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Street Race Truck More... The Toolbox

Chamber Muffler Swap Guide

5/17/2020

I recently purchased a ’69 C/10 pickup. It’s by no means a show piece, but it’s a blast to drive. The truck has stock ram horn manifolds and a fairly new 2 ¼” exhaust. The turbo mufflers on it were just too quiet for my preference.

When looking at my options on mufflers, it became quickly apparent that the Speedway Chamber Mufflers were by far the best bang for the buck. A 2 ¼” offset inlet and offset outlet configuration, which was just what I needed for the exhaust system on my truck.

The swap was fairly simple, except for the new mufflers being a couple of inches shorter than the old ones. To fill the gap, I used a piece of 2 ¼” Exhaust Pipe cut down to the length I needed. Even though I only needed a few inches, the remaining amount from the 4-foot piece of exhaust pipe will be a good material to have around the garage for a future project.

Initially, I installed the mufflers using Exhaust Clamps. These are heavy-duty 3/8” U bolt clamps, but it turns out that the muffler material is so thick that there was no way to get a U bolt style clamp like this to swage down the muffler outlets and clamp tightly to the exhaust tubing. Plan B was to simply weld the mufflers in. While I do like fully welded exhaust systems, it didn’t appeal to me for this truck, because I envision plenty of future work and modifications being done.

What I decided on was to weld the mufflers to the tailpipe side and use a band clamp on the inlet of the mufflers. This allowed me to remove the mufflers and tailpipes in one piece as long as the truck was lifted high enough. A tall lift height bumper jack came in handy for this project.

After welding up the mufflers, I sprayed some high-temperature exhaust paint on the welds and extension pieces. The tubing I used for the extensions was raw steel, so it needed some form of corrosion protection.

With the project complete, it was time for the first start. I was anxious and nervous at the same time for this during the entire project. The sound of an exhaust system changes so much from one to the next you never know exactly what to expect. After a quick crank of the engine, I was pleasantly surprised. The exhaust tone is deep and powerful at idle and with a quick crack of the throttle, the noise level increases substantially. I was more than satisfied with the sound. One thing I didn’t expect is how low the noise level is in the cab when cruising down the road. I don’t notice much difference cruising at 65 mph from the quiet turbo mufflers I took off. These mufflers certainly fit my needs perfectly.

Now I know what you’re thinking, “what about those exhaust clamps that you ended up not using. That was kind of a waste.” Well not exactly. I ended up repurposing them for a little lower stance in the back!

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