Help is just a click away!
Click here to chat with a Speedway Team Member
Online - Chat with us!
Products to Compare (max of 3)
Compare These Parts
Talk to the Experts. Call 800.979.0122, 7am-10pm, everyday.
Customer Service
Since 1952
Talk to the Experts. Call 800.979.0122
Shop By
Street Race Truck More... The Toolbox

Choosing the Right Exhaust


Let’s face it; most stock exhaust systems are heavy, restrictive, and worst of all, quiet. You certainly don’t want to put that brand new crate engine in your car and hook it up to a stock exhaust do you? This article will cover a few of the many ways we can fix those particular issues.

Getting Started

It makes sense to start at the front and work our way back, right? In that case, headers it is! Nearly all stock manifolds are cast iron, and have casting remnants remaining in the exhaust pathway. This causes turbulence and restriction. Most of the nearly 800 different headers Speedway Motors offers are a tubular steel design, ensuring maximum flow with minimal interruption. Some are long, some are short, and some are center dump style. It all depends on your application, as well as your preference. Most stock applications below 350ci can be best served by a 1.5” header, where a higher power application will inevitably need a larger tube.

What to Choose?

The quick and easy way to choose what diameter pipe you will need from the headers to the mufflers is to go back to the old rule of thumb, that for every 100 horsepower, 1” of total pipe diameter is needed across the system. For example, a 500 horsepower engine needs a 2.5" dual exhaust. This, of course, is a rough estimate, and there are several complex mathematical formulas to help you discover the “perfect” size of pipe to use. There are also several online calculators you can utilize, like this one. Simply input the horsepower figures, the number of exhaust pipes, and hit “Calculate.” The calculator will do the math for you and tell you the minimum recommended pipe diameter for your application. Then you can Click Here to shop and add the system you want to your cart.

What About Mufflers?

Your choice of mufflers is as much about performance as sound. Do you want a low growl, or do you want to wake up the neighbors on Sunday? There are multiple options available to you. Click Here to take a listen to some of Flowmaster’s offerings. You can click on the chart and expand it to see what model applies to your specific needs. We also stock Dynatech, Moroso, Dougs, and our own in-house Speedway brand.

Products Featured in this Article

Related Articles

Exhaust Repair
by Speedway Tech Team - Posted in Tech
Some basic info on the various exhaust options carried by Speedway Motors.
The Sound of Flowmaster Mufflers
by Jason Lubken - Posted in Tech
If you're ready to get your street machine sounding as good as it looks, it's important to know how each muffler will affect your sound and performance. Take a listen and decide which muffler is best for your rod.
Choosing the Right Header
by Speedway Tech Team - Posted in Tech
Information on how to pick the proper header for your project.
Exhaust System Header Wrapping
by Jason Lubken - Posted in Tech
Whether you’re looking for performance improvements or heat reduction, if you decide to wrap your headers, we'll show you the benefits and possible precautions to take before you wrap your exhaust.
Vulcan Redux Part One
by Jeff Karls - Posted in Tech
Product guru Jeff K. doesn't just limit his revival tendencies to those of the four wheeled variety. He also likes to leave his mark on motorcycles, giving new life to tired old two-wheelers. Follow along as he tackles a 2004 Kawasaki Vulcan.
Ceramic Coated Headers
by Jason Lubken - Posted in Tech
Watch our video on the ceramic coating process for Armor Hot Coating. Headers coated with Armor Hot Coating protect your car without sacrificing looks.
Header Suggestions for a '33 Ford
by John Wulbern - Posted in Tech Tips
In this Tech Tip, one of our customers asks for a suggestion on exhaust headers for his 1933 pickup.
Upgrades for Your Crate Engine
by Speedway Tech Team - Posted in Tech
We all want the most bang for our buck. Here are some upgrade options to help you safely pull the most power out of your new crate motor.
Speedway Roadster Headers for a 305 Trike
by John Wulbern - Posted in Tech Tips
In this Tech Tip, a customer asked about using a set of Small Block Chevy Sprint Roadster headers for his trike, powered by a stock 305.
Speedway Tech Talk - Maintaining Your Headers
by Pat Orth - Posted in Videos
Maintaining your headers is an important part of any hot rod. Pat gives some tips and demonstrates how well Purple Metal Polish works for keeping your headers looking great.