How Important Are Merge Collectors in Performance Exhaust Systems?
Early in the 1980’s, when Burns Stainless was founded, the focus was on perfecting the performance and design of race boats. Jack Burns was racing a cracker-box boat and was successful optimizing various exhaust technologies including 180-degree headers and merge collectors. Applying what he learned in these early days, Burns Stainless continues to innovate and introduce these technologies into professional racing circles. Working with like-minded NASCAR teams and fabricators, Burns Stainless is credited as a pioneer using stainless steel for exhaust headers and collectors, a material rarely used during that time for high-performance automotive applications. Burns Stainless continues the tradition to be relentless in design, innovation, and performance.
The merge collectors at Burns Stainless are custom engineered for each application using their proprietary X-Design Parametric custom exhaust design computer program. Their Merge Collectors combine high flow and high velocity to increase and broaden an engine's torque curve all the way to the horsepower peak and beyond.
Efficiency is key in building horsepower. The more efficiently the engine combusts the fuel and moves the internals the more horsepower and torque is produced. In other words, the key is to harness as much of the stored energy in the fuel to impart force against the piston. It is that simple, AND, not so simple.
Installing a larger exhaust header without considering the engine design and expecting a performance increase would be like putting a Ferrari body kit on a Fiero and expecting it to go faster.
It is important to consider each aspect of the engine to maximize power including the intake manifold, intake port, valves, combustion chamber geometry, exhaust port and exhaust manifold. A modification to any of these components may require optimization of the other components. In other words, to maximize performance, it is important to properly engineer the entire system. Using their X-Design program, Burns Stainless can properly engineer a complete system for your particular application.
The engineers and technicians at Burns Stainless use their proprietary X-design system, to specify the exhaust design and provide specs for tube sizes for the primary tube, collector design, tailpipe design and diameter. It is important that the exhaust fabricator create a smooth transition from exhaust port size to the collector and to the end of the pipe. Burns Stainless technical articles can help a fabricator walk through the proper techniques to create an optimized system.
Components as simple as tail pipes do not escape scrutiny. For drag racing and similar applications where a tailpipe is not required, Megaphone tubing fitted with reverse cones are the best option for peak horsepower, power bandwidth and a smooth torque curve. For applications which require tailpipes, a NASCAR-style megaphone transition (long or short) and ring is normally recommended. The cone angles and diameters are crucial to maximizing throughout the power range. If you have been passed at the 1000’ mark, you could be loosing horsepower at the mid-range. The Burns X-Design Program discovers that loss and provides the right specs to gain important horsepower ranges.
All of this is rudimentary until Burns Stainless keys in the specific information to their X-Design Program. Sure, you can use computer software or online calculators, but they are not detailed enough to give you the right information. The analysis is left up to the user to extrapolate a bunch of numbers that often do not mean a lot unless you really know how to apply them. That is where the Burns Stainless X-Design Program works best with the exact measurements you need to build the perfect exhaust system for your application.
As part of the service, Burns Stainless can give you a parts list to purchase the tubing and collectors direct from them. To determine which collector is best for your application you can visit this article or call us to discuss your specific application.