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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well, I had been wanting to do custom exhaust on my '96 Taurus Wagon for a while. It had dual exhaust from the factory, but it was just hankering to be modified, and I like to be different. So I decided to do it.

This is just a catback. Allow me to describe what I went with. I replaced the stock flex pipe with a new double braid flex pipe. The stock resonator I replaced with a 2 1/4" x 22" Yonaka resonator, which is straight through no louvers. Then we ran a new pipe 2 1/4" to the y-pipe part. The shop fabbed a new y-pipe and from there it splits into 2x 2 1/4" pipes. Those run into a pair of 2 1/4" offset/center 18" body WickedFlow Max series mufflers. Then it all gets round out with a pair of 2 1/4" WickedFlow Jaws tips that go through the custom bumper cutouts I did.

I was fairly picky about the way the shop did it, which is fine because the shop is picky about their work anyway. I had it done at JR's Custom Muffler in Orem, UT. I like their work, they do a good job and are reasonably priced. I supplied all the major components, they did the pipework and welding. They charged me $305 for all the work, took about 4 hours.

But anyway, here at the pictures. Vids will come later.

















http://gallery.me.com/tyranitar/100...source=web.jpg&type=medium&ver=12847383530001















 

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I don't find the tips tasteful, but to each their own. The mufflers actually sound mean, though. Good job. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok, now that I have driven this more, I really like the sound of the exhaust, the overall tone. But I found it is too loud on the highway. I think its because it is the dual mufflers. If I stuff a towel in one of the tailpipes, the whole thing becomes very tame sounding. I am going to have some components added that will help control the sound better.

They are exhaust butterfly valves, and I first some them on BMWs, and I noticed that the shop I had this installed at has a whole bunch of them with the vacuum actuators. I will try one on just one side, and it thats still to loud, I will add another on the other side. The actuators will install between the tip and the muffler. All I will have to do is add a vacuum line so that when it is under light load, the vacuum will close the valve, causing the exhaust to become quiet.

The way it runs now, it sounds like a British sports car, which is fine except it makes people think I want to race them all the time. I will post videos of how it sounds with the valves installed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I've used Magnaflows on two vehicles in the past, my Mazda B2600i, and my mom's Aerostar. They were obnoxiously loud, and the one on my Mazda suffered packing blowout (which made it louder). The first person I know of who used a WickedFlow was a local Jeep enthusiast, who was a Dynomax user who switched to Magnaflow because the Dynomax was too expensive and began finding the same problem with the packing blowing out. He went through 3 Magnaflows before he tried a WickedFlow, and he has had the same one ever since. Admitedly rock crawling i hard on mufflers, they don't have the airflow to cool them down, they get hot as the engine revs up without moving very much. This seems to accelerate the breakdown.

WickedFlow is better built. They are growing fast, largely because they are committed to a quality not often found in a product of their price. The WickedFlows tend to drone less, have a deeper and smoother tone, and the materials are of a higher quality than Magnaflow.

Even so, on this car, just because of the way its set up, it drones a bit on the highway, mostly because the exhaust is really quite large. I'll let you know how the valves help. Its really only very mildly too loud. Its still quiet enough that I can drown it out with the radio on just 2 or 3 dots.
 

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Interesting. Magnaflows have a lifetime warranty...should have gotten it replaced.

As for the sound. When properly installed with a resonator...the drone goes away. I have mine installed on a ML320 with 2 hi flow of 4 OEM cats and no resonator. Granted...the mercedes came with sound deadening...so I dont hear the drone. With the windows down under full throttle...it sounds like a Mustang with Borla. I am replacing with Flowmaster anyway just because I want to see what the difference in sound is. I do alot of offroading too...and haven't had a single issue with my muffler in 80K miles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Mine is properly installed with a resonator.

So you want to try a slowmaster. I used to have one on my van, din't sound too bad, but at certain RPM it sounded like crap. Most of the time it had a great rumble though. I used to set alarms off all the time by just driving by.

When you say you do a lot of offroading, do you mean you drive off the road, or that you climb rocks. There is a difference.

Have a look at some of the pictures of failed exhaust products I have seen. If you used to be a Magnaflow fan and you wish to continue to be, please look away now.

MobileMe Gallery
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok, I just re-uploaded the video, I got the butterfly valve installed this morning, and it seems to have done the trick. It made it much quieter at cruising and idle, without sacrificing anything. The valve is from a BMW. It is vacuum controlled. It just shuts one muffler off, forcing the exhaust to flow to the other side.

So you don't have to scroll up, here is the video again
 

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My favorite muffler is by far, the Aero Turbine. Got one on my jeep and loved it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Those are made here in Salt Lake. Those are way loud, and local shops usually have several that they have taken off. The quality seems to be good, but they almost sound like straight pipe, though they do have a deeper tone.
 

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Those are made here in Salt Lake. Those are way loud, and local shops usually have several that they have taken off. The quality seems to be good, but they almost sound like straight pipe, though they do have a deeper tone.

