Everything to Know about Universal Backboxes
A back box goes by many names. In America, it's commonly referred to as a muffler while the UK scene identifies it as a silencer. Either case, a back-box plays an essential role in your car’s exhaust system. Here's why.
What is a universal back box?
A back box is a unit in your exhaust system that is in charge of muting the exhaust engine noise that could otherwise cause sound pollution. By universal, we are referring to a standard back box that is commonly seen on the rear back of most vehicles.
When you internal engine combusts, it exhausts both gas and sound waves. These sound waves magnify as they travel through your exhaust pipes. If not regulated, they may cause an annoying sound.
Back boxes are thus strategically placed at the end of the exhaust system (usually seen at the back of your car) to dampen or knockout these noises before they reach the atmosphere. But how exactly does it work?
Well, your back box is designed with buffered chambers or perforated tubes that tune your engine’s sound output. As noise enters the silencer/muffler, the sound waves bounce around and end up canceling each other. The result is gas excretion with little to no sound.
As an acoustic device, engineers know how to tune the mufflers to provide a specific sonic effect when exhausting. So depending on whether you want to significantly reduce sound output or get a particular amplified growl choice, there is a muffler out there for you.
Your engine also needs to get rid of exhaust gases in order to absorb in the fresh air and thus produce more power. The more active the exhaust flow, the better your engine performance. This makes mufflers dynamics quite crucial in regards to a car’s performance.
The sound is dampening action occurring in back-boxes limit exhaust flow by creating back pressure. This is why performance car enthusiasts detest mufflers. But according to most state laws, driving without a muffler is prohibited.
With such strict regulations, aftermarket manufacturers are forced to design mufflers that maximize on performance without compromising noise mute. Such mufflers are usually seen on race cars and drifters.
Puzzlingly enough some manufacturers prefer engineering super quiet mufflers. The pin-drop silence forces them to strategically design engine noises for more audio feedback on the engine’s condition.
Types of back boxes universal
Mufflers can be described based on the design and material used. Currently, there are two types of mufflers; stainless steel and aluminium steel. Stainless steel mufflers tend to last longer as they are more rust resistant. However, they are quite pricey compared to the aluminium ones.
In terms of design, there are two types of mufflers: single and dual pipped. Single exhaust mufflers are the standard systems you seem on most cars. As for dual exhausts, they are commonly sorted as aftermarket parts for performance enhancement.
In general, mufflers are categorized into three types:
- Chambered (retro-chambered) mufflers: Feature a series of inner walls/chambers that vary in length. These walls bounds off sound waves for exhaust noise cancelation. Chambered mufflers feature no packing material. They are used to produce specific exhaust note ideal for muscle cars interested in throaty performance sound.
- Turbo mufflers: They feature perforated S-shaped tubes that guide the exhaust gases out of the muffler. The S-shaped tubing allows the gases to be soundproofed more. Some turbo mufflers include a sound deadening packing that further reduces exhaust noise. Turbo mufflers are ideal for street application.
- Straight through or glass pack mufflers: Such mufflers are engineered to allow maximum gas flow through. This results to more horsepower output. Glass pack mufflers usually feature a perforated straight through tube buffered by fiberglass or any other soundproofing material. They are great for rally and race cars as they allow little restriction to gas flow. Custom car builders also tend to love them. Compared to the three, glass pack mufflers are the most compact in design.
Other muffler variations that exist are the cherry bomb, bullet, perforated bullet, louvered bullet, chambered bullet, full case bullet, and many bullet mufflers.
Common Muffler Problem
As a metal material, your back box over time may become prone to rust. This is usually as a result of a broken exhaust system that fails to reach high levels of heat that prevent vapor from condensing.
How a universal backbox can improve your car performance
A universal backbox can improve your car’s performance in two ways. First, it reduces exhaust noise produced by your engine's internal combustion. Second, depending on the type of muffler in question, it can improve horsepower.
It is essential to choose a muffler that corresponds with your exhaust system specs and goes in accordance with the county road restrictions.
Keep in mind that longevity, quality, and purpose should be the main driving force behind your back box selection.