Max muffler size? Or... what muffler for 50% loudness - Ford Bronco Forum
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post #1 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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Max muffler size? Or... what muffler for 50% loudness

My '94 5.8L E40D with ~33" tires & stock everything is dog SLOW.
I've blown my budget on getting it running nicely, fixing everything that was wrong with it.

But... it's... soooo slow. Pretty sure the gearing is stock, which is one thing I'm looking into.

Anyways, the point of this thread is to ask about mufflers.
Not cat-back systems, but just mufflers.
What is the max size muffler that will fit properly under the 80's/90's Bronco with E40D auto transmission?

I want to research mufflers but need to know what size limit I'm restricted to.

Or if you want, please suggest a 3" muffler that would be, on a scale of 1-10 with stock loudness being "1" and "annoying mofo" being a "10", this muffler with straight pipe & long-tube headers would deliver somewhere around a "5" sound-pressure-wise.

I like rumble, but I don't want people hearing me coming from two blocks away when I'm just driving normal.
If I've got the pedal to the carpet then I don't care... but I don't want to be extra loud when just Grandma'ing it around town.

ps. I'll be doing a non-cat Y-pipe until next year when my budget goes up.
Texas is "OK" with it, I already researched the emissions laws for my '94.
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post #2 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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You know what, I can just get underneath the Bronco with a tape measure and figure it out for myself.
I'll just measure the stock muffler.
Then measure the space it has to occupy and see how much larger it can be.
Then I'll have my max dimensions.
I'll try to do this tomorrow afternoon and post results for anyone else Googling this info.
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post #3 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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I really don't know much about muffler reputations though.
So I would appreciate any recommendations on 50% loud mufflers.
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post #4 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 12:51 AM
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That 50% request is entirely subjective and you really can't expect a specific recommendation without speaking to an experienced muffler guy, regardless of the vehicle or engine.

FWIW, I recently had my CAT's scrubbed after they became so clogged they started to heavily restrict my engine power... which I was keenly aware of, having just swapped in a fresh reman. I think the muffler is either a Magnaflow or a FlowMaster but the p.o. installed it and it's holding up well enough that I haven't had to mess with it or I'd know for sure.

Once I scrubbed the CAT in the Y-pipe and replaced the other with straight pipe, the sound increased quite a bit. So did the smell... but still nothing like a stanky diesel. Sound increase is notable and significantly deeper/hollower... but, I can't really exactly say it increased by 50%... probably a little more. My only real point of reference for a loud exhaust is my '73 F250 w/a 360 FE, Heddman long tube headers and glass packs. I use it for plowing, firewood, etc. but my neighbor thought I owned a drag car or mud bog truck.

The Bronco sounds far mellower by comparison and pretty mellow when putting around but as soon as you step into it... you and everyone around will know it. I don't think it's that bad but I ride a loud Harley too, so you'd have to consider the source. I also rev unnecessarily at stop lights and intersections... because South Park taught me too.



Oh yea... I think this pipe is setup at 2.5", with an adapter to 3" at the muffler and 3" on out. I was concerned about back pressure and left it in a well trusted muffler guys best discretion.


And... for those that would question, I live in a rural area with zero emissions requirements, in WA state... if you can believe that.

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post #5 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 01:02 AM
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Lots of options here, one simple upgrade to do is a punisher valve body, completely changes the attitude of the truck.
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post #6 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 07:52 AM
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Long tubes are somewhat of a pain on these truck. Really need to see if its worth it to you to run them, eventually. In my opinion your not going to get the gain from them you maybe would expect, due to other limitations in the engine and efi controls (especially if your Speed Density). Now change the intake and heads, and swap to a MAF setup and I do think you'd get results that make it worth it.... Though even on my warmed up, MAF, 351 I am still running shorties due to how clean the rest of the exhaust ends up.

I agree on the loudness being subjective, as well. There are also a bunch of variables like pipe length before and after, diameter, exit location, etc... Most common performance setup for these trucks would be the Bassani Y-pipe into a 3" single exhaust. Muffler of your choosing.

