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Discussion Starter #1
I am getting to the point on my restoration project where I need to look at an exhaust system. The car is an original ’68 Z/28 with the 302 and non-power steering. I’d like to consider headers with 1 5/8 primary tubes that are ceramic coated in/out or are available black for after-market coating. Additionally, I’d like to upgrade to an after-market exhaust system i.e. Flowmaster or Borla which utilizes mandrel bent tubes and a crossover. Ideally, I’d like the new system to mount in the factory locations. I am kinda trying to get the best of both worlds, new technology for increased performance but maintain a somewhat stock appearance. I would greatly appreciate your comments and advice.
 

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I personally use Flowmaster on everything I drive.There are many aftermarket muffler kits and exhaust systems out there.One thing I must stress.....Headers,You Get What You Pay For.If you go lay down a few hundred dollars for a good header like Hooker you will never regret it.You spend one hundred dollars on headers....You're gonna cuss like a truckdriver every time you have to change spark plugs.
 

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I just installed Dynomax cerama-coat headers (P/N 289-86001 from Jegs) and the Flowmaster American Thunder exhaust system on my car. I have a 69, no P/S, no A/C, and Muncie 4-sp. The headers were a 30 minute install. Almost scary. I did have to unhook the clutch linkage to rotate the z-bracket enough to get the driver's side header flange past it (from the bottom). Passenger side drops in from the top. The American thunder system uses the stock hanger locations and it too is pretty much a bolt on deal.

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I put 1 3/4" Hooker Super Comps and a 2.5" Flowmaster system on my original '69 Z28. The headers fit perfect and the single crossflow muffler Flowmaster system appears stock. The exhaust system required custom hangers in order to mount to the stock locations. The exhaust install was a lengthy process for an experienced fabricator in order to get the fit I was after.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
NeilB,

Your system is very similar to what I was looking at. Can you give me some details about the hanger issues? What did you have to do to resolve them? Did this system include a crossover and tailpipes? Did the tailpipes look factory and exit in the factory locations? Do you remember the specific part number and from where you got it? Were you happy with the sound/performance of this combination? Did you order the Hookers with the ceramic coating or have them coated by another vendor? Would you use this system design again?
 

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If you get your headers from Jet Hot (1-800-432-3379) it will save you a little money. They sell all the top name Headers. I am like the other guys you get what you pay for don't cheep out on your headers. And I love the Flowmaster crossflow all the guys here run it.
 

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I purchased the exhaust system from Summit (PN FLO-17104). The issue with the hangers was that they would not line up with the stock frame and body mounts and would have required new holes or welding to mount. This was not an option for me, so I had custom mounts fabricated to fit the stock locations. The tailpipes are shipped 'long' and required cutting on the ends. The system is a bit louder than I anticipated, but it sounds great. I would use the system again. I purchased the Hookers already coated and they look brand new after 1 year and about 1,000 miles.
 

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I second what 69Ed says. I have the same exaust system on my 68. Headers were an easy install and the American Thunder Flowmaster system fits perfect and sounds awsome. I had the exaust system welded together at a local exaust shop.
 

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I am contemplating the Flowmaster exhaust system on my 69. There are a couple different versions out there, one specifically for the 69 with polished tips, and comes with two standard type mufflers (not the cross flow dual inlet muffler). This would be the one I would buy. My question is resonance and interior noise. I had a Mustang years ago that absolutely howled while on the freeway, it would give you headache. At idle,it sounded great and wasn't too loud, the only drawback was that resonance at about 2200 RPM. Any comments?

Mark

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69 SS, ZZ430 Look-alike, Tremec TKO, Hotchkis Suspension
 

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Mean69,If anything my American Thunder system is a litle louder at idle than it is at cruising speed. But on my 68 the tailpipes exit almost straight down behind the rear tires and are only about 1/2 inch below the body unlike a 69 that goes straight out the back. This maybe the reason it's louder at idle. Hope this helps.
 

