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Discussion Starter #1
After reading numerous posts here I embarked on my own exhausting journey to add horsepower and some growl to The Silver Brick.

For comparison purposes please note the following equipment on my Element: automatic transmission (affecting the cruising rpm @ 70mph), and most importantly, a short-ram K&N intake & filter.

Here's how it worked out:

1st Try: a 2-1/4" cat-back system with a single Magnaflow muffler.
Result: too loud overall, especially annoying 3,000 rpm/70mph drone.

Back to the muffler shop...

2nd Try: added a tubular resonator ahead of the muffler (similar in position to the factory setup.)
Result: overall loudness dropped, annoying 3,000 rpm/70mph drone remained.

Back to the muffler shop...

3rd Try: replaced the Magnaflow with a Vector "turbo-muffler."
Result: overall loudness acceptable, nice growl, but the annoying 3,000/70mph drone was still there (not as bad but still not liveable) and my head was starting to hurt.

Back to the muffler shop...

4th Try: replaced the Vector "turbo-muffler" with a longer model of the Vector.
Result: Perfection!!!

Sounds: throaty idle, purrs at 3,000rpm / 70mph (but it is louder than stock) and when you put your foot down it positively roars. People don't expect my Element to sound like a sports car--especially when I'm passing them. On-ramps are a blast.

It feels faster but as many have indicated with butt-dynos your mileage will vary. I think that in combo with the K&N it may have about 10hp more but...

Gas mileage: highest I got before was 23.5mpg. I used the Element to help move into my house, put 255+miles on it, half of which was hauling 300lbs of stuff each time (rear seats out / empty runs back for another load).
Result: 26.5mpg.
I've been driving around town enjoying on-ramps and making noise with the thing and still got 21mpg out of the last tank.

Hope this posting helps.

If you're in the Dallas, Texas area I recommend the muffler shop that did the work. They were patient, only charged me a total of $60 more than the original system, and the pics show their work--nice welds and they spray paint the system after they install. The also threw in the upgraded rolled tip with the original price. Total was around $350 and they warranty their work.

Kinney's Muffler Shop
301 E. Pipeline Rd.
Bedford, TX 76022
817-282-3700

Pic notes: you'll see that they created a new flange and didn't use the spring-loaded factory bolts--works just fine. I also had to throw in pics of The Silver Brick just because, just like I had to paint the grill surround black too... boys and their toys!
 
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Excellent, excellent, excellent report!

Thank you for taking the time, expense and effort to so thoroughly document the process. Very worthwhile information... heck, I'm making it a "sticky".

Great work!
 

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So what is the exact setup you have finaly? a 2-1/4" custom cat-back with the tubular resonator and a longer model of the Vector? Do you know which model the final muffler is?
Thanks
Travis
 

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Nice write up. I would also like to know what model vector ended up with and which resonator?
 

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Very nice!
I went thru the same "building" process for my custom 2.25" dual exhaust setup.
First I tried a straight 2.25" pipe that split into 2 pipes into dual (side by side) glasspacks and then thru the suspension and out either side of the rear.
Very loud, very obnoxious and only fun for about a week before headaches from the drone became too much.
Later I ordered a 14" long body oval dual in/out Magnaflow muffler to install in place of the 2 glasspacks. Much quieter yet drone still there however slightly less intense.
Wanting to to get rid of the drone once and for all I ordered and had installed a 6" round 14" long Magnaflow muffler where the stock resonator was positioned. Drone gone! Replaced by a smooth, low, deep tone. Nice strong growl thru acceleration with no over the top noise blower.
I still come up with ideas for tweaking the exhaust and I'm about to install my third set of tips very soon for a sleeker stealthier rear appearance.
 

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".....added a tubular resonator ahead of the muffler

replaced the Vector "turbo-muffler" with a longer model of the Vector...."

In the final setup did you keep a resonater? I would also like to know the model numbers for the parts you used

Ok to really top it off how about attaching a .wav file with the new sound!?

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The Silver Brick Recipe for a 2-1/4" cat-back Exhaust

Thanks for reading my post, I know there are many of us Elemaniacs out there who just have to play with our toys.

RECIPE:
Start with (1) Honda Element
Remove exhaust from the 2-bolt flange on back--keep it if you sell the beast and the next buyer is boring.
Have your local muffler shop (pick a good one it's important) weld on an IMCO model 625106 tubular resonator--it goes in about the same place as the original resonator.
In the area where the original muffler was, weld in a Vortec model T936 turbo muffler. NOTE: I originally misidentified this as a "Vector" OOPS! and according to Kinney's Muffler shop (where the system was built) this is their own special order part. So if you can't find that, substitute a Dynomax or similar turbo muffler, make sure it's at least 19" - 21" long--any shorter and you will experience the dreaded headache inducing 70mph drone (this goes for not installing the resonator too!)
Top with a chrome tip of your choice and there you have it: an Element with attitude.

NOTE: I'll be driving the Silver Brick from TX to Las Vegas soon and will report back with my new outstanding gas mileage, as well as strange stares I'll get as I pass someone and they're surprised to see it's not a sports car making that noise.

If I have time later I'll try and come up with a .wav file.

