So How Does It Sound?
Go to www.popularhotrodding.com and check out the video of Project Nova as we put the new Hooker/Flowmaster system through a thorough sound check!
DIY vs. A Good Shop
We opted to use the services of Automotive Excellence in Huntington Beach, California, but assembling a custom exhaust system like ours is well within the reach of the average guy, provided you’ve got the right tools. Assuming you already have a serviceable MIG welder, a compressor, jackstands, and all the normal stuff, you can expect to buy a few specialty tools for a job like this. We priced out some super affordable tools from the DIY experts at Harbor Freight that will provide similar functions to the pro tools at AE. The comparison works out like this: AE charges about $300 in labor for a job like this. You get to watch from the sidelines while the pros do it, but you won’t gain much personal experience. Buying the tools yourself, however, will give you the satisfaction of doing it yourself, while rounding out your tool collection.
Exhaust System Sizing
It’s possible to mathematically calculate the flow requirements of an exhaust system based on the total mass flow of the system (mass of the ingested air plus the mass of the fuel), but it works out to about 2.2 cfm per engine horsepower. For a straight piece of round pipe, each square inch of cross-sectional area flows about 115 cfm, so it’s a matter of working forward from there. This handy chart takes most of the math out of sizing an exhaust system, and from this you can see that our 532hp Dart small-block breathes nicely with a dual 3-inch system.
Where The Money Went