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Hot Rods Open Headers on a 200 mile road trip - bad idea?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jaker, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. i run hooker supercomps, about a foot and a half of exhaust piping and dumped flowmaster 40's right under my seat. it's got a good, deep rumble that shakes your guts and sets off car alarms when loping past :D but isn't that loud. i can have a conversation in the car no problem.

    i have run open headers in the past, and i can tell you it gets old pretty fast on a long drive. plus, if you develop any other noises, you won't be able to hear them. the cops also don't like it very much.

    just some things to think about. at least grab some ear plugs.
  2. Goodlife
    Joined: Apr 12, 2010
    Posts: 181


    I just spent $4300 for hearing aids and they are a pain in the butt to keep batteries in and so on. Wear ear plugs for sure if you don't want to deal with the expense and inconvenience of hearing loss later. Just say-in.

  3. AnimalAin
    Joined: Jul 20, 2002
    Posts: 3,417


    Practically all of us with grey hair have done this, at least a little. It was pretty foolish then, and probably is now. The advice about hearing protection is very good, though; once you lose your hearing, it'll be gone forever. Whatever you do is ok, because if it's truly as foolish as I recall, you will at least have a story with long-term retelling potential.
  4. Dowies
    Joined: May 15, 2007
    Posts: 94


    One thing that was not mentioned. This Roadster has no windshield or top either. So basically it's like riding a motorcycle with four wheels. Wind fatigue plays a factor as well. I've done this more than a few times and I have hearing loss. With age comes wisdom.

    Ear plugs and a half helmet that covers your ears. Goggles to keep your eyes from tearing. Lucky Pabst can in the trunk! Leather riding jacket.

    Torque Fest here we come!

  5. thats just to good not to repost!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Lol
  6. I think it was a confused implication... you know, like the downtown city dweller commute-to-a-cubicle office worker who buys a Hummer to compensate for his boring life and small peen. Except instead, Mr48chev was implying that loud headers make up for inadequacy under the pants, not in them...
  7. GassersGarage
    Joined: Jul 1, 2007
    Posts: 4,727


    Ear plugs cut the higher tones. Behind the ear lobe needs protection from the lower tones. That's why shooter use full coverage ear protection.
  8. 26 roadster
    Joined: Apr 21, 2008
    Posts: 2,017

    26 roadster

    open headers draw attention
    attention draws scrutiny
    scrutiny get you tickets for all the other stuff that's not legal
    I am not a "Sally" I just don't want your actions to draw attention to me
  9. Django
    Joined: Nov 15, 2002
    Posts: 10,196

    from Chicago

    When I went to the Roundup a few years ago, I just had some motorcycle baffles inside some 4' long pipes off the headers. Going down wasn't too bad because the windows were up, but it does get really old. The way back, it was much warmer so we had the windows down, for 1200 miles. My ears were ringing for 2 days.

    I went to an audiologist 2 years ago and got tested. I already knew it, but my right ear was definitely quieter than my left ear. I had them make some noise cancelling ear plugs to my ears. They made a huge difference. That summer, we drove 400 miles to RocknRace. No problem. It took 2 weeks to get them made, which won't help you on this trip...

    I would highly recommend anyone who runs a car with open headers to have some custom ear plugs made for YOUR ears. It makes a huge difference.
  10. Talking about damage to the engine if you actually read the question and the answer. Long collectors are actually new at daytona in the whole scheme of things. Running with low back pressure won't hurt your engine at all, most of the low compression wheezers that get run in these old hoopties don't benefit much from open headers and sound about like an old tractor but it won't damage one to run through a set of headers and no exhaust.

    Doesn't matter how many ear plugs you wear and where the exhaust exits noise fatigue will still get to you. Noise is as much felt as it is heard.

    Django 40 years of being stupid has all be destroyed my hearing. Last I was tested I had lost two ranges of hearing. That was about 14 years ago, I just don't hear worth a flip now and deal with it.

