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View Full Version : Advice on exhaust setup for vortec 4.3



Mule
04-17-2011, 12:37 PM
I know the topic has probably already been breeched, but I'd figured being that I'm the F.N.G. I might be able to get away with asking.

After much research I came across a steal of a deal on a set of Edelbrock headers (which were on closeout).....All the other header manufacturers from Advance Adapters, Hedman to JBA were way too pricey.

So now I'm figuring out what's next from here....I'm not out to try to make the thing sound like a v8, I just want to improve my performance, whether it be a 2 into 1 setup or a true dual exhaust setup.... and whether I should go open exhaust or cats and mufflers....And lastly, if I go to a true dual exhaust should I go with an "X" pipe to equalize the flow...

I appreciate everyones input. Just working towards getting the most out of the old girl

Koots
04-17-2011, 01:29 PM
What year is the truck? What kind of tone do you want and how loud do you want it?

The collector opening is 2.5" which is pretty big for a dual exhaust for a stock motor. One option is to get an offroad y-pipe for one of the V8's, which i believe are made 2.5 into a single 3", which would be a fairly big size for the V6 but i don't think it will lose much velocity as the intakes on full size trucks is large enough to flow for a vortec 350.

As for a muffler choice, i recommend a fairly small case Magnaflow (around 18" long should be good) and using something like a dynomax bullet or even a cherry bomb glasspack as a resonator. Or running a big case magnaflow (22 or 24") which should sound good if you are keeping the cats. This should help keep the raspiness out of the exhaust that can make the 4.3L's sound bad.

But overall, i suggest you run to Youtube and search 4.3L and a muffler you are curious about and watch some vids and get an idea of what sounds like what you want.

Mule
04-17-2011, 01:52 PM
Thanks for the input.....

It's a 1994

Just listened to about 15 different youtube clips.... an Open Straight Pipe is out of the question, it sounds like garbage, as does the Cherry Bomb Glasspacks... I was impressed by the throaty sounds the Magnaflow Take 2's and 3's had.....

Would it be too much a stretch to mock up a similiar system to what the new v6 camaros have..... I realize those are 304hp hi-perf v6's, but I think you could take the same concepts from that exhaust setup and mimic it a bit

907 Chevy
04-17-2011, 02:08 PM
I read a very interesting article on exhaust theory and design,but unfortunately didn't bookmark it for future reference.
In that article the author stated that a crossover in order to have any benefit must be placed ahead of the cats.

Actually I wouldn't waste your time with a true dual system.A single 3" system with a well built y pipe,high flow cat,and a straight through muffler would flow very well with minimal back pressure.
3" pipe may be a little on the big side for a 4.3,but if you decide to cam it in the future then the engine will need the extra flow.My 2 cents...

Mule
04-17-2011, 02:18 PM
I would probably be inclined to go single 2.5" with a "Y" pipe, No CAT and a good muffler....

907 Chevy
04-17-2011, 02:24 PM
Sounds like a plan.

Mule
04-17-2011, 02:31 PM
I think so too....

Just waiting on the headers.....think I'll give them a coating of hi-temp and a header wrap.... just went through this on my bike...now the truck....lol

bobfig
04-17-2011, 03:34 PM
i wouldnt wrap the headers just because the wrap would hold in moisture. getting the y pipe would help with flow as they used 2" pipes stock and press bent them. take a look at these and see if one would fit. http://www.jegs.com/p/JEGS/JEGS-Off-Road-Y-Pipes-for-Trucks/758633/10002/-1 you could also spend $40 and be legal by getting a cat from here (http://performance-curve.com/thunderbolt-spincat.aspx). i have had a flowmaster 40 on and i liked the sound it made but i could feel it restricting power above 3500 rpms. after a hanger broke i decided to redo it and went with a 3" pypes race pro dumped behind the axle. here is what it sounds like now

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/2923633/edit%202.mp3

no2guncntrl
04-17-2011, 05:45 PM
Are these Edie's TES system ? If so you'll get a nice y-pipe with the kit. They are
mid length. If you decide to run a cat, a Maggie flows really well. Then 3" pipe
all the way to the back with a Flowtech Afterburner will give a great sound without
the resonance. I have this on my lil truck with a 4.3 and some say it sounds pretty
decent for a old truck.

By the way, Edelbrock is having a close out on their TES systems. Not many left
but one CANNOT beat the price. Don't know if they have for any of the rides on
this forum, but here ya go..>

http://store.edelbrock.com/gmtruckandsuv.aspx

They are also having closeouts on a lot of other parts as well.

