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Looking to add some growl to my 96 impala. Been doing some research on past threads and im seeing the “Frankenstein” system being recommended a lot. Does this system still hold true or is there a more up to date set up.
 

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1995 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham
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Looking to add some growl to my 96 impala. Been doing some research on past threads and im seeing the “Frankenstein” system being recommended a lot. Does this system still hold true or is there a more up to date set up.
Unfortunately, not all of the necessary parts are still available to build the Frankenstein setup.

Jegs sells a catback for our cars for about $350 or so. If you want to spend more, you can buy something from Pypes or Magnaflow.

You also have the option of getting a local shop to bend up some pipe for you.
 

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Not sure how this would work on a sedan vs the wagon that I tried it on, but if you leave everything stock and just remove the mufflers (insert straight pipe in their place), leave the cats and resonators in place, it's practically stock quiet driving down the road, but really has a nice throaty sound when you get after it.

Maybe this is what the old "Frankenstein" setup was? - I'm not familiar with it specifically.

It's cheap, easy and not much to loose if you don't like it for some reason or decide to go with something else. If you've a welder and a sawzall it'll cost you ~$15 in materials and couple hours (tops). I'm guessing a muffler shop would charge between $50 and $100 to do this for you depending on your location and market rates.
 

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Not sure how this would work on a sedan vs the wagon that I tried it on, but if you leave everything stock and just remove the mufflers (insert straight pipe in their place), leave the cats and resonators in place, it's practically stock quiet driving down the road, but really has a nice throaty sound when you get after it.

Maybe this is what the old "Frankenstein" setup was? - I'm not familiar with it specifically.

It's cheap, easy and not much to loose if you don't like it for some reason or decide to go with something else. If you've a welder and a sawzall it'll cost you ~$15 in materials and couple hours (tops). I'm guessing a muffler shop would charge between $50 and $100 to do this for you depending on your location and market rates.
The "Frankenstein" cat-back was a list of parts that essentially allowed you to build a 2.5" exhaust for a little bit over $200 in parts. It's been awhile since I looked, but at one point it was news that one or two of the parts was discontinued. A search for "Frankenstein" will turn up plenty, I'm sure.

I'm not sure why or how, but it seems you and I have had very different experiences with the muffler delete. Are the mufflers and resonators the same between the Fleetwood and the wagons, or no?

I had the mufflers on my 94 Fleetwood deleted by a shop. I left the OEM resonators and cats intact. The car was obnoxiously loud. As a teenager, I loved it, but people always thought it had glasspacks on it.
 
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Frankenstein system was just that. Like the monster, a bunch of random parts thrown together. Not a preset list. It just meant is wasn't a complete system from one manufacturer, like walker, or borla, or etc etc. You piece it together for the outcome you want.
 

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Frankenstein system was just that. Like the monster, a bunch of random parts thrown together. Not a preset list. It just meant is wasn't a complete system from one manufacturer, like walker, or borla, or etc etc. You piece it together for the outcome you want.
Uh... no.

At one point in time, there was an actual part list that came to an exact dollar total. Don't make me search.
 
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Frankenstein system was just that. Like the monster, a bunch of random parts thrown together. Not a preset list. It just meant is wasn't a complete system from one manufacturer, like walker, or borla, or etc etc. You piece it together for the outcome you want.
Uh... no.

At one point in time, there was an actual part list that came to an exact dollar total. Don't make me search.
Look where I found it... In the sticky...


Font Screenshot Parallel Document Number
 

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The "Frankenstein" cat-back was a list of parts that essentially allowed you to build a 2.5" exhaust for a little bit over $200 in parts. It's been awhile since I looked, but at one point it was news that one or two of the parts was discontinued. A search for "Frankenstein" will turn up plenty, I'm sure.

I'm not sure why or how, but it seems you and I have had very different experiences with the muffler delete. Are the mufflers and resonators the same between the Fleetwood and the wagons, or no?

I had the mufflers on my 94 Fleetwood deleted by a shop. I left the OEM resonators and cats intact. The car was obnoxiously loud. As a teenager, I loved it, but people always thought it had glasspacks on it.
I'm not sure of any wagon/sedan exhaust component differences, but your description is probably accurate. I wouldn't say it's as loud or crackly as glasspacks only, but it has that similar sound when under load, just a bit quieter. When you're just cruising around town or idling it's very acceptably quiet, won't make people turn heads as you drive by (unless you're really accelerating) unlike glasspacks only which almost have a snap/crackle at idle depending on the heads/cam you're running.

Lots of subjectivity and personal preference here for sure.
 

