by Pat Goss
There’s a wonderful sound - high performance exhaust on a high performance car. Now, it doesn’t make any difference what you drive. There are high performance exhaust systems available. But you know before we go into the high performance exhaust system, let’s take a look at the way the typical muffler is designed and constructed.
This is the way the average muffler that comes on a car is built. The exhaust comes in here (upper right corner). This is connected to a tube that goes all the way through the muffler. It goes over here and it ends when the exhaust comes in, it bounces off of the end of the muffler. There’s no place for it to go except to return through this center tube. And again there’s no place for it to go except to bounce off the other end and then back out through that final tube (lower left corner) into the tailpipe to exit the car.
It keeps cars quiet. There’s no question about that. But all of this bouncing around in there and everything, that leads to a lot of restriction and back pressure and it’s not conducive to high performance. But now high performance mufflers, hundreds of them on the market, and many of them have a really annoying characteristic, and that is resonance inside the vehicle at highway speeds. You know, the air in the car just moves around and it sometimes hurts your ears and you can’t talk and you can’t hear the radio and, well, it’s a mess. How do they do away with it?
Well, here we have a couple of C5 Corvette mufflers cut apart, and these are by CORSA. This one on the left is a touring system. It’s a relatively quiet one, and it uses modern computer design to eliminate some of the annoying characteristics. The exhaust comes in and part of it will exit through these little slots here, and it goes out into these tuned chambers, and each one of those chambers is designed to eliminate a certain annoying frequency of exhaust tone. And of course it moves on through the system and out through the tailpipe.
Now the one pictured on the right is relatively quiet. It has a much deeper, louder tone because it has fewer of those tuned chambers, and but still has no resonance at highway speed. You can talk, you can listen to the radio and all of these things. It makes for a wonderful ride. Now one of the things that you want to do before you buy a high performance exhaust system, do your homework and look for one of these systems that uses modern technology. You’ll enjoy the car a lot more.
*Aftermarket performance mufflers featuring sound cancellation technology
Corsa Performance Exhausts
140 Blaze Industrial Parkway
Berea, Ohio 44017
If you have a question or comment, write to me.
The address is MotorWeek, Owings Mills, MD, 21117.