Matt B
Matt B UltraDork
4/8/20 10:53 a.m.

Hey guys, so after a lifetime of concerts and motorsports I'm pretty sure I've developed some mild tinnitus.  Our Lemons E36 has some sort of bullet style muffler and it pretty much just sounds like a straight pipe.  It is obnoxiously loud and I want it gone, but it's still a race car and it'd be nice if it still sounded halfway decent.  What are your suggestions for something relatively cheap, not terrible-sounding, louder than stock, but not crazy loud?

Right now I'm considering stuff like this AP "Big Max Turbo" -

BTW - it doesn't have to be as cheap as the AP I linked, but it is a Lemons car, so...

02Pilot UltraDork
4/8/20 11:00 a.m.

Engine Masters did an episode testing a whole bunch of $40 mufflers for sound and power that might be of interest.


sergio Reader
4/8/20 11:06 a.m.

Dynomax turbo muffler?

Toyman01 (Forum Supporter)
Toyman01 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/8/20 11:11 a.m.

Run your cheap muffler, but take it all the way to the back of the car. 

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
4/8/20 11:17 a.m.

Dynomax super turbo muffler has been a good solution to this for me

Matt B
Matt B UltraDork
4/8/20 11:44 a.m.

Sounds like at least a few of you like the Dynomax mentioned.  At $55ish that's not bad.  Flowmasters seem well regarded in some other circles, but they're twice that much.

I checked out that engine masters episode and learned a few things.  First, I might want to pay more attention to the internal construction type.  I wish they had tested a different type of construction besides the chambered.  He mentioned that they were going to do the turbo style next and expected them to be quieter and down on power, which is the opposite of what I'd expect from a little reading I just did (shrug). 

Either way, what it made me remember is that it is not only overall decibels I'm trying to reduce, but some specific harsh frequencies I'm getting at about 5K rpms.

Streetwiseguy MegaDork
4/8/20 12:08 p.m.

Another vote for a Dynomax.  I ended up buying a race version, because 7500 rpm of a Neon seemed to rattle the guts out of the cheap ones in 30 or so track hours.

lrrs HalfDork
4/8/20 12:49 p.m.

I had a couple of shorty sumit glasspacks on an ej22.  No effect on sound from open pipe. 

  I went to the cheapest thrush turbo. Just right for the wallet and sound.  

About 30 bucks and redily available at the local advanced  for a super speedy pick up. 

ShinnyGroove Reader
4/8/20 3:16 p.m.

I have a the biggest Magnaflow that would fit on my turbo Miata, and it sounds amazing.  Stock like during normal driving, and grumbly when you put your foot in it.

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) PowerDork
4/8/20 4:31 p.m.

In reply to Matt B :

Look on FB Marketplace for mufflers. I bought a pair of Flowmasters for the Challenge car for $30. Other brands will be available there,too.


Peabody here
Peabody here UltimaDork
4/8/20 4:53 p.m.

Dynomax super turbo is a very good muffler.

If you use a Flowmaster use the biggest one you can fit in there. You need size to make power with a FM. Be careful with knock off FM's. I tried one but didn't like the sound, and when I switched back to a genuine 70 series, the power difference was obvious

You may be able to use a glasspack as a resonator midway to cut down on the noise that's bothering you

buzzboy Dork
4/8/20 5:05 p.m.

My e36 has a single in single out Magnaflow. It's quiet enough for all but long roadtrips. I'd look for the cheapest of that style, straight through glass packed, that you can find.

Or do like my lemon, a single rotary muffler wink

Snrub HalfDork
4/8/20 5:28 p.m.

If you have a straight through design, or semi-straight through design, it can do a remarkable job quieting things down without any real power reduction. Years ago I had a racing beat exhaust on my RX-7 which had two 3" straight through exits and used large body mufflers. It did a better job of quieting things down, and had wicked performance. I've bought oval magnaflows for DIY stuff on a couple of cars. They work well and really aren't all that expensive, say $100.

I can't say I was very happy with a flowmaster I had in the past. It doesn't seem to be as effective as a straight through, packed body design.

I'm not that old and I have a bit of hearing loss, presumably from years of being around loud noises. I wish I was a bit smarter when I was younger and I certainly wasn't the dumbest. Now I'd rather spend $40 more, lose 1hp and have a chance at keep my hearing.

Matt B
Matt B UltraDork
4/9/20 12:06 p.m.

Good stuff guys. I wouldn't have thought the straight through designs would be all that quiet, but it sounds like as long as there's enough packing around them they're pretty good, plus better airflow.  Also, didn't consider FB marketplace so maybe can nab something more premium there for the same money.  10-4 on the Flowmaster sizing.

Peabody here
Peabody here UltimaDork
4/9/20 4:57 p.m.

The Borla straight through mufflers seem to be better than most. I believe they use ceramic fiber instead of fiberglass.

shawkur16v New Reader
4/9/20 6:38 p.m.

I have a Borla Pro XS on my turbo scirocco 16v. It is a straight through design muffler. OEM quiet when cruising, but a nice deep tone when you open it up

DuctTape&Bondo Dork
4/10/20 3:16 a.m.
DeadSkunk (Warren) said:

In reply to Matt B :

Look on FB Marketplace for mufflers. I bought a pair of Flowmasters for the Challenge car for $30. Other brands will be available there,too.


2nd this, I got a pair of borla pro xs with j tubes welded on and claimed less than 200 miles on them for $50 from Craigslist. 

Matt B
Matt B UltraDork
4/10/20 1:04 p.m.

Looks like I'm going to have to be patient on the secondhand option.  Everything around me has a crackpipe price.  Off to fleabay.

oldopelguy (Forum Supporter)
oldopelguy (Forum Supporter) UberDork
4/10/20 1:36 p.m.

The Hooker Aero chamber mufflers were a great choice too, kind of the rumble of the Flowmaster without getting the same drone revved up.

Whatever you go with my experience is that the further back you put it the more effective it's going to be. 

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
4/10/20 2:09 p.m.

I think the shorter the outlet pipe is from the muffler body, the less chance of, or volume of, steady speed drone.  It's a resonance frequency thing having to do with the length of the pipe where I don't really remember / understand all of it but I do remember the part about keeping the pipe shorter to avoid the chance of highway drone if possible.

californiamilleghia Dork
4/10/20 7:48 p.m.
Toyman01 (Forum Supporter) said:

Run your cheap muffler, but take it all the way to the back of the car. 

and make the tail pipe past the rear of the car  and use rubber mounts......

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