Q&A

Mailbag: Engine Rebuild Options & Exhaust Noise Remedies

Got questions?

            We’ve got the answers—Mondays when the Summit Racing tech department tackles your automotive-related conundrums. This week, we offer advice for an engine rebuild and help cure excess exhaust noise.

 Michael Barrett, Jr. • East Haven, CT
Q: I’m trying to decide what engine to drop in my 1986 Monte Carlo SS with a 200-R4 transmission. I currently have a 327 out of a 1970 Caprice and a motor from a 1963 Oldsmobile Super 88 Holiday. Which one should I rebuild? Or should I sell them both and get a crate engine?

A: Your best bet is to stick with a Chevy engine because it’s more of a drop-in project. Installing the Oldsmobile engine would require a bit more work for fitment. For instance, the starter bolts to the transmission instead of the block. So, you’d have to use the matching tranny, and that would require crossmember, driveshaft, exhaust, and possibly shifter assembly modifications for proper clearance. If you decide to go with a crate engine instead, you’re in luck, since all V8 Chevy blocks will bolt to your existing 200-R4 transmission.

 Ben Glouse • Liberty, SC
Q: I’ve been running a pair of original Flowmaster 40 Series mufflers for almost two decades. Over the years, they’ve steadily increased in volume. How can I make them quieter without affecting performance? I’m currently using four feet of 3-inch diameter tailpipe after the mufflers.

A: There are two ways you can turn down the volume on your old-school exhaust. The first option is to swap out your three-inch tailpipes for smaller, 2 ½-inch tubing. This will drastically cut down excessive muffler noise and add some low- to mid-range power without affecting top-end performance. Or you can move your mufflers closer to the end of the exhaust system and run shorter tailpipes. Both options will reduce exhaust volume while improving performance.

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