If you've been following our on-again, off-again LT1 C4 buildup, you'll recall that we recently treated the car to a full, headers-to-tips exhaust setup from Stainless Works. The parts--which included long-tube headers, a cross-pipe exhaust system, dual Random Technology cats, and a converter-back system with turbo-style mufflers--freed up a few horses and nudged the Vette slightly further along in its protracted evolution from milquetoast street cruiser into muscle-bound track weapon.
Still, we were never fully satisfied with the sound of the new system, which, despite its minimally restrictive nature, was only fractionally louder than stock. After considerable debate, we deduced that the construction of the SW mufflers--which shrinks from a 2.5-inch outside diameter to just 2.25 inches on the inside--was most likely to blame.
The most logical step would have been to replace the mufflers with a pair of 2.5-inch units, but quality Corvette mufflers can be pricey, and dropping another $500-plus on an already-modified exhaust system seemed like the kind of fix only a profligate could countenance. Then, while riffling through the latest Mid America Motorworks catalog, we happened across a potential solution.
In addition to a full range of mufflers and complete exhaust systems, Mid America offers an affordably priced "muffler eliminator" kit for '92-'96 models. The kit comprises a pair of straight-through pipes, polished tips, and complete installation hardware. (It's also available for '84-'91 Vettes, as well as in a chambered version for a slightly less aggressive sound.)
The tab is a mere $199.99--far less than you'll pay for a pair of decent performance mufflers, none of which can match the flow characteristics of an open section of pipe. The kit even shaves a few pounds from the rump of the car and--thanks to a choice of tip styles--looks great in the process. We were sold.
A quick email to the folks at Mid America, and the parts were on the way. Given the simplicity of the kit, we decided to install it here at the Source Interlink mothership, rather than farming the work out to a shop. An overview of the job follows, along with driving impressions and the results of our post-install dyno test.