Choosing and fitting a sports silencer to your car.
"Silencer is golden"
One of the most popular modifications around is the sports back box or silencer.
If you are after more information on the performance aspects of a sports exhaust then you will need our tuning article.
This article will focus purely on the cosmetic benefits and considerations when fitting a sports silencer.
It seems as far as silencers are concerned that bigger is better. This can be detrimental to the power output of the engine but as we promised to stick to the visual aspects here we will not labour the point.
Big bores usually require that the rear bumper be cut. This should be done neatly and properly finished and smoothed off. Some bumpers are quite thin and you would then want to build up around the hole.
Heat is a big problems and you should ensure that there is sufficient space around the exhaust to avoid contact with the bumper. At best you might end up with an unpleasant vibration but in a worst case scenario you can end up with scorching and melting due to the heat.
The best solution to these problems are to cut a good sized gap around the exhaust and then fit a metal shield or plate to cope with the additional heat.
Some drivers opt to drop their silencer lower than the bumper but this can easily get snagged on road humps, bumps and potholes and is more prone to vibration. Keep the exhaust mounts fairly tight and use rubber mounts, these dampen the shock and noise a little and allow the exhaust to expand as it gets warmer.
There are of course a number of legal restrictions. Generally speaking the bigger the bore the deeper and louder the exhaust note will be. Most countries have laws preventing the use of loud exhausts. In the UK you also have to ensure that the exhaust does not stick out further than the outermost edge of the rear bumper.
There are certainly plenty of tailpipe designs to choose from. The best looking exhaust have a nice shiny chrome finish which although fairly resistant to corrosion and soiling will still need to be kept clean. Some of our members use standard household metal polish on a regular basis to keep their exhaust in shiny condition.
Rolled exhausts and those with a branding stamp look great and you often have a choice of shape from square, oval to triangular and round. Then you need to decide if your car will look better with a twin pipe or single pipe and on some vehicles you may want a second exhaust pipe from the opposite edge of the rear bumper to balance it out.
Internal construction of the sound deadening will also affect the noise and many Japanese exhausts give a very distinctive rasp.
Before you go out and buy an exhaust purely for aesthetic appeal we strongly urge you to consider the performance and nuisance implications of fitting a massive silencer.
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