Imperial Homepage -> Repair -> Exhaust -> Resonators
Question from Clay (1960):
I just returned from a supposed reputable exhaust shop here in town . The mechanic informed me that to replace one side of the exhaust system on my '60 Crown (from the engine back) would run $220 dollars. That is using a resonator that is different than what came on the car. He said an original resonator is no longer available. Does this ring true to you that know about exhaust systems? Does the price seem fair?
Sounds about right to me. To do it right with a really high quality muffler and resonator, custom bending the pipes from the engine back, and fitting it all through that funky donut insulator in the center of the car, and ending with the tips cut like the original, would cost about that much. A good muffler is about $60-80, resonator a little less. Add pipes, hangers, labor, etc., and $220 comes up pretty quickly.
I finally put a really good dual system on my '66 LeBaron. We used a photo of a 1960 bare chassis as a guide, and I told them to put on the biggest, most Lexus-quiet muffler and resonator that would fit. It cost about $450. You can't hear the car run now.
You might find someone who can do it cheaper, but I can tell you from experience you don't want to use a bargain basement muffler nor omit the resonator. I have driven Imperials like that and it ain't the pretty. Sounded like I was in beater Plymouth. The silence of a properly installed, original-style, high quality system is impressive, and money well spent.
The original style resonators are still available. I had a complete system done for my 60 by a shop called Taylormaid. The contact person is Jim Forton, his info can be found in the WPC newsletter. Jim Is from Brockton Mass.& he has a large Mopar collection. An older gentleman by the name of Warren actually runs the shop out of a barn at his house. When I lived in RI, I went out there several times he has all the old time pattern & machinery as well as tons of exhaust parts.
He made a couple of the pcs wrong the first time around, but was no problem getting them exchanged for correct fit. I was lucky to have found a VERY rusty 60 LeBaron parts car. From someone living in sight of Narragansett Bay in RI. That would explain the severe amount of rust the car had. There was enough of the original exhaust system still present to use for measurements, which Warren did & everything turned out fine. in the end.
Question from Chris (1972):
Does anybody have an Imperial with the stock single exhaust and resonator? My other cars are hot-rod loud and by contrast I would like my Imperial to be "Imperially" quiet. Does anybody else have a Fuselage car with a 440 and stock ( including resonator ) exhaust? How quiet is it ? ( I know this may be tough to describe, but somebody please give it a shot? ) How much difference does the resonator make in the sound level ? Did all of the Imperials of the same year come with a resonator, or was it an option, or emissions thing? I've found a place that will make up an OEM-style system for me in kit form, ( since I refuse to take my Imperial to the local exhaust shop, since I'm 90% certain that they are responsible for the leaky, rattling junk that is currently on my car ) And the resonator is 50 bucks extra, I'll gladly pay it as long as it makes the car nice and quiet...
My 1973 has a single exhaust with a real muffler. When I got the car it had no resonator and was a little loud for my tastes. I added a resonator and could tell NO difference. A friend told me that the resonator would make it quieter if I was letting off going down a hill or something but not for normal driving.
What I've seen suggested is to use a glass pack for the resonator.
My 54 had virtually no exhaust system and I wanted to take the car to the Chattanooga gathering last summer so I took it to my local shop for a complete system. Of course they did not have anything that looked like the original 4 foot long mufflers but installed what they had. Was pretty loud. While in Chattanooga I found 2 NOS original mufflers and had them installed when I got home. WOW! What a difference. Can barely hear it run. The thing is that these 4' long mufflers are straight through glass packs, just lots of them.
I have a 71 Imperial with single exhaust and a resonator.
With 110,000 miles on the car, it is obviously not the original muffler.
I wish the car were quieter. My mechanic had a 1967 coupe that I thought was much quieter than my car.
I was told that the newer car mufflers are not as quiet as the older mufflers - since newer mufflers were designed to be used with a catalytic converter - and the catalytic converter deadens some of the sound. When you use one of these mufflers on a car with no catalytic converter, it is louder.
I do not know how true this is.
Shopping for the right sound is very difficult and and costly. If you're lucky enough to have a friendly Muffler Shop almost next door to you it won't cost as much. I had no idea what my Hemi would sound like when we put dual exhaust 2.5" all the way from the headers, too 3 chamber Flowmasters and then 2.5" out the back. That is in my 37 Ply, 331 power. It sounds great. Deep but no rumble. I can actually stand behind the car and talk at a normal voice to people.
A smaller pipe will give less noise unless your pushing 500 hp.
It's best to check hot rod magazines and get the low down on mufflers and the db ratings.
In the world of exhaust there is a cross from being efficient and the audio of that. The 413/426/440 engine seems to like 2 1/4" pipes. The Exhaust manifold has this size of outlet and the famed factory "Hemi" mufflers have this size. The factory resonators even have this size.
The other part of the size story is the amount of space that is available to route the exhaust system to and thru the under carriage.
I have put the "Hemi" mufflers and resonators under two '63's in the last year. In the next two weeks or so I'll put the same mufflers and resonators under a 66. The only difference is that I'm also going to have the "X" pipe with the 66 instead of "H" pipes.
I seem to recall seeing one in Year One's catalog. Call them at 1-800-YEARONE and they can tell you or steer you to some place if they don't have it.
I have a '71 coupe that used to be a bit loud. I took it to a muffler shop and was told that whoever had done the last exhaust pipe had put "the wrong muffler & resonator" on there. The car now sounds the way an Imperial should.
This page last updated May 12, 2004. Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club