Regards,
TSB
 

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Tell us about your Vegas venture!
The Turbo Toaster will have more growl this weekend. :-D I ordered the muffler from Curt at Kenny's muffler shop in Dallas. Should be arriving today or tomorrow. $68 + $15 shipping to Houston. The performance shop "SpeedFetish" (www.speedfetish.net) will be installing the complete system per your recipe above. I should have about $245 in the cat-back exhaust, installed! I'll let you know how it works out.

I'm still really curious on your change in fuel economy once your new exhaust was installed.
 

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M1 1I 1K 1E said:
can someone explain to me why the tubular resonator is better than the stock one? is it just b/c it allows the air to flow more freely while still keeping the sound down? thanks
Yep, you pretty much answered your own question.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Gas Mileage Improvements with 2-1/4" exhaust + K&N intake

Greetings from Las Vegas. Thanks to my Element I made it here with no problems whatsoever along with about 3-400lbs of my stuff.

As the post title states, my gas mileage improved. Here are some "rounded" statistics (please pardon the lack of decimal points but I just started a new job and time is limited).

Here's the equipment: '04 Element EX / Auto
Options: K&N Typhoon intake/filter system
2-1/4" cat back exhaust

NOTE: I was carrying about 3 - 400 LBS of stuff, going over hills,encountering strong sidewinds, and enjoying making people look when the Element roared.

Here's how it worked out on the trip:
Highest mileage: 26.5 mpg while averaging about 75mph
Lowest mileage: 22 mpg going through construction and unimproved highways / varied speeds (not very efficient)
Averaging 80mph with the A/C on Mileage: 25mpg
Overall mileage on the trip: 25mpg

Before installing this system I'd had a high of 22mpg around the DFW, TX area so I am claiming this as an improvement.

Best of all, there is a noticeable improvement in power--going up hills, passing, on-ramps are all dealt with much better.

Noise: when the Element is cruising along at 70 - 80 it's a low hum. When the O/D goes off it growls a bit. When it shifts down to take a hill... well that isn't exactly a stealth operation but it will hold its speed quite nicely and people wonder exactly where the noise is coming from because it certainly couldn't be eminating from that innocent looking Silver Brick, now could it?

TSB

PS Re: not using the spring loaded bolts. Seems the flange that the muffler shop uses mates up differently than the factory design, so the spring bolts were not advised.
 

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Question for The Silver Brick. Is there anything you would do differently now, if you installed another catback exhaust system? Aren't there any bolt on systems available that don't require any custom installation?
 

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Injen has just released a bolt-on cat back system. Another reason for going custom tho is the ability to design your own setup and sound. If you want dual pipes with a low hum or a massive 5" wide fart cannon you decide the look and tone you want using the parts you like. Maybe you want Flowmaster mufflers but with a Magnaflow tip. Sometimes you might even come out cheaper with a build your own setup than a full namebrand bolt-on but I am glad more aftermarket Element parts are becoming available.
 

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ok so call me a copy cat i just installed the k&n short ram "red" and its sweet Next i am waiting for and should arrive today or tomorrow are my resonator and muffler from Kinneys "same as the silver bricks set up" and will hopefully have installed before next weekend.Would have had them install but livin in poughkeepsie ny it was just a little to far to drive. :evil:
 

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Silver Brick, you metioned that the magnaflow wasn't working for you, was it the brand, or was it too short of a muffler?
 

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Hey all,

Did some checking on the Injen cat-back. Couldn't find it lower than $500. Could you guys give me some numbers on what you spent, it has to be lower than Injen. Thanks
 

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I am wondering if the MPG increase would be the same with a 2 1/4" catback system and an ingen short ram intake instead of the KandN short ram intake? I have the ingen installed and I love the sound and throttle response. I don't know if my MPG will increase or even if I can accurately measure it due to my new larger than stock 225/75/16 BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO shoes.

Also would it matter if you had dual tips or just a single tip? With the duals being split after the muffler.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
UPDATE FROM LAS VEGAS

The new job's been keeping me busy (but paying for the Element) so I've been offline. The computer's hard drive dying an ugly death didn't help either but enough with the alibis!

To answer a previous post: the magnaflow was just too free-flowing and the not long enough, so it was replaced.

To update: Every day I drive around Las Vegas going to appointments. Short freeway hops, lots of stop-and-go city, A/C always on MAX (it's tough cooling a big greenhouse in the desert.) Result: 20 mpg. Doesn't seem to matter if I concentrate on how hard I step on the gas or not, 20 mpg.

Drove over to LA a few weeks ago and people just zoom on I-15. At one point looked down and I was at 95mph, smooth as can be but with a bit of noise (as would be expected.) BTW I don't recommend doing that unless you upgrade the wheels/tires--which I did recently and will post a pic of soon. MPG at that point is not a good thing to report on.

Regards to all,

TSB
 

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The Silver Brick said:
UPDATE FROM LAS VEGAS

Drove over to LA a few weeks ago and people just zoom on I-15. At one point looked down and I was at 95mph, smooth as can be but with a bit of noise (as would be expected.) BTW I don't recommend doing that unless you upgrade the wheels/tires--which I did recently and will post a pic of soon. MPG at that point is not a good thing to report on.

Regards to all,

TSB

What only 95, I'm sure people were honking at you to move over... I use to drive to Vegas from San Diego and once you cleared Riverside and Victorville, 100 was the norm.... At that time I had a M-B 500SEL which was made to drive that fast. Hope you are enjoying the High Desert of Las Vegas, I get over there 3-4 times a year I have a uncle that lives in Summerlin.
 
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