Simply put, a muffler’s job is to control the volume of a vehicle’s exhaust note and manipulate the sound. However, to maintain efficient performance, one size does not fit all applications. There are three typical muffler designs that each produce different sounds and performance depending on the application. Each should be chosen to suit your vehicle’s needs and your sound requirements appropriately.
What are Chambered Mufflers?
Chambered mufflers are exactly what they sound like: within the main canister of the muffler there are a series of walls and baffles that reflect the flow of exhaust gasses into various chambers. The way they affect performance and sound depends on how the muffler is “tuned”, which otherwise refers to the design and arrangement of the chambers. The idea here is that the energy from the flowing exhaust gasses and the sound waves that accompany them will interact with the obstacles as they bounce around inside the muffler.
Many classic car enthusiasts choose chambered mufflers for classic muscle car applications to achieve a specific exhaust note.
- Tune the muffler to affect sound and performance
- Achieve a variety of sounds, from a low rumble to choppy idle
- Customize the arrangement of the chambers to achieve an ideal sound to performance ratio
- Increase engine performance
What are Glasspack Mufflers?
The glasspack muffler has been around since the early days of hot rodding. As the name implies, fiberglass packing material is wrapped around a perforated central tube that runs the length of the muffler chamber and absorbs the sound energy of exhaust gasses. These glasspacks will let everyone know when you're near! They generally have two volumes, loud and louder, so keep that in mind when you’re looking to buy.
- Less Invasive design
- Adjustable volume
- Distinct tone
- Wide-open straight-through sound
What are Straight-through Mufflers?
Straight-through mufflers combine elements of both the chambered muffler and glasspack into an upgrade that increases performance across the board. These mufflers use either the shape of a chambered canister or a round option, utilizing absorbent packing material like a glasspack, while directing exhaust flow through a perforated central tube.
- Less resistance allowing for faster flow out the muffler
- Increases performance
- Increases noise levels based on RPM, more mellow sound at cruising speed and idle
- Straight-through mufflers allow for mellow sound at idle, but aggressive deep tone at wide-open throttle.
In summation, there is a lot more that goes into picking the right muffler besides tube diameter. How it fits under the vehicle, budget, sound needs and what performance level you are trying to achieve all play a role. Contact MagnaFlow if you need more information on muffler applications for your vehicle.
Check out this video of our own Rich Waitas as he explains all of the different muffler types in this video by /DRIVE: