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Should I keep the PCR exhaust as is or add a resonator?

  • Weld in the Magnaflow resonator.

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  • Clamps will work just fine.

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Discussion Starter #1
Just getting back from installing my RB header, FM cat, and PCR Clubman exhaust. It took a little bit longer that I expected and I didn't get an early start like I'd hoped (helping a friend with another project took way longer than expected). I had to make a little bracket that secures the end of the muffler to the same mounting studs the tow hook is affixed to. Everything seemed good so after wiping the header down with rubbing alcohol in an attempt to remove any unwanted fingerprints I fired 'er up. Nice bark on start up, but I rev it a few times and I instantly notice an exhaust leak at the manifold to head junction going tick, tick, tick, tick. I guess the oem gasket is no longer capable of doing its thing after 110k miles keeping the original cast iron header sealed against the motor. Guess I'll order one from Mazda Comp to replace it next weekend along with new rubber breather hoses that are all dry and hard.

I rev it a few more times and I also notice it's VERY, VERY LOUD. I mean race car straight pipe loud. And it's got that buzzing chainsaw rip to it that everyone hates on Hondas about. Take it for a spin and notice it drones pretty much anytime you're not accelerating. I don't think I can handle this exhaust, and most certainly not on a 8+ hour highway trip to The Gap. It is a weekend car but it's just way too loud and not the right type of sound for me. My ears are still ringing after the 20 minute trip home from the shop. I normally never used to play my stereo above 18 on the volume knob - know I can almost hear the music at 20. I do love the look and the fact that I now have easier access to the rear jack point (I'll only have to deal with the rear subframe brace being in the way).

Question is, should I try to install a resonator to quiet things down? Is there any chance this will also change the tone from chainsaw ripping through sheet metal to a more bassy, burbbly note? Any recommendations? One concern I have is the fact that the RB outlet is different diameter (?) than the FM cat (2.5" inlet/outlet) which is different than the exhaust (50mm = ~1.97"). I wonder how bad it is for sound when the exhaust gasses have that step change in diameter at the cat.

Hey Peter, any chance you wanna trade or work something out - my PCR for your Zoom exhaust?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
To top it off I noticed a screw in my right rear tire. I didn't want to risk leaving it in but I didn't have a plug kit handy. So I pull it out - it was a long sucker! Damn construction workers. I probably could repair it but the tires are getting close (2/32nd) away from the wear bars and I have flat spotted them a few times. Inspection is coming up so I might as well just go ahead and get new ones. I fitted the Panasports which have 5 year old Dunlops on them just so I could get home. I don't trust these tires at all. Now trying to decide whether to get replacement tires for the 14s or 15s.
 

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I don't know if you have stainless steel exhaust fabricators (beyond Midas) over there, but if you like the look, I would go along and get them to make a tuned copy of the system, and sell the system on. Most exhaust builders have a wide selection of tips so you can get the look, and any worth his salt, will be able to "tune" it to exactly how you want it to sound. I would seek out those places specialising in high end cars, not the truck places that do Lakesides for Bubba. Chopping up exhausts and rewelding (especially if its stainless steel) usually never works, and within a year or two, you're left with a pile of expensive scrap.
 

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sucks about the screw but new tires are always fun. At least they werent brand new tires. Or the screw wasnt in the sidewall. I had that happen on a brand new tire once. Question is your panasports are 14"s then what do you have for 15"s?

I suggest trying a resonator, no suggestion as to which one but maybe search m.net?



ALSO, how can you tease us that all this stuff is installed and not show any pics?! 8)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I knew that I would regret chopping the old exhaust so that I could get it out easier. I was too lazy to unbolt the rear FM Cannon subframe brace as I'd just gotten an alignment and didn't want to discturb anything.

It's really hard to find anyone willing to weld stainless steel in my area, let alone stainless exhaust system. I've called around and gotten no help so far. My buddy's race fab shop 1.5 hours away might be able to do it but they need at least a few weeks lead time as they are busy so that doesn't help me for MATG next week. The exhaust came with a broken hanger so I bent one up and he welded it for me (he's an expert) but I feel bad asking him for another favor as he's busy with his own race efforts.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Bryan, now I can understand how you went through so many different exhaust systems. I'm starting to feel like you must have.
 

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Believe it or not the FM cat is very loud. When I had the FM cat and the Enthuza turbo exh on my no-longer-turbo car, it was undriveable. I switched back to the stock cat. and drove it for over 1 year with no problem.

The 2.5" FM cat is meant for 2.5" catback exhausts in any event.

resonator definitely helps too. When I had a Supertrapp exh on my first Miata- I had to wear ear plugs!!! After I had a resonator welded in there, it became much more driveable.
 

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Kyle - man, oh man....it sounds nice, but then again.... :roll: ... that is Plitclew for you.

Go with the Magnaflow res....I have a shop here in GA who does SS welding and did one for me loooooong ago for $80 in labor.

Once you get that resonator in, she'll smooth out a bit and give you a bit more backpressure.

Cannot wait to hear it at the Gap.
 

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Did you make sure the heater hose bracket wasn't installed underneath the header? I had an exhaust leak when I changed out my header and thought it was my old exhaust manifold gasket. It turns out that when I installed the new header, the heater hose bracket went underneath the manifold, which made my car sound like utter crap. You might want to make sure this isn't the case with your install.
 

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Kyle... last year I was running a straight pipe and Apexi N1 style exhaust (I know... ricer..) and I wore ear plugs on the 9 hr drive to the gap... three days after returning I dumped the grand on my exhaust system. As you heard at the DC drift meet, its not to loud now... it has a goodwin racing midpipe which is 2.5" resinated..

If you're looking for cheap 15's to get you by, Tire Rack has 205/50/15 Kuhmo 711's (320 AA) for $189 to your door, 3 day ship and if you've got 15x7's 215/50/15 Kuhmo 711's for about $200 even
 

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... it has a goodwin racing midpipe which is 2.5" resinated..

door, 3 day ship and if you've got 15x7's 215/50/15 Kuhmo 711's for about $200 even
Not to be a nitpicker but Goodwins midpipe is less then 2.5"...about 2 1/3" IIRC.
I dont think anyone offers a full 2.5" midpipe alone.
I would like to buy a stainless full 2.5" (or greater) resonated midpipe. Neither Goodwin or RB fit the bill. Maybe FM??

EDIT: FM wont sell a midpipe by itself.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I drove around in it all day long running errands. I kinda got used to it but it's still crazy loud. I took my friend Ben for a ride and he didn't think it was that bad. He did some drive bys for me as I stood on the street corner. Outside the car I can hear it a long ways away but it doesn't sound illegal like it does when inside the cockpit. (Sorry I don't have any video for you guys - I was so busy working on the car I never got a chance to get a digicam).

Some people might think it sacriligious to modify a PCR exhaust but I've decided to add a resonator/mid-muffler in an attempt to tone it down a bit. Depending on the muffler diameter I can fit up to 16" without having to mess with the hangers but I'll probably try to find a 12"-14" long unit to ensure I have no clearance issues.

On a positive note I got the Zoom Engineering reverse lamp installed in the formerly vacant rear bumper exhaust cutout. The fit and finish is superb. The instructions were excellent despite the fact they were all in Japanese. I did have to bust out the factory workshop manual to find out which wire to tap into (on my US spec '91 it's the R/G wire) but everything else went swell. I can't believe how cheap it is ($46 to my front door) given how complete the kit was. Props to retrorocket for the hookup.
 
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