Mule
04-17-2011, 07:16 PM
Thanks Bob.....i'll check out the flowmasters.....sounds really good

Mule
04-17-2011, 07:27 PM
That is what I picked up.... the "TES Tubular Exhaust system Lowered Chev & GMC Pickup, Suburban 1500 Series 93-94 2wd. Auto trans.only 4.3L V6, TBI"...... couldn't beat it for $114.xx

Especially, since I've seen some going for as much as $600/pair

So, I'll forgo the header wrap and just go with the high temp ceramic rattle can coating....just for a little oxidation protection and improved heat transfer......I was thinking of turning the exhaust pipe down right ahead of the rear passenger wheel.....i don't know whether i'll bother with a cat. conv....just run it from the y-pipe back to a nice muffler and turn it out from there

Koots
04-17-2011, 08:18 PM
I'd throw a cheap glasspack muffler on it in place of the cat though, these engines can get pretty raspy and the glasspack just takes the nasty edge out of the tone.

Mule
04-17-2011, 08:21 PM
I'd throw a cheap glasspack muffler on it in place of the cat though, these engines can get pretty raspy and the glasspack just takes the nasty edge out of the tone.

Makes sense.....I could see where that'd take the harshness out of the sound....specially since the exhaust pipe is going to be somewhat truncated

Mule
04-27-2011, 06:23 PM
Oh boy....fun fun fun!
http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c355/holy_hell_1976/001-3.jpg

CookieSoup
04-28-2011, 03:02 PM
man those are tempting to buy..... i have an 06 4.3......

Mule
04-28-2011, 03:44 PM
Check out edelbrock....I got these on close-out for 130 bucks shipped to my front door

Koots
04-28-2011, 04:13 PM
Now i'm tempted to buy a set LOL

Mule
04-29-2011, 06:42 PM
Now i'm tempted to buy a set LOL

Do eet!!!

99 Grey Ghost
04-29-2011, 09:14 PM
A friend of mine has a Flowmaster Super 10 single chamber on his 4.3 s10 and it sounds great, very loud and deep

98GreenMachine
05-03-2011, 08:32 AM
I cut the muffler off of my 91 S10 Blazer. It sounded nice at idle and surprisingly it wasn't too loud at cruise. I sold it to a older guy who actually liked the exhaust sound alot :lol:

94_c/1500
05-03-2011, 09:16 AM
Thanks for the info on Edelbrock headers, probably buying a set.

Mule
05-07-2011, 09:15 AM
Thanks for the info on Edelbrock headers, probably buying a set.

No problem. good luck with the upgrade. are you thinking of doing a true dual exhaust or sticking with single?

94_c/1500
05-07-2011, 12:27 PM
No problem. good luck with the upgrade. are you thinking of doing a true dual exhaust or sticking with single?

I already have dual exhaust. The pipes are 2 1/4, which are a bit big but it works. I'm using 2 Thunderbolt cats and 2 Flowmaster 40s.

cruizerman
05-07-2011, 01:07 PM
I have an 03 silvy with 4.3L and I installed a Gibson dual sport exhaust system and it sounds really, really good! Deep burbles. No tinny high pitched squeals. Just a deep tone. I love it!

Mule
05-07-2011, 01:41 PM
I have an 03 silvy with 4.3L and I installed a Gibson dual sport exhaust system and it sounds really, really good! Deep burbles. No tinny high pitched squeals. Just a deep tone. I love it!

I've checked out the gibson system. Great price for the setup. But I think I'm sticking with single pipe, stock diameter, thrush glasspack muffler in place of catalytic converter and a thrush turbo muffler

SierraDan
05-10-2011, 11:47 AM
If you use a turbo muffler, no need for a glasspack, just scrap the cat. Turbo is quiet enough you won't need a glasspack, that's coming from someone who likes it fairly quiet.

94_c/1500
05-12-2011, 07:25 AM
I'm ordering the headers this week. Just found out I'm not swapping to a 350, so my little 262 is staying.

SierraDan
05-12-2011, 08:13 PM
If I had a V6 i'd keep it, if the truck were rusted out and not worth fixing anyways but if it were in good condition or had lots of sentimental value, then forget the V6 even the Vortec 4.3 can't pull like the TBI 305 can.

BOTMAN
05-16-2011, 03:55 PM
4.3 is just fine for getting from a to b with moving light loads.


