Back in the day, driving a lowrider used to be about cruising the strip and hearing the humming noise of the 5.20s rolling on the highway. The distinctive sound of the tire gripping the highway helped distinguish the difference between a stock car and a lowrider. Nowadays, you need a booming sound system and a cool-sounding exhaust system to roll on the boulevard.
As a matter of fact, one of the first customizations that most people do to a car is upgrade the exhaust system. The purr that an aftermarket exhaust kit produces is usually better than stock exhaust systems. That's part of the reason why many manufacturers have ventured with aftermarket manufacturers for direct bolt-on upgrades.
The 2-inch Magnaflow mufflers that were used for this article had a conservative, yet aggressive sound. You could really tell when the car was at idle as it had a nice, smooth and mellow tone, but when you gunned the engine the mufflers became aggressive and opened up, allowing the engine to hit 10 extra hp and give the drivetrain 10-ft. lbs of torque. This gain in performance will make any car owner happy.
After talking to the "boys" at Magnaflow we were referred to one of their top installers in the area--Ron Lummus of RLR Motorsports in Anaheim, California. Ron specializes in the installation of catback exhaust systems and he agreed to help us out on the installation of the Magnaflow universal stainless steel 2-inch exhaust kit. Check it out, you can always learn from a master.
1. The Magnaflow Performance muffler was ready to be bolted on.
2. The universal stainless steel 2-inch exhaust kit comes with all of the curves and elbows needed to install the exhaust system.
3. Ron started off by unbolting the exhaust system from the header collectors.
4. Since the old exhaust was going to be thrown out, they removed it the quickest way using a sawsall to cut the pipe.
5. Here's a look at the old exhaust system that was removed from the car.
6. The boys started off by mocking up the exhaust system.
7. When mocking up an exhaust system you're going to need extra hands, as is the case with this install.
8. Ron continued mocking up the exhaust by spot welding the exhaust. This will allow the exhaust to be welded while being off of the vehicle.
9. Some of the steps will require filing to ensure a clean weld.
10. Ron continued to mock up the exhaust system before it was welded to the car.
11. The RLR crew showed us how they welded the exhaust system together.
12. Since the car was going to receive a dual exhaust, the exhaust was duplicated for the passenger side as well.
13. This side of the exhaust also had to be built in steps and required a reasonable amount of time to duplicate.
14. Once the pipe was laid out, it was allowed to cool off.
15. For a sure seal between the header flange and the exhaust, the flange was welded to the pipe. This meant that the pipe had to be trimmed.
16. A grinder was then used to smooth out the edges, making sure that the seal would not leak.
17. Since the header bolts were bigger to ensure that they would not break, the flange was drilled out to proper ID for the 3/8-inch bolts that were used.
18. The dual exhaust kit was laid out so that you can see how identical both sides of the exhaust appear.
19. Ron spot welded the mufflers in place and followed up by welding them to the exhaust.
20. Ron then bent the exhaust hangers to the frame.21. Here's a better look at how the hangers were bent to hold the mufflers in place. 22. These holders were also bent to help tuck the mufflers and help keep them from hanging below the frame.23. Here's the finished universal exhaust kit that stops before the rear end, which allows the car to lay on the ground. This car was now ready for a cruise down the strip.