When upgrading your exhaust system to a custom, aftermarket system, you want to be sure you’re using the right materials for the job. And with all the components that make up the exhaust system (such as the exhaust manifold, catalytic converter, exhaust pipe, and muffler), it can get overwhelming.
One question we frequently get at Performance Muffler is how stainless steel plays a role in your exhaust system. And that’s what we’re going to dive into in this article.
Why Even Fabricate a Custom Exhaust System?
First, you might be wondering why it’s even worth it to fabricate a custom exhaust system. After all, your car works fine when it rolls off the factory lot, right? Sure, but it can be so much better with customization. A custom exhaust system provides several benefits. To name a few, it will increase power, sound, and fuel economy. We recommend fabricating a custom exhaust for most drivers. You’ll improve your vehicle and make it a little more personal to you.
Is Stainless Steel Good for Exhaust?
Stainless steel is great for the exhaust piping system for a few reasons. On the surface, stainless steel provides a good aesthetic for your vehicle. The material is good for the tubing formation, allowing it to navigate across a vehicle more easily.
Plus, most stainless steel alloys in vehicles can withstand extremely high temperatures. As you can imagine, it gets hot under your vehicle’s hood. The better tubing can endure those temperatures (paired with the pressure changes), the longer your exhaust lasts. Stainless steel also endures corrosion better since it has a lower carbon content. It has greater strength, look, and affordability compared to other materials, making it a smart choice all around.
What Grade Stainless Steel Is Best for Exhaust?
Now that you understand why stainless steel is exceptional for your vehicle, let’s analyze which stainless steel grade is best. There can be many grades, but the two most common are 304 and 409 stainless steel. The difference between the two is the amount of chromium and nickel in each.
304 stainless steel has higher amounts of chromium and nickel. Specifically, 304 has 18-20% chromium and 8-10% nickel versus 409 with 10.5-12% chromium and 0.5% nickel. Thus, 304 stainless steel is higher quality material, making it the best for your exhaust system. The 304 grade is also more difficult to bend and cut, so we recommend having a professional handle any exhaust tubing fabrication.
What Do I Need to Make a Custom Exhaust?
As a reminder, a “custom” exhaust really just means any aftermarket alteration to the manufacturer’s stock, or factory exhaust system. This can range from changing your exhaust tips or adding exhaust headers. Or, of course, a custom exhaust can include a full renovation, such as making your car have a cat-back exhaust system.
So the answer to what you need for a custom exhaust varies, too. If you’re looking to alter exhaust piping, you’ll definitely need to understand MIG vs. TIG welding. Altering your exhaust is a task that requires specialization and time; don’t cut corners on the process. You can even make it easier by getting a professional automotive consultation or service.
Contact Us for Custom Exhaust Ideas and Help
More than just exhaust repairs, Performance Muffler can be a source of ideas for your vehicle. We’re a garage for people who “get it.” We want to be part of your vehicle transformation process. Don’t hesitate to contact us for examples of how we can improve your car, and then we can provide a free quote for any discussed service.
About Performance Muffler
Performance Muffler is proud to call itself a top custom exhaust shop in the Phoenix area since 2007. Browse our website to learn more about our passionate craft and superior service. And you can read our blog for more automotive insight and advice.