) will have equal lengths with some strange bends. Non-tuned versions will get all the gasses to the collector as quickly as possible. Some will state that tuned primaries will net better gains in HP/TQ. These are usually only purchased as supporting mods, since the stock manifolds will flow plenty of exhaust, and aren’t necessary at lower power levels, especially since aftermarket pieces are fairly expensive. You can opt to have header wrap installed with your headers if you want to keep the engine bay heat from destroying parts. I suggest wrapping them, as it’s fairly cheap and good insurance. Nothing worse than getting stuck somewhere because your headers melted a wire!
*Turbocharged exhaust is completely different than that of S/C or N/A cars, and, will not be covered in this guide, as I have little to no info or experience with them.
-- Types of Headers:
--- Short Tube: generally have an easier install, and are associated with a higher HP gain than their other length competitors. Usually, the transmission shouldn’t need to be dropped to install them.

--- Mid-length: I don’t have as much info about these, although, I would assume they are a balance between short and long tubes for install, as well as performance gains.

--- Long Tube: will have the most difficult install, since you will be putting more metal into an already cramped space. These are associated with higher torque rather than HP gains.

-- Header finishes/ coats vary and are mostly to protect the header and prolong its operational life before rusting away to nothing. We have come a long way technologically, and some companies offer their own “special” coating. But, the main types of finish in order of least to most protective are (w/o pics):
--- Bare: no finish and will rust quickly. You will be hard pressed to find uncoated headers these days.
--- Painted: high temp paint to block contaminates from oxidizing (rusting) the metal. These are not much protection, as I have discovered they often have a few chips or rubs in the paint from shipping, but high temp paint is available at your local auto parts an hardware stores!
--- Chrome: Slightly better than painted, but to be effective against the elements, should be polished, or at least wiped clean every week or two.
--- Powdercoated: This can be done at a fairly cheap price if you look around, and some headers come powdercoated. This is a paint applied in a more powdery form instead of liquid and is baked on. It can last years, and if it gets chips you can easily have it touched up. Well, not so easily since you will have to remove them from your car!
--- Ceramic: not sure how it’s applied, but it is some tough ****! Along with powdercoated headers, they will keep the engine bay temps slightly cooler without using header wrap. (H.R. still suggested!)

**The rest of your exhaust will be bare, but different types of metal resist weather better than others. Stainless steel is going to be more expensive, but how many times do you want to buy the exhaust you like?

2) The Mid-pipe is a section of piping that will connect to your headers (or exhaust manifold, if you don’t want to spend a lot of money just yet) and either go straight to the next section or, more commonly, be of the H, X, or “prochamber” variety, and will be either ‘catted’ [w/ catalytic converters (cats)] or ‘catless’ [or off-road (I shouldn’t need to explain the difference here!)]. A catted mid-pipe will give you a less aggressive and smoother tone, while also being slightly more restrictive, but barely so. An aftermarket mid-pipe will generally have high flow cats.
*This needs to be matched to the length of you header. How sad would you be if you got that awesome mid-pipe but it is for stock or shorty headers and you have long tubes?
** A catalytic convertor is heated by the exhaust to burn off unburnt fuel to lower emissions. You should check on local and state laws to determine if you need cats or not before going ‘off-road’.
***Mid-pipes are used to “balance pressures on both sides of exhaust to make more power”. BULLSHIT! I don’t care what anyone says. Balancing the flow of exhaust does nothing, as it won’t cause the pistons to do more or less work to push burnt fuel out of the cylinder. One of my uncles went into detail with me on this when I wanted it on my truck. All it gives you is a more balanced sound from each exhaust tip. Others disagree, but that’s my standpoint.
--- H-pipes are known for a smoother, deeper tone. They have a pipe connection that goes straight from one pipe to the other.


--- X-pipes will have a raspier tone, and have been known to ‘pop’ more than an H, and are have both sides of the mid-pipe coming together at a central location. The way the X comes together will vary by brand.


--- A prochamber style is essentially a small muffler instead of the previous styles. Just a low groan but screams when you get on it. There is also lil if any drone, which can be defining with other exhaust setups.


