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Old 01-03-2012, 06:59 PM   #1
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LTs and Cats - A Quiet system

Lately I have seen a few posts here about having long tubes with a semi-quiet exhaust system. So i want to share my experience with my LS3 and a similar quest.

Some of us like to hear our motors but in a subdued way. While we like speed we also want to take our cars on long trips with our families and be able to listen to and enjoy music and books on tape. And there is a special kind of fun in having a fast car that doesn't sound fast or attract attention.

My car is an LS3 and i was looking to add long tubes and high flow cats while avoiding a loud exhaust and hopefully not spending a lot of money.

For starters I found a great deal on a set of used 1 7/8 Bigflow stainless LTs with a pair of high flow cats. I installed these myself in my garage. I started out by keeping the stock catback. I was hoping that this combination would keep things quiet while spending the least dollars.

One strange thing about the BFE cats is they are longer than most and require you to cut your stock sized cutback to install. But since I would only be cutting the stock pipes, I did not see this as a problem.

My results with the LTs and stock cutback:
The Good -
  • Almost as quiet as stock at lower RPM with a nice little growl.
  • No drone.
The Bad -
  • De-accel popping is very loud
  • Wide open at higher rpm is very loud with a very annoying slapping sound
Since it was quiet at lower speeds I did not mind it being loud at high rpm. But the high speed sound was awful to my ears. It had to be fixed.

I did not want to buy an expensive cat back and then cut it to install. So I looked around and decided to install one of the quieter axle-backs, the Magnaflow Street. This seem to be ideal. It would keep the car quiet, while saving some weight replacing the huge stock muffler cans.

My results with the Magnaflow axle-back:
The Good -
  • The tone was deeper than stock
  • The sound was much better at high rpm
  • De-accel popping was much quieter than before
The Bad -
  • Drone.
At speeds between 55-75 the thrumming, while not overly loud was very tiring on a long trip. And with 4 people in the car the drone was especially bad. More had to be done.

I put up a post talking about the drone and a vendor suggested I try the Magnaflow X-Pipe. This pipe (which looks like a muffler) replaces the stock LS3 H pipe and is also part of the Street Series cutback.

So I bought the pipe and had it installed in a local muffler shop today. It replaces the stock H-pipe and leaves the stock LS3 resonators. While they were at it they fixed a couple of exhaust leaks and let me know one of my sway bar brackets fell off. They also moved things around to give me a little more clearance over the rear tunnel cross brace.


My results with the X-pipe:
The good -
  • Quiet at low speeds
  • A nice deep tone at idle
  • De-Accel popping is almost imperceptible.
  • Quieter at high RPM
  • No drone.
The bad -
  • Some might think it too quiet (but not me).
Overall I would say my car sounds about 10 percent louder than stock at low speeds and 25 percent louder at speed.

For anyone looking for a quiet LT set up I can recommend LTs with the Magnaflow Street Series products. With the X-Pipe install cost I ended up spending almost as much as a full cat-back. If i were to do it over I would probably just buy the Street series cat-back and then cut it to fit the BFE cats. However then I would lose the LS3 resonators which may be the things that makes my setup work for me. Then again they may be contributing to the drone.

Anyone try LTs with the Magnaflow Street cat-back? I suppose there are other quiet LT solutions that work s well as Magnaflow Street.
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:19 PM   #2
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Honestly, you're going to find yourself SOL trying to find a quiet solution. LT's are going to be loud with the majority of aftermarket systems, if not all.

I think the only hope of getting the sound level you want is through the stock cat back.
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:20 PM   #3
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No slap here?

Tell me more about this wide open & annoying "slapping" sound......because, I don't have or hear it with stock exhaust??? Was your exhaust loose from the header install?

Also don't have loud de-accel popping either?
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:07 PM   #4
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Great post. Lots of good info
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S3XPanther View Post
Honestly, you're going to find yourself SOL trying to find a quiet solution. LT's are going to be loud with the majority of aftermarket systems, if not all.

I think the only hope of getting the sound level you want is through the stock cat back.
Mine is now almost as quiet as stock at low rpm but has a nice deep, tight tone. The sound is powerful but not loud. It is very possible.

The stock cat-back seemed louder to me at high RPM than my current setup.

But loud is not really the problem, it is the drone.
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smirnoff View Post
Tell me more about this wide open & annoying "slapping" sound......because, I don't have or hear it with stock exhaust??? Was your exhaust loose from the header install?

Also don't have loud de-accel popping either?
Others have tried to describe it. At wide open, say over 5,500 rpm, is where you hear it. Slapping may not be the best way to describe it. It is a somewhat high pitched tinny blat-blat sound instead of a roar. You can really hear it up against a wall or under a bridge. But to each their own. If you like the sound of your car then that is all that matters. Or perhaps because of your tune it sounds different. I want to keep my warranty for now.

Perhaps your tuner has tuned out the de-accel popping. They often do that as many owners do not like the sound. But I will leave mine alone as it helps gas mileage.
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:29 PM   #7
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Yeah....should've bought the 3" Magnaflow Comp exhaust. Nice deep rumble at start up, nice and reasonably quiet at low speeds (almost too quiet), but get on it and you'll definately know it. My decel popping is virtually gone. It's still there a little if you listen for it but barely.

You would be surprised at how inexpensive the 3" Magnaflow is from the right vendor.

LTs, HF cats, and the 3" Magnaflow is a great steet setup. Especially if you don't want to piss off the neighbors or draw a bunch of attention from the cops.
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caverman View Post
Yeah....should've bought the 3" Magnaflow Comp exhaust. Nice deep rumble at start up, nice and reasonably quiet at low speeds (almost too quiet), but get on it and you'll definately know it. My decel popping is virtually gone. It's still there a little if you listen for it but barely.

