Hitting the right notes with CORSA exhaust

Jan. 1, 2020
Whoever came up with the concept of "one size fits all" never has installed an exhaust system. This blanket approach might work for ponchos or car covers, but it simply doesn't make sense for the wide range of performance exhaust applications. For in
Custom Bay exhaust CORSA dbExhaust specialty parts vehicle accessories

Whoever came up with the concept of "one size fits all" never has installed an exhaust system. This blanket approach might work for ponchos or car covers, but it simply doesn't make sense for the wide range of performance exhaust applications. For instance, what a Corvette owner needs and wants is very different from an off-road pickup. Fortunately, the folks at CORSA and its dB Performance Exhausts division understand that and have your back covered.

A quick look at the company's history is telling.

CORSA's initial ventures were in the marine industry starting back in 1989. It quickly grew to supply more than 60 original equipment boat manufacturers and more than 1,000 boat dealers worldwide with 1,500 different part numbers for Mercruiser and Volvo stern drives. Given the rigors of the marine environment, and the need for plenty of power for getting on plane, this would prove to be a solid preparation for other types of vehicles.

First came broader automotive applications, beginning with the Corvette C5 exhaust system in 1998, followed quickly by systems for the Corvette C4, Camaro/Firebird and the Viper, among other vehicles. In 2001, the company expanded its product line to include truck exhaust systems, and now offers both GM truck and SUV products. Diesel pickup offerings, including the Power Stroke, Cummins and Duramax, followed shortly after (though with advent of the diesel particulate filter, that market is now somewhat limited to earlier vehicles). In 2006, CORSA introduced three-inch exhaust systems for the C6 and Z06 Corvette (note install on C6 shown in the accompanying photos).

Then came a shift into a new market segment through the dB Performance Line. About two years ago, after analyzing the marketplace and drawing from his personal background as a Jeep enthusiast, CORSA's vice president and general manager Craig Kohrs spotted a fresh opportunity, sitting right there in plain view. He realized that you rarely see a purely stock Jeep on the road.

"Jeeps are a lot about the owners' personality," he says. "So I knew we had to develop products specifically for the off-road community."

Under Kohrs' direction, CORSA expanded its product line, launching a new brand — dB Performance Exhausts — that's targeted to the truck and off-road market. This venture now comprises some 65 percent of CORSA's business.

The dB Performance Exhaust shares the same, patented Reflective Sound-Cancellation™ (RSC) technology. This noise-control system functions without the use of electronic noise suppression. Instead, in an RSC-equipped system, engine sound (pressure) waves are reflected in passages inside the muffler to cancel out the unwanted noise by out-of-phase frequencies. The result is a "tuned" muffler that cleans up the vibrations without eliminating the pure sound of power (important for off-roaders who throttle over obstacles more by sound and feel than by reading gauges).

RSC also minimizes drone or booming, while the straight-through design delivers more power. The power gains on a Jeep, for instance, can go as high as seven horsepower and eight lb/ft of torque, depending on the model, with an increase in exhaust flow ranging 63 to 125 percent. That's because the opening is big enough to let a cue ball to roll through it.

On the other hand, too large of an opening can create unwanted backpressure, so precise scavenging of the system is critical. "Every system is tuned to the engine," he points out (confirming our initial point about one size not fitting all).

That's where the aerospace background of the parent company, TMG Performance Products, comes in real handy (along with the assets and expertise of JB Design, Inc., acquired in 2009).

"Exhaust systems are all about fluid dynamics," he points out. "We're not a 'me-too' company from China, but a specialized, highly engineered firm."

Strength and durability are other areas that need to be addressed in an aftermarket performance exhaust system. In a graphic demonstration, a video on YouTube shows a Jeep driving over one of dB Performance Exhausts' mufflers, causing no apparent damage. The part is then bolted back on, and functions like new. While nobody would deliberately do this, it's good to know that such a key performance component is not only precision tuned and fitted, but can also withstand this sort of abuse.

All of which should be pipe music to your ears.

Steve Temple is a freelance technical writer and photographer with more than 25 years' experience. He has served as director of sales and marketing for Shelby American and as online editor for major magazines such as Hot Rod, Car Craft and Rod & Custom.

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