One of the many facets of building a hot rod at home is the creation of an exhaust system. Though header design and fab’ing might be best left to professionals (the meticulous work and time required to make a great set of headers may be cost-prohibitive to the home builder), the rest of the system can be assembled and finished by someone with decent welding skills, a basic selection of tools, and the right parts.
Gathering the right parts becomes easier with an introduction to Patriot Exhaust Products. One of the brands under the PerTronix Performance Products banner (the folks who make Ignitor electronic ignition parts and Flame-Thrower distributors), Patriot was brought into the PerTronix family in 2000, which expanded further with the acquisitions of Doug’s Headers in 2005, JBA Performance Exhaust in 2008, as well as the vintage Smithy’s Mufflers line.
Besides selling three types of mandrel-bent J- and U-bend tubing (1010 mild steel, aluminized, and stainless steel) to the homebuilder, Patriot also has gaskets, flanges, tips, mufflers, and more. For this project, a Patriot VaraFlow muffler was used, which features a small DC servo motor mounted to the side of the muffler that operates a butterfly inside. This not only changes the exhaust note (to the driver’s liking), but also gets rid of the droning exhaust noise that sometimes occurs at certain rpms.
Another way to help rid the exhaust system of an irritating drone is the addition of an X-pipe, which directs the exhaust in two different routes. The benefit of having the exhaust pulses interrupted by crossing over into another pipe before the muffler is an increase in low-rpm power. A custom X-pipe was fab’d for this ride using parts from Patriot, and it is something that a homebuilder could do himself, along with the rest of the exhaust system, so follow along and see how it was done.