"I am Camaro, hear me roar!" That is exactly the personification you want your exhaust to say to the highways and byways. The only weapon of intimidation you have on the road is the sound of your foot mashing the throttle while the tires squeal and the exhaust ricochets like a battle cry. But then again, another way to send a message on the road is with a hearty "you're number one" held up like a mast on a ship. I'd much rather mash the gas to get my point across, though. GM put some thought into getting the "right" exhaust tone for Fourth-Gen Camaros, which doesn't sound too bad since it is stock, but still it's lacking. You gotta remember, these cars were built for everyone regardless of age or status, so the exhaust had to be somewhat tame. The problem is that we savage animals who are power fiends need that "dark alley fighter" sound coming from the exhaust.
A new exhaust system is always a first for Fourth-Gen Camaro mods. The benefits are so much more than what's written on the box. Sure, they add power and get better gas mileage, and we don't know about you, but in our case, exhaust is all about looks and attitude. We'll take the extra power and mileage, but what we really want is an exhaust system that looks cool hanging from the rear of our cars, and sounds even cooler when we decide to hit the gas. It truly is all about attitude.
When trying to find an exhaust for your Fourth-Gen, the possibilities seem to never end. While you look around, one company that pops up like one of those mole arcade games is Stainless Works. Stainless Works has a well-established line of exhaust kits, products, and accessories for a wide variety of GM cars, including the Camaro. They even have three different kits for Fourth-Gens alone. With the cards laid out on the table, we decided to give Stainless Works a call and see what its products are all about.
Because we were interested in its Fourth-Gen products, that's where our focus led us. SW offers several different kits for Fourth-Gens. The biggest difference in the kits is SW has Transverse kits and full chambered exhaust kits. On the transverse side of things, there are two different kits available. The first kit is all CNC mandrel-bent from 3-inch 304L stainless 18-gauge piping. The 304 stainless turbo muffler inlets are 3 inches and the kits are also sold with dual 3-inch tailpipes with polished 3 1/2-inch slash-cut tips. The other Transverse kit is the exact same other than the piping is bigger to accommodate Camaros with more power under the hood. The bigger tube kit is made using mandrel-bent tubing from 3 1/2-inch 304L stainless 16-gauge tubing. Other than the tube size, the Transverse kits are the same. Stainless Works also has a chambered muffler system, which is designed to give a Fourth-Gen that 1960s musclecar sound. The kit is made from CNC mandrel-bent 304L stainless 18-gauge tubing with the front being a chambered 3 1/2-inch section and the back a 3-inch section. The rear pipes merge into a high-flow merge collector for optimal flow, and the system has no interior drone. This kit comes with the slash-cut tips, as well. When it comes to tips, Stainless Works has over a dozen to offer, from slash-cut tips, to ovals, wide ovals; they have a wide enough variety to where you're bound to find something you like. The coolest aspect about ordering tips from SW is they can custom-make tips in any length or diameter (3 1/2-inch body with 2-inch inlet, 5 inches long, for example) for any customer. All the customer has to do is draw up a rough picture with the measurements and send it to the right person, they'll get started on your tips.
For our Fourth-Gen, we went with the 3-inch Transverse system. The main reason for the 3-inch system is that it's a relatively stock motor, and the car is on the ground. The last thing we want to hear is the sound of metal scraping every time we run over a bump in the road. This particular exhaust is cool because at idle it gives off that mellow deep and mean sound that isn't overly aggressive or too diluted; it's just right. When it's time to rip it wide open, the system shows off its Mr. Hyde side and really sounds mean and nasty. Along with the Transverse system, we opted to go with a set of Y-Tips instead of the standard operating procedure slash-cut tips. The hand-polished 304 stainless steel constructed Y-Tips have 2 1/2-inch inlet and outlets are 9 inches long, and can be clamped or welded in place.