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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
We already have this thread for sound clips and some discussion.
I wanted to have a dedicated exhaust discussion thread for aftermarket mufflers and catback exhausts.
This topic seems to always pop up here on CF and it would be nice to have one thread to consult for the majority of information.
I'm going to ask the help of the community here so I (we) don't have to do all the work.
Please link in this thread your discussion on aftermarket exhausts if you followed through with one in the past and have an opinion or experience to share here.
I know it may seem redundant to some with the other exhaust thread but my thoughts were about staying current with the new offerings out there as far as aftermarket exhaust setups.

Should you get rid of the dreaded "Y" pipe or not?
If you keep the OEM "Y" pipe what aftermarket muffler works best with that?
Did you replace your "Y" pipe with a Magnaflow or other "Y" pipe?
What full catbacks don't have drone, are there any?
What custom full exhaust set-ups have you had good results with?
Exhaust note and drone factor should be mentioned, the main point of this thread actually, thanks!

Thank you in advance for your help.

To start, I'll post a thread that is current enough and relevant enough and interested me enough to include it in a link here and reason enough to start this new thread.
 

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I was actually thinking of doing a write up about all the possible exhaust stuff we can do, and pro/con's of my own personal experience, and anecdotal stuff I have read about other setups. Might be a good place to list out all available headers/exhaust/muffler options, and go from there..
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I'd like to keep it stock muffler/exhaust replacement ONLY and not include headers, cats and whatnot in this thread.
The average Joe is not changing out all that jazz for the most part.
This is for the guy/gal just looking to get a new muffler, maybe delete the "Y" pipe, or add a full catback or custom exhaust altogether.

All experiences welcomed of course, but lets not deviate from my proposed path too much please.
 

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Can anyone that has replaced the Y-pipe and muffler with a Flowmaster, Magnaflow, etc comment on how it has affected your ability to tow? I'd like something that is a little louder than stock but I worry about the loss of low end torque. I'll be buying a ~2500lb boat in the near future and don't want to struggle with it.
 

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As of yesterday I installed a Dynomax 19444 on my 2012. I have to say I'm pretty happy with it thus far.
It replaces the nasty y-pipe.
Tone adds aggression but not too much with no discernible drone but it is brand new.
Pipe is aluminized but comes warrantied for life.
The price was right at ~$400CAD
Piping and muffler are tucked higher than the OE and less likely to experience damage while off-roading.
 

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Can anyone that has replaced the Y-pipe and muffler with a Flowmaster, Magnaflow, etc comment on how it has affected your ability to tow? I'd like something that is a little louder than stock but I worry about the loss of low end torque. I'll be buying a ~2500lb boat in the near future and don't want to struggle with it.
I towed a 6x12ft Uhaul packed to the brim with furniture, and the truck had no problems over 400miles. Only had Flowmaster Super44, and Ypipe done at the time. You should be pretty safe to not lose low end torque with this...

I have found that you only really lose low end torque once you mess with stuff right off the exhaust manifold (headers, bpipes, cats, etc) Also increasing your pipe diameter will cause a loss of velocity, which in turn causes a loss of scavenging on the cylinders. If you plan on towing, I would keep to 2.25" pipe throughout...
 

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Since Jan 2007 I've had a custom Flowmaster setup with 2.25" dual in/dual out with their 50 series SUV muffler (now called the Super 50 PN 524554). I've never towed anything so I can't say anything about towing performance but right after I had the system welded up I noticed a loss in low end power. Shortly after, I had JET tune my ecu to the mods I had done and gained it all back. I think for my truck the dual in/dual out 2.25" pipes opened it up a bit too much but it sounds great. I think when I redo my exhaust I am going to go with a 2.25" dual in/3" single out muffler or a Y-pipe to a 3" single in/3" single out system to close it up a bit.
 

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I towed a 6x12ft Uhaul packed to the brim with furniture, and the truck had no problems over 400miles. Only had Flowmaster Super44, and Ypipe done at the time. You should be pretty safe to not lose low end torque with this...

I have found that you only really lose low end torque once you mess with stuff right off the exhaust manifold (headers, bpipes, cats, etc) Also increasing your pipe diameter will cause a loss of velocity, which in turn causes a loss of scavenging on the cylinders. If you plan on towing, I would keep to 2.25" pipe throughout...
Good to hear & thanks for the input. Would definitely be sticking with 2.25" pipe if I do decide to make a change.
 

