Top critical review
4 people found this helpful
A hard read.
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The problem is, this book is horribly outdated and presumably early 1900's English is hard to follow (the first book was published in 1962).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.