Marc Christ Associate Editor
December 17, 2010
Photos By: Justin Cesler

There's a general misconception in hot rodding that louder is better-but most of us know that's nonsense. Some "back-pressure" in the exhaust system is good for scavenging and exhaust velocity, which helps make more power. An oversized exhaust system will actually be less effective than a smaller, more accurately sized one, plus while the dumps we had been running for a while were cool, we've grown old of the excess noise produced by our commuter.

We could go on about how louder does not always equal better, but the real reason for this story is simple-your author was sick of driving 60 miles everyday feeling like the exhaust system was riding shotgun. I'd take a passenger anywhere and have to holler just to communicate, and that gets old. Of course, I didn't want to lose the rumbling Mustang sound. The solution: a new exhaust system with tail pipes-but would that require a sacrifice in performance? We'd soon find out.

Editor's Note: If you read "The Strip Performer" last month, you know that we recently installed an Edelbrock Performer RPM II intake manifold on our resident '93 LX coupe. So there's no confusion, this installation and test was performed prior to, and completely independent of, that story.

Since we wanted to maintain a budget-friendly theme, we called Latemodel Restoration Supply for some advice. Our contact there recommended components from Pypes. Pypes offers a full line of performance exhaust for late-model Mustangs-from headers to tailpipes. Not only are all the components made of stainless steel, but are priced to not break the bank.

Parts on hand, we strapped the coupe to our in-house Dynojet chassis dyno for a baseline, which resulted in 265 rwhp and just short of 292 lb-ft of torque. Then, we unbolted the old components, which consisted of 15/8-inch shorty headers, off-road H-pipe, and some older race-style mufflers with dumps.

The Pypes components were easy to install, and cleared our AOD with no problems. On the Dynojet, the new pypes (pun intended) did not disappoint. Power output increased from 4,000 to 5,500 rpm, though peak horsepower stayed the same at 265. Torque output, however, is where the new components shined. Torque was increased from 4,000 to 5,500 rpm as well, and peaked at 297-a 5-lb-ft increase.

How about the noise, you ask? Well, we tested that as well. Thanks to a handy decibel meter we borrowed from our friends at Modified Mustangs & Fords, we recorded noise output of the old and new exhaust from inside the vehicle with the windows up. This test would best represent what we're experiencing in real-world conditions.

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