Customer Reviews: Scientific Design of Exhaust and Intake Systems (Engineering and Performance)
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on December 13, 2013
I bought this book to try to learn some basic principles about designing my own exhaust system. As an RF engineer, the principles were very similar and I did get some good information out of this book. A lot of research went into this and unfortunately there is little solid information on the topic, otherwise. Conjecture on the other hand is easy to find.

The problem is, this book is horribly outdated and presumably early 1900's English is hard to follow (the first book was published in 1962). I think most people would give the book 2 stars.

When the data was being taken, there were no catalytic converters, no multi-valve cylinder heads, no variable valve timing, no oxygen sensors, etc. Each of these things has an effect on how a modern exhaust system should be designed.

There also seems to be some contradictions. The reflections of the wave in the exhaust are caused by every perturbation, especially openings, like where two pipes join or a pipe expands into a muffler. The strongest effect comes from the very first opening, which is where the primary pipes join. This means that primary length is the single most important part of the exhaust system tuning. Yet they provide an equation that has nothing to do with the speed of the engine or how many cylinders are employed and later, they flat out state, that the primaries should be made 18" on a four cylinder engine and then the same for a six cylinder engine, without even using their calculation.

Bottom line: If you try to design your own exhaust system using only this book, you will have a very hard time of it and will likely achieve very little improvement in performance over just running it any way that fits. On the other hand, if you try to design your own exhaust system without reading this book, you will have no chance at all of improving exhaust performance. It's your choice, but beware, it is a very hard read.
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on December 14, 1996
This book is one of only a few in this field, and for that reason, it is worth reading.
it is however showing signs of age, and doesn't provide a lot of hands-on info for those who want to modify their own engines.
As a starting point, I would recommend AG Bell's books or Dalton's "Practical gas flow" if your interests are in this area.
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on February 26, 2004
The information in this book is just as relavant now as it was when it was written back in 1972. Physics is physics, after all. The book gave me a much clearer understanding of header theory. My only complaint is that Smith and Morrison obviously wrote this book for engineers, and I'm not one. I had to struggle to understand some of the concepts, particularly on tri-y header design; but in the end, it was definitely worth it. The exhaust concepts are equally applicable to carbs and fuel injection. The only things lacking were crossovers and merge collectors, but I guess those things weren't invented in 1972. This book will give you a basic grounding in header design theory, and will enable you to discern a set of well-designed headers from a useless tangle of pipes. If you plan on building a set of custom headers, this book is definitely required reading.
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on April 4, 2007
This book is an excellent read, but keep in mind it was written by mechanical engineers, I am a an electrical engineer and never got heavy into fluid flows so this book did me great justice. Someone mentioned that it does not mention forced induction in the text. With forced induction you are not particularly concerned about intake side, for exhaust side all you have to do is adjust the pressures to how ever many bar you are running, or as this book writes it into lbs/in squared, these equations are based off of perfect afr so figuring out the exhaust output pressure is not all that tough.

All in all I gave this a book a 4 because it is exactly what it says it is, but supplemental reading on fluid flows is a really good idea, if not a must... this book is more of highlights the fluids theories in intake and exhaust systems for you.
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on January 21, 2016
A very elderly book, first published in 1962, and not blessed with any updates to reflect subsequent deveopments, this book as OK as background reading, but doesn't acquaint the reader with cutting edge thinking. Noted by another reviewer as including nothing on merge collectors or cross-overs, I would draw attention to its ignorance of anti-reversion dams and anti-reversion systems. Contrary to much in this book, many NASCAR headers now ignore strict equal lengths, eliminate tight radius bends and place greater emphasis on smooth transit of exhaust gases. Much of the content on intake systems should be regarded as fairly pre-historic, don't expect anything on how to fine-tune and improve gas flow in Tunnel Ram manifolds.
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on June 15, 2013
Apparently this is standard reading for anyone interested in internal combustion technology, whether that is hot-rodders, motorcycle customizers, etc. Most of the information has been established for decades, but then IC engines have been around awhile, and there aren't many mysteries left. This is good, applicable information, that works just as well now as it did in the '50s. I found it informative, and came away with a better understanding of things such as exhaust reversion and scavenging, Helmholtz resonance, and all the other fun stuff involved in making an engine breathe properly.
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on January 2, 2013
while some times harder to understand when you do not have a technical degree, it did satisfy me in the overall picture, I did learn a lot from what happens during intake and exhaust and the importance of valve timing, very nice information on how to build your own header, at the end you can come with a plan for your project. Of course you'll need to read some other books and a lot of threads to understand this issues even more, but this book delivers a good stand to get in the lingo and get your head around details.

For the reviewer that said this book is dated, I claim that's not true, since this is pretty much physics inside pipes with gases, the info is universal. And several times the author claims reality comes from experimenting and this material should be taken for what it is, information to play around, a lot of it is based in experimental engines. Some times you might feel frustrated because you can not understand, I would suggest to keep reading and try to grasp the whole picture. It is a good substrate to come real to build your own header, that I know.
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on September 15, 2012
this book has help me tremendous in designing exhaust systems and understanding the intake event.
the product came to me used but it looked brandnew.
i would absolutely buy from amazon again, great store.
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on August 29, 2014
Clear and easy to understand theory and working concepts. Although the book is 50 years out of date, a lot of the content still holds true. I wish they had an update
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on December 20, 2013
I was studying the behavior of the air in Otto cycle engines and this book help to understand it. There is more than I expected, for example, emissions.
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