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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello,everyone. First post. Nice to see a forum dedicated solely to T-Birds and all the expertise that comes with it.
That being said, I own a '97 T-Bird (California car) which just eclipsed 83,000 miles original miles. It had 79000 when I bought it several months ago. No modifications have been made on it with the exception of buying aftermarket floor mats for it(ha-ha).

I bought this car from a man in his late seventies a few months ago who kept it garaged and clean,and whose idea of maintenance was to change the oil every 3000 miles -- one can eat off the engine I tell ya. Since purchasing it, I've, changed the oil(twice), battery, had the brakes done, serviced the transmission oil and filter, replaced fuel filter, replaced coolant, replaced spark plugs(the Autolite plugs that came out of it looked as good as the new ones), cleaned the throttle body assembly, and replaced the main computer(?). I wanted to start fresh knowing what had been serviced on it,thus all the aforementioned service.

From what I've been reading on this model, and I've done a lot, the only thing I'd like to do on it is replace the serpentine belt,though the one on it looks new,see about a tranny cooler(How much is this?)of some type, AND replace the mufflers. Nothing major iow. It sounds great right now, and runs even better, but after seeing videos like the one by a guy named "Melon" in here,I'd love for this bird to sound like that. That all being said,what exactly is "drone"? I read a lot of threads and their postings in here last night and this term kept coming up. Is there a thread in here with a glossary of such terms? I googled "exhaust terms and definitions" last night and got nothing to help me. I gathered it was something one didn't desire and that appeared at higher RPMs at highway speeds.True? If it is an undesired trait of an aftermarket muffler,is there one particular brand that diminishes it, and also,what is the diameter of of stock pipes in case I do order my mufflers on line? There are several sizes.

Thank you very much, and great site. I've only just begun my reading in here. :)
 

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It's, for lack of a better description" a kind of humming, annoying sound coming from the exhaust usually caused by a poor setup.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It's, for lack of a better description" a kind of humming, annoying sound coming from the exhaust usually caused by a poor setup.
So since these mufflers rest in the rear of the vehicle behind the axle, this drone or droning might be due to a faulty weld? Fwiw, I hear the engine (mufflers) now at times at freeways speeds. Is this not suppose to happen? I'm still trying to familiarize myself to it.
 

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no the drone is different from the engine noise. it is honestly kinda hard to describe. but once you hear it you will know. and u will hate it. however, with simply changing mufflers and not doing any other rerouting the exhaust, you should not have to fear the drone.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
no the drone is different from the engine noise. it is honestly kinda hard to describe. but once you hear it you will know. and u will hate it. however, with simply changing mufflers and not doing any other rerouting the exhaust, you should not have to fear the drone.
So is this then due to the brand one decides to go with? Sounds mysterious. Now you really have me scratching my head. :)

Thank you Charger1352.
 

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The drone is a result of resonance that is amplified within the exhaust system. The bends and routing of the exhaust system are such that the sound waves will resonate terribly if not cancelled by some exhaust component. The factory mufflers have the necessary baffling to cancel this, and earlier model V8's and all V6's use an auxilary resonator to help. If you throw on a set of aftermarket mufflers without doing something upstream, you will likely be very dissatisfied, particularly around 1,800 RPM.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The drone is a result of resonance that is amplified within the exhaust system. The bends and routing of the exhaust system are such that the sound waves will resonate terribly if not cancelled by some exhaust component. The factory mufflers have the necessary baffling to cancel this, and earlier model V8's and all V6's use an auxilary resonator to help. If you throw on a set of aftermarket mufflers without doing something upstream, you will likely be very dissatisfied, particularly around 1,800 RPM.
Wow, and thanks. You kind of burst my bubble by me thinking it would be a painless add-on, but I'd rather know now and not after they were installed. I was leading toward it being more a manufacturer or installation issue.
 

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Wow, and thanks. You kind of burst my bubble by me thinking it would be a painless add-on, but I'd rather know now and not after they were installed. I was leading toward it being more a manufacturer or installation issue.
There is no such thing as "painless" on the TBird but if you love the car it won't make any difference. Lot's of knowledge here! My kids call the TBird a "Fatman's Mustang", I call it a Gentleman's Mustang (alot of resistance to Dad driving anything but a Mustang LOL).
 

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Welcome! Master486 pretty much hit the nail on the head with his response. "Drone" wasn't an issue at all when the factory mufflers where on my car. As soon as they were cut (Thats a long story all in itself . . . best summed up by me recomending you NEVER do it) there was an EXTREME amount of cabin resonance, specifically between 1800 and 2200 rpm. So bad in fact that if I drove the car for a relatively long period of time, I'd start to get headaches.

