I'm thinking about a Speedster replica but I'm not interested in a loud "glass pack" muffler. I would like the VW big bore to sound like an original car.  Any suggestions? Thank you.

Original Post

Sure.  Just install an original VW muffler.  There are several available, some with twin exhaust pipes, some "turbo" or "Monza" versions with a pair of dual exhaust pipes on each side, others with a single, center mount exhaust pipe.

Like item 113251053AKW at Bugcity.com

Agreed...A1 Sidewinder or something similar is the way to go.  I’ve been told that what I affectionately call a “hotdog muffler” is rather self-defeating in that the exhaust gasses push against each other when they enter on opposing sides of the muffler before they exit the tailpipe(s).

Some sort of a 4 into 1 system like the A1 eliminates the opposing pressure and allows the engine to breathe well.  The sound is a little deeper but really nice.

Last edited by TheMayoMachine

Someone posted a chart on engine capacity/output/exhaust bore. Was that here or thesamba?  It's important to match your exhaust to engine. From what I understand, too restrictive and not restrictive enough both impact your power negatively. 

Agreed...A1 Sidewinder or something similar is the way to go.  I’ve been told that what I affectionately call a “hotdog muffler” is rather self-defeating in that the exhaust gasses push against each other when they enter on opposing sides of the muffler before they exit the tailpipe(s).

Some sort of a 4 into 1 system like the A1 eliminates the opposing pressure and allows the engine to breathe well.  The sound is a little deeper but really nice.

It's a little more complicated than that. A well designed exhaust uses the pulses of one cylinder to draw the spent gases out of another cylinder. Similar to an expansion chamber on a two stroke. But note "well designed exhaust" in italics. I'd take a WAG that 80% of exhausts on the market are just random pipes welded together to fit the space with little or no research into whether they work properly or not. 

When I was a teen we had VW’s, the first thing we did was remove the stock exhaust and put headers and a single glass pack on. In SoCal we called the muffler a “donkey dick” for obvious reasons. That was great when I was a 16 years old. I’m now 70 and would like a Speedster, a replica for monitory and practical reasons.  The two cars I’ve driven so far sound like those 60’s VW’s with glass packs. I want birds chirping and valve train noise not brash exhaust noise that to me screams “kit car”. I just wondered if that is possible. Cheers to everyone out there.

@dlearl476 : I couldn’t agree with you more.  Having an exhaust designed for a particular application is crucial.  Too many times I’ve removed and replaced something from either the intake or exhaust side of a motor and not done anything about the side left behind.  With the motor I built I knew the “hotdog” I was running with my stock 1600 wasn’t going to come close to getting the job done.

Either way, the entire system (from air cleaner to exhaust tip) needs to work together.

@R Thorpe : I was running a moderately built 2180 with the EMPI Sidewinder style exhaust.  Yes, it was a knock-off and EMPI products can be questionable at times but for about 1/4 the cost of an actual A1 it was well worth the money.  That motor sounded like a well maintained sewing machine as it hummed along at speed and had some good bass tones to it under power.  It didn’t sound stock but it didn’t sound like a drag-car either.  I imagine one could get it quieter by replacing the muffler.  If memory serves the muffler that came with the EMPI system was nothing more than a multi-chamber box similar to a Flowmaster.

Last edited by TheMayoMachine
@dlearl476 posted:

It's a little more complicated than that. A well designed exhaust uses the pulses of one cylinder to draw the spent gases out of another cylinder. Similar to an expansion chamber on a two stroke. But note "well designed exhaust" in italics. I'd take a WAG that 80% of exhausts on the market are just random pipes welded together to fit the space with little or no research into whether they work properly or not. 

^ That. All day long, THAT.

Get a copy of A. Graham Bell's "4-Stroke Performance Tuning". The section on exhaust is worth the price of the book.

It's easy to design a perfect exhaust in a car with the engine in a "traditional" location. Exhaust in a rear-engine car is always going to involve some trade-off. I went down a very extensive OCD rabbit-hole a few years ago, when John Connolly told me, "Stan, there are 3 things that people are looking for with an exhaust: 1)  How well does it fit? 2) How well does it perform? 3)  How does it sound? Just getting something to fit back there is a struggle, getting it to fit and perform acceptably is another thing altogether. Getting it to fit, perform well, and sound good is the holy grail."

Nothing will tick every box, and that's just the nature of the beast. An A1 is the happiest compromise, but it's not perfect.

Last edited by Stan Galat

 

@R Thorpe posted:
 

I'm thinking about a Speedster replica but I'm not interested in a loud "glass pack" muffler. I would like the VW big bore to sound like an original car.  Any suggestions? Thank you.

 

Dang, why am I always drafted to write the dissenting opinion?

By most accounts, the A1 is the best bang for the buck for our cars. It's designed to have - as much as is practical - equal length headers for each cylinder to help the 'extraction' process. The headers are then merged in a way that takes advantage of the cylinder firing order.

Everyone says they add maybe 10% more power compared to stock.