3) Mufflers: All mufflers will have distinct sounds, and should be researched to decide which one to get. Remember, the farther the exhaust travels, the more the sound will echo off of surfaces causing it to change frequency/ intensity (or for those extremely inept, the way it sounds)
-- There are many different types, but the most common are:
--- Chambered: These have separate sections inside that cause exhaust to move around obstacles to escape. These obstacles change the sound.

--- ‘Turbo’ style: will have a flow-through design with perforations in one or more smaller tubes inside a larger chamber to tone the sound down.

--- Glasspacks: I’m sure we all know about these! Loud, aggressive, and raspy. They will be flow-through and there are multiple different designs. Some claim to ‘spiral’ the exhaust. They are essentially fiberglass-packed tubes that use none other than fiberglass to absorb the sound. They eventually ‘burn out’, all this means is the fiberglass has been through multiple heat cycles and is no longer as effective as new, and will cause an even louder, more aggressive sound.


--- SpinTech has a muffler for side exit exhaust the has the inlet/ outlet on the same side. This style is most likely chambered and available from other manufacturers, though I have no info on it/ them.


4) Next is the…what is it called? It is labeled “axle-back” for ‘Stangs newer than ’04, as resonators were added, and I have little info on whether mufflers or resonators are first. But! Down to the reason you are here: this section is the rest of the piping that will determine where your exhaust exits. It can come with a kit, or be made at your local exhaust shop. In most cases, the stock exhaust can be retained, unless you plan on going to larger diameter.

-The main types are:
-- Side-Exit: fairly obvious, the exhaust will exit in front of the rear tire. Body kits are available that accommodate side exit exhaust, or you can have it hang a bit lower than the side skirt.


-- Dump: this will be little or no piping after the muffler, and may or may not have turned down tips. Some mufflers may mount directly to headers and/or have dumps attached (Purple Hornies)*Keep in mind, the closer the muffler and dump location are to you, the louder it is in car. Exhaust can also enter the car, this is more common on convertibles due to the cloth top.



-- Out-the-Back: Your car had this stock, unless it was a 2000 Cobra R, or converted by an outside sompany such as Rousch. This is where your exhaust travels the full length of the car, and depending on body style, may fit into slots in the rear bumper cover, or not.


*Remember 99-04 owners, your GT/ Cobra will have empty holes in the bumper if you go with S.E. or dump style!

5) Exhaust Tips: This is the final piece to your new exhaust puzzle! They are mostly for appearances, but length and size can play a small part in the tone of your exhaust. Tips are available in many, many different styles, diameters, and lengths. Some can even have a resonator inside for a change in the sound! It’s up to you (and all of MM lol) to decide which tips you get; i.e. straight, angled, single, dual, rolled, straight-cut, round square, other shape. Sorry, no pics here, too many different types!

6) optional - Cut-outs: while not a permanent exit for exhaust gasses, these are a valve that can be opened at the drivers discretion for track use, to scare the crap out of unsuspecting people around you, or to show off how loud your car can be. They are usually before the muffler to allow for maximum flow. They are either in a Y or can be welded or bolted to one. They are available with bolt-on covers that you will need to exit the car to open, manually (cable) operated, or with electric solenoid or motor to activate the valve.

7) Brands: there are a multitude of brands, opinoins on quality and fitment vary with each. They may be found in our sponsors forum, or on sponsors' websites, as well as other sites, but there are many, and I don't know all of them. I also don't want to show personal preferance to guide your opinion of what you want to do with your car.

Anything you think I left out, extra opinions, or carying information, please PM me and I will either look into it more and add, or if you give me enough info I will add it as well as give you credit for the info.
KTHXBYE!
 

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2013 5.0 Deep Impact Blue
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i read it. had no problem understand it.
i'll check it out tomorrow see the finalized version, but like i said grate job. THANKS,
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, I only changed a few things. Like underlining and bold where I felt it was required. As well as make sure all the pics worked and were in the right place, since I made it on MS word and didn't add pics until later.

PLZ4REPSNSTICKY? lol, sticky at least, reps I could care less about, as long as I'm helpin' someone properly I'll continue to help! If not, I'll learn more and help later :D
 

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One thing I see that is wrong is that on your description of a Prochamber, the Prochamber actually is quieter than an x or h-pipe. It is generally used to "smooth out" he sound of exhausts

And it's Roush, not Rousch

Other than those two things looks good man!
 