To get what you want I think you will want to stay away from anything that is a straight threw design, straight threw meaning can pick it up and see out other side, some of the offset ones maybe ok. The larger oval case magnaflows would likely be ok too, they usually have nice deep mellow tone until you get on it. A good bang for buck like this is a stainless summit brand muffler, they are only around $40. Any glass pack style is likely going to be too loud. They are expensive but I really like the flowmaster proseries, stainless construction, intersecting cones. Give you the tone of a straight threw, but is much quieter and does not drone, its good at "taking the edge off".

A person good with a welder and a cut off wheel should be able to make about any 3" in/out muffler fit.
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post #7 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 08:48 AM
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I have a flowmaster 50 delta flow and its rumbly at idle, and louder at WOT. Their 70 series should be fairly quiet

Borla XR1 is a 11 on the scale of wildness... that's what's on my 300
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post #8 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 10:20 AM
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@CZ Eddie I'd say my setup is a "5" as you've described above. See the below permalinks to previous posts and hopefully this info. & my pics will help you out:

https://www.fullsizebronco.com/forum...ml#post6804017

"I have the Walker/Dynomax Exhaust tail pipe (from muffler back), Part #45569 on my '93 5.8L. Fits & works great.

I used a combination of that and the following to create my bolt up cat-back system using the factory muffler hanger and other body hangers.

Muffler: Magnaflow #12636 Hi-Flo Performance Muffler 6" Round 14" Body 2.5" Offset/Offset

Muffler Hanger Bracket: Walker/Dynomax Exhaust #35502 Hanger Exhaust Ford Truck

Dynomax Stainless Steel Strap Band Clamp 2.5" Lap Joint - Stainless Steel Strap Band Clamp
Dynomax #33226, Jegs #289-33226"




and also see:

https://www.fullsizebronco.com/forum...ml#post6960738
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post #9 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 10:35 AM
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the longer the muffler the quieter. so I had a 6.0 chevy truck no cats and single in to dual out muffler. was an ap. I had about a 22 on it. it sounded perfect. my dads truck is a 4.8 chevy and we ran a 18 in dynomax on it also sounds great. I think the min you want with no cats is a 18 in muffler. other than that its going to be loud and annoying.
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post #10 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 11:29 AM
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PS - You can also put an appropriately sized glass-pack in front of the muffler, in the spot where the cat(s) used to be to act as a second level of sound deadening... or wait and only add the glass-pack afterward if need be per your sound preference.
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post #11 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 02:44 PM
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I went with SS long tubes and the drivers side was easy install. The passenger side I was finally able to get 1/8" clearance from the starter after it was wrapped with a lava shield. I had true duel 2.5" SS pipes attached that come out the side before the rear tire. The bend angle is tough with long tubes but a good shop can do it. Also have to cap the O2 bung and have another welded in to clear the transmission if you're running O2's. I have two Borla pro XS mufflers that fit perfect under the body outside of the frame rails. I love those mufflers. With aluminum heads 2.02 int/1.60 exh, 1.6 rollers an edlebrock truck upper/lower manifold and comp EFI cam it sounds great at idle. No drone at all with normal speeds but when you open it up it sounds like you're running straight glass packs. I like the mufflers so much I'm putting duels on my A6 and its only my winter ride!

Edit: Im also running duel magnaflow cats, shop wouldn't do it without cats.
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post #12 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 05:58 PM
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I did extensive research on mufflers looking for the quietest and most free flowing and the 2 top contenders were#1 Borla XS. #2 MagnaFlow the larger the case the quieter the overall sound, #3 Hooker MAX flow, then on down with all the other mufflers. I went with the MagnaFlow 12288 5" High x 8" Wide x 18" Long, 3" in/dual 2.5" out, then I went with 2.25" dual tail pipes with 3" dual SS tips exiting in the stock location. I tried the 12588 5" x 11" x 22", 3" in/dual 2.5" out but it was too wide to fit between the driveshaft and the frame I wanted this muffler because of the extra volume it has for sound absorption. After I got the 12288 muffler installed I came across the 12278 muffler (somehow I missed it in my original research) it is 5" x 8" x 18", 3" in/dual 2.25" out. This would have been better with my 2.25" dual tail pipes, oh well next time... I did after all this get a drone at 2000rpms which I eliminated with an Adjustable 1/4 wave resonator or in other words an Adjustable J-Pipe (look it up online). So now I have a nice idle, no drone and a nice sound when I get on it. I like quiet, to be seen not heard.
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post #13 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 06:05 PM
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Here is the Adjustable 1/4 Wave Resonator/J-Pipe.
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post #14 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 07:56 PM
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Consider adding a resonator after the muffler of your choice. It will tone out the cackles and higher pitched noises that are 'annoying'. That's all my 2003 mach1 had and the difference between running them and not was extreme. When decelerating using the engine, it would snap, crackle and pop so loud it sounded like a 9mm going off. With them hooked up all that went away. They only muffled maybe 20dB at the most.

