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Old 01-12-2014, 11:18 PM   #1
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Default Exhaust mods 1997 SSEi

I have a 1997 Bonneville SSEi. I really need some help making a decision on my exhaust modifications. I can't afford to do the headers at the moment, so I'm looking for an exhaust setup from the manifold back. I'm not real familiar with exhaust systems so if anyone has a suggestion, it would be greatly appreciated. I'm looking for something that is loud but well made. Not the garbage that you see the little crackerbox racers running around with. I've got a 3.5 inch pulley and a cold air intake... I'm not sure if that makes any difference. Again though, any suggestions are appreciated. I saw an Olds 88 the other day and it had some crazy exhaust system that sounded like a v8. I'd like to try and find something like that if that'* at all possible. Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:56 AM   #2
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imo you cant go crazy with the exhaust and get it to sound like a v8, you have to leave it pretty close to stock. the bigger you go the more they sound like ricers. this is coming from someone who ran open headers for about ten years, on my firebird
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Old 01-13-2014, 10:08 AM   #3
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If your looking for performance AND sound, then you need to start with the engine and go back. It'* like a common rule for modding exhaust systems. You have to start with the manifolds. With the 3800, it already has one "header", but the front manifold really sucks. So, you would only need to replace the front one. Once that is done, convert your down pipe to a 3" with a matching Magnaflow cat, and base the rest of the exhaust after that. Some go with Borla, or Magnaflow or Flowmaster for mufflers. dual out or single out, does have a little effect on sound, but really, its all up to you on what it sounds like. Search Youtube for different 3800 exhaust sounds.

And remember, what sounds good to one person may not sound good to you. Everyone'* ears are different.
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:57 PM   #4
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Ok. I hate to be a pain but could you post some links for me on what you think might be close to what I'm looking for? I checked YouTube for a while today but my phone and tablet don't really do the sounds justice. I've got a magnaflow on it now and that sounds ok. I went from my 87 Iroc-Z with Hedmann headers and 3 inch flowmaster with no cat. I think it was the American thunder with the 80 series muffler. That was a beast and I realize I'll never get that sound out of a v6. But do you guys think maybe the 80 series is a possibility for my Bonnie? Again, I apologize for being so particular but you guys have way more experience with these cars than I do. I can tear down the motor and trans and rebuild it for you but wiring and exhaust systems I struggle with... Thanks in advance
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Old 01-13-2014, 10:15 PM   #5
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See, the problem is, your trying to replicate the sound of your V8. Even the little sister 4.3 V6 can't come close to the sound of her brother of a 350 V8. Even thought the cylinders are identical. It'* all about the harmonics of 8 cylinders that give the throaty growl.

I don't think an 80 will do anymore for your V6. It'* designed for the big blocks.
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Old 01-14-2014, 08:30 AM   #6
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i would have to agree, the 80 is going to be too much and sound ricery on the bonnie 6. 3in single pipe to 2.5 after the muffler is as big as i would go. and the more reasonable flowmaster i think would sound alot better. this is the setup i had on my firebird when it had the 6. sounded decent at idle and got a little loud on the gas. you will never make it sound like a 8 so i wouldnt bother with that, just make it sound as good as it can.
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:56 AM   #7
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Alrighty. I'll keep that in mind. I realized I wouldn't get the same sound but I wasn't sure if something could come close to the type of sound. My camaro would make my house and the one next to me vibrate just at idle. There is no replicating that with my Bonneville lol. But thanks for the input. I'll look into that stuff shortly
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