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I Poop Entirely Way Too Much
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Header, or exhaust manifold: collects exhaust from three (V6) or four (V8) cylinders and collects them into one centralized pipe. Variants of aftermarket headers can have what is known as ‘tuned’ pipes. All this means is all the primary collectors (first set of smaller pipes) will have equal lengths with some strange bends. Non-tuned versions will get all the gasses to the collector as quickly as possible. Some will state that tuned primaries will net better gains in HP/TQ. These are usually only purchased as supporting mods, since the stock manifolds will flow plenty of exhaust, and aren’t necessary at lower power levels, especially since aftermarket pieces are fairly expensive.
Tuned length absolutely does not mean equal length pipes. That would be equal length headers. Look at the BBK Shortie "tuned" length.

You can opt to have header wrap installed with your headers if you want to keep the engine bay heat from destroying parts. I suggest wrapping them, as it’s fairly cheap and good insurance. Nothing worse than getting stuck somewhere because your headers melted a wire!
While header wrap does keep the heat in very well Ive also heard it keeps moisture in against your header, helping them to rot away nicely.


-- Types of Headers:
--- Short Tube: generally have an easier install, and are associated with a higher HP gain than their other length competitors. Usually, the transmission shouldn’t need to be dropped to install them.
Every try to install shortie headers? I just did the BBK tuned lengths with my motor out of the car and I have NO IDEA how you would do it in the car. Half the bolts are hidden behind the bends of the pipe and you can barely get a wrench on them. Then gettin enought torque to tighten them down enough with the small wrench is another fun battle.

--- Ceramic: not sure how it’s applied, but it is some tough ****! Along with powdercoated headers, they will keep the engine bay temps slightly cooler without using header wrap. (H.R. still suggested!)
I also Ceramic coated my headers and Mid pipe hoping to decrease the temp in the engine bay and cabin. Doesnt seam to work much at all. To the touch the mid pipe is just as hot at uncoated catback.

--- A prochamber style is essentially a small muffler instead of the previous styles. It will generally be a lot louder than an H or X, but I cannot give a distinctive sound to it. They will vary in sound by design.
THis is the most untrue statement. Mufflers quiet down the exhaust so how would an additional muffler make it louder? The Prochamber IMO is the best of both worlds cuz at cruising speeds its just a low groan but screams when you get on it. There is also lil if any drone, which can be defining with other exhaust setups.
 

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I Poop Entirely Way Too Much
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Thanks, I will add these changes when I get a chance. The Prochambered cars that I was looking at on youtube tended to be a bit louder. Might have been the camera.
Maybe with gas they are louder. Also yuotube videos arent good to get a volume level of the sound. Camera type and placement would affect it too much.

My car is plenty loud when you punch it but cruising with the windows up you can have a normal conversation without struggling to hear over the exhaust or screaming.
 

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I second the header wrap issue. Header wrap, IMO, is only good if you have headers that are in contact or close enough to sensitive areas of the engine bay. Otherwise, as mentioned, they are moisture traps that will rot your exhaust away quickly.

John
 

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good post and i completely agree with your reason for doing it. But, since "good sound" is subjective as opposed to objective or quantifiable, stating which system is "better" is completely opinion. All you can do is to give the technical aspects of each piece and let others decide for themselves, as you did.

Unfortunately, the question most people have is "which one sounds better" and are worried more about the "my buddies think it's really cool" aspect rather than gaining the most HP. So, i don't know if you truly answered most of the "which exhaust" posts, but then i don't think that's possible unless you have a side by side comparison of all combinations of pieces / manufacturers.

I personally think the exhaust system is not the limiting factor when it comes to the engines producing HP/torque, so any combination of headers and free flowing exhaust is more than adequate. I just like loud, so i went with LM1's (and my Harley had drag pipes too!).

So, other than me giving my opinion, i guess my posting here serves no real purpose. :D. Good job, anyway.

Don
 

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compared to an x pipe the prochamber is quiter when cruising. about the same at idle. a tad quieter at start up and just as loud at WOT

just my experience
+2:D
 
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