The main downsides are that they're made from lots of plumbing (making them hang a little low) and they're, well, maybe a little loud. You won't think they're too loud of course, but your passenger might. They sound pretty quiet on the cruise, but every time you put your boot down, they sort of go blat-blat-blat. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

But what was the poster's question, again? Something about sounding like an original car.

A company called Vintage Speed (not Vintage Speedsters or Vintage Motorcars) makes a line of high-quality stainless exhausts for VW motors that look and sound original. They won't drag on driveway ramps or raise a ruckus when you put your foot down. But they also won't add 10% more power - even though they are designed for good flow.

I think what it comes down to is that, in choosing an exhaust system, as in so many other life decisions, you must first decide who you are. What defines you as an individual?  Are you a responsible citizen who is also sensitive to preserving noble traditions? Or a self-absorbed hooligan for whom decadent indulgence is all that matters in life?

Here are sound clips of the two exhausts:

 

 

 

 

@Sacto Mitch posted:

 Are you a responsible citizen who is also sensitive to preserving noble traditions? Or a self-absorbed hooligan for whom decadent indulgence is all that matters in life?

What does this say about a guy who has an A1 with a muffler cut-out valve? Asking for a friend....

@Stan Galat posted:

What does this say about a guy who has an A1 with a muffler cut-out valve? Asking for a friend....

@Stan Galat posted:

Not so much. Illinois has no inspections. My friend has had the valve for 10-ish years, and always runs though the mufflers in town. Tunnels, not so much.

Sounds like a real trouble maker to me... 

I know this person!

He runs around the back roads of central Illinois and elsewhere scaring farm animals and old farmers with his dastardly behavior and then meanders through small towns with the valve off waving to onlookers as though he is totally innocent. 

Someday this miscreant will be exposed for the noise polluter he really is.

I am no longer subject to his shenanigans, having moved to hurricane land, so I will stay out of the controversy.

Shame, shame, shame........

Yeah, like that guy in “ Footloose”.  

Only our guy can’t dance.........

Or maybe he can, but not as enthusiastically. 

My friend dances like a middle aged white guy, and prefers to not make a fool of himself.

Alas, he drives a plastic clown car, so it may be too late.

Last edited by Stan Galat

Check out Vintage Speed.   https://store.vintagespeed.com.tw/

They build high quality exhausts that sound great.  MT, the owner, is very helpful and knowledgeable.  They put a lot of R&D into their products.

Vintage Speed sells thru numerous dealers, however I have always ordered their products direct from Taiwan.  I have been very pleased with everything I have purchased from them.

As always, there are pros and cons to each exhaust being discussed here. The VS is packaged well, gives the best ground clearance, has great tone (so I'm told) and while it  produces more power than a stock muffler, not being a "true" 4-1 header it does leave hp on the table.

  A conventional (collector straight back) merged header and muffler(s) will make the best power throughout the rpm range with it's primary tubes feeding into the long collector in the correct order to take advantage of the "extractor" effect.  The downside- it hangs down the lowest and sticks out past the bodywork of the car, making it easy to trip/burn yourself on if you're not always looking down.  Different mufflers will give it different sounds, of course.

The sidewinder is a noticeably more compact package than a straight back merged header and makes almost the same power (as the conventional header), but doesn't have quite the ground clearance of the VS.  It's longer than optimal primary tubes (necessary to turn the merged collector sideways) is the reason why it doesn't quite match the straight merged design's power output.  There are different mufflers available as well.

Each of these design's comes in more than 1 tubing size for appropriate sizing to engine displacement so decide what features are most important to you. And Stan, as for that Midwest hooligan roaring around your parts...

Last edited by ALB
@James posted:

Check out Vintage Speed.   https://store.vintagespeed.com.tw/

They build high quality exhausts that sound great.  MT, the owner, is very helpful and knowledgeable.  They put a lot of R&D into their products.

Vintage Speed sells thru numerous dealers, however I have always ordered their products direct from Taiwan.  I have been very pleased with everything I have purchased from them.

Aircooled.net are dealers in the US and are great; in fact they offered me a huge discount just by giving them a Like on their Facebook page.

In case not already posted, if lowering ride height is in your ride's future, it may be wise to keep in mind, many exhaust systems make driveways & speed bumps a real bummer for lowered cars. 

Clown car rules: Go nuts, keep the shiny side up & stay between the ditches.

Thanks a lot, sir! Vintage Speed is in Taiwan but their products are very high quality. For the longest time I had been looking for a nice exhaust for my car; the closest I had gotten to what I wanted was the modified Tri-Mil units that Vintage Speedsters used to sell; those were decent but were definitely louder and throatier than these Vintage Speed units which are quieter and less restrictive.

This is the Vintage Speed setup in my coupe.  This has equal length runners connected to a transverse muffler with a center exit oval megaphone.  I'm pretty sure it's robot welded, I think quality is in line with price.

The car came with a set up with the muffler tucked up on the passenger side of the motor.  Unfortunately, muffler had to be dropped for access to cylinder 1 & 2.  Although I think it sounded better than the Vintage Speed unit, the lack of access and being made of regular steel I opted for the Vintage Speed stainless setup.

06-26-2020 Coupe rear with edits

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