The other day LPR a member of the Strada Crew uncovers an interesting, and informative video on exhaust systems, and the art, science, engineering that goes into any exhaust system on any vehicle.
For whatever reason we collectively pay little to no attention to most exhaust systems on vehicles. They have catalytic converters, oxygen sensors, some even bypass mufflers to increase the noise level.
Agreed the rumble of a V8 still gets everyone's blood flowing a little faster.
If you ever wondered what gear heads knew about exhaust systems way back in the day.
If you had a reasonably aggressive V8 under the hood, the stock (factory) exhaust system was your enemy. It was full of restrictions that would affect the operation of the engine. Some systems had mufflers, resonators, and catalytic converters in the later years.
Your first quest was to alleviate restriction, and depending on your budget you would deploy different strategies.
Back in the day if you could afford headers you were totally cool. On a small block Chevy the individual pipes were small, in a street car the collector would be on the longer side to have more torque.
Low restriction mufflers, were also know as "glass pack" mufflers, reasonably priced, not much muffling, and quite loud.
Ideally bigger than smaller, the least length of pipe past the muffler the better. Obvious that the configuration of the vehicle would dictate the location of the muffler, the various bends, and the lenght of the pipes.
When you were stuck with longer than shorter pipes, a well placed "balance line" also known as an H pipe would improve the scavenging of the exhaust system.
Having an exhaust guy that could make an entire exhaust system to your requirements from scratch was an absolute necessity.
Some Things Never Change:
With all the technology, you still need to get exhaust gases out of the combustion chamber inot the atmosphere in an efficient fashion to maximise the performance of any engine.
An informative video on exhaust systems.