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OK, this question is not the usual "what mufflers should I go with", but rather what system. I have a 66ss with a 396. I have Hooker super comps and am debating on 2 different systems. Since I have already decided to use 3 chamber flowmasters, I need the pipes from the headers back. Option 1 is: order the flowmaster kit they recommend (American Thunder). OR option 2 is: Have a shop bend a system for me. I have already located a shop which was recommended by a gentleman I talked to at a recent car show. His was a 66 also (with a 468). They do not use a manderal bender but bending is done by some other means via a computer. They are fully aluminized and the guy told me they specialize in street rods and cars like that. So what are your opinions? Do the flowmaster kits fit well? Or should I go to a shop like this to have them bent?

Apologize for the long post, and thanks for the help.
Chris R.
 

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Chris, I have "temporary system" for my 67 ( now with a 400HP 396, soon to have something "bigger"). I bought 2 straight 2.5" pipes and 2 $20 Summitt mufflers. I took it to a Monro shop where the manager is a gearhead and for $75 he bent the sweetest lil sytem up. Even added turndowns.

I say you have a pro bend and fit them. Plus his hangers are much better than I could've rigged.
 

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What exactly does computer bent pipes involve? Are they still mandrel bent? Or are they crunch bent? When I went around looking for an exhaust every shop that didn't do mandrel bending tried to convince me I didn't need it. They all said "we do these kind of cars all the time, we did a car with more motor than you and he didn't need mandrel bent pipes". Well I think that is B.S. Those guys are not going for power if they don't care how there pipes are bent. Turndowns are easy, not to many bends so I don't think it matters as much. But if you want it pointed out the rear like I did, you should get the mandrel pipes. I don't care what motor you have, anyone can benefit fron mandrel pipes.


So my advice is either buy the flowmaster kit or find a shop that has a mandrel bender.

[This message has been edited by David Nafarrete (edited 07-21-99).]
 

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I just had a new exhaust system put on my 69SS. I went to a muffler shop in my home town that is highly respected. He made up the sections from the headers to the mufflers and we agreed on 3 chamber flows. Past the mufflers he ordered the flowmaster prebent pieces the rest of the way out the back. It sure looks good BUT if you don't want a loud sounding system you might want to check around for some other mufflers. Here is my reasoning. If you have a fairly stock 396 it should be OK with the 50 series SUV mufflers or the 70 series models. The 70's are more money. But if you are going to build the motor up as I did. I am running a 427/500HP engine and I don't care what I do I can't get the sound levels down. But thats OK. I like it now that I have driven it around a bit.
Good Luck....
 

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This is what I did. I bought the Flowmaster mufflers and 2.5" Tailpipes then took them to the muffler shop. He expanded the inlets on the flowmaster mufflers to 3" (All Flowmasters have 3.5" internal openings) then bent me some 3" pipes from the header to the muffler and installed the nice flowmaster tailpipes. He also expanded the front of the 3" pipe to 3.5" and welded on the flage plate so no collector is used. He did not have a mandrel bender but the front pipes do not need much bend, I bought the nice 2.5" tailpipes and am happy with them. To bring down the sound level you can have the shop install a 2.5" crossover.
 
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