Exhaust Systems Tips

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What's so special about performance exhaust tips

Street opera

You've probably heard the old mechanic's saying that “a performance vehicle without exhaust tips is like steak tips without the steak” (Actually, I just made that up, but you get the point.) As most motor heads know, performance exhaust tips do more than look sharp at the end of your shiny exhaust pipes. They add sizzle to the shizzle. The shape and construction of the exhaust tips determine the tune your vehicle will sing on the street, so to speak. There are dozens of exhaust tips available from a Bosal exhaust system and others that can turn your performance vehicle into a pimped out ride.

   
What materials are exhaust tips made from?

And that's what performance exhaust tips are made of…

Before you go slapping on your performance exhaust tips, you might want to think about the kind of finish you want. For example, chrome doesn't handle extreme heat very well, which means they may tend to chip and flake. Stainless steel, on the other hand, comes in a range of finishes from brushed to chrome-like polish, and is more durable. If you want to look like a street-racin' stud, you can get titanium tips that are pre- blued at the factory to make it look like you've done a lot of sexy real life racing, even if you haven't. (What a country!).

   
How do exhaust tips affect the sound from my pipes?

Tip tunes

Back in the day, Louis Armstrong sang “You push the first valve down, and the music goes round and round, oh-oh-oh-oh, and it comes out here.” Of course, Louis didn't know he was teaching us all about how exhaust tips control the sound that comes out of your pipes, but that's what made him such a genius. In any case, mufflers and resonators handle most of the noise reduction. The exhaust tip shapes the remaining pulses into a particular sound at a particular pitch and decibel level as it exits the pipe. The length and shape of the tip makes a big difference in how your system will sound. A short megaphone exhaust tip will sound more like a sousaphone, while a long pencil-shaped exhaust tip will sound more like a trumpet. Some exhaust tips come with an additional small resonator that mellows and deepens the resulting note. At the very end of an exhaust tip a perforated tube wrapped in sound deadening material softens the final exhaust pulses before they hit the street, and the ears of your audience.

   
What kinds of exhaust tips are there?

Tipology 101

There may be as many different types of exhaust tips as there are final tours for superannuated rock groups. Consider this list of classics. Single. Dual. Triple. Quadruple. Square. Round. Oval Tapered to trumpet. Mellow to megaphone. You can even get tips in the shape of the Chevrolet "bow tie". (What will they think of next?) And here's the best part, you can always get what you want. Just call, check the net, or go to your favorite parts place and you can have the beauties of your choice welded or bolted on to your ride in a flash, Jack.

   
How do I choose a performance exhaust tip?

Tipping the scales on style

In the early days of motoring the newfangled horseless carriage was permitted on city streets as long as they did not frighten women, children and horses. You might keep this rule in mind when considering a tip change. Even in the “anything goes” world of exhaust tips, there are guidelines. If you have established a theme, for your vehicle's look, don't abandon it when you choose an exhaust tip. If your style is full-tilt-over-the-top, then go as big and as loud as the laws of nature allow. If you are more of an artiste, you want to show restraint and sophistication. You can achieve a high level of subtle sophistication by echoing the vehicle's general bodyline and predominant shape and mounting flush with the rear valance. You also have to take into consideration the shape of your tips. Square tips that extend beyond the curved valance on a swooping, curvaceous body will put you in clunk city. If you're a purist, then stick with the classics or the reigning look of the time. A period-correct upturned "stinger" exhaust tip that looks tough on a '70s-era Volkswagen Baja Bug, would look downright dumb on a '90s-era Sting Ray.

   
Does how a tip is mounted affect its sound?

Mounting evidence

In addition to shape, size, and material, how an exhaust tip is mounted can also have an effect on the sound your pipes produce. Tips that are welded on or mounted with compression clamps provide a more solid sound than ones that are screwed on. The reason is simple. They are less likely to come loose and add a rattle to your hum. Over time vibration will eventually loosen screw-on type tips, which are mounted on to the pipe with three bolts or screws, just like those ceiling light globes you have to remove when you need to replace a light bulb.

   
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