I ordered a set just for sh1ts and giggles and they sent me out a box that only had a y pipe. So I called em today, and in 15mins they had it fixed and they are shipping me a new set.

jolt11
05-16-2011, 04:21 PM
Glad i looked at this thread, tempted on a pair for my 4.3 now.

Koots
05-16-2011, 05:02 PM
If I had a V6 i'd keep it, if the truck were rusted out and not worth fixing anyways but if it were in good condition or had lots of sentimental value, then forget the V6 even the Vortec 4.3 can't pull like the TBI 305 can.

I proved that wrong many times, but i was also running a younger engine in much better condition, despite high mileage that would make it look otherwise. Might be different with a load in the bed, but stock for stock my truck was running circles around older 305's. Even older 305's i had in smaller vehicles and other trucks.

Koots
05-16-2011, 05:07 PM
I've checked out the gibson system. Great price for the setup. But I think I'm sticking with single pipe, stock diameter, thrush glasspack muffler in place of catalytic converter and a thrush turbo muffler

I always feel bad about scrapping a good, non rusted exhaust system. If it's rusted or dented or anything, now's the perfect time to get rid of it. I contemplated doing an exhaust for my truck but it's all perfect and stock. SO i'm gonna replace the mufflers.

As for glasspacks, i learned by pulling tons of them out of boxes and inspecting them, is that even though the inlet and outlet diameters may say one thing, the inner tube diameter is usually a universal pipe that can be smaller and will restrict flow. I was looking for a 2.25" muffler at the time and found that even the 2.5" and up were using the same diameter as the 2.25" muffler. These were with Thrush, Cherry Bomb and some other brand i can't remember now.

So have a look into the muffler before you buy. If you are gonna keep stock sized pipes, you want to keep the flow restrictions to a minimum to capitalize on the exhaust you have.

04SilveradoMykk
05-16-2011, 05:34 PM
The V6 in the fullsize trucks use the same size exhaust and mufflers as the V8's in the same frame/platform. With that being said there is still room for improvement. When my truck had a 4.3 V6 with performance bolt on's I noticed a nice increase in throttle response, torque and driveability by going from the factory single 2.75" exhaust to a single 3" from the Y-pipe back.

The best loud tone was with a Flowmaster Super 40. The best quiet tone was with a Dynomax Super Turbo muffler single in, dual out with rear exit tail pipes & 4" tips. A 18" magnaflow sounded awful, so did the Flowmaster 50 series.

With any 'loud' muffler on the 4.3L came the V6 buzz above 3000rpm, but the Super Turbo controlled that buzz the best. The buzz got significantly worse without catalytic converters, but the idle & low rpm cruise tone improved without cats.

Now that my truck has a Gen I carbed SBC, the Flowmaster Super 40's still sound the best.

jolt11
05-16-2011, 07:40 PM
The V6 in the fullsize trucks use the same size exhaust and mufflers as the V8's in the same frame/platform. With that being said there is still room for improvement. When my truck had a 4.3 V6 with performance bolt on's I noticed a nice increase in throttle response, torque and driveability by going from the factory single 2.75" exhaust to a single 3" from the Y-pipe back.

The best loud tone was with a Flowmaster Super 40. The best quiet tone was with a Dynomax Super Turbo muffler single in, dual out with rear exit tail pipes & 4" tips. A 18" magnaflow sounded awful, so did the Flowmaster 50 series.

With any 'loud' muffler on the 4.3L came the V6 buzz above 3000rpm, but the Super Turbo controlled that buzz the best. The buzz got significantly worse without catalytic converters, but the idle & low rpm cruise tone improved without cats.

Now that my truck has a Gen I carbed SBC, the Flowmaster Super 40's still sound the best.

Any other "quiet" muffler suggestions. My truck has a rusted out flowmaster that sounds horrible and add to the fact it doesn't hav the power to go with the rumble.

SierraDan
05-18-2011, 02:08 PM
I proved that wrong many times, but i was also running a younger engine in much better condition, despite high mileage that would make it look otherwise. Might be different with a load in the bed, but stock for stock my truck was running circles around older 305's. Even older 305's i had in smaller vehicles and other trucks.
The 4.3 in my friend's 97 Silverado doesn't pull near what my 305 does, but the 4.3 is an auto. I've driving a rcsb 4.3 auto, and that was dirt slow becuase it was a 92 or 93 so no Vortec yet. A low mileage 4.3/5spd could probably take my truck but mine has had years of towing abuse and high miles, with a stock rebuild and TBI mods it could be a really fun truck, but i'm not spending money on building a 305, i'm selling it so maybe an S10 guy can swap it in.