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My Viper Exhaust Experiments Coming Full Circle

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My Viper Exhaust Experiments Coming Full Circle
Old March 22nd, 2020, 12:58 AM   #1
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My Viper Exhaust Experiments Coming Full Circle

*This post is purely for entertainment purposes and is not to be considered advice or endorsement of any action. Any discussions are for off-road or track use only.


Back when my 06 Viper was stock, going on over a decade now, I had set out to try some exhaust experiments as my first real performance upgrades. Most guys at the time were either running stock, stock without the crossover tubes, or Corsas. Admittedly, the Corsas sound good and adds a nice little burble to the exhaust note. However, I wanted something even more aggressive and frankly something more unique sounding. And wouldn’t you know it, I actually documented some of the process on video. I uploaded these to YouTube a long time ago, but never posted it on any forum or discussed it much. I just threw 'em up and then forgot about them. For the most part, I think the videos speak for themselves and I feel that the info they present is still relevant today. So hopefully this helps some folks with ideas. (the device you see in the videos is a db meter just reading how loud she is)





There are some key epilogue notes I would like to point out as there have been some changes since those videos were made.

I started with the Mopar/Borla Street Mufflers in 2.5”, but the sound was too mellow for what I wanted. I then just jumped the line and added headers into the mix. Most everybody used Belanger’s when it came time for headers and they are a good solid choice. But again for me, daring to be different, I decided to go with American Racing Headers. And with that I also found a company called Classic Chambered Exhaust which gave me that real aggressive note I was after. Their Powerstick Mufflers were the first ones I tried and I liked the sound, but at steady speed on the freeway there was definitely some drone. I swapped these out for their Cobrapack Mufflers and these sounded even better to me and there was a lot less drone though still some could be heard. I lived like that for a little while and life was good. I was young and single with not a care in the world….sigh.

After I did heads and cam the Viper was sounding so mean and unique. Dan Cragin of DC Performance (who did most of the work on the car) had told me on a few occasions that my Viper sounded so distinct from any other Viper he had heard. And yet as the years went on the desire grew for a quieter interior. Girls in their 20s are totally fine with a louder exhaust note in the interior…women in their 30s…not so much. Though I can’t lay all the blame at the well-manicured feet of the fairer sex. I too was also getting older and still wanted a mean sound, but only on the outside. So I actually went back to the stock mufflers! And yup it was quieter inside and still mean sounding outside. At this point I think the mean sound was baked in more because of the cam and the headers than anything else.

So then I got married…and with that the crossover tubes were reinstalled! Things were even quieter inside (even though the wife still thinks its loud, I told her that’s as far as it goes). One other nice thing about putting back the crossover tubes is that the snap, crackle, pop in the exhaust note came back so it wasn’t a total loss. I still think it sounds good and mean outside. It’s just strange looking back that after all that effort and experimenting I end up right back at stock for my muffler setup. I still did manage to pull over 600 rearwheel HP thru a stock muffler and crossover tube setup so there’s that.
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Last edited by Super_Villain; March 22nd, 2020 at 01:37 AM.
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Old March 22nd, 2020, 06:37 AM   #2
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Old March 24th, 2020, 02:47 PM   #3
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Would have been easier to just keep dating 20 year olds
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Old March 24th, 2020, 03:06 PM   #4
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Would have been easier to just keep dating 20 year olds
No Doubt! But is it cheaper to date 20 year olds or 30 year olds?
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Old March 24th, 2020, 08:00 PM   #5
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Cheaper is such a relative term...
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Old March 25th, 2020, 03:48 AM   #6
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Cheaper is such a relative term...
Yep....one sucks your money...the other sucks your soul.
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Old March 25th, 2020, 01:48 PM   #7
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Here is my version,.....American Racing ACRX headers, single "high flow cat" and stock mufflers.

Overall the best for day to day driving without getting too much attention and nearly no interior drone:


Then I went to the dark side with no cats and changed to the same muffler used on the ACRX race cars (think it was made by Borla). Absolutely ear splitting, kind of droned on the highway and would set off car alarms as you drove by. I think I have on track video of Buttonwillow somewhere with that combo.
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Old March 25th, 2020, 08:41 PM   #8
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Thanks for including the YouTube video! That should really help guys get a sense of the drive by exhaust notes. So it seems to confirm that headers thru stock mufflers still sound good since by that point the headers play a larger role in the sound output than the mufflers do.

