Making Waves – Wave Technology in Performance Exhaust
Competitive sports are a tough game. You know. You are out at the track, or you follow your favorite team, or watch Olympic Athletes perform every couple of years. Hundredths of a second, or the smallest of margins can mean you are standing on a podium or standing alone in the pits.
You spend countless hours tinkering, measuring, diagnosing, and testing to see if that small change made any difference at all. In Motorsports there are so many different variables. Intake, camshaft, crankshaft, pistons, rings, and ignition timing. You get out on the track and see the tail lights ahead of you and know you have some work to do. You look at the beast in that garage and check everything you did and then realize you are still running the off-the-shelf exhaust you were when you made 200 less horsepower! Maybe there could be more power there – y’a think!? Exhaust is that un-sung hero of more power. The adage “the bigger the better” has proven not to be the case anymore in exhaust design. Good performance exhaust engineers specialize in wave dynamics as the burn transforms to pressure waves in the cylinder heads, and those waves can help or hinder that dynamic too.
A quick search on the internet and you will find several articles on exhaust dynamics and the use of Merge Collectors, megaphones, H or X Pipes. Each of these items are designed to efficiently remove exhaust gas using the pressure waves from the engine, essentially using the the surges from one cylinder to the other, to make power. Each of these components can be a determining factor depending on what you want from your engine. Are you looking for low end torque or high power on the top end of the RPM-band?
Rally Racers who use a much wider torque band back and forth through their performance have their exhaust built differently than a top fuel drag racer going from low to high end in a matter of seconds, as an obvious example.
For over 50 years the engineers at Burns Stainless have been focused on how to optimize the exhaust wave-dynamics to improve performance. They developed the X-Design Parametric Program which takes into account everything from intake to cam lobe to tail pipe. Race teams around the world trust our merge collectors and high performance mufflers. Widely used by champions in NHRA, IMSA, FIA-GT, and V8 Supercars our products are constantly being pushed to the limit.
In those years we have found for example, drag racing and similar applications where a tailpipe is not required, megaphones fitted with reverse cones are invariably the best option. They produce maximum horsepower while maintaining the highest and smoothest torque curve – a smooth torque curve is important where track adhesion and control are at their limits. Megaphones also offer the highest potential power past the peak without compromising the lower end of the power band on well-developed engine combinations. For applications which require tailpipes, a NASCAR-style transition (long or short) and ring is normally recommended. In either case, high RPM performers optimally use short-header tube lengths and a well-chosen collector outlet and tailpipe diameter to beat their competitors. But these need to be optimized on a case-by-case basis.
Our full line of Merge Collectors have been tested and proven as performance winners on the the track. We have a variety of different types specific for your application. 2:1 to 8:1, for turbo applications or naturally aspirated.
The weekend is coming up and you are looking at another day at the track. If you are unsure which style is best for you, please call us at 949-631-5120 to discuss your specific application.