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I have not yet to see a Dual pipe system for the 2 gen trucks. Am i partially blind or is there none?
You wont see many dual exhausts for 2 reasons:

1. You cant have a spare tire if you go dual exhaust; I suppose some setups you could, but it wouldn't be a "true dual" and would involve an X pipe or H pipe of sorts. The underside of the Frontier is not really conducive to making it work properly. Some have done it, but most stay away from it.

2. True Dual usually ends up being super raspy, and obnoxious.. The VQ40 only likes specific setups, and once you start getting into that territory she becomes an unwieldly beast, that sucks money from you to tame her sound.

Bonus Reason: Theres just something right about the frontier with a single, or double tip, side-swept exhaust :)
 

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I'd like to hear how your all's fuel economy has changed...for the better or worse after making various changes to the stock exhaust system?
 

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I'd like to keep it stock muffler/exhaust replacement ONLY and not include headers, cats and whatnot in this thread.
The average Joe is not changing out all that jazz for the most part.
This is for the guy/gal just looking to get a new muffler, maybe delete the "Y" pipe, or add a full catback or custom exhaust altogether.

All experiences welcomed of course, but lets not deviate from my proposed path too much please.
I like this as that is exactly the most I would do to my truck. My only concerns would be possible MPG and or power gains all while avoiding drone or raspyness.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I had a local muffler shop install a Magnaflow 2-in/1-out muffler, eliminating the Y-pipe. Aside from the myriad problems I've had with the crap workmanship of the shop, the exhaust sounds like a Honda with a fart-pipe. Absolutely terrible.

So I bought an AFE "high-tuck" cat-back to replace it. I'd love to report on that exhaust but AFE is dragging arse and hasn't shipped it and keeps giving the vendor the run-around.

At this point, I've spent over $800 on exhaust for this truck and I wish I had just kept it stock. FML
I hear ya and sympathize.
I've got some bucks tied up in my multiple exhaust "improvements" as well and sometimes think staying stock would have been better.

Although at this point it's not even about the money so much any more it's just to have a tame exhaust that sounds better than stock and doesn't give me a f-ing headache.

Looking at dual in single out replacement mufflers right now to swap in on my AFE set-up (just looking right now).
Still wondering if a resonator after the muffler would be the answer or not.
So many questions so few answers.

I'm almost ready to go to a local muffler guy that is pretty much a legend in this area and have him look it over and give me recommendations to cure the dreaded 2200-2500k drone problem I have.

With my work schedule now and in the near future that's not happening for a while.
 

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I'm also wondering is anyone has any idea what the inside of the OEM muffler looks like. I know "performance parts" are fun, but.... depending on what part is being replaced, the improvement may or may not be what you are expecting. I've seen many "performance" mufflers that were a restrictive mess that your only gain was more noise.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Well, let me tell the story of my exhaust journey thus far.

Put a Flowmaster 50 series SUV on first, dual in dual out, 2.25" in and 2.25" out.
Sounded better than stock but had drone at just above 2000k, but not as nearly as bad as this AFE full catback I have now.
Lost low end power, that is for sure.
Power gains up top, like highway passing ect. though.
Also had a Volant CAI and Superchips Cortex at that point (both great products in my opinion).

I capped one of the outs off as an experiment to see if the drone left and if any low end power came back, yes and yes were the results.
Drone died down to a decent level and low end was back again.
It also corrected the "burple burple" sound when getting out of the throttle (remember, 6 speed here).
I think it was just too open or "free" as a poster above mentioned.

Then the muffler rusted and basically fell apart after roughly 7 years.
With a big old hole in it my truck started sounding like a straight pipe exhaust.
Time to replace.

Now with the Superchips Cortex sold (thank you gas crunch, had the 91 performance tune burning through my wallet) and the Volant gone (removed to access headlights for LED installation and hopefully soon an HID upgrade) I start my research/searching for my next exhaust incarnation.
Bought an AFE full catback exhaust off a fellow member here for a good price (thank you chamberlin03).
It's a 2.25" dual in and 3" single out to a nice polished tailpipe.
All stainless steel, YES, (screw you PA winters with salt on the road)!
Put that on and and enjoyed until the moment I had the truck in the 2200-2500k range and WOW the drone is more than drone, it's a resonance that hums so loud it fills the whole cabin badly, not what I was looking for at all.
It also has the "burble burble" sound when I let off the accelerator.
I could easily live with that if the drone was reasonable or non-existent.
I'm thinking this muffler doesn't have enough back pressure, it's a tiny little can, quite a bit smaller than the Flolwmaster was.
That's why I keep gravitating towards looking at bigger mufflers.

