View Full Version : Duel Exhaust System 56 Buick Special

Tom Gallagher
04-27-2004, 11:04 PM
Fellow Buick Enthusiasts,

I have to Replace the complete Dual Exhaust System, on my 56 Buick Special, with a 322 Buick Nailhead.
I want to go with Stainless Steel. What are My BEST Options. I have contacted Vendors/Suppliers Who will sell me a complete System for $750-$800 and I have to Install it Myself.
Other Owners have expressed that I should go to a Local Muffler Vender/Supplier/Installer, Who Specializes in Custom Performance Exhaust Systems.
I do Know of a Reputable Establishment near by. I have been able to obtain New NOS Hangers, Couplins and necessary Hardware.
Bending Pipes is one aspect, and this Particular Individual is Very Talented and has the Necessary Equipment to handle the Piping.

Tom Gallagher
04-27-2004, 11:21 PM
My my concern are the Mufflers, Should i go with Smithy's. Smithy's Makes a 33 inch Muffler.
The Origional Mufflers are 33inches in lenght Monsterous and 8-9 inches wide, including the outlets at either end.
Smithy's Mufflers are Comperable in Lenght and Should provide a Close fit.
Would the sound of dual Smithy's be Overkill?
In also concerned, that the rest of the Exhaust System will be Maintentece Free Stainless, how will Smithy's Mufflers hold up over the Long Run.

Tom Gallagher
04-27-2004, 11:43 PM
I want to have a nice sound that only a Finely Tuned Nailhad can Produce/Emit. The Sound is Very Distinctive and Quite Singular, But I don't want to start Hacking up a perfectly good Stainless Exhaust System in 3 or 4 Years to Replace 2 Mufflers That have Rotted Out. Thank God there aren't any Resonaters Involved.
If there are Any Fellow Buick Enthusiasts that have Some Experience and Past History concerning Exhaust Systems, I would be Extremely Happy IF YOU could Relate to Me the Type of System have Successfully opted to Install, as well Complication others have Knowledge/Experience pertaining to Exhaust Systems.
I am Completely OPEN to ANY/ALL Suggestions/Views and Opinions on the Subject. And I'm Very Negotiable if there are Any Custom Exhaust Venors/Suppliers in the Group.

04-28-2004, 01:09 AM
Hi Tom,

I just purchased a complete 1956 dual exhaust system in aluminized steel here: King & Queen Mufflers (http://http://www.myexhaust.com.futuresite.register.com/index.html) (paid $375)

I guess it is possible for them to do the pipes in stainless, too.
The clue with King & Queen systems is that they work from the original pattern, which means that you do not get a stick/weld-together system, but one with the original ball and socket-type-connectors ! Thus, use and possible replacement of the original "rotting-type" :D mufflers is easy !

I hope to have been of any help ! Let me know the outcome.

Best regards

04-28-2004, 05:36 AM
I couldn't find a local shop that could do the ball ends on the pipes local so I ordered the pipes from old car specialist. I had a local shop build performance muffler with flanged pipes welded on to bolt in place of stock mufflers. You will need to supply them the mounting flange/brakets on muffler but your old ones should be good. I can unblt these mufflers and bolt on the stock mufflers in about 30 minutes with this set up.

Tom Gallagher
04-28-2004, 07:45 AM

That Sounds like a Splendid Idea! What Vendor/Supplier did YOU purchase the Pipes from?
What Muffler did You Use? The Originals are HUGE. The Muffler will have to be long about 33 inches to bolt on to the pipes inplace of the original.
Thanks a Lot, I Really Appreciate YOUR Imput.

04-28-2004, 07:54 PM
I wouldn't recomend my vender he made one pipe to long and sent a replacement the same length after I told him it was to long? I used standard performance muffler and had muffler shop weld pipes on it so the whole set up was the same length as the stock muffler.

Tom Gallagher
04-28-2004, 09:25 PM
Thanks Again, Judd,
For YOUR Valued Information.
Would YOU know of Any Vendor/Supplier who have the stock pipes in Stainless Available?
Could YOU Briefly Explain? What Exactly IS "Ball and Socket" Type Connectors? Most of the Exhaust System is Missing, However I have not Dismantled what is currently existing. The Right Side is Gone The Left Side is Mostly Still intact.
I have managed to acquire Nos Flanges and Exhaust Brackets with the Rubber Coated Hangers on E-bay. And I have noticed that Cars Inc. also has some in stock.
On the Original Set-Up, I have noticed that the Flanges are Bolted Together. Am, I missing something here? How are the parts/pieces assembled?
Once Again, I Think, I have mentioned this in previous posts Those Stainless Exhaust Tips that are Attached to the Rear Bumper? Is there Anyplace I can Acquire Replacements?