    Unless you are running a pretty hot mill open exhaust just doesn't sound that good at least not to someone who knows. It sure isn't worth the damage it does to you to sound like you are cool.

    BTW glad you smarted up and got yourself some good sound killers. I wish everyone that is younger could learn from my mistakes and not their own.
  11. ratster
    Joined: Sep 23, 2001
    Posts: 3,540


    ive got over 60k on my roadster with open headers, drove cross country two times but i do wear ear plugs on the long drives.
  12. Django
    Joined: Nov 15, 2002
    Posts: 10,196

    from Chicago

    I have started wearing ear defenders when I'm using the grinder or saws now. I don't know WHY I never did before. Young and stupid?

    Playing in bands for 20 years hasn't helped either. I definitely don't play as loud as I used to. And in full disclosure, the coupe now has full exhaust and electric cut outs, which will probably is a bit of a sell out, but the first trip on the highway and it was whisper quiet made them worth every penny.

    What can I say, my beard is getting pretty gray. :D
  13. I still remember the first time I was approached about wearing hearing protection while running a grinder. I looked at them like they were nutz.

    8 hours later I pulled the plugs and thught Daaaamn it noisey in here. I was still tingly from the vibrations but I could hear everything some clear that it was actually uncomfortable to be in the shop.

    I'm not getting as gray as most of my friends but I am getting a little long in the tooth. Tell you what I'm not as good as I once was but I am as good once as I ever was. ;)
  14. Nothing "Sally" about wanting to save your hearing. But don't worry, you'll be really cool when you sit there and say "Huh?" and "what did you say?" with your hand cupped around your ear when you get a little older.

    Then how come all the BMW and Gold Wing riders aren't dead? :eek:

    A lot of hearing loss for Biker's comes from wind noise, not the straight pipes. On a bike the exhaust is behind you and it's not as bad as a car where it's in front of you. But it doesn't sound cool to say that your deafness came from wind.
  15. Very true, I've been running my roadster for 4 years now with my head a bit above the windshield. The wind noise is is the worst on anything over a half hour at hiway speeds, ad that with loud exhaust and minga it's ringing when you shut it off.
    I put on full ear protection a couple times but found it weird to not be able to hear the engine. Even throwing up the hood on a hoody cuts that wind noise.
  16. redlinetoys
    Joined: May 18, 2004
    Posts: 4,300

    from Midwest

    Every car I have ever owned sounded better with more exhaust than it did with less. I run a 560 lift long duration cam now, higher compression, etc, etc, and it STILL sounds better with some mufflers on it.

    There is something to be said for the phrases "young and stupid" and "old and wise"... Don't take that the wrong way, but you did ask for opinions!

    Personally, at least at cruising speeds on the interstate, I like to be listening for detonation, broken parts, changes in pitch, bad wheel bearings, etc, rather than just WAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

    But then all of us like noise too. That is why we put cards in the spokes of our bikes as little ones, eh?

    At a minimum, go with ear plugs, but then why not just muffle it and tune it correctly for the very slight back pressure and enjoy the ride and stay out of trouble with the law?

    Personally, between open exhausts on Harleys, Rat Rod engineering, Big Boom Stereos and Donk mobiles, we keep getting more scrutiny as a group than any of us deserve. It is only gonna get worse.

    Regardless, HAVE FUN on your trip!
  17. dallasdrifter
    Joined: Apr 7, 2011
    Posts: 72

    from dallas tx

    I work in a shop that is 90 decibel normally all day. I hardly ever wear ear plugs, but I can tell a defenite difference when I do wear them. I have lost the ability to hear someone when they talk at a normal level already from too many loud concert's and working in a industrial shop for 3 years. I am only 26, and I say huh? all the time.
  18. Lone Star Mopar
    Joined: Nov 2, 2005
    Posts: 3,316

    Lone Star Mopar

  19. redlinetoys
    Joined: May 18, 2004
    Posts: 4,300

    from Midwest

    Wow! Is there a point when you think it might be a good idea to do something about this??

