I got a little bit older, a little bit wiser, and a little bit more annoyed with the screaming exhaust attached to my Saab 9-3. My solution? Make it even louder.
I know that may have sounded counter-intuitive, but let me explain. My current exhaust setup was a catless turbo-back with very little sound reduction before the exhaust tip. After driving with this setup for nearly 2 years, I decided I wanted something a bit quieter, but I still wasn’t ready to give up on all those sweet, seductive noises.
My compromise was an electric exhaust cutout, which would dump right after the downpipe; however, I also added a Vibrant ‘Ultra Quiet’ resonator right behind the newly installed cutout to help quiet the exhaust when the cutout was closed. This way I could harness the benefits of a free flowing exhaust, while also having the ability to drive home at 5AM from my overnight job and not wake up the neighborhood.
A few days prior to starting the cutout project I decided that the exhaust could use some maintenance. I took the full exhaust off to remove rust, add head wrap to the downpipe, replace the flex pipe, and repaint the whole thing. It is important to use non-porous paint to help prevent future oxidation and rust.
It was too
late dark to get everything installed that night once it all dried, but that didn’t prevent me from doing some test fits in the living room.
The next morning I got an early start. The first step was to install the downpipe. Once the downpipe was in place I was able to start test fitting the cutout and resonator. Before fitting the cutout I did want to make sure it worked. Thankfully, since I installed gauges a few days prior and ran most of the wiring for the cutout at the same time, it was essentially plug and play.
TIP: If you decide on an electric cutout, try and find one with the lowest profile motor. The large, cylindrical motor that jutted out of the side of this cutout made retaining ground clearance difficult. Had the motor been a bit smaller, I could have rotated the cutout upward and inline with the rest of the exhaust, but instead, I lost couple inches of ground clearance.
Now that all of the hardware was fitted the only thing left to do was plug it in and see what it sounded like. I safely tied up the wires away from the exhaust, made sure the flapper worked, dropped the car back on the ground, and started it up.