My Jeep is nowhere near as loud as my friend's jeep. :lol2:

However... My mazda.. well.. It's just as loud :lol2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
On my car, keeping the sound down to a respectable level was important to me. The WickedFlow is what I run on my Aerostar, and is the only performance muffler that doesn't drone inside the van. In fact, on the freeway in the van, its hard to hear it at all. Tire noise and and wind noise both drown it out.

On the Taurus, because it was dual exhaust, and fairly large dual at that (2 x 2.25" tubing is larger cross section than 3"), it caused a deeper tone shift, and the mufflers are not as effective at suppressing the really deep rumble. With the butterfly valve, by shutting off one side, the one muffler can still suppress sound, but it acts as a one way trap. And because the exhaust is not expanding into the dual pipes in the same way, its done doesn't deepen as much, making both mufflers more effective at controlling the sound. Because I use this wagon as a people mover, including using the third row seat, keeping the noise levels down was very important to me. If it was a regular sedan, it would be fine if it was louder.
 

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I can understand that. My Mazda can be quiet by staying into the gears and light throttle pressure. I live in a HOA so I have to watch my sound. Now once I pull out of the neighborhood....all the rules are thrown from the window. :lol2:
 

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the exhaust looks cool, just don't really like the end caps but that is your call, i have never heard of Wicked Flow max, but from what i have hear about Magnaflow is they are a pretty good company, and in some of those pictures where there is a hole in the middle of the muffler is probably because of being in a really humid place where things rust real quick, you could maybe fix that by spraying a quick coat of a paint on it or a clear coat, but if you prefer wicked flow then it's your car so you can decide

 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
the exhaust looks cool, just don't really like the end caps but that is your call, i have never heard of Wicked Flow max, but from what i have hear about Magnaflow is they are a pretty good company, and in some of those pictures where there is a hole in the middle of the muffler is probably because of being in a really humid place where things rust real quick, you could maybe fix that by spraying a quick coat of a paint on it or a clear coat, but if you prefer wicked flow then it's your car so you can decide

Those pictures wwere taken in Salt Lake City Utah. This is dessert. We do get snow in the winter, but humidity rarely gets over 15%, it is dry 7 months out of the year. If they rust out that bad here, hate to see how poorly they hold up in New York.

You may here that Magnaflow is a good company, but thats an awful lot of failures from a small market segment. Most of those failures are due to metal fatigue to to cheap korean steel that is brittle and weak. Observe this video to illustrate the difference in the quality of the steel and tubing between Magnaflow and WickedFlow. Magnaflow uses a very cheap steel, shoddy construction, but they understand if they make the product look nice, most customers won't know the difference, especially if they don't know how to compare it to something else. So lets throw subjective opinion out the window and SHOW the difference in quality. Skip ahead on this video to 2:14 to get the actual test. This video is of a muffler shop using a random Magnaflow they pulled from the shelf and a WickedFlow Max muffler, and subjecting them both the same test with one simple goal, stretch the steel till it breaks.


Some additional points. MIG welds, like those used by Magnaflow tends to produce a high level of thermal distortion during the welding process, and this produces built in stresses and hardens the layer of metal around the weld with the type of steel they use. This means that when the part is exposed to stresses like vibration, and thermal expansion, those stresses are focused on the weak points, like the brittle metal around where the neck meets the body. This is why those pictures show the mufflers broken at the necks, most all of them are failing at the same point. Even on the all stainless bodies where corrosion is not an issue, they still fail either at the neck, or where the endcap welds to the body.

TIG welding in contrast, not only produces a cleaner looking weld, the weld produces less thermal distortion, so the metal surrounding the weld is not brittle. This means the chances of the muffler breaking near the welds is significantly reduced. Furthermore, the WickedFlows are specifically reinforced in every area that the Magnaflows fail in. They have a larger lap zone where the neck and the endcap are welded, and they have a larger lap zone where the endcap meets the body. All the edges are rounded, which prevents the stress from focusing on a corner. If the stress can't focus on any particular point, then stress cracks will never form.

foristellford, thanks for the compliment. Wickedflow actually has a lot of tips that no one else has. They probably have more variety than anyone else. I wanted to convey a kinda mean, aggressive attitude, its kinda like say "Don't mess with the bull". I like the power and actual sportiness of the Duratec, and wanted to convey that to other drivers. I have had a lot of comments about them. Even if other people don't like them, I rather like the attention that they get. Little by little I plan to do other dress up mods on the car.

I'm on the fence about a different intake. I know there will be little or no performance gains, and I don't want to make it any louder, so I'm thinking I'll keep the intake stock. I am planning on getting a tuner later on. I just don't have the money put aside for that yet. I need to get the bumpers repainted, and repair some dings and scratches that the PO left. I also want to get the underbody coated to prevent rusting, I intend to keep this car for a long time.
 

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a simple intake like the one i have doesn't make your car any louder, but i can see a difference in my temp gauge when the engine is working normal or hard.

 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
a simple intake like the one i have doesn't make your car any louder, but i can see a difference in my temp gauge when the engine is working normal or hard.

Can you link a picture of your intake? I want something that is clean looking, that isn't loud. And it has to be a real cold air intake, which means the filter has to draw cold air from outside the engine compartment. I like the look of the ones that place the filter behind the wheel well cover.
 
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