Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Flowmaster Exhaust and Magnaflow Muffler Advantages, Perks, and one temporary "draw back"

1st off, I've always wanted a Flowmaster exhaust or a Magnaflow muffler upgrade for my vehicles, especially in regards to the Magnaflow muffler. I, as the web master of Auto Bravado feel compelled to say that I feel less an expert in this area because it is one of the few things that I'm not trained and qualified to install myself. However, I've done a lot of reading and carefully picked my own Flowmaster exhaust upgrades based on what I learned, between Flowmaster exhaust tubes from the catalytic converter to the Magnaflow muffler and nice chrome tip, I feel the difference from my 2 and a 1/4 inches versus the standard 1 3/4" every time I start my car. Before my Magnaflow muffler and Flowmaster exhaust had been installed for a while and calmed down by having a nice carbon particles leave the engine and fill in all the cracks on a molecular level and deaden the sound, any of my neighbors or friends that were waiting for me to come home would hear me come into the neighborhood too. Relax though, they didn't notice me if they were in their homes, usually.

The Flowmaster Exhaust and Magnaflow Muffler gave me the incredible feel, the power, and the joy of a lot more acceleration off the line and better acceleration at all the lower speeds. The Flowmaster Exhaust and Magnaflow Muffler were installed by a great mechanic who was an incredible welding artist if you ask me. I knew that the main difference that’d depend on brand a lot was the catalytic converter, so he left that up to me at a later time. Later, when I realized I didn't have a fancy Magnaflow catalytic converter or even a Flowmaster for that matter I was angry. It’s amazing how we’ll unfairly blame mechanics for things. He did for me exactly as we had discussed. Anyway, back the beginning: he asked if I was willing to sacrifice on sound. I said how much, and he said some to a lot. Until all the parts settled over a year I sometimes wore hearing protection, but realize my hearing is more acute than most. It wasn't a small upgrade. I asked for the highest flow reasonably possible and I had it.

I told him I wanted a cat and back system, meaning I wanted the catalytic converter to be a high flow and everything behind it to be 2 1/4 inches, that 1/2 inch difference is wonderful! I told him I was willing to sacrifice on the sound, but what would I get power wise? He said I'd have a lot more low end power - you know street driving, but that I'd only do a little better on the freeway. He further explained that instead of dropping from 75 to 57 going up a local mountain on the freeway, that I'd drop to like 67. His prediction was exactly true for my LSI 2.0 liter Toyota Celica engine that they also put in all Chevy Prisms and Toyota Corollas, but only a few get the LSI engine. Well, he was exactly right unless I punched it in a lower gear while on the freeway! So fun, and so bad for the car! I finally agreed to go for it. Between the Flowmaster behind the catalytic converter that wasn't upgraded like I'd originally thought I’d asked, but they hadn't charged me for a catalytic converter either. So, I later remembered I didn’t know what I’d wanted for the catalytic converter, but between the Magnaflow muffler, which has an incredible anti-resonance chamber, and the Flowmaster exhaust tubes I felt like a Pontiac commercial: Driving Excitement!

That anti-resonance chamber for the Magnaflow muffler is designed to both get the most flow possible while still cutting back on sound. That isn't enough when you're opening up your throttle on the high way with your car filled with people (at times like these I definitely put in hearing protection and offered it to any one in the back, especially the man or woman above the Magnaflow muffler - ouch), but for normal every-day stuff the sound was alright. You're only choice is to suffer a little as it breaks in or wear hearing protection. Depending on your perspective, if you have less sensitive hearing than I you may just love your The Flowmaster Exhaust and Magnaflow upgrade. I'm looking forward to learning how to add sound deadening material to my trunk before I upgrade to a tuned exhaust and a very much higher flow catalytic converter. 600 CFM's of air going through versus 200 or so, that's an upgrade. My friend Spencer taught me about how to deaden the sound by putting a layer of something or other beneath the carpet of the trunk the night he let me drive the highest end Pontiac Firebird, an enjoyable roar, but it could use some deadening of sound. To all who have read from me before and look forward to more, I have more learning to do, but when I do, I’ll write more.
This has been an article on:
Flowmaster Exhaust and Magnaflow Muffler Advantages, Perks,
and one temporary "draw back"

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Auto Bravado's Transmission Oil Cooler Story

The gear shifter twanged and the words in my head spoke volumes of fear, “The transmission and the oil it’s soaked in is just cooler than it should be, right?”

The ice had been so bad on the streets that I hoped between all of the traffic on the freeway and the heat of the all the engines barreling along the road would have cleared off the ice here. The lightly darkened cement appeared mostly clear of not just ice but cars. There was just that certain feeling of expectation in the air, like something was going to go wrong. Fearing a mistake like something was about to happen, I merged with the almost non-existent traffic. Oh, was it cold. It was like death had fallen on to this freeway like a Ghost town that’s haunted. The ice was mostly clear, but I figured there was black ice where the road merely appeared wet. So, I thought I’d take it slow on these highway lanes, which were so cold they were more reminiscent of Chicago, then Salt Lake.

I was going from 3rd to 4th gear as I got up to what I thought was a safe speed when I, and my 89 Nissan Pulsar had not only merged on the freeway, but it had merged with the deathly cold and still freeway. The shifter made a sound like a twanging southern instrument. It felt like a rubber band snapping. A sound that was all too familiar from the twang of snapping rubber bands as I delivered the cities news on the biggest paper days. Except this cold transmission’s twang reverberated in your bones on such a larger scale than I could have expected in those long cold newspaper mornings. I am brought back to memories where the cooler mornings would randomly snap one rubber band, and sometimes a quick second and third rubber band that was stretched too taut around a Sunday paper.