Whats the main difference between the regular American Racing Headers vs the American Racing ACRX Headers?

How was the exhaust smell and fumes with running no cats?
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Old March 25th, 2020, 09:39 PM   #9
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If you want to get a little more out of the stock exhaust, cut open the crossover bridge pipe. I did this a few years ago, cut an H pattern into the bridge and peeled it open. Both pipes are only really connected by 2 small maybe 3/4" holes. Make those holes bigger, cut the excess material away then seal the bridge back up. You'll hear all 10 cylinders from either side of the car now. I added header wrap to the crossover pipes, it keeps the interior much cooler. I'll try to get a video sound clip next time I'm home.
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Old March 25th, 2020, 11:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latamud View Post
If you want to get a little more out of the stock exhaust, cut open the crossover bridge pipe. I did this a few years ago, cut an H pattern into the bridge and peeled it open. Both pipes are only really connected by 2 small maybe 3/4" holes. Make those holes bigger, cut the excess material away then seal the bridge back up. You'll hear all 10 cylinders from either side of the car now. I added header wrap to the crossover pipes, it keeps the interior much cooler. I'll try to get a video sound clip next time I'm home.
Hmmm...interesting... I had always wondered how good the "H-Pipe" connection was in the crossover tubes. Here is a pic of the section I believe you are talking about:



I had thought about cutting that section out and welding in a proper X pipe. However your idea intrigues me because it is much easier and would not even require removing the crossover tubes.

The timing of your post is great because just yesterday my heatshield material arrived (https://www.summitracing.com/parts/hsp-170105) and I was about to wrap my crossover tubes. I may have to look into this first though.

So what you are saying is that the section in the middle of the "H Pipe" that connects the left and right sides is not one large opening, but really just two small, anemic holes?

After you opened up the crossover area did it make the car louder or just changed the exhaust note/tone? Would love hear what your setup sounds like if you get a chance to throw up a video. Are you running headers? Thank you for your post!

Last edited by Super_Villain; March 26th, 2020 at 01:45 AM.
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Old March 26th, 2020, 07:29 PM   #11
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Something just occurred to me re: the crossover tubes...a major point I had overlooked.

H pipes and X pipes make sense when you have 2 pipes running parallel AND the exhaust gases are BOTH flowing in the same direction. BUT on the Viper's crossover tubes the exhaust gases are flowing in OPPOSITE direction to one another. One flows to the left side and the other flows to the right side. I am thinking this could be a problem if we open up the flow between the two pipes too much. Thoughts?
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Old March 28th, 2020, 12:13 AM   #12
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I took my inspection snake cam and looked inside the crossover tubes. I wanted to see the H Pipe connection point between the pipes. Here is what I saw:





So basically, the H pipe connection in the crossover tubes is totally open and unobstructed. My Viper is a 2006 Coupe. Not sure about latamud's experience, but on mine its open and unobstructed. So suffice to say I am leaving my setup as is except for the addition of the Heatshield on the crossover tubes.
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Old March 30th, 2020, 12:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super_Villain View Post
I took my inspection snake cam and looked inside the crossover tubes. I wanted to see the H Pipe connection point between the pipes. Here is what I saw:

So basically, the H pipe connection in the crossover tubes is totally open and unobstructed. My Viper is a 2006 Coupe. Not sure about latamud's experience, but on mine its open and unobstructed. So suffice to say I am leaving my setup as is except for the addition of the Heatshield on the crossover tubes.
Good catch. Mine was off a 2003. I'm not the only one that has experienced the minimal crossover on a Gen3 exhaust. I imagine somewhere in the mix the H pipe opening was widened at the factory. OR, mine was built on a Monday.

Last edited by latamud; March 30th, 2020 at 12:50 AM.
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Old March 30th, 2020, 09:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super_Villain View Post
Something just occurred to me re: the crossover tubes...a major point I had overlooked.