You would be surprised at how inexpensive the 3" Magnaflow is from the right vendor.

LTs, HF cats, and the 3" Magnaflow is a great steet setup. Especially if you don't want to piss off the neighbors or draw a bunch of attention from the cops.
That was going to be my top choice. But because of the extra length of my cats, I would have had to cut them and re-weld in the 2.5 in reducer. So I had to build my own. I am happy with the way it turned out.
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:18 PM   #9
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J PIPES!! ENOUGH SAID WILL CALM ANY SYSTEM!
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fraxum View Post
Lately I have seen a few posts here about having long tubes with a semi-quiet exhaust system. So i want to share my experience with my LS3 and a similar quest.

Some of us like to hear our motors but in a subdued way. While we like speed we also want to take our cars on long trips with our families and be able to listen to and enjoy music and books on tape. And there is a special kind of fun in having a fast car that doesn't sound fast or attract attention.

My car is an LS3 and i was looking to add long tubes and high flow cats while avoiding a loud exhaust and hopefully not spending a lot of money.

For starters I found a great deal on a set of used 1 7/8 Bigflow stainless LTs with a pair of high flow cats. I installed these myself in my garage. I started out by keeping the stock catback. I was hoping that this combination would keep things quiet while spending the least dollars.

One strange thing about the BFE cats is they are longer than most and require you to cut your stock sized cutback to install. But since I would only be cutting the stock pipes, I did not see this as a problem.

My results with the LTs and stock cutback:
The Good -
  • Almost as quiet as stock at lower RPM with a nice little growl.
  • No drone.
The Bad -
  • De-accel popping is very loud
  • Wide open at higher rpm is very loud with a very annoying slapping sound
Since it was quiet at lower speeds I did not mind it being loud at high rpm. But the high speed sound was awful to my ears. It had to be fixed.

I did not want to buy an expensive cat back and then cut it to install. So I looked around and decided to install one of the quieter axle-backs, the Magnaflow Street. This seem to be ideal. It would keep the car quiet, while saving some weight replacing the huge stock muffler cans.

My results with the Magnaflow axle-back:
The Good -
  • The tone was deeper than stock
  • The sound was much better at high rpm
  • De-accel popping was much quieter than before
The Bad -
  • Drone.
At speeds between 55-75 the thrumming, while not overly loud was very tiring on a long trip. And with 4 people in the car the drone was especially bad. More had to be done.

I put up a post talking about the drone and a vendor suggested I try the Magnaflow X-Pipe. This pipe (which looks like a muffler) replaces the stock LS3 H pipe and is also part of the Street Series cutback.

So I bought the pipe and had it installed in a local muffler shop today. It replaces the stock H-pipe and leaves the stock LS3 resonators. While they were at it they fixed a couple of exhaust leaks and let me know one of my sway bar brackets fell off. They also moved things around to give me a little more clearance over the rear tunnel cross brace.


My results with the X-pipe:
The good -
  • Quiet at low speeds
  • A nice deep tone at idle
  • De-Accel popping is almost imperceptible.
  • Quieter at high RPM
  • No drone.
The bad -
  • Some might think it too quiet (but not me).
Overall I would say my car sounds about 10 percent louder than stock at low speeds and 25 percent louder at speed.

For anyone looking for a quiet LT set up I can recommend LTs with the Magnaflow Street Series products. With the X-Pipe install cost I ended up spending almost as much as a full cat-back. If i were to do it over I would probably just buy the Street series cat-back and then cut it to fit the BFE cats. However then I would lose the LS3 resonators which may be the things that makes my setup work for me. Then again they may be contributing to the drone.


Anyone try LTs with the Magnaflow Street cat-back? I suppose there are other quiet LT solutions that work s well as Magnaflow Street.
I have Stainless Works LT's No cats and a magnaflow street series catback it is whisper quiet sometimes too quiet for my taste but has no drone.
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Old 01-06-2012, 10:23 AM   #11
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I have kooks 1 7/8, hi flo cats and kooks sleeper exhaust. I'm supercharged as well, it's surprising how quiet it is for my setup.
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Old 01-06-2012, 10:07 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by bigsquirrel View Post
I have kooks 1 7/8, hi flo cats and kooks sleeper exhaust. I'm supercharged as well, it's surprising how quiet it is for my setup.
Nice! I think it is fun to have a quiet, fast car. Extra awesome with FI.
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Old 01-06-2012, 10:10 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Snake Slayer View Post
I have Stainless Works LT's No cats and a magnaflow street series catback it is whisper quiet sometimes too quiet for my taste but has no drone.
This is what I built the hard way. One difference is I also have the LS3 resonators. Not sure how this affects the sound. Did your Magnafow stay at the same sound level over time? I
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Old 01-07-2012, 07:05 AM   #14
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I have Kooks 1 7/8 catted with the Magnaflow Street Series and until it was cammed, it was very quiet. Even with the cam, I get the lopey idle sound, but the exhaust is not deafening.

I have heard the Kooks Street Sleeper is even quieter.

Videos here with the cam:

http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=165686
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Old 01-08-2012, 09:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockit_z28 View Post
I have Kooks 1 7/8 catted with the Magnaflow Street Series and until it was cammed, it was very quiet. Even with the cam, I get the lopey idle sound, but the exhaust is not deafening.

I have heard the Kooks Street Sleeper is even quieter.

Videos here with the cam:

http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=165686
Nice looking SS! I like the sound with the cam. Nice ET improvements too.
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Old 01-09-2012, 05:59 AM   #16
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Nice looking SS! I like the sound with the cam. Nice ET improvements too.
Thanks- There is more in the ET. I need to work on my 60' times and lose the 20" wheels.
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