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Guilty Pleasure Modifications - Exhaust Cutouts And Flamethrower Kits

Live A Little, Why Don't Ya? How About Installing Exhaust Cutouts And Flamethrower Kits

By , Photography by Auto Loc, Hot Rods Etc,

Life isn't all death and taxes, and sometimes we take ourselves a little too seriously here at CC. This is the editorial equivalent of us loosening up a bit. Normally, we wouldn't devote an entire article to exhaust cutouts or flamethrower kits, but it turns out that each of these items is a pretty strong seller in the marketplace and may represent a guilty pleasure for a guy who's otherwise all go and no show. So we decided to take a look at these fun ways to modify your exhaust.

Exhaust Cutouts
We're willing to bet that exhaust cutouts have existed almost as long as exhaust systems have. You know there was some guy who took a hacksaw to the pipes on his tiller-steered, Brass Era car and got to work annoying the neighbors.

While on the phone with DJ of Hot Rods Etc, who you'll read more about later, he told us stories of guys in the '50s cutting the filler necks off old gas tanks and splicing them into their tailpipes, gas cap, and all. Want to run loud? Unscrew the gas cap. It's so simple it's genius.

At some point, someone decided to package them as a kit, and soon all the performance muffler companies were offering some sort of cutout kit. Until recently, most cutouts required you to crawl under your car and unscrew the block-off plates. That takes all the spontaneity out of having cutouts, though, and these systems are better suited for the guy who wants to uncork his car at the racetrack but still wants to be able to hear himself think while driving there and back.

The high-tech kits of yesterday came with a cable-actuated flapper door that could be opened by the driver while behind the wheel. But the hot-ticket version of today is the electronic cutout with motorized flapper doors that can be opened and closed at any time from the driver seat. Based on our research, Quick Time Per-formance was the one company that jumped on this trend in a big way with several versions of electric cutouts in a variety of tube diameter shapes and sizes.

We spoke with Barry Adler, owner of Quick Time, who told us there are power gains to be had by installing his kits, depending on how restrictive your existing exhaust system is. He also said it's important to properly locate the cutouts on your pipes to get the biggest gains. We are in the process of installing a pair of Quick Time's electric cutouts on this '74 Camaro (last seen belching tire smoke on our June '09 cover). Check out the pictures to see what's involved.

If you want maximum performance from your exhaust system, build the best low-restriction system you can afford. But if you're on a tight budget or you don't want your car to be loud all the time, then these electric cutouts may be your best option. Your car can be quiet and stock-sounding most of the time-until you want the bravado and performance benefits of unrestricted exhaust.

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