Car Design – 2 Pipes or 1?

I often have several articles going at once.  However, since I don’t to this for a living (yet) daily activities, like driving to work, often give me ideas for a quick blogging episode, the other article wait.

Like the other day after work, which was a good one at the old salt mine, a rarity, I was headed to my work out session with my “very understanding” better half and the car in front of me made think of a particular feature of  a car’s design.

In this case I need to give you an insight into some of the things that go on in my head while driving.–Don’t worry this is the PG version–.  The most important need is to be very diligent as to notice other to keep the wave alive…”  missing  a wave is a violation of the corvette code. (Yeah…really…and you thought all you had to do while driving a Corvette keep an eye out for ‘smokey’.)  Second most important thing is to keep an eye out for old smokey.  Then there’s the sizing up of your road-mates as you are stopped at a red light.   After those serious tasks,  I look at the tail end of the cars around me to see if they are two pipes or one and of course size (exhaust envy – it’s real!!). One tail pipe means it is a “girlie man’s” car and two or more is of course the opposite.   Hey… it passes the time while sitting in traffic.

Normally, I check out cars of all types for tailpipes,  Honda, VW, all the domestic  brands and models.  Most only have one and some have the bumper designed for two but still come up short one pipe.

So today, I’m sitting a traffic light at Broadway and Aviation Highway behind a Saturn Overlook cross-over vehicle.  Habit takes over and I noticed that there was only tail pipe – girl’s car.  As I looked closer the rear end, I noticed what appeared to be a factory designed space for a second tail pipe.  But the gap wasn’t just a mere indent where the second should have been.  It was a very wide space.  The design of that of its exhaust system on the end has muffler that looks like  an over sized World War II canteen.  The tailpipe sticks out of this elongated canteen at about a 70 degree angle.  The muffler is exposed and hides the rear suspension.  In the picture below you can see the dual exhaust.  

Saturn Outlook with Dual exhaust

   Now picture the left one removed without the muffler.  What you’d see is a cut out and the left independent suspension structure. Why not close that off?  The real reason is cost of having two different rear bumpers’

Below is a picture of a 2008 Outlook and you can see the exposed rear suspension.

Exposed suspension

 So while you are driving, look at the backend of the car in front of you.  You’ll see that Honda Civic with a place for a second the extra exhaust pipe and you’ll think…”Really? It was designed for a dual exhaust?

Thanks for reading.


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3 Responses to Car Design – 2 Pipes or 1?

  1. Steve Sears says:

    I think the issue is car companies being cheap. Most of the four cylinder cars use single exhaust but when there’s a V6 option they use duals but they only make one rear bumper. I’ve seen it on Dodge Chargers as well. The sixes have single and the V8’s have duals but only one rear bumper design.

  2. Bill says:

    You know, I have noticed that the few LeBaron convertibles left in the world do the ‘wave’ now, believe it, or not. I guess the two, or three of us left need to stick together HA HA.

    About dual exhaust; I remember when the catalytic converter came out, and GM went cheap with their dual exhaust systems on Novas and Camaros. They put the Y pipe into a single converter, then put dual tailpipes out of a single muffler. I always hated their ‘cheating’ back then.

    Final dual exhaust comment; it is not always an advantage. My friends 1980ish F150 went from single to dual exhaust, and for whatever reason, he lost quite a bit of off the line torque. MPG went up, and it sounded great, but otherwise he missed the low end grunt.

    Take care, Bill

    • timsweet says:

      Dual exhaust if not done right is not a benefit. I suspect that the guy with F150 added mufflers that reduced the flow too much creating extra back pressure which will rob HP and reduce torque.

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