12 May 991 911 Custom Exhaust – Best Sounding way to go! : part 1
Whether you’re looking to improve the sound of your engine a bit, free up some airflow in your exhaust, or maybe you’re just looking for an ever-so-minute bump in your top end power, odds are you’ve considered modifying the exhaust. Typically, an exhaust system is one of the very first modifications that most make to their vehicle. An exhaust is a great way to add a bit of your personality to your car. Depending on your make of car, the options for an exhaust can range from a complete engine to the tailpipe solution or anything in between. In part 1 of this part blog, we are going to go through the process of getting the customer the best sounding option possible on this 991 911 Custom Exhaust project.
This Porsche 991 Carrera S is a great example of a customer who knew that they wanted the car to sound better but didn’t know how to accomplish that. The exhaust system can be an intimidating purchase to make. You can watch all the videos in the world imagining that’s how YOUR car will sound, but in the end, none of those are true representations of how it will actually end up turning out. Many questions can come up such as: “What if it’s too loud? What if it’s not loud enough? What if it sounds bad? What if the materials are poor quality? What if it doesn’t fit? What if it breaks?”
The Exhaust Connoisseurs
If you aren’t familiar with Fluid, we consider ourselves to be somewhat of exhaust connoisseurs. After hearing thousands of systems across many makes and models, it’s safe to say we know what sounds “good”. We have been through a great deal of trial and error with various cars using our Dyno Dynamics dynamometer. We’ve found it’s the details that make the difference. Testing has shown us that power and sound go hand in hand. Every single thing we’ve learned along the way has been absorbed and applied in the design of our exhaust systems. Regardless of what the aftermarket may want you to believe, it really isn’t hard to understand what works and what doesn’t once the header ends and the exhaust begins:
Essentially you have two routes available when looking to change up your exhaust. Try and find an aftermarket company that has a product that fits your vehicle, or have something custom made. There are pros and cons to each.
The first option is a premade exhaust. If your car has the aftermarket support, a premade exhaust system can be a great option because it’s easy. If the company has a great reputation, you can most likely find a reasonably priced system that can bolt directly onto your vehicle in an afternoon. However, in order to find the right one, you’re going to have to do your research. We regularly install aftermarket exhaust systems. We also regularly deal with the problems that accompany low-quality ones: production tolerances so broad the part doesn’t fit without major fabrication; hollow chambered mufflers that produce harsh notes that make your vehicle sound like a high school shop class project; poor construction quality that breaks on installation. We’ve seen it all.
So why all the problems? It basically boils down to business. As things go in business, it’s ideal to buy (or build) at a low cost and sell for a high price. This definitely holds true for many of the aftermarket companies that have their domestically designed systems produced in high volume in countries with low production costs. Budget exhausts produced this way will always have trouble competing with a premium system built by a craftsman. While power levels, weight, and volume can be equal between budget and premium systems, qualities such as drone, tone, finish, and fitment can never be matched equally. This can be this difference between a system that hurts the value of your vehicle versus one that leaves it intact.
The second option is to have something custom built for your vehicle. As with most things in ln life, with a custom exhaust, you typically get what you pay for. Much the same way that a Casio watch and a Rolex both tell time, a budget exhaust and high-end exhaust (such as one of our custom built setups) both allow the engine to breath better, save weight and give a louder exhaust note. This is where quality comes into play. Sure, you can definitely find a garage that will chop and weld you a mild steel exhaust for 350 bucks and have it done as fast as their tools will work. However, there are several problems with this approach. For starters, the quality of work leaves much to be desired. Due to the hurried nature, not only will the cuts most likely be choppy and jagged, but the welds can look like a science project gone terribly wrong, with bubbles and inconsistent weld patterns. To make matters worse, the quality of pipe is also up in the air. They might tack on impure metal lying around the shop or a rough, slightly rusty piece that adversely affects the flow pattern of the exhaust. To be brief, there is a myriad of reasons why a quick, cheap exhaust is exactly that — cheap.
Then there’s what we do. Check out our next installment for part 2 of this build