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Old 06-22-2005, 06:06 PM   #1
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Default (Yet another) Exhaust question

Hey everyone, this is from my intro post, regarding a custom exhaust. Thought it might be a good idea to relocate it for everyone to see. I've got a 1990 SSE w/ all the options. The only mods so far are the rice-pipe intake from autozone that I'm almost finished with. The pipe is on, but I need to work on a different mount for it due to the air compressor for the suspension being in the way...the filter is resting on it. Not a horrible situation, but definetly not good for long-term. My tenative plan is to relocate the compressor if there is enough play in the wiring, and use the bolt holes for the compressor brackets to mount a custom aluminum heat shield covered w/ heat wrap. After that I think I'll go for a custom exhaust. OK, my question:

My exhaust is pretty shot. Recently the weld at the back of the cat broke, causing the manifold pipe and cat to hang down (V6 LOUDNESS, weeeee! lol )...then I made the mistake of backing down a driveway that was too steep, caught the cat on the lip of the driveway, which forced the front manifold pipe into the swaybar (at least I think it was the swaybar) giving the pipe a nice big dent (yay for flow impediments!!). I took it to midas who quoted me over $740 to replace the exhaust system!! I promptly told them to kiss my A$$, and rumbled over to the Andersons store to get a fix-it kit. Long story short and two Rockcast exhaust patch kits later, the cat and rear section of the exaust tubing were rejoined and the car sounds fine. Well, fine might be a strech. It sounds "ok" for the most part, meaning its quiet again, but there are leaks that you can hear upon acceleration, coming from the manifold flange I think...too far up for me to really get at to try and fix. Sorry, I get very descriptive and long winded, lol. FINALLY, the question. Most shops will charge you close to $225 plus about $70 labor for a new cat...if I decided to go the "off road only" route (ha, off road...yeah right lol) and had a custom shop make up a straight pipe 2.5" OD manifold back exhaust system with a flowmaster 80 series crossflow and duals, do you think that it would sound crappy without the cat? The sound I'm looking for is on this page: http://bonneville.fearthepearl.com/index.php?page=mods
Its the 6th video clip down, "1992 SSEi with Flowmaster 80 series". Very badass, very angry sounding. I realize that its an SSEi...but how much does the supercharger change the sound exactly? Oh well, thats what I'm looking for sound-wise, or pretty close. Think its possible with no cat? I just dont want to shell out so much money for one. Would a high-flow be cheaper than a OEM cat? Thanks alot everyone.
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Old 06-22-2005, 06:18 PM   #2
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You can't judge the sound of exhaust by a recording. It just won't be right. The best sound from the 87-91 generation anyone ever heard was Jim W'*. PM him, I believe it was Magnaflow, but it'* a different part number than the other cars. It was a single in single out. Remember that we're talking different engines. An SSEi will sound very different than your car with the same exhaust components.
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Old 06-22-2005, 06:23 PM   #3
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To add on I believe all those clips had either stock cat'* on them or high flow cats. If you pick up a high flow cat and muffler, I hear they are much more inexpensive than stock.

Then maybe do a little custom work on the piping.
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Old 06-22-2005, 06:23 PM   #4
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If you are looking at a flowmaster, hit up captainmiller or merlin 91/97, both have an 80 series, and I know merlin has one of his '91, and IT IS SWEET. You cannot beat the exhaust sound of his car. captain'* got a vid too, IIRC

Jim W has the magnaflow setup, like Bill mentioned, along with some videos around here somewhere [i've heard 'em]. but flowmaster > magnaflow, IMO. <-- Everyone has a different opinion on this.. but that'* just mine.


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Old 06-22-2005, 07:13 PM   #5
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Should we make some driveby videos tonight? Gonneville is in town, Lakevile might be coming down...
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Old 06-22-2005, 08:17 PM   #6
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The quote from midas is rediculous. A Universal High-Flow cat from Magnaflow will run you about $50-$60. I had my high flow cat, muffler, a dual out pipes installed on my '89 for $125 CDN. I have the flowmaster 80. It has a very deep rumble at idle, it sounds awesome. The two popular choices around here are the Magnaflow and the Flowmaster...you really need to hear it in person to judge it, and I don't have a camera that can actually capture how good it sounds. All I can say is you will be pleased.

BTW, most people around here do not recommend straight piping the cat. The 3800 series likes the backpressure and the lack of can actually cause you to lose power. Also, concern for the environment is another reason...
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Old 06-22-2005, 08:40 PM   #7
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El capetan is correct. Straight pipe = illegal. For the cost of a shop to install one of those, and a few bucks more, you could just have them put in a high flow unit.

You WILL lose torque with a straight pipe, you PROBABLY will gain horsepower. But, HP sucks in these cars, you want torque. Trust me, all you hear 'horsepower, more horsepower!' you will learn, torque is whatcha want. We have 165hp stock, yet 210ft lbs of torque. Anyways, yeah, just put on a high flow cat/ aftermarket muffler [brand of your hoice] and you should feel a little bit of increase in the pedal. Noticable hp/tq increase


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Old 06-22-2005, 11:18 PM   #8
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OK, now that i feel like an *** because I didn't bother to do some simple reasearch to find a cheap aftermarket cat *JB smacks himself* ...ok so that was a bad idea.

Anyway, I'm really leaning toward flowmaster here. I know that videos can't really give you a GOOD impression of how the exhaust sounds in person, but judging from the general tone, I'd prefer the more dry, raspy, throaty sound that the flowmaster produces. Even if magnaflow will net me a few more horsepower (from what I've read in recent posts on here), I'd still rather have the exhaust sounding the way I like it. Besides, the car has some balls, but lets face it, 88-91s are not exactly hot rods, even with bolt ons

I'm not at the strip, nor will I be with this car (well, maybe a base run just to see how it goes...but thats beside the point). Squeezing every last ounce of hp/tq out of it isn't really my main goal, although my butt dyno is itching for an upgrade...thanks for your help everyone. I'll be sure to post pics when I'm done, especially if i modify the rear valance to accomodate either a "through the bumper" or "center mounted corvette quad tips" setup...which i've been mulling over...
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Old 06-22-2005, 11:25 PM   #9
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One more thing while I'm at it, would 2.5" tubing be ok for a custom cat-back setup, or should I stick with 2.25" tube? You'd think that it would be better to go with 2.5" tube, but the LAST thing i want is "RRRRRREEEEEEEEVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV popopopopopopopopopopopopo guuuuurrrrrgle...." I hate that sound. Granted, a little popping is most likely going to be there to some small degree, but it sounds like crap when you take a N/A street engine and throw 3" tubing on it...imho, of course. Even that SSEi on the vids page I posted sounds too poppy to me, and its supercharged w/ 3" tubing and a magnaflow muffler...but thats just my opinion..
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