Increasing the exhaust’s power needs a precise balance between volume and noise. There are several reasons why exhaust quieting is overdone by manufacturers, whether it’s to meet rigorous standards or for marketing purposes. However, if we want to get the most out of the engine, we’ll need to remove some of its components.
We’ll discuss the benefits and drawbacks of removing the muffler and/or resonator in this article. This option is ideal for those who are seeking for an answer quickly, since it removes the muffler while maintaining the sound of the exhaust system.
How do Mufflers & Resonators Work?
When an engine produces too much noise, the exhaust system has mufflers to quiet it down.
It’s possible to see the internal resonator chambers of mufflers by halving them in half. These are made up of hollow pipes, perforations, and empty space, all of which work together to disperse sound. From idle to redline, mufflers help to minimize the sound of a vehicle’s engine. They also lower the amount of droning, humming, and other annoying noises that are generated by the system.
Mufflers can have resonators installed before or after them. They are primarily designed to change the engine’s sound.
They’re not the same as mufflers and resonators. It is the volume that a muffler is designed to reduce, not the noise. It is more important to alter the sound of a resonator than it is to reduce volume.
If you’ve ever used a washing machine, vacuum cleaner, or angle grinder, you know how annoyingly loud they can be. The engine in your car produces frequencies that are uncomfortable to the human ear.
While the exhaust system does a good job of damping and shaping the sound coming from the engine itself, the resonator’s function is to manage those important frequencies and lessen the droning or humming noise.
Catalytic converter, resonator, muffler, and exhaust tip are all part of the typical exhaust system. Two exhaust systems, each with twice as many resonators and mufflers, are standard on engines with six or more cylinders and bigger displacements.
1. Sound Quality
As far as enhancing the vehicle’s overall sound quality, it’s preferable to remove the Muffler rather than the Resonator.
You’ll hear a louder, more raw sound from the engine because the muffler dampens the sound at all RPMs. Idling at low RPMs or on the highway, removing the resonator will only cause headaches. The worst alternative, which is sure to make the ride unbearable, is to remove both the resonator and the muffler.
2. Power Boost
An abundance of misinformation exists about what adjustments will offer you an increase in power. Taking off the muffler, resonator, or both will not result in an increase in horsepower. Even if you only receive a 1% reduction in noise, it will have a considerably higher impact on your driving ability. In other words, removing the resonator and muffler may result in reduced performance.
Exhaust system modifications, like I discussed in the Straight Pipe Exhaust article, can provide a little increase in horsepower. My diesel Audi has since had some repair done to it and I can confirm that this works.
Resonator and Muffler were not removed, however the turbocharger and catalytic converter were cleaned. At least 20 percent more power could be felt from the turbo once the improvements were made.
I didn’t truly increase the power of my Audi by 20%, but rather, I helped it reclaim that 20%. To put it simply, it’s an exhaust-particle filter that’s supposed to burn the pollutants it traps in the exhaust.
However, city driving or any concern for fuel economy will keep your RPMs too low for the heat to burn the particles, which will amass and even clog the converter as it did in my car. This problem’s symptoms and a solution will be covered in a future post, but for the time being, let’s focus on the muffler and resonator.
3. Weight Reduction
You can’t tell how much weight you’ll save by deleting some of the exhaust system components because the exhaust system is designed to match the sound and power of the engine.
The resonator weighs 25 pounds, whereas the muffler on a 2016 Ford Mustang weighs up to 45 pounds. There isn’t much weight savings when you factor in the steel pipe needed to replace the old muffler or resonator.
An aluminum straight pipe or a high-performance substitute is the only solution to reduce exhaust system weight. If you want to lose as much weight as possible, it’s well worth the investment.
4. Legal Issues
Whether or not it is illegal to remove the resonator or the muffler is a gray area that must be settled on a state-by-state basis. If you look at this map, it looks that muffler removal is banned in all states. According to my research, the resonator appears to be less of a legal issue than other parts of the vehicle.
A resonator deletion may not be unlawful, however removing the muffler is often prohibited. To be certain of your rights and responsibilities, look into local ordinances.
5. Fuel Economy
Unfortunately, removing the muffler or the resonator does nothing to enhance fuel efficiency. If you want to reduce your vehicle’s fuel use, you should look for other ways to do so.
6. Price to Delete
It will cost the same to remove both the muffler and the resonator because they both require a similar amount of work and a replacement pipe of around the same length. Prices range from $50 to $300, with the majority charging around $100.
Muffler Delete vs Resonator Delete – Which is Better
The goal of most exhaust system upgrades is to improve the sound. Fuel economy and horsepower are unaffected by the muffler or resonator, and the vehicle’s weight is only marginally affected. In terms of the amount of time it takes to remove them, they’re all the same.
So, which one is the superior choice?
Remove the resonator, and you’ll get the best results, in my perspective.
Taking out the muffler will result in a more aggressive and louder exhaust sound, as it dampens the sound and makes it quieter. The resonator may have a small effect on volume, but it plays a much more critical role in preventing unpleasant or unacceptable noise from arising from the resonant frequencies.
Before purchasing an angle grinder or welding station, check with your state’s road restrictions. Do your homework before purchasing a vehicle with a muffler delete or straight pipe so you don’t waste your time and money.
How to Delete Muffler or Resonator?
In this section, I’ll focus on removing the muffler, as the process is very identical for removing the resonator. You’ll need a few things to get the task done:
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To accomplish this, you must go through the following steps:
Because the muffler is too heavy to handle while you’re seated, either use a jack stand or get the help of a friend to support it while you work. Make sure you don’t drop it on your head.
Part two entails designing and fabricating the replacement pipe’s route. It’s best to leave the welding of the new pipe to the professionals, as you’ve already saved a large amount of money on labor by doing the task yourself. The following video provides a good overview of the process.