Hello,everyone. First post. Nice to see a forum dedicated solely to T-Birds and all the expertise that comes with it.
Solely??? Don't forget the cougars and marks :D
 

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Discussion Starter #11
There is no such thing as "painless" on the TBird but if you love the car it won't make any difference. Lot's of knowledge here! My kids call the TBird a "Fatman's Mustang", I call it a Gentleman's Mustang (alot of resistance to Dad driving anything but a Mustang LOL).
I call it a fluffed up over-sized go-cart given its quick and nimble response and feel. I don't know what type of suspension this car has,but boy does it compel one to push it on the banks and curves of the many freeway ramps that are part of southern California. I keep wondering when I am going to push it too far and lose it. :)

And,yes,I love the car. I don't know how many times I've waxed it in the little time that I've owned it. My poor 2001 F-150 must feel like the red-headed step child these past few months.

And thank you,Cougar fan (my first car was a new 1975 Cougar) for the welcome. Wow, that sounds bad as far as what you experienced.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Think of drone as being as annoying as a Fran Dresser's voice. It's not something you want to listen to all the time. BTW welcome.
Thanks for the welcome, and (LOL) I'll remember that analogy. Geez, that would be annoying.

So how does one get around it? Does it eventually become an exercise of trial and error with repiping and adding resonators and such?
 

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Welcome. I also have a 97, with a resonator back Dynomax exhaust kit. Easy to install, not really loud, no drone. If I remember the video from Melon, he's running Flowmasters, but his car is also a DOHC engine, which might sound different than ours. There are some guys running mandrel bent true duals, which also sound really good to me. I guess it depends on what you're looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Welcome. I also have a 97, with a resonator back Dynomax exhaust kit. Easy to install, not really loud, no drone. If I remember the video from Melon, he's running Flowmasters, but his car is also a DOHC engine, which might sound different than ours. There are some guys running mandrel bent true duals, which also sound really good to me. I guess it depends on what you're looking for.
Hi and thank you. You're talking about a complete kit here,right? As far as what I was looking for, I was just looking for a cool sound, and I thought all it entailed was simply adding a new set of mufflers. I'm obviously not very savvy when it comes to exhaust systems,thus my original post about "drone" and other subsequent queries. I am in California which means the converter must stay, so that limits me somewhat as to what my options are as far as a complete repiping of it.

... By the way, with regards to sound terms and exhaust are concerned, do you know what "raspy" and "throaty" means? I ran into those terms too when reading about exhaust systems. :confused:

Thanks
 

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Hi and thank you. You're talking about a complete kit here,right? As far as what I was looking for, I was just looking for a cool sound, and I thought all it entailed was simply adding a new set of mufflers. I'm obviously not very savvy when it comes to exhaust systems,thus my original post about "drone" and other subsequent queries. I am in California which means the converter must stay, so that limits me somewhat as to what my options are as far as a complete repiping of it.

... By the way, with regards to sound terms and exhaust are concerned, do you know what "raspy" and "throaty" means? I ran into those terms too when reading about exhaust systems. :confused:

Thanks
have you ever heard of a raspy voice?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
have you ever heard of a raspy voice?
Splattered,

Yes, it usually connotes something unpleasant or unnatural sounding when applied to a person, but not knowing any of the current vernacular when it comes to exhaust-speak and how it equated to a muffler's sound, I wondered whether it meant something good, desired, or coveted,etc. Words and terms continually evolve and may have different meanings in different contexts.Think of the term "sick" and how it's evolved to mean something hip and favorable in the last decade or so. ...I now know that "drone" is something to be avoided thanks to the responses here, and your response suggests that "raspy" should also be avoided. Thanks for the response.


Matlock,

What was the crayon graphic all about? Were you trying to suggest something?
 

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have you ever heard of a raspy voice?
Think smoker..... Remember how Stevie Nick's voice sounded when Fleetwood Mac was hot and she was young? Have you listened to her singing lately? Raspy...

Throaty? Think big deep voice...
 

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Hi and thank you. You're talking about a complete kit here,right? As far as what I was looking for, I was just looking for a cool sound, and I thought all it entailed was simply adding a new set of mufflers.
It's from about from the middle of the car back. Here: http://www.summitracing.com/parts/WLK-17379/ Looks like they have a rebate going on too.

I can still hear my radio when cruising on the highway, but you can hear it when you get on the gas. Pulling the air intake silencer (under the air filter in the inner fender) also changed the sound. I'm sure there are other mufflers available. Inlet pipe size is 2.25" I think.
 
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