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Need help exhaust disaster

This is a discussion on Need help exhaust disaster within the External Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I just bought a 2002 convertible Z28 35th anniversary and I absolutely love it, however I wanted to start upgrading ...

  1. #1
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    2002 Camara Z28 LE

    Need help exhaust disaster

    I just bought a 2002 convertible Z28 35th anniversary and I absolutely love it, however I wanted to start upgrading it and the very first thing I wanted was to get an exhaustive system, however I don't know the first thing about cars or how to work on them and so I took it to some local exhaust shop and they just cut my muffler off completely and ran straight pipes to tips I picked out. This sounded way to loud and horrible. I paid this shop 350 bucks and the next day regretted it and wanted to try and fix it so I took it to a different exhaust shop who put on a Flowmaster muffler for a 150 bucks and now it just sounds puny and actually feels like it has a lot less power than when I bought it a week ago. Please help me and tell me what I should do and why it would have a decrease in power. I have called all kinds of shops and mechanics and nobody has exhaust systems like the ones yell are talking about they all keep telling me they do there own pipes and custom work. Why is is so hard to just get a good exhaust system installed like I want it. I live in Nashville TN if you anyone has any suggestions for me.

  2. #2
    Member DarrenWS6's Avatar
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    You need a catback designed for the car over a muffler job like a truck. I would stronglynsuggest the GMMG or now known as Madhammer Exhaust catback. I had a Flowmaster 80 series in my car prior. Idle sounded good, WOT was quiet after 4th gear. Pathetic. The GMMG kit has lots of rumble and thunder, it's tame inside, sounds smooth and clear.


    2000 Trans Am WS.6 M6

    SLP lid & bellow w/ K&N, GMMG catback w/ Corsa Clones, UMI SFC, UMI Adj. Panhard, UMI Adj. TQ arm w/ relocation kit, Eibach prokit, Bilstein HDs, Nitto NT555s, skip shift elim, whiteface overlays, 20% tint, matte black decal/overlays

  3. #3
    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    Yeah, you could have almost bought a new exhaust by now. What's your budget?

    Exhausts can run from a few hundred to up over a grand (without installation).
    It's on jackstands.

  4. #4
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    Good lesson to learn actually. Research your upgrades, ask those of us that have been there, and then make an informed decision.

    Sorry you had a bad experience with your car -- but like most things it can be fixed. Exhaust is all about personal preference. Me, I won't install a Flowmaster on anything. I much prefer the sound of Magnaflow... with an electric cutout thrown in for those times when I want the exhaust to really bark.

  5. #5
    Member sjgreen6's Avatar
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    Take some time and read through the many pages discussing different exhaust combinations here Best headers, best catback, soundclips etc. . Personally I run an SLP Loudmouth II cat back with Y-Pipe and I'm very happy with the sound. Of course lots of things that you can do to your car will make a difference in the sound. If you want to or have to keep your original emissions equipment then you may be limited to a cat-back system which are actually pretty easy to install at home with basic tools. If you aren't limited by emissions inspections you may want to think about waiting until you have the money for a good set of headers and exhaust system with or without cats. Lots and lots of choices so do not rush from one bad exhaust job to another.

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    Senior Member raynor139's Avatar
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    I've somewhat been in the same boat as you. I've had magnaflow and tsp stuff and some custom. Havent really been truly happy with any of it. The MagnaFlow had to be customized and the shop made a mess of the I pipe where it and the y pipe joined. Had to have that fixed. MagnaFlow stuff eventually broke so had a custom setup outback made and that sounded awful. Think they used a Flowmaster after I told them not to. The current setup I have is a tsp true dual. Best sounding one so far but not the best clearance. And not a huge fan of the bumper being empty and having no tips. Now I'm thinking I'm going to do kooks true duals with their headers and be done with it. Should not have to worry about it again after that. Rather pay for a good fit and finish and not have to worry about it. But that will be down the road when I finally get sick of the tsp stuff. I've learned do it right the first time don't go cheap.
    Mods - Lid, Skip Shift Eliminator, MGW shifter, UMI SFCs, Founders Lower Control Arms, Founders Panhard Bar, Founders Adj. Torque Arm, UMI Torque arm mount, MWC Drive shaft safety loop, KONI Yellows, Strano Springs, Strano Sway bars, UMI Upper and lower A Arms, 160 thermostat, TSP headers and TSP true duals Monster stage 2 clutch, racetronix fuel pump, Strange S60 rear axle and tune by Frost.

