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  • MagnaFlow Exhaust System On A 1989 Chevy S10 - Exhaust On A Dime

MagnaFlow Exhaust System On A 1989 Chevy S10 - Exhaust On A Dime

Save Money By Welding In A Cat And Muffler

Calin Head
Jun 1, 2008
Photographers: Calin Head
Photo 2/18   |   1989 Chevy S10 welding
I am getting closer to the end of the restoration/customization work on my '89 S-10. Over the past months, I've tuned up the motor, dropped the suspension, had it painted, and installed a bunch of restoration parts. The truck is no longer an embarrassment to drive and is actually turning heads and getting some looks. One thing that was still posing a problem was the exhaust. With over 170,000 miles on the odometer, the catalytic converter has had a bunch of exhaust pushed through it and has to be close to death by now. Also, the muffler is just a stock replacement and is way too quiet for our performance-tuned ears.
Obviously, I need to bring the exhaust system up to speed but without completely emptying my bank account. I contacted MagnaFlow for the components on this budget-minded install. I went with a satin-finished universal muffler and weld-in catalytic converter instead of the polished, bolt-on styles. The performance will be the same but at a lower cost because I'm not paying for flanges and the man-hours needed to polish the stainless. I'll be giving up a little performance by not having mandrel-bent tubing, but I'm willing to sacrifice that in lieu of money. The $136.00 muffler from MagnaFlow features a straight-through design for a free-flowing exhaust with stainless wool and other sound-absorbing materials inside to quiet the sound. The cat is legal in all 50 states on OBD-I vehicles like my dime and only set me back $175.00. The bolt-on-style converter cost $311.10 and the polished muffler cost $193.05, so I saved $193.02. Instead of pocketing that money, I decided to pick up a rolled, double-wall T304 stainless tip to add a little flash to the back of the truck. The tip is a little pricey at $176.37, but I just couldn't help myself.
To get these parts in the truck, I contacted David Bechtel who owns D&A Speedway Muffler in Gardena, California. I've known David for a long time now, and the work that comes out of his shop is spot-on. He was nice enough to let me invade his pit with my camera to shoot Wayne Wright doing the work. David was busy grinding on a '50 Chevy truck frame and was in a groove, so he put Wayne on the job. When it was all done, I forked over $175 for the work and drove off smoking the tire. The performance increase was very noticeable, and the tone was surprisingly deep for a V-6. Just off of idle the truck now has a performance sound, and on the highway there is zero drone in the cab even without carpet.
What's In The Box?
Here's the stuff I got from MagnaFlow. The muffler has performance features like a straight-through design for free-flowing exhaust and stainless steel materials for long life. The cat is a replacement piece but with a lot more strength designed into the case to prevent the internals from breaking. The tip was a personal splurge, but being stainless and double-walled it will stay shiny for a long time.
Photo 17/18   |   1989 Chevy S10 magnaflow Muffler
Tech Tip
A Look Inside

Here is a shot I got from MagnaFlow, and it clearly shows the muffler's internals. Wrapped around the one-piece, perforated stainless steel core is a stainless steel mesh that prevents blowout and deterioration of the absorbing material.

Photo 18/18   |   1989 Chevy S10 final Product
The Final Word
All and all, I'm very happy with how things worked out. The truck sounds great and runs better, and the tip looks sweet hanging out the back of the truck. I want to throw a big thanks out to David and Wayne for fitting me in their schedule at the last minute for this tech shoot.


MagnaFlow Performance Exhaust
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688


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