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The 2.5" Over-the-Axle (OTA) pipes are discontinued by Dynomax and no longer available. Wagon OTA pipes are very different. Clear Image exhaust is also an option; their system is well designed and ships cheaply, though a bit more welding is required.

Whatever OTA pipes you use, you will need resonators on the end, or you will have drone. It's simple physics. Go look at any OEM exhaust system made in the last 15 years; you will see a resonator or muffler within 18" of the tailpipe for this exact reason.
 

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Clear Image exhaust is also an option; their system is well designed and ships cheaply, though a bit more welding is required.
Not to derail the thread, but there are a few members who would tell you that Clear Image has had trouble shipping anything at all. The cost is irrelevant if you wait 18 months and then ultimately request a refund through PayPal.

Go look at any OEM exhaust system made in the last 15 years; you will see a resonator or muffler within 18" of the tailpipe for this exact reason.
Likely the best argument for dumping the exhaust before the axle. Side exit for the win.
 
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Whatever OTA pipes you use, you will need resonators on the end, or you will have drone. It's simple physics. Go look at any OEM exhaust system made in the last 15 years; you will see a resonator or muffler within 18" of the tailpipe for this exact reason.
Joel, while I don't completely disagree, Little bit of an over simplification maybe ??

There are bumper exit modded B cars with no resonators and no drone.

My car, the drone , do believe the drone is a function of tail length, dia , exit position ( 3.0 dia, behind wheel side exit)
I have done cars with no resonators that were somewhat quiet with no drone the owner ever spoke of.
( 17749 and 17770 walker but bumper exit.)
Also balance pipe type.
Two exhausts I did, the exhaust are near identical , but one is an X , one an H .
The H car has a "blatty" RPM point and sounds like crap there, the X car does not.
(Unfortunately , the "H" car is my Cutlass :( )

18" of the tailpipe for this exact reason.

Don't you think that is almost more to do with fuel tank placement in newer cars ?
Nowhere else to put a muffler.
There are no drone SUVs with non resonated tails as I recall that don't exhibit the dreaded drone in a narrow range
 

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Joel, while I don't completely disagree, Little bit of an over simplification maybe ??

There are bumper exit modded B cars with no resonators and no drone.

My car, the drone , do believe the drone is a function of tail length, dia , exit position ( 3.0 dia, behind wheel side exit)
I have done cars with no resonators that were somewhat quiet with no drone the owner ever spoke of.
( 17749 and 17770 walker but bumper exit.)
Also balance pipe type.
Two exhausts I did, the exhaust are near identical , but one is an X , one an H .
The H car has a "blatty" RPM point and sounds like crap there, the X car does not.
(Unfortunately , the "H" car is my Cutlass :( )

18" of the tailpipe for this exact reason.

Don't you think that is almost more to do with fuel tank placement in newer cars ?
Nowhere else to put a muffler.
There are no drone SUVs with non resonated tails as I recall that don't exhibit the dreaded drone in a narrow range
You beat me to it. I was going to clarify on this front. As you know, looking at a resonator delete on my larger exhaust system.

What are your thoughts on X systems vs H systems? The Pypes system SGI10 have an X system. Is there any benefit to this?
 

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Personal opinion, Go X or go home .
Depending on the straightness of your tail pipe section between axle and bumper , you could try without and add later when Joel turns out to be "righter" than I
That said, If you are looking for the quietest performance exhaust you can get , the resonators are going to make the car all around quieter for a given muffler , drone or no drone .
 

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My understanding:
H-pipe is usually for low RpM power, X-pipe is usually for high RpM power, though there are of course exceptions.
Not sure a Fleetwood V4P NEEDS an X-pipe, but it only hurts when you have to remove the entire exhaust to work on something under the car - otherwise, it's pretty kewl.
 

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My wagon had long tube headers, cobbled together intermediate pipes from the junk pile, an H pipe, single chamber ebay flowmasters, factory over-the-axle pipes and resonators. It had no drone or harsh vibration, it was just obnoxiously loud. I replaced the small mufflers with some from a late model Dodge Challenger and it sounds pretty good now- idle and low throttle is quiet and has a nice rumble at full throttle.
 

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Not sure how accurate this is, but I've heard more than one person say that an H has more of a "classic muscle car" rumble, and an X is a bit smoother and more refined.

Exhaust note is one of the more difficult things to compare, just because no two cars are the same.
 
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I term it as a "sweeter" pitch
But sound and what sounds "good" is so subjective.
Case in point lots of guys are quite proud of exhaust sounds that I think sound like [email protected]#$.
Personally, big power cars struggling to be quiet, always sound better than loud exhaust on stock engines.
" sounds like a Nascar"
Oh please!!
 
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