Whether you drive a truck, car or muscle car you might need to replace your muffler at some point. Or maybe you just want to ramp it up a bit so the neighbors can hear you coming down the street. The question is, which one should you use?
You need to think about a few factors when trying to decide on which muffler to use – the Magnaflow or the Flowmaster. Some drivers prefer a muffler with big sound. For them, the bigger sound is an integral part of the driving experience. For other drivers, they may be more concerned with the reputation of a certain company. They may feel that they can rely on a brand and that is more important than sound.
Both MagnaFlow and Flowmaster are good mufflers and will do the job well. Both of these companies are based in the United States and were founded within 2 years of each other. The similarities pretty much end there.
Let’s break down the integral parts of the muffler with each company.
Magnaflow – Magnaflow constructs their mufflers to be straight through. They use a perforated pipe and stainless-steel acoustical packing material. This helps to generate a loud and deep sound from the muffler.
Flowmaster – Flowmaster has manufactured their mufflers with a chamber style design and they do not use any acoustical material. They make use of baffles, metal plates, that help to manage the sound waves. The result is a sound that is more of a rumble.
How Long to Achieve a Consistent Sound?
With the straight through design of the Magnaflow, it can take up to 400 miles before you will start to notice a consistent sound quality. Magnaflow mufflers will give you a very loud exhaust sound because the straight through style is least effective at reducing noise. Because Flowmaster uses a chamber style design, you can expect the muffler noise to be consistent from the very first use.
What about the scavenging effect?
The Magnaflow muffler is stainless steel with perforations. This means that there are no restrictions for the exhaust gas that flows through. The result is that the exhaust gas flows through the muffler at normal speed. Faster moving exhaust gas equals great horsepower.
With the design of the Flowmaster, there is a different effect on the exhaust gas. The chambers actually slow down the exhaust gases. To help counteract this, the Flowmaster has added the baffles. The baffles create a scavenging effect by helping to create a vacuum. This vacuum helps the gasses to leave faster.
What about the sound?
Since the value of an aftermarket muffler is the sound it produces, you need to decide what sound you are hoping for. Many race and hot rod fans prefer the Flowmaster muffler. This is because their mufflers are known for their consistent tuned sound profiles. The baffles that Flowmaster use, are expertly designed to cancel out excess noise, while scavenging more exhaust from the cylinders.
Magnaflow is becoming known for producing a “smooth, aggressive rumble”. In fact, the mission of the company is quality, power and great sound. This is achieved by using a straight through design with perforations. The inside is packed with stainless steel wool to help the acoustics.
How do they look on my car?
Magnaflow has designed their mufflers completely out of stainless steel and polished muffler cases. This way, your car will look good from every angle. And to help you install their mufflers at home by yourself, Magnaflow includes a kit with hardware to bolt the Magnaflow to your factory exhaust hanger.
Which muffler is right for my car?
Flowmaster vs Magnaflow Sound Comparison
Magnaflow and Flowmaster both have multiple mufflers in their lineups. You can choose the one that is right for your vehicle, the type of driving you do and the sound you are hoping to achieve.
Magnaflow– the mufflers in this company are categorized by car and the type of driving. You will also have to choose if you want the exhaust to face out the rear or the side.
- Performance series-also called MF series. This series produces a mild to moderate sound and aims to achieve a balance of sound between the interior and exterior.
- Off-Road Pro-this series is good for off road trucks. It is designed to be lighter weight and takes increased ground clearance and modified suspensions into account
- Competition Series- this series uses a larger diameter pipe. It is intended to maximize exterior noise. The result is an aggressively loud sound.
- RockCrawler-this series is intended for the Jeep Wrangler. It is designed to accommodate aftermarket bumpers and give ground clearance for off road driving
Flowmaster– this company categorizers their mufflers based on sound level and power. The kits for Flowmaster include both rear and side exit options so you can try both on your vehicle before making a decision.
- The Force II-this is considered the basic muffler system. The sound is very mild.
- The FlowFX-this series is still street legal and it produces a very aggressive sound.
- The Outlaw Series-this series is the most aggressive in the Flowmaster family. This muffler is constructed using a single chamber Super 10 muffler. The only thing louder would be no muffler at all.
Clearly both the Magnaflow and the Flowmaster are quality aftermarket mufflers.
Magnaflow are made with stainless steel and have perforations. They also use acoustical material packed inside. This design helps to generate a loud sound. However, you will need to get about 400 miles in before it reaches the desired sound consistently. The mufflers for Magnaflow are based on the type of car you will be driving and the type of terrain you will be on.
The Flowmaster mufflers are built using a chamber style design without any acoustical material. They use baffles to help manage the sound waves and scavenge for exhaust gas. Their mufflers are classified based on the sound level and power you hope to achieve
Now you decide.
Now that you have an idea as to how each company designs their mufflers, you need to decide which one is right for you, your vehicle and your desired sound effect.