H pipes and X pipes make sense when you have 2 pipes running parallel AND the exhaust gases are BOTH flowing in the same direction. BUT on the Viper's crossover tubes the exhaust gases are flowing in OPPOSITE direction to one another. One flows to the left side and the other flows to the right side. I am thinking this could be a problem if we open up the flow between the two pipes too much. Thoughts?
I reached out to Richard Waitas @ Magnaflow and posed the above question to him.

Rich is a Senior Manager and Spokesperson at Magnaflow and he knows more about exhaust systems than most of us ever will. Here is a Youtube video for some context on Rich.

Rich was kind enough to personally respond to my question regarding the design of crossover tubes wherein the "H Pipe" connects 2 pipes with the gases in the pipes flowing in opposite directions (like on the Gen 3 Vipers). Here is his response:

"This might help the general understanding of why it’s NOT necessarily a “bad” or “incorrect” design. It is actually not an uncommon design feature, predominantly used in sports cars with rear and mid-engine vehicles where exhaust packaging problems are more prevalent. GM’s new C8, Porsche, Ferrari, and Lamborghini to name a few have incorporated designs similar.

I think one of the more common misconceptions of exhaust flow is the idea that it is laminar, meaning that its pushing constant flow from the inlets and throughout the exhaust system. Regardless of the number of cylinders, most automotive engine application rarely have the majority of cylinders firing on the same bank of multi-bank engine configurations (such as V, W or H) at the same time. This timing is why the pulses travel exhaust pathways along the manifolds again in most cases with varying tube lengths making for the chances that each pulse arrive at the cross-over rare or non-existent. Also as each pulse enters the crossover it is not only limited by the perceived vector path in crossing over but understand the gasses will expand in all directions however not equally. The main idea is to remember that the pulses do not continue along the vector as they entered the crossover and continue uninterrupted 100% . Remember that every change in diameter, union of two pathways or expansion chambers (mufflers, resonators, etc) have a tuning effect to change pressures to favor either sound suppression or make use of scavenging principles to create more power (scavenging is a whole other discussion but none the less relevant here.)

Also some degree of noise cancellation is created with balance tubes / crossovers that is either necessary as the vehicle is required to meet road legal sound levels or desirable in creating the tone of the exhaust system. This like scavenging has other implications of road cars in evaluating NVH (Noise, Vibration, Harmonics) especially from an OE manufacturer."
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Old March 30th, 2020, 10:36 PM   #15
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I wrapped my crossover tube in heatshield armor this past weekend. The interior does feel cooler.

Items used:
Heatshield Products Armor Exhaust Shields 170105 - https://www.summitracing.com/parts/hsp-170105

5/16" SS Self-locking strap 24" - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...c=1&pldnSite=1

I cut the heat shield roll into 3 sections. 30" for the middle and about 15" x2 for the left and right side.





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Old April 1st, 2020, 10:36 AM   #16
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So the crossover eliminated the drone? I personally modified my 2006 Roadster several years ago removing the crossover, and installing aftermarket mufflers...magnaflo I believe...the drone has always been too much...but I just have not gotten back to working on it to make it better.... Maybe the crossover is the key... but i am getting old too and the drone is not to my liking, nor my wife's......
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Old April 1st, 2020, 04:50 PM   #17
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I had no drone when I switched back to the stock mufflers/resonators. Though it was still loud (based on the wife-o-meter). Once I put the crossovers back in the tone did quiet down a good amount in the interior. Still sounds good on the outside.

Corsa mufflers have also been reported to not have any drone, but I never personally tried them so cannot corroborate.

So cost effective options seem to be:

-Switch back to stock mufflers and crossovers for no drone and quieter interior

-Switch back to stock mufflers for no drone, but still louder. You'll have to re-use the turnouts/tips from your current setup (assuming they are 2.5").

-Add stock crossovers to your current aftermarket mufflers...this one may require the help of an exhaust shop. I do not know what kind of custom tweaks are needed to make this work. Also unknown is if just the crossovers are enough to eliminate the drone in the aftermarket mufflers. I am sure it would help, but do not know to what degree. Are your aftermarket mufflers are 2.5"? I would only go this route if you really love your current mufflers and just want to quiet them down a bit and reduce the drone.

For me, the first option was the best.

Last edited by Super_Villain; April 1st, 2020 at 07:50 PM.
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