05-07-2004, 08:43 PM

I have seen the flanges for the ***** on e-bay. Some of the flanges have mount for pipe hangers also. If you e-mail me off list at


I can take a digital picture of my set up and send it to you. I may have an extra flange or two around here I think? Do you have the correct dual exhaust bumper with the cut outs for the tips?


Tom Gallagher
05-08-2004, 08:24 AM
Hi, Judd:

Thanks for the Response. I do have some Extra Original hardware. Mounting Braclets and Hangers with the Rubberized Fabric that is was able to pickup on E-bay. The Left side is just about all intact, but full of holes. The Right side is completely missing except for some brackets which are bolted together and are hanging I have left it that way to use the Right Side as Reference. I will have to cut the Tailpipe off on the Left side inorder to drop the tank and clean it out.
Do You know where I can obtain/purchase Replacements or of a Vendor/Supplier?
I'm Also fond of YOUR Idea regarding the Mufflers. The Origional Mufflers are Enormous
something like 33 inches long 8-9 inches wide and 4-5 inches deep.Regarding the Exhaust Setup, Do the Mufflers have ***** on either End? and the Pipes have the Flanges?
In Hemmings, I have noticed 2 or 3 Establishments advertizing complete stainless steel systems,which are quite expensive. I was wondering if a traditional muffler chain would be able to reproduce the Ball and Flange System, which by today's standards are obsolete.
I would like to weld on ends ball and flange ends to the muffler of my choice so as to be interchanceable with the origional Muffler.
I do have some time the exhaust is my next projct, Right now the steel rims are outsourced being sandblasted, so I can paint the rims before mounting the wide white I pucchased from Diamondback Classics and I'm inthe middle of replacing the new stainless fuel line from Inline Tube and completely going through the entire fuel system. I plan to drop the tank and bring it to a Radiator shop to have it boiled/cleaned out and then Treat the Tank. That's where I'm at right now.
I Appreciate YOUR Valued Experience and Knowledge regarding 56's since You have a Nice One and have been already been through the Process. Thanks again.
Tom Gallagher


Tom Gallagher
05-08-2004, 08:28 AM
I alsomst forgot. I do have the Origional Century Type Rear Bumper with the Cutouts on the bottom of both sides where the bumper wraps around on the ends. The Chrome Tips are still there but are in Tough shape.

05-08-2004, 07:22 PM

The ***** are on the pipe so if you get the pipes you can get local shop to do muffler set up with your flanges. I bought a complete stock set up and have the stock mufflers in the garage if I want a little less noise. The stock system sound pretty good. I bought tips from local muffler shop that are close to shape of cut outs then had them weld angle to them to bolt to bumper brackets and glued in rubber ring for pipes to ride in.

Tom Gallagher
05-08-2004, 11:05 PM
Thanks Again Judd:

For You Experience and Insight. I'm Seriously Thinking of "Integrating" a Set of Smithy's Mufflers on my 56. Would Most local Muffler Shops have the Equipment to make the necessary Alterations? I relalze the Ball and Flange System is quite Antique,compaired to Today's modern Systems and Techknowledgy. However My Wife has a Relative Who Owns and Operates a Mienke Shop.He May be of some assistence. What are Relatives For? His Place of Business is about 50 miles away, but I'm sure he can get in contact with a Local Vendor and put in "A Good Word" or a "VIP" Customer Treatment, There is a Local Mienke Guy my son and friend know and have done business with, so Aproachment from 2 directions will be of Great Assistance getting the Job done and Done Right, The First Time.
It Seems during the course of life, and this statement is more fact than fiction, If You want to get something Done, is not what You know, Its Who You know.
You mentioned a Rubber Ring, for the Pipes to ride in, when conected to the Exhaust Tips that are Bolted/Atteched to the bottom of the Rear Bumper Cut-Outs Where could I acquire this type of material? I realise that it is to insulate vibration and noise and those Annoying Rattles, but it must be of some special material/composition that is not affected heat/high temperature.
Thanks Again for the Valued Information.

Tom Gallagher

05-12-2004, 08:26 PM
I coul;dn't find any one local to do the ***** but the muffler flares are easy for them. I got my rubber from an industrial rubber supplier it was a scrap of flat rubber I cut and glued in place. The pipes ar not that hot at the tips. I got the glue at the rubber supplier it is yellow stuff and it realy bonds the rubber I made a temporary torque ball seal with it that lasted over a year, and the can leaked on the shelf and I can't get it up I bent the can and it still didn't break loose!

Tom Gallagher
05-13-2004, 11:29 PM

How in God's Name Do YOU Find this Sort of Stuff?
It Sounds Like a Splendid/Supurb Idea.
I Give YOU a 2 Point Conversion/ 3 Point Outside Shot, Beyond the Line for That Suggestion.
Where Would I Look to Buy/Purchase These Materials?
What Type of Vendor/Supplier, would carry These Particular Components in Stock.
I Wouldn't Know where to Begin to LQQk.