  7. #7
    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    the easy answer is to not rely on anyone but yourself to pick out and put parts on your car. Like these guys have said...research a ton before buying anything. Exhaust is very subjective....what someone thinks is too loud is not loud at all to someone else. If it were up to me I'd run straight headers out through the front fenders. I've always been a big fan of GMMG....I wasn't aware of the name change though. Tons of people like the magnaflow systems too.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mean Green Z28 View Post
    Don't worry about understanding women. Women understand women, and they hate each other

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    ^^ Even that ideal exhaust system might be too subtle for you.

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    Senior Member Whamhammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 0rion View Post
    the easy answer is to not rely on anyone but yourself to pick out and put parts on your car. Like these guys have said...research a ton before buying anything. Exhaust is very subjective....what someone thinks is too loud is not loud at all to someone else. If it were up to me I'd run straight headers out through the front fenders. I've always been a big fan of GMMG....I wasn't aware of the name change though. Tons of people like the magnaflow systems too.
    I always saw you as an exhaust stacks guy, poking the pipes straight through the hood.

    Learn something new everyday
    pajeff02 likes this.

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    Senior Member Whamhammer's Avatar
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    The one thing I have seen with the two F bodies that I did aftermarket exhaust on is that there always seems to be a small fitment issue, and it will take some adjustments to make most of them fit like they should.

    I am very happy with my Kooks headers/catted y and Magnaflow cat-back. I just have to get them a little adjusted from this winters install to fit perfect. Fixing the front end drop that my car sems to have might not hurt either.

    Like everyone has said, do research, talk to people, look and listen to thier cars.
    SLP Air Lid/Smooth Bellows
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    Junior Member kingz2871's Avatar
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    Holley Blackheart mid length headers and exhaust system. Set me back $1600 but it was worth it. My 01 Z28 sounds like a beast now! Solid motor mounts and a UMI cross member to separate the torque arm from the transmission.

  12. #12
    Senior Member raynor139's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingz2871 View Post
    Holley Blackheart mid length headers and exhaust system. Set me back $1600 but it was worth it. My 01 Z28 sounds like a beast now! Solid motor mounts and a UMI cross member to separate the torque arm from the transmission.
    Too bad they won't do full length headers for that setup. Alot of guys are using reducers and modifying the pipes to make them meet up correctly. Probably the best ground clearance out of all the true duals but it's only 2.5". Great for cam and head guys but tsp or kooks setups start to out perform it after about 500 hp.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarrenWS6 View Post
    You need a catback designed for the car over a muffler job like a truck. I would stronglynsuggest the GMMG or now known as Madhammer Exhaust catback. I had a Flowmaster 80 series in my car prior. Idle sounded good, WOT was quiet after 4th gear. Pathetic. The GMMG kit has lots of rumble and thunder, it's tame inside, sounds smooth and clear.


    Hey I saw your video and noticed your gauges are white. Where did you get those gauges?

    Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk

  14. #14
    Member Sas's Avatar
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    I put a thrush muffler on my bird with long tubes. It gives it a nice low/deep tone, without being overly loud or raspy. I think the muffler ran me around $20-40.

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    Probably a "turbo style" muffler that can be had for cheap. They do sound nice though - I think that is how Magnaflow is assembled.

  16. #16
    Member DarrenWS6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GQVega View Post
    Hey I saw your video and noticed your gauges are white. Where did you get those gauges?

    Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
    Previous owner did a gauge overlay set. I'm not sure what brand it is but it's a nice set.

  17. #17
    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    I have white gauge overlay I never used still brand new in the package.

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