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  • Budget exhaust

    Wanting to get a little more throaty exhaust out of my buick lacrosse super. I am sure a muffler change is in order. trying to be thrifty. so lets play a little game of exhaust upgrade on a budget. vehicle specs: 5.3 LS4 with 4 cyl mode.
    single split to dual with 2 mufflers
    2.5 inch pipe

    looking for a good sounding muffler that wont drone which switching to 4 cyl and wont break the bank. what say bangshift? summit? jegs? thrush? of some other off brand?


  • #2
    My Summits in 2.25 were too quiet for me behind a mild 302 with long tube 1 5/8 headers...very mellow. Muffler choice is very subjective, and they change suppliers so one set from Summit doesn't always sound like the next set. I had another set behind a really mild 350 with 1 1/2 long tubes that sounded "different" - they were mellow too but louder and not as deep a tone.
    Flying south, with a flock of bird dogs.

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    • #3
      the drone will not be easy, you got half volume to shutter..

      maybe two high flow cats before mufflers. high flow for the four cyl mode, not the 8... a backwards misnomer for a long freaking time now.
      might break it up to whistle on through something cheap for muffler.
      Previously boxer3main
      the death rate and fairy tales cannot kill the nature left behind.

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      • #4
        the problem is when it goes to 4cyl mode, they sound stupid, like effing tractors...I would add a resignator....post muffler....
        If you can leave two black stripes from the exit of one corner to the braking zone of the next, you have enough horsepower. - Mark Donohue

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        • #5
          I took the mufflers off my Coyote and replaced them with straight-through 3" tailpipes . . . cats and factory bullets (about the size of a big potato . . . or a circle track racing muffler) do the job of muffling the exhaust. Never been pulled over for a fix-it ticket in 30,000 miles.

          Principle: Add size to the system to lower the resonate tone (same as building a pipe organ . . . Remember how much better big trucks with the same size engines as light pickups sound . . . Then look at how much bigger the pipes and mufflers are . . . It's the resonant frequency of the system that tunes the sound . . . Note that the SRT-8s have a huge resonator box on them to pump up the low tones . . . and the worst-sounding V8 have tiny "twice pipes" and undersized "glasspack" mufflers ) . . .

          2.5 in pipe is too small for good tone, IMO. I'd bump it to three inches after the cat and run a large-diameter circle track bullet muffer (mega cheap compared to other mufflers) . It that's too loud, you could baffle the tailpipe or add a flap valve (some import tuner mufflers include this to cut down on the "fart pipe" sound . . . I suspect you could adapt a rain cap flap with a smaller turn-down bypass for a similar effect (not enough exhaust volume to activate the flap at low r.p.m./flows . . . CFM is going to be very low when in four-cyl. mode . . . rain cap might need to be dampened a bit, though)

          Read David Vizard's Book How to Build Horsepower for his thoughts on building a sufficiently-large resonator "box" for good efficiency . . . It's completely contrary to what most muffler shops/muffler manufacturers would tell you . . . But it makes complete sense from a resonance analysis standpoint.

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          • JOES66FURY
            JOES66FURY commented
            Editing a comment
            good advice but when this thing goes to the 4cyl mode...all bets are off, it will sound like ass...I learned this with my Ram with the "Hemi" that has the cycliner shutdown crap. with the stock pipes and a magnaflow it sounded good right up until you were cruising and the cylinders shut down...thenit was like driving a 1950s Johne Deere...Put the resignators back on and it isnt near as bad when it shuts down.

          • 38P
            38P commented
            Editing a comment
            Basically a muffler should flow 2.2 CFM for each CFM the engine flows. Anything that flows more will tend to add noise. So any muffler that small enough to quiet the AFM sounds won't be open enough for full throttle.

            Without adding an AFM-controlled butterfly to the exhaust ($$$) it's going to be difficult to design a system that quiets the flow when poppin' on only four but roars when firing all eight holes.

            A properly-sized resonator box is at least eight times the displacement of a single cylinder . . . and can take the place of an exhaust crossover (if the packaging works).