05-15-2004, 06:46 AM

The glue is Rubatex R-27730. I'd check in a big city phone book yrllow pages under rubber.


1955 fink
05-25-2004, 09:43 PM
hey Guys,
i stumbled across this topic and i'm super interested. recently i bought a pair of smithy's to put on my 55 buick. here's the dilema.. when i went to the muffler shop to have them welded on he told me that he couldn't do duals on my car. man, what a bummer. is there any way to weld a dual exhaust on my buick w/out doing major hacking on the car frame? he said the only way he could do it was to take a plasma cutter to the frame on the driver's side to make a hole for the exhaust to go through. if anyone has any ideas that would be great!
thank you

05-27-2004, 07:00 AM
1955 fink,
I was in the same predicament woth my '55 Special. I have a 401 and 4-speed. I didn't want to go through relocating the master cylinder, cutting the frame and pedal changes, so I went with a "two-into-one" exhaust system. The exhaust pipes are 2" going into a single 3" pipe which goes into into a muffler designed for the split system. Exiting the muffler are two 2" tailpipes.
I used a Ravin muffler and it has a real nice low growl, without being too obnoxiously loud.

I don't know if this will work or not, but let me try to post a couple of pics of the system. If the pics don't work, PM me and I'll email them to you directly.




1955 fink
05-27-2004, 01:48 PM
man o man,
that's a beautiful setup! i can see the light at the end of the tunnel. so, coming off of the exhaust manifold you go into a single muffler w/ two exhaust outlets..the run two pipes all the way back? what about the tricky stuff in the back, like going around the gas tank, etc. another question, how much did you pay to have this done? thanks again for the help, it's way helpful. and yes, i could see the pix fine.

p.s was it hard to change out the tranny?

05-27-2004, 07:46 PM

I think we kinda hi-jacked Tom's post.....sorry Tom.

There's more bends in the tail pipes than a bag full of pretzels. The guy that did it for me went crazy doing the installation - he told me he bent up 4 different tailpipes for the driver's side alone, before getting one to clear everything with the car in motion. The pics of the tailpipes don't do the job justice - there's really a lot of tight, complicated bends. The fellow that bent them up has been doing custom exhaust systems for 25+ years and told me mine might not have been the most difficult, but it was right up there !! I had five shops tell me they couldn't (wouldn't) do the job, before I found this guy.

Cost, including parts & labor, was $725. Not bad for the quality job he did, IMO.

Tranny swap wasn't too difficult, but the rear axle was an S.O.B. !! I finally used the stock axle with ladder bars and lower rod ends stuffed with urethane inserts - worked great.

If you want any more info, please PM me or start another thread, so we stay off of Tom's toes.

Tom Gallagher
05-27-2004, 08:54 PM
Bob and Travis,

No Problem Guys.

Splendid Job.

Glad to have You Guys Along to Enjoy that Buick Ride.

If there is Something to be learned. All of Us can Benefit in someway.

Not only is the Exhaust System something "Special" but the Undercarriage, Chassis and Fuel Tank, have been "Impeccabily Restored"
A Real Fine Job. Your Right on Target.
I would have to say that You Must be LQQKING through a Buick Bombsight Ornament, because you certainly have the correct focus on the subject matter

1955 fink
05-28-2004, 03:12 PM
thanks so much for the info guy's!
sorry about the thread thing tom, i'm new to this sorta thing. but i really do appreciate the info!


05-28-2004, 03:19 PM
Thanks, Tom. I appreciate your comments. Here's a pic of the top side........


05-28-2004, 10:08 PM
Hi Tom, I have not checked this site for over a month or two and I have just stumbled on your project...Same as mine! I also have to replace the complete Dual Exhaust System on my 56 Buick Special, with a 322 Buick Nailhead...
I talked with the guys at my MinuteMan Buick Club meeting last night and they recommended I contact Kepick Exhaust Inc. in Fort Myers, FL 1-800-365-5764 or Waldron's Antique Auto Parts at 1-800-503-9428. In fact I spoke with both of them today and found them both very helpful... (See your Buick Bugle for their ads..)Their exhaust systems are made to exact manufactured spec and include the ball&flange connections you talk about. You can get steel, aluminized or stainless. (I've also talked with Kanter)
I actually bought my steel system from Kepich because I found John more informative and more competitive (lower price..I'm on a budget you know...) He also said he can ship next week versus 3 - 6 weeks with the others (you know I got to get cruizin...). I got the heavy duty steel, I don't know much about the aluminized version and if it would last longer... I also got the glass pack muffler because it has a bit more "rumble" than the standard (original).
I've got a question for the experts, though, like Judd and Travis... Should I paint my new pipes with a high temperature paint before I install? Will that help them last longer? Also can a novice like me bolt this system to the manifolds on my 56 Special?
Thanks all. Mike from MA