When modifying your car’s exhaust system, one question that often comes up is whether you should place your resonator before or after your muffler.
Both setups are commonly used, so which is the better option?
Here, we’ll look at the pros and cons of each configuration to help you decide.
Table of Contents
Placing the Resonator First
Putting your resonator before the muffler in the exhaust piping is the more traditional setup. There are a few good reasons to go with this order:
It maximizes the noise reduction
- The resonator helps to reduce the noise and vibration from the engine.
- By placing it early in the exhaust, it can filter out sound waves before they reach the muffler.
- This enhances the muffler’s ability to silence the remaining exhaust noise.
It’s compatible with different mufflers
- Resonators are less restrictive than mufflers.
- Putting the resonator first prevents it from choking the airflow to the muffler if you use a more restrictive or high-performance muffler.
The muffler gets less contamination
- Over time, the byproducts in the exhaust can coat and clog the muffler.
- With the resonator working first, the muffler stays more clean for a longer amount of time.
Placing the Muffler First
The alternative is to put the muffler before the resonator in the exhaust flow. Reasons why you may want to do this include:
- Mufflers are often heavier than resonators.
- Putting the muffler first moves more weight towards the front of the car.
Lower resonator temperatures
- With the muffler absorbing and dissipating the heat in the first place, the gases reaching the resonator won’t be as hot as it is.
- This may extend the life of the resonator.
Greater tuning options
- Switching the order allows you to combine the specific muffler and resonator models much more better to achieve your ideal sound.
Easier resonator access
- Depending on the vehicle, having the muffler further back can make it much more easier to service or replace the resonator down the road.
The Best Setup Depends on Your Goals
- When deciding whether to place your resonator before or after the muffler, there’s no universally superior option. The best setup depends on the exhaust note and performance you want, as well as practical considerations for your particular vehicle.
- If maximum sound reduction is your priority, putting the resonator first is likely the better choice. But for many enthusiasts seeking an optimal exhaust tone, switching to a muffler-first configuration can be beneficial.
- Take the time to think through your goals for the exhaust. This will give you some time to choose the ideal resonator and muffler placement to achieve the sound and performance you’re looking for. With the proper setup, you’ll be able to enjoy the melodic roar of your engine for years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions About Resonator Before or After Muffler
Q: Can I put multiple resonators and mufflers in any order?
A: Yes, multiple resonators and mufflers can be combined in various configurations to achieve your desired exhaust tone, noise reduction, and performance. Experiment with those by moving around and adding or removing the components until you find your optimal setup. Avoid placing two resonators or two mufflers directly adjacent to each other to avoid future issues.
Q: How is the drone affected by the order?
A: Exhaust drone is more effectively reduced when the resonator comes first. Resonators are tuned to attenuate the problematic low frequencies that causes drones. With the resonator cancelling out those frequencies as the first step, fewer drones reaches the cabin. A muffler-first setup may still drone unless the resonator is specifically designed to reduce it.