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Need to Know About Exhaust Systems

Consumers buy goods and services with the expectation that these will satisfy them. In taking care of your exhaust system, high cost would not necessarily mean better performance and satisfaction upon payment. In maintaining an old car part such as the Oldsmobile exhaust, vigorous care is essential. It is therefore a must to know the basics of taking care of your Oldsmobile exhaust system that would not make you spend more.

One of the cheapest ways of increasing engine efficiency is through having well designed exhaust system. Eventually, it would therefore increase engine power. Keep in mind that on a four stroke engine, only one stroke does work; that is the power stroke. The other three strokes - intake, compression and exhaust - absorb some of the power that was made on the power stroke. If you can minimize the amount of power that is lost by these idle strokes, you will have more power available to drive the wheels, which is what the engine is supposed to be doing.

A V-8 engine requires two exhaust manifolds and one or two mufflers. It is often accompanied by resonators. When one muffler is used, the exhaust pipe from one manifold meets the other one in the form of a "Y". This is also known as a "Y-split" exhaust. Most V8s use what is called a Dual Exhaust system. A Dual Exhaust system requires two exhaust manifolds and two mufflers. Each side of the exhaust system is completely separate from the other. The advantage of a dual exhaust system is that the engine exhausts more freely, thereby lowering the back pressure which is inherent in an exhaust system. With a dual exhaust system, a sizable increase in engine horsepower can be obtained because the "breathing" capacity of the engine is improved. It thereby leaves less exhaust gases at the end of each exhaust stroke. This, in turn, leaves more room for an extra intake of the air-fuel mixture.

The purpose of the exhaust system is to control the emissions and exhaust produced by the engine. This is to turn the harmful pollutants that your car produces into harmless ones that don't ruin the environment. These pollutants include unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and dioxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, phosphorus, lead and other metals.

The stock exhaust system is a compromise between noise, cost, warranty, and space limitations. The stock type mufflers cause some back-pressure, which adversely affect performance. The pipe configurations and/or size also cause back-pressure in many applications. In addition, most of the standard exhaust manifolds are made of cast-iron, because it is vastly cheaper and much quicker to manufacture than a crafted branch exhaust manifold. The weight and the thermal characteristics of the cast-iron, however, limit the length of the individual runners, and its shape causes the gasses to follow some abrupt turns. The silencers are also mostly not built to enhance the gas flow out of the combustion chamber. This means that the engine has to force the exhaust gasses out of the combustion chamber on the exhaust stroke, with the result that the chamber still has some spent gas inside when the fresh charge of air/fuel mixture arrives. This residual gas, which has done it's work, and will not burn again, takes up space in the chamber which could otherwise be filled by a healthy, combustible mixture that can produce power. The situation worsens as engine revolutions increase, so does the back pressure in the exhaust system, because the engine has to pump more gas through the restrictive outlet. It is common to see back pressure rise to 5psi on some engines at peak power. At the end of the exhaust stroke, the spent gas that is still inside the combustion chamber, remains at that pressure. Next, the intake valve opens, and this pressurized exhaust gas pops out through the intake valve into the inlet tracts. This pushes back the fresh charge of combustible mixture. When the piston has traveled down far enough to draw in the intake charge, you now have a very much diluted mixture, further reducing the efficiency of the engine.

It is really true that there are more gains to be had from making sure that the exhaust gasses are effectively removed from the combustion chamber. Smoothly bent pipes, relatively free flowing mufflers, headers, and a balance pipe will result in a more efficient exhaust system and thus greater performance. A well designed exhaust system can even draw the gasses out of the chamber, using the momentum of the gas traveling down the pipe to suck the residual gasses out of the combustion chamber. The gas traveling down the pipe creates an area of low pressure behind it. This does not only purges the combustion chamber, but also draws more mixture into the chamber during the valve overlap period. So, instead of having high pressure exhaust gas popping into the inlet tracts, you now have a partial vacuum inside the combustion chamber, which pulls the fresh charge into the chamber whenever the intake valve opens.

About The Author Jerick Brooks is a BS Computer Science graduate at Columbus State University. He has passion for anything car-related especially car racing. He loves writing and currently works as an IT consultant in a company based in Atlanta.
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