This custom exhaust takes the Mopar supercar from “bathroom fan” to rumbling earthquake.
The Cleverness Viper was the American answer to the Chevrolet Corvette and European supercars. It was a low-slung, rear-wheel drive, V10-powered beast. Vents, air intakes and a beautifully designed rear pushed this car into the exotic car category. However, we would have liked to see them close some of that wheel gap, but that’s another story. Today we are going to focus on the possibilities within the exhaust system.
These V10s are torquey. No matter what year you own, the Dodge Viper’s V10 has almost as much torque as horsepower. This translates into some serious burnouts and donuts. The Viper originally came with an 8.0L V10 and ended its run with an 8.4L V10. These put out 400 and 645 horsepower, respectively, and torque was 465 lb-ft and 600 lb-ft. V10 engines are among the most sublime sounding engines, take the Lexus LFA or the Lamborghini Huracan for example. The Lexus LFA is considered the best sounding car ever made, even if it was a huge commercial failure. But for reasons that are unclear, Dodge didn’t back up its V10 engine with a decent exhaust note worthy of a factory V10.
From “Vacuum Cleaner” to Stanley Screamer
OEM exhaust systems are known as lifeless paperweights. The sound is muffled by a series of catalytic converters, resonators and finally a pair of mufflers. That’s not the case with exotic cars, unless you’re talking about the Dodge Viper. It’s weak and uninspired.
The exhaust modifications for this Dodge Viper start with a set of Belanger long tube headers. Each of the exhaust headers is constructed as a 2-piece 4-2-1 style manifold. This makes for fairly easy mounting on the engine block. The exhaust header collectors open towards the fenders instead of towards the back as on most cars. They are designed this way to allow the exhaust pipes to run past the lower rocker panels.
An elbow comes off the exhaust header collector and meets a high-flow catalytic converter. After that, the rest of the exhaust is made by Billy Boat Exhaust. It starts with a resonator pipe that bends back toward the center of the vehicle. From there, the exhaust pipes of each rocker panel transition to an x-pipe for better exhaust flow and a unique sound. Twin chrome tips emerge from the center of the rear bumper.
During the first test drive in the video, they realize that this exhaust setup is a little better, and basically what it should have been from the factory. They pull the Viper back into the shop and have a custom pipe made to replace the resonator section. The end result is pure V10 happiness.
The Dodge Viper is being tuned
Street to Sand is the shop they used to fine-tune the video. They ran the Dodge Viper on the dyno several times during the exhaust changes to see where they could get the most gains. The baseline was 410 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque. With just the first exhaust changes, the car put out 420 horsepower and 447 lb-ft of torque.
After the first round of tuning, the Dodge Viper squeezed out 428 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. The shop played with some air/fuel ratios, and a few runs later they were able to bust out 449 ponies and 491 lb-ft on the dyno. The final dyno pull was after they removed the resonator from the exhaust system. This time around, the Viper managed to roll out 458 horses and 505 lb-ft of torque.
The modified Dodge Viper takes on a modern Muscle Car
The ultimate test of the newfound power in this Dodge Viper will be to race a 2017 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350. The Mustang rocks a 5.2L naturally aspirated Voodoo V8 engine revving well into the 8000 rpm range. That engine makes 526 peak horsepower, which is on par with the Dodge Viper’s V10. However, torque is slightly lower in the Mustang, at just 429 lb-ft. So now we have a low rpm motor versus a high rpm motor, but both with similar peak powers.
The cars run several times in the video and they are all rolling starts. They changed the starting speeds and gears to get each car in their respective power bands. Runs 1 and 2 resulted in the Dodge Viper leading. Run 2 was designed to push the Shelby further into its powerband, but the meaty V10 still held it open. In the third run you finally see the Mustang drive away, but is that really the case? Watch the full video to find out.