I feared that the metal itself in my transmission had snapped in the cold, if only I’d known, I would have installed a transmission oil cooler too prevent all of it! Wait, it is winter, which makes no sense. Maybe if I’d protected my transmission with an oil cooler in the summer and shut if off in the winter I would have protected it! My mind was racing, thinking the right thought, thinking the opposite thought; I wasn’t being sure of what was right. It had been just last week that a used truck customer was looking for the Chevy truck with the biggest transmission oil cooler package available. “What if I’d had that tonight? It would have kept it from breaking!” I thought. I knew this thought was entirely contrary to reality, and that my some inane thoughts were on repeat; it was sub zero temperature and a transmission oil cooler wouldn’t have helped at all! But, what if I had installed it in the summer to prevent wear and tear and what if I had warmed up my engine this late winter, freezing night! What if. . . what if, terrible words I had just used. What if. I leaves the mind hanging and had left me nearly bereft of what to do.

Well, with or without a transmission oil cooler to help me I had to snap to, as the military says, and focus on what was at hand. I knew a lot about conserving inertia from wild maneuvers in my Indy Car computer games. I took the shortest path possible to keep moving in a straighter line, using my blinker and hoping the road stayed clear to just get to the off ramp. 55, 45, 37 miles per hour and I’d made it to the off ramp. I wondered for a moment, if I had to stop on this ramp where would it be best, then the best solution occurred to me. If the light is green I could make it to a big hill and coast miles closer to home! Could I have had any worse car trouble? I really should warm up my car, not just for the engine but for the transmission when it was cooler? Sub-zero temperatures!

With these useless thoughts of how the transmission oil overtaking me could have helped me, I coasted down the ramp, where I found my light green! Luckily, I was making it thru a six way intersection of Salt Lake’s spaghetti bowl freeway area, looked at the odometer and thought, “Despite this cooler night, and gummed up transmission oil, how far can I coast towards home before I’m stopped!” With thoughts of momentum or police stopping if I drove too wildly, I kept the engine running for optimal power steering and brake control. The transmission and it’s oil being in such a cooler and broken state, I had to keep the clutch depressed or the engine would trundle to a stop. I was still hoping against logic, that maybe if my transmission just warmed up enough it would work again!

6.2 miles later, a long hill, and car honking its horn and passing me for going 25 mph in a 40 mph zone, the car had stopped for doing its best up a long, but gentle hill. A cell phone call that pride made me take 15 minutes longer than necessary to call and 20 minutes later, I was home, my car was abandoned and I was safely warming up, wanting some nice hot chocolate.

Later, after a local Police Warning
And my car had been towed by my other car, a 4 cylinder car
– scary -
. . .

The mechanic said he had never seen the type of metallic breaks in the relationship between a gear box, the transmission, and the shifter happen like that. He really wanted to know what I’d done to it! I explained the cold and not warming up my car, and said, “Ooooohhhhh, you don’t want to do that!” in his sing-song Korean accent – wow he was good with import cars! I asked about a transmission cooler being installed along with everything else and he said that with my manual transaxle and how little fluid there was in there that it was just important to warm up the car and then, no worries.

Despite this vehicle not being designed for it, I’ve ever since wondered about transmission oil coolers, and what kind of cars or trucks should have them. The answer? Any larger vehicle whether it is a manual or an automatic could use one, but for it to work on smaller vehicles it tends to require it to be an automatic for the design to be compatible with a transmission oil cooler. I had an amazing mentor for finding these and other solutions for the best car’s miles-per-gallon possible. He was a nut like myself for this stuff. For an analysis, benefits, and some how to see the: Transmission Cooler Upgrade.

Between those Indy Car games and being I self proclaimed athletic driver I had learned a lot about conserving my forward momentum. This experience taught me how to have a few more wild adventures on purpose with the car off taking my 1994 Ford Escort to a record of 39.97 miles per gallon, which required me to turn off my car whenever I was waiting at an intersection, *stopping the engine in stop and go traffic where there was truly no flow of traffic, and mostly driving on the highway for the whole take of gas. These days, with just a little application of the knowledge above and many more modifications and a superior Toyota Celica engine design to work off of, I’ve in September only, gotten 55 miles per gallon in 2006 and 56 in 2007. In 2007 my little 1999 Chevy Prism even had a heavy load to transport unlike the light load in 2006, meaning I may have been able to do even better with my further modifications.

I still look forward to a high flow catalytic converter, I’m just waiting for just the right one, that and a transmission oil cooler are the next modifications for my little car, which comes standard with a Toyota Corolla Engine, but since it’s the LSI model, it is the same engine with such advances as having no spark plug wires, having a coil on every plug, just like the Toyota Celica

* Starters don’t wear out like people think they do if they take care of all of their electrical equipment with extra grounds, as explained in my website on the history of The Great American Jalopy page, and the specifics on the 12 gauge speaker wire page. You can also assist your ignition, and prevent your starter from working as long or as hard by looking into the best Spark Plug Wires page, or by looking out for the most endurable spark plug: the NGK spark plug, or an alternatively great spark plug, the Bosch spark plug page that is still coming, and install them with the lessons of the spark plug gap page in mind. All of these pages and more can be found on AutoBravado.com

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If you found me in a search engine it is partly in thanks to Search Engines, but also to directories who helped me be higher in the Search Engines. If you need a directory for your site, this is two of the places that helped me: Directory Plus; Web Directory.