Question: I would like to know what the difference between "straight-through," "chambered," and "conventional" mufflers is.
Via the Internet
Answer: Great question. Conventional mufflers (above right) use a combination of bends, deflection walls, and packing materials to direct and absorb exhaust flow within the muffler body. This is the most restrictive type of muffler, but it offers the greatest reduction in exhaust sound.
Chambered mufflers utilize separated walls, set at angles, to create "chambers" that reflect sound waves and exhaust flow. While some chambered mufflers are less restrictive than their conventional counterparts, they also tend to be louder.
For maximum performance, straight-through mufflers work best. They don't restrict much exhaust flow and therefore produce little or no power-robbing backpressure. The downside is that they typically offer very little in the way of sound control. Most straight-through mufflers use packing material around a perforated tube in an attempt to muffle the sound. This design tends to trap high-frequency tones while intensifying other ones.
One company, Corsa Performance Exhausts, uses a patented sound-canceling technology (called "Reflective Sound Cancellation," or RSC) in its straight-through mufflers (below right) to eliminate drone without creating any additional backpressure. This design helps Corsa mufflers provide an aggressive exhaust note under heavy acceleration while keeping noise to a minimum during normal driving.
Question: I saw your recent article about the C5 column-lock recall ("Going in Circles," Aug. '08). When I contacted my dealer's service department, however, they knew nothing about it. My Corvette had been working fine until last week, when the column lock failed. Now it doesn't lock at all. Should I try to get GM to do the recall, or just get a column-lock simulator and do the job myself?
Via the Internet
Answer:I feel your frustration, but I assure you that the recall-specifically, Recall Bulletin No. 04006C-does exist. (You can even view it yourself, by visiting www.wscc.ws/Clo%20Lock%20Recall.pdf.) If you can get your dealer to perform the work, I would recommend doing so.
As we mentioned in the article, the Corvette models affected by the 04006C electronic-column-lock recall include the following:
* 1997-2004 Corvette equipped with a manual transmission
* 1997-2000 Corvette equipped with an automatic transmission
* 2001-2004 Corvette equipped with an automatic transmission (European export only)
Question: I'm looking for the perfect gift for my spouse, who loves driving and racing his Corvette. What would you recommend?SamanthaVia the Internet
Answer: How about satisfying both loves at once? The Bondurant High Performance Driving School (www.bondurant.com) in Phoenix, Arizona, offers a variety of performance-oriented driving courses, including a four-day Grand Prix Road Racing program that combines race-prepared C6 Corvettes with the open-wheel excitement of Formula racing cars.
All courses take place on Bondurant's purpose-built facility, which utilizes more than 200 GM vehicles and boasts a 1.6-mile road-race course. The school also has a skills pad, where students can practice an accident-avoidance simulator, brake-and-turn exercises, a slalom course, and skid-car training. Even if you never plan to go racing, a class at Bondurant will make you a better, safer driver.