The primary goal for Project Hoondy’s custom exhaust build was killer sound. We were expecting great things from the combination of a custom Spintech muffler and resonators from Vibrant Performance. However, as the build went on we didn’t dare to hope we’d end up with such a fantastically fruity set of pipes.
Through pure, slightly-educated guesswork we managed to hit upon the exact grumbly, old-school sound that we lusted after. Not only did we obtain a great base tone, but we also got oodles of “POP-crackle-BANG!” action during abrupt throttle changes.
“Abrupt” really is the word there. The most magical thing about Project Hoondy’s new exhaust is the way it responds to throttle input. Drive the car gently, and the exhaust sound is like the ghost of Barry White quietly seducing your mother. Drive the car hard, and the exhaust sound is like John Goodman bellowing his second-best impression of an Aston Martin:
Digital audio recording is never kind to exhaust noise and this case is no exception. Project Hoondy’s custom exhaust sounds more compressed and flatulent via Youtube than it is in person, though we do think that the spirit of the experience still shines through in video form.
According to our butt-dyno the exhaust upgrade was good for a decent bump in power, but we really don’t care. The car feels nothing but faster than it did before and it sounds fantastic.
Which is good because, objectively, our exhaust system doesn’t look anything like as good as it sounds.
We thought our custom muffler looked cool as hell when we first laid eyes on it. After Tim made merry with the Tig welder though, it was looking decidedly more awkward.
There was no questioning the quality of construction. Tim’s fully back-purged stainless TIG welds were lovely and his long, smooth round-to-oval transitions would produce excellent flow characteristics.
Fine, so the rear portion of our custom catback exhaust didn’t look as cool as the wicked-bad middle section. That wouldn’t matter, so long as it looked good installed on the car:
What had looked like nice fat exhaust tips on our kitchen table turned out to be rather underwhelming when stuck out the back of a Hyundai Genesis Coupe. They seemed to be a tad too long, which is easy to fix, but even with that done the tips just look under-sized compared to the typical after-market quad-tip setup.
Our exhaust tips are actually quite nicely proportioned with the entire car, but the standard lower bumper on the GenCoupe has huge exhaust cut-outs so as to accommodate the lame, fake, wide OEM tips shown here.
We initially thought pretty hard about how we were going to fix the aesthetic shortcomings of Project Hoondy’s custom exhaust, but as time rolled on we grew accustomed to the look. Further performance upgrades beckon to us, especially a fascinating new ECU development. We’re not sure we’ll ever be bothered enough to re-work the exhaust tips.
When viewed in full from underneath, we think our custom catback looks pretty legit. All of the new components are tucked nicely into the under-body. We’ve created no new low points on the car.
Our exhaust system is also very serviceable with quick-connect V-band clamps and OEM-style hangers. The muffler section whips out of the car in no time and the mid-pipe is only a little more difficult.
Overall we’re immensely pleased with our results. We certainly prefer it to any of the off-the-shelf options available to us, even with our catback’s lack of visual appeal. As ever, we learned a lot from this build and we were already thinking of the next one before we’d even finished up the exhaust.
Stay tuned as we put our serious faces back on and dig into the drivetrain once more in pursuit of major acceleration gains. We’ll also try to cover other details which have slipped through the cracks. Sit tight and we’ll bring you up to speed next time on Project Hoondy!