Our Barn Find Project AMX continues to progress and we are thrilled with how this little beast performs and handles. I can assure you this car is going to see some serious street time next summer but for now the work continues. Progress slowed a little over the summer in order to play with some of the other cars. However, we will continue to give you regular updates so keep checking back.
By now everyone of you have seen those electric exhaust cutouts that let the driver open up the headers from the driver’s seat with a simple flip of a switch. They are way cool but how many times can you really open those exhaust pipes wide open? I have regular old school dumps on the headers of our 1959 El Camino but seldom open them. It is a combination of the effort of getting a wrench and undoing the bolts and the fact that running open headers on the street is an invitation for a ticket.
I found something that is similar but way more friendly for street use than open headers.
Sometimes you like the loud noise of the exhaust and other times a quiet ride is rather soothing. I have found the answer; a brand new muffler by Patriot and they are called VaraFlow Mufflers. The concept is the same as the electrically controlled header dump but the difference is that the switch opens the muffler up and not the headers. These mufflers look like any other polished stainless steel bullet shaped mufflers (beautiful) but they have a little flapper valve inside that lets you “tune” the sound. You want rumble, push the button and the flapper opens up. Want it quiet, push the button again and it’s quiet.
Now, the bad news is that the rumble is subdued and not going to break any windows or set off car alarms but it is a distinct rumble that sounds good and healthy. As for the quiet side, you can hear it but it is passenger car quiet. Depending on the level of noise sound proofing in your ride the difference may not be too distinct from the driver’s seat. On the outside you can easily tell the difference. I recently drove the AMX to a cruise-in and had the opportunity to get on it a few times. I have yet to take the car out on the interstate at full speed to test the sound difference but in town I am very happy.
I loved the rumble of the open muffler when I was just cruising down the street and pulling into the show parking lot. However, when I got the engine above 3000 rpm I can see where the sound might be a little annoying. Conversations in the car would be more difficult and the radio would require some “good vibrations” to be heard. With a flick of the switch the exhaust sound returned to a level that could be heard but not annoying.
Want to know what VaraFlow mufflers sound like? Click on the audio button below.[audio:amxweb.mp3]
When I first installed the mufflers I used a separate switch for each muffler thinking I might want to play with one a little more open than the other but that was “stupid think”. I soon realized that was not very smart and just added a switch to the dash. I quickly re-wired the switches to just one to operate both mufflers, no big deal.
I have also included a photo of the terrific clamps the installer used to eliminate welding those beautiful mufflers. These things are not cheap but look good and eliminate leaks. I will keep you posted as the AMX gets closer to completion and we see more road time.
In the meantime check out these Patriot VaraFlow mufflers for your ride.