My 309ci I6 has long tube headers, a 2.5" into 3" y-pipe, a magnaflow spun metallicat, and a borla XR1 oval case muffler that's about 12" long. It is loud and aggressive. But that's what I wanted.
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post #15 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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Some really terrific responses here, thanks everyone!
I meant to measure the stock pipe & area today but forgot.
I did measure the ID of the stock pipe exit though. 2.25".
And the stock pipe at the cats is OD of 2.75" or right about that.
I'd assume that means an ID of 2.5" but IDK.

Stock pipe is bolted on in the intake, welded to the pipe at the exit.
Rear cat looks to be easily replaced with a straight pipe if I want.
Front cat doesn't look easy to replace with DIY skillz, but could be hollowed out when removing rear cat.
With 200k miles and lax Texas emissions laws for a 24 y/o vehicle, this looks like the direction I'll go until I can afford a full exhaust next year, which will incude Bassani Y-pipe with cat.
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post #16 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 12:33 PM
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Flowmaster Super 50.

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post #17 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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27" x 7.5" circular (not wedge) is the stock muffler size.
You could go longer if you're willing to get into custom pipe bends.
But if you want to use the existing pipes then you're really stuck with 27" long.
You could go maybe an inch larger to 8.5" wide but does that matter.

I did notice about 16x16x16 of space for under-carriage subwoofer enclosure space.
That's 1.72 cubic feet of internal volume, not counting vent or speaker volume.
So maybe about 1.45 cubic feet internal for a single 12" ported enclosure tuned to 30hz.
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post #18 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
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What would ya'll rather have with stock 351W engine & intake with cat-delete?
Upgrade gears to match 33" tires or long-tube headers?
I'm thinking gears.

So until next year when I do a stroker build... I'd be looking at...
3.0" single tube cat-back, rear cat delete, front cat hollowed out and larger 4.10 or 4.27 gearing.

E40D auto.

After the 408 stroker, I'd add Bassani long-tube headers, Bassani catalytic converter Y-Pipe and the existing 3" single-tube cat-back.
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post #19 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-08-2019, 04:09 AM
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never thought long tubes were worth the considerable hassle on our FSB's when aftermarket shorty options are plentiful, work quite well and are considerably easier.
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post #20 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-08-2019, 09:05 AM
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I agree with the above, only way I would run long tubes on mine is if they where of the fender well exit flavor.

Also not sure on your particular truck, but broken off bolts in the head is a very real possibility on these trucks. With everything else stock, was not worth the hassle to me. I ran stock manifolds, into the bassani y-pipe, into the rest of the exhaust for many years. The manifolds, while not headers, are actually not horrible for the e7 heads (they kind of are not great either). The big restriction in the stock system is the y-pipe and its stock front catalyst/2 into 1.

As such gears and a better y-pipe would be my pick. Along with a punisher valve body. If you get the stainless y-pipe it will last a long time. I bought mine in 2005 and it is still on the truck today, even with the warmed up 5.8 breathing threw it. It does now also have a 4" single exhaust though from the y-pipe back. 4" is from as far as I can tell the biggest single you can run with a muffler on these trucks. Very tight to everything.


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Last edited by CrazyBRONCOguy; 06-08-2019 at 09:37 AM.
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