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Mine actually weren't as loud as I expected. I am pleased with the sound, and I don't notice any interior resonance. The only difference is when you let off the throttle you can hear a bit of a "howl" (if that's even the right word). My old exhaust system didn't do that at all, when I let off the throttle, it was pretty quiet. At idle, the system does not seem loud at all, at least inside the car its not. The 69 dual back uses two 40 series delta flows, and maybe the resonance is not as bad as compared to the original 40 series flowmasters. Maybe if you had a 45 minute freeway commute it might be a problem. However, I find it difficult to maintain a steady speed. It sounds great!
 

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Jim Hand of Boyles works has done extentsive testing on what mufflers actually work as far as performance goes, since many argue that flowmaster and similar mufflers flow rates are low but they work becuase they pulsate, he used actual track testing, and always had an open headered comparison as a constant.
He was looking for the best flowing quiet muffler, and found Dynomax (Walker) #17288 21" lenght mufflers to be very close to the best flowing mufflers he tried but very close to the quietest also.
He tried 2 types of flowmasters, supertrapp 18, Borla, cylone turbo, thrush, xlerator, and supertrapp 12.

Check it out: http://www.boyleworks.com/ta400/psp/exhaust.html

If best streetable ET is your concern then mufflers are not the only important thing in your exhaust, your header, collector, and piping are also very important.
Ed Bigley has uses Dynomax 1-3/4" headers on his 468" BBC chevelle, and with Header pipe your main concern should be practicality, large headers mean for the most part are harder time getting to the spark plugs! 1-5/8" tube would probably be best for your application.
As far as collectors go the best i've seen in action are Flowmaster 4-2-1 scavenger collectors, they improve torque throughout the band, and HP.
A crossover pipe is also important, Jim Hand has tried H and X both were an improvement over none, but the x-pipe was better for his application, When building exhuast do not forget that a crossover is important.
Tube size is also important, the larger the tube the more "potential" flow, this means the bigger the pipe the more exhaust you can put through it at the same rate. A smaller tube will improve midrange and low end torque over a bigger pipe, and in some cases (if chosen correctly) it wont effect top end.

If ET's and street/strip performance is not your main concern and what the car sounds like is, the just buy what you like as far as sound goes, and ignore the flow numbers.

Ed Bigley is using dynomax 1-3/4" headers, flowmaster scavenger collectors, a 3-1/2" X-pipe, 3" pipe, and Dynomax oval race magnum mufflers. I know 1st hand that this system works, sounds awsome (not excessivly loud, but has a nice sound) and flows plenty, enough for ED to move his 4000lb car 10.48 in the 1/4 with a 1.37 60ft off a foot brake.
Jim Hand uses Hooker 1.75" primaries, 3" collector; Dr. Gas 3" X Crossover into 3" Torque Technologies pipes followed by 3" x 2.5" Flowmaster reducers that enter 2.5" Walker # 17288 21" length Ultra Flow mufflers that are located behind the rear axle; exhaust exits Walker madrel 2.5" tailpipes. Headers modified to fit ports, cleaned up pipes into collectors, and 2" added to all left side primary pipes to more equally match right side length

His best ET that i know of (he might be doing better now, but hasnt updated his site) is [email protected] 115.2mph, with a 1.59 60' time. The car is a 4075lb (with driver) wagon, and he's using ET street tires and only a 3.55 gear! The engine is a 473ci pontiac.

I am not trying to use this as a controversy, this is for you guys to benifit from if you choose to, if not then i wasted my time. Benifit from it my friends

I copied this from one of my posts a few days ago, and no one responded after that.
My suggestion is Black dynomax 1-5/8" headers, remove collector install Flowmaster 4-2-1 scavenger collector, 2-1/2" X-pipe crossover, 2-1/2" pipe, Straightline performance "street" mufflers ($120 pair, less the flowmaster i think). Or dynomax oval race magnum.
Stock locations for mufflers are typically the best spot becuase the exhaust gasses cool off the farther away from the engine they get (downstreem) so a muffler is less of a restriction in the back of the car, then it would be if the exhaust was routed infront of the rear tire.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Everyone,

Thanks for your replies concerning this question. The people on this website are always willing to help out. I have taken in all your advice and information but still haven't quite come to a final conclusion. It's looking like the Dynomax ceramic coated 1 5/8" headers and the Flowmaster crossover exhaust but, I still need to do some more research.

NeilB - could you please e-mail me so I could ask you some more detailed questions about you Flowmaster installation and the bracket modifications.
 
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