So now I'm where I am and looking for a solution.
What ever get's changed out or added to this set-up is going to be stainless steel, I know that much since our winters can wreak havoc on every metal part on a vehicle here.

Sorry for the dissertation but that's my story so far.
I'd like my story to have a happy ending like a normal children's book. :lol:

I'll keep you guys updated when I find a solution.
 

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That's why I keep gravitating towards looking at bigger mufflers.



I'll keep you guys updated when I find a solution.
What kind of muffler is on the AFE system? chambered similar to the flowmaster? I really don't like those style for design and flow reasons.

I always feel the chambered style mufflers are going to add drone no matter what they say. I think a person needs a large bodied muffler with a sound absorbing material to really handle any kind of drone. The repeated mentions of adding a resonator to a system to cure drone seems to back this up.

I'm also not buying the "too free flowing" of a muffler as causing power loss. I think it's moving up to a larger pipe that isn't actually needed or using a muffler that is actually restrictive.

Has anyone used a large bodied straight through muffler with a fiberglass packing with good results?
 

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What kind of muffler is on the AFE system? chambered similar to the flowmaster? I really don't like those style for design and flow reasons.

I always feel the chambered style mufflers are going to add drone no matter what they say. I think a person needs a large bodied muffler with a sound absorbing material to really handle any kind of drone. The repeated mentions of adding a resonator to a system to cure drone seems to back this up.

I'm also not buying the "too free flowing" of a muffler as causing power loss. I think it's moving up to a larger pipe that isn't actually needed or using a muffler that is actually restrictive.

Has anyone used a large bodied straight through muffler with a fiberglass packing with good results?
aFe uses a straight through muffler, it has some perforation inside, with presumably some sound deadening material...

Exhaust systems cant be "too free flowing", much like the common internet forum myth that you "need back pressure" - Its sort of a misnomer.

Exhaust loses torque/power when you change the "scavenging" effect that the exhaust has on the engine; changes in pipe size will cause this. Going to a smaller pipe size decreases the volume of space for the hot exhaust gasses to occupy, which in turn causes the exhaust gasses to increase in velocity (flows faster) and the velocity of the gasses causes a vacuum effect (scavenging) that sucks the combusted gasses out of the cylinders when the exhaust valve opens, thus allowing more fuel and fresh air to enter the cylinder. If you have a larger diameter pipe, you are slowing down the velocity of the air, and allowing it to cool; cooler air causes problems with the scavenging effect because cool air doesnt have the same velocity down the pipe, as hot air does. Exhaust systems are meant to be a balance of efficiently clearing the cylinders of combustion gasses (exhaust) and allow for the cylinder to get as much fresh air, and fuel into it as possible.

To better explain the "velocity" part: Think of a garden hose; what makes the garden hose become a high pressure stream, instead of just water flowing out of a hose? You constrict the flow with the use of a nozzle, thus increasing pressure. The same concept applies to car exhaust, and that does not mean go with the smallest pipe possible; you still need to have a "free flowing exhaust", which means you want to go to the smallest diameter pipe, while not causing an increase in back pressure.

2.25" seems to be the "sweet spot" for a VQ40 with Headers, High Flow Secondary Cats, Full Catback exhaust... 2.25", or 2.375" (2 1/4" or 2 3/8") appears to be what the stock exhaust is comprised of, which is why many complain of low-end torque losses when going to aftermarket parts, which are mostly 2.5"; at the same time, the stock exhaust is very restrictive (causes backpressure) which in turn also causes a degree of torque/HP loss. Thats why when adding some of these exhaust parts, you can notice a torque/HP increase, and all is well, because you are maintaining the same pipe diameter, and removing the restrictions which cause back pressure, and freeing up the exhaust to have more velocity.

Theres definitely more "physics", and engineering involved, but thats the high level tl;dr version.
 
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