It's been a long time since your heard about Project Getaway, NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Ed Krawiec's '66 Nova, but unfortunately no matter how many resources we may have at our disposal, everyday life sometimes gets in the way of our projects. Nonetheless, we are putting the past in our rearview mirror and moving forward with a mission-completion!
We last left the Deuce with a custom-built firewall and rollcage courtesy of Carroll's Rod and Racecraft, which recently relocated to Englishtown, New Jersey. Additional modifications are to include finishing touches to the frame, customizing all mounting points for the Turn Key Engine Supply-built, Kenne Bell-blown LS2, and TCI 4L80E transmission, along with the flooring and tin work. With the engine and transmission shoehorned within the framerails, however, construction of the exhaust system was next on the chopping block. Considering Project Getaway will see duty as a g-machine, strip slayer and weekend warrior, it was a no-brainer that top-of-the-line exhaust components were needed for performance, ground clearance and, of course, the ultimate in aesthetics.
For this step, the good folks at Burns Stainless Exhaust in Costa Mesa, California, were willing to come aboard Project Getaway, supplying us with some of the finest, most technologically-advanced exhaust components available. Not only are we gaining a custom-built exhaust system capable of squeezing out every bit of available power, but we've also gained a wealth of information in exhaust technology, functionality of metals used, and how specific shapes and sizing can help or hurt a particular application.
Stainless steel has been chosen as the metal of choice to construct the entire exhaust system. As many of you may already know, stainless steel has excellent properties in warding off rust due to its high chromium content, but there is an additional benefit that swayed our decision. Stainless steel, compared to mild steel, has superior strength for use in high-temperature applications (such as endured by exhaust headers). Mild steel would not be able to withstand the constant high temperature heat cycles of our blown mill, while retaining its rigidity and premium looks.
In order to aid consumers in obtaining the proper components for their application, Burns has you fill out a Race Engine Specification Form (available at www.burnsstainless.com). This form is utilized to collect various information such as, but not limited to, peak rpm, horsepower and torque ranges, compression ratio, bore, stroke, engine displacement, camshaft and cylinder head specifications, and header configuration. Beyond submittal of the form, Burns will enter it into its X-design parametric exhaust system modeling computer program. Once processed, Burns can give you the optimum exhaust configuration to fit your needs, such as primary header tube diameter, length, if a step header is required (a larger size secondary tube welded to the primary tube), merge collector design and length, along with muffler design and length (if required for your particular application).
When considering exhaust speed or backpressure, it is extremely important to have a properly modeled exhaust system. Too much backpressure (a more restrictive exhaust) can be detrimental to top end power and harm the overall power curve, while the opposite (not enough backpressure) can cause an excessive peak in the power curve, hurting low-end torque and overall performance. This is a fairly basic principal that is often overlooked, so beyond spending big dollars on your powerplant, be sure to carefully choose the proper exhaust system size and design for you ride. Let's delve into the Burns Stainless components used on Getaway, the reasons why, and the exhaust construction process set forth by Carroll's Rod and Racecraft.