    90db is the OSHA limit...
  20. Jerry_Rolls&Pleats
    Joined: Apr 19, 2006
    Posts: 327

    from Europe

    There are different qualities of ear plugs, you need to check the decibel rating. The best I have found are the orange 3M 1000 (you can buy them in DIY stores, at least in Europe but I bet in the US too since 3M is a US firm). They are rated at -37 dB. If I remember well the volume doubles every 3 decibels, therefore -37 dB is twice the protection than -34 dB (other ear plugs I've found are -28 to -35 dB).
  21. 2manytoys
    Joined: Feb 24, 2009
    Posts: 225

    from Fresno

    Back to the original question. The problem with open headers is when you turn your engine off the cold air can work back up the open pipe then when it hits your valves they cool faster than your block and/or the rest of the engine causing your valves to develop cracks. If your open pipes are long enough the cold air doesnt work its way to the engine. That's what the old school idea was way back when.

    I have the quietest mufflers I can get for my cars, trucks and motorcycles and yet I an still a MAN.
  22. fonti
    Joined: Nov 28, 2006
    Posts: 487


    don't do it without ear are not a sissy!!
  23. loudpedal
    Joined: Mar 23, 2004
    Posts: 2,200

    from SLC Utah

    I think you need to go back and READ my post. I said earplugs are key.

    :eek: Did you sit too close to the TV and now need glasses? :eek:

    By the way, loud pipes get attention from the Soccer Moms and cell phone users so they don't run you over ...they do save lives. I'm shocked you don't know that.
  24. R Frederick
    Joined: Mar 30, 2009
    Posts: 2,658

    R Frederick
    from illinois

    But why be obnoxious trying to get attention. Open pipe Harley riders BLAP BLAP BLAP BLAP BLAP BLAP BLAP, ok I get it - You're cool, chill with the throttle Geez.:rolleyes:
  25. Back in '58 I rode home from Bonneville to Bell Ca with me brother in his Hemi powered 55 Ford PU, it was about a 12 hour trip, he uncorked the headers as we left Wendover then we drove all the way home. It took a good week for our hearing to return to normal.
  26. One of the oldest wives tales out there - simply not true. Period, End of story. :D

    Not really true either. The sound from a loud bike carries to the rear and unless it is just un godly, heaven help us loud, you don't really hear it until it passes, or is at least right next to you - in which case it's too late if Soccer Mom wants to turn in your path. There have been numerous studies about this. As cars have gotten quieter inside and radios better, there has been an increase in accidents where people ran into police cars with the siren blaring at 120db when coming from the rear, but not as much when approaching.
    The other study that has been done, showed that a car driver, when startled by a loud sound (like loud excessively loud pipes) had More of a tendency to swerve Toward the sound, causing a loss of control. The opposite of what one might think.
  27. Dowies
    Joined: May 15, 2007
    Posts: 94


    Loud pipes do save lives. I've been riding motorcycles for almost two decades, street legal. I've had quiet exhaust, moderately loud exhaust, and really loud exhaust. More people hear you then see you. I'm a fan of moderately loud exhaust. When you hear a siren don't you slow down and look?

    But, I do wear ear plugs folks! You only have two eyes. You only have two ears. You only have nice teeth if you brush them three times a day and floss at night. Take care of your body folks!

  28. No they don't I run straight pipes on my hawg for years before cell phones and folks still pulled out in front of me or nearly run me down all the time. If they are not paying attention and off in their own little world they are not going to notice if there is a mushroom cloud in front of them and a grinning terrorist behind them.
  29. R Frederick
    Joined: Mar 30, 2009
    Posts: 2,658

    R Frederick
    from illinois

    I quit riding because 4 times out of 5, I'd be pissed by the time I got back home. I realized that's not really enjoyable.
  30. Giovanni
    Joined: Jan 21, 2010
    Posts: 173


    I've got a thing against wearing ear plugs while driving. If it's too loud for the driver, it's too damn loud for everyone else. Exhaust is about tone first and volume second. Cutouts and mufflers. Using ear plugs is like using duct tape on your rod IMO

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