            (Of course, the greatest muffler in the history of man is a turbocharger . . . just sayin;' )

            Happy Motoring!
            Last edited by 38P; March 5, 2014, 08:06 AM.

        • #6
          I have the same motor in a Grand Prix. I like the factory setup. Throaty, doesn't whine on the interstate in 4 cyl. mode. At least not that it annoys me. Maybe the mufflers are different from a Buick to a Pontiac? Mine is a 2005 if that matters.

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          • #7
            My wife has a G8 with AFM. Drone in AFM mode is a problem with these cars with aftermarket exhaust. Over at the G8 Board they are very high on
            Solo Performance due to the sound and lack of drone

            http://solo-performance.com/


            It's not a budget system though,and I don't know if they make a system for your car. Their "axleback" is actually a pipe with a J-pipe welded on it instead of muffler.


            My wife's car needs something besides stock. It's whisper quiet. 2 cats,a mid-muffler,two resonators,and two mufflers do not a loud exhaust make.
            sigpic


            Allen Karber

            Arkadelphia,Arkansas

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            • #8
              I agree, 2.5 inch is just right for 1.8 liters at 10 to 1..
              another trick to try if you want to keep dollars.. add metal to intake tract some place, A CAI home made or whatever. Add some metal stuff on the top side.

              the plastics are a never ending drum roll pretending quiet up there on top...it does come out some place after all.
              Previously boxer3main
              the death rate and fairy tales cannot kill the nature left behind.

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              • #9
                Originally posted by Phil318 View Post
                I have the same motor in a Grand Prix. I like the factory setup. Throaty, doesn't whine on the interstate in 4 cyl. mode. At least not that it annoys me. Maybe the mufflers are different from a Buick to a Pontiac? Mine is a 2005 if that matters.
                Exhaust is similar in style and placement but is meant to be quieter on the Buick. Stands to reason buick being built for a different crowd. I just really have a problem with owning a car with a v8 and you can't hear it run. I'm not building a high horse louder than loud car. Just want a little tone. I have my GTO if I wanna be loud and obnoxious. I am fearful of the dreaded 4 cyl drone everybody talks about. This is the current DD and is staying that way. However it is going on the power tour this year.

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                • #10
                  Steve,
                  Maybe this would work?
                  http://www.dynomax.com/mufflers/dynomax-vt-mufflers
                  Patrick & Tammy
                  - Long Haulin' 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014...Addicting isn't it...??

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                  • 38P
                    38P commented
                    Editing a comment
                    That's a backpressure flap valve in the muffler, dampened (until it corrodes and breaks) by a spring. The same thing would work for cheap outside of the muffler.

                • #11
                  complete catback system?http://www.dynomax.com/dual-2-5-cat-...ler-38529.html
                  Patrick & Tammy
                  - Long Haulin' 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014...Addicting isn't it...??

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                  • #12
                    If I read the Dynomax warranty correctly, these mufflers and exhaust systems have a limited lifetime warranty... I have learned that going cheap on exhaust in the "Rust belt" costs more in the long run...(A standard muffler or system may last 2 years if you are lucky)
                    Patrick & Tammy
                    - Long Haulin' 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014...Addicting isn't it...??

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                    • #13
                      The VT mufflers sound good,but I've read complaints about the exhaust valve clanging when it closes.
                      sigpic


                      Allen Karber

                      Arkadelphia,Arkansas

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                      • #14
                        Jones Max Flow is reasonably priced, stainless case, internals similar to Borla and Magnaflow straight-through design. I have a pair waiting patiently for me to weld them to my x-pipe and, although not the prettiest muffler in existence, is built well and with good materials.
                        1970 Camaro RS - SOLD | 2000 Camaro SS - Traded in for a Hyundai...
                        1966 Ford Thunderbird - SOLD | 1963 MGB, abandoned V8 project, FOR SALE/SCRAP

                        1978 Cutlass - Post Lay-off daily driver

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