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Previous Next Up Topic Engines / Subbug - Subaru Power / Subaru - noise level vs. VW? (7602 hits)
By @Jeff GS Date 2009-10-11 13:41
I wanted to get some general driving impressions of the overall noise level of a Subaru powered buggy vs. a VW engined one (or Corvair powered).
I've yet to hear in person how a Subaru powered buggy "sounds" - especially while driving.  What I'm referring to is the sound (or general noise) level vs. an air cooled engine.

I'm very familiar with the general clatter of a VW engine - the mechanical battles against the fan for making the most noise.  Intake and exhaust coming in  a close 2nd to these two.
On the Corvair - at least from my limited experience in driving a 'Vair powered buggy, the fan noise far and above dominates any other "noises" from the engine - at least anything above about 2500rpm!  Ear plug territory here.

So what about the Subaru?  How would you grade it on an overall noise level compared to these two?  Is it significantly quieter?  Or do other noises dominate?  Let's "hear" what you think.

By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2009-10-11 14:47
I recall fondly the fan noise from my old 140HP the only thing that could kill that noise (besides earplugs as you put it) was a pair of 2.5" glasspacks on dual 140hp "U bends".

I've also driven a properly adjusted 1600 and it is pretty quiet. I never ran tri-mill or 4 into 1, but I ran both glasspacks and the buggy headers from both 1300 and 1600 engines. The exhaust was the loudest thing on the engine. I never really heard the fan, which was a shame. It just never filled the Corvair fan void that's been missing all these years. :-)

The Subaru engine I have in the buggy now is the 2.0 WRX which is turbocharged. The turbo itself is a muffler of some sorts. I tried a straight open exhaust off the turbo at first which was just a bend backwards. It was OK at city speeds (still loud), but resonated horribly at highway speeds. I went with a 5" Supertrapp, and am running something like 24 plates in it now (plus a 1.5" hole in the end cap to relieve a bit more back pressure) and it sounds real good. It's fairly quiet now, but when you are on it, it gets loud. The operpowering noise I have now with the Subi engine by FAR is the Walbro 255 LPH fuel pump. It whines akin to a Pate Jackson gear driven 350 Chevy, only not as rough. This wine is more a solid pitch. The point being, I don't hear any real overpowering engine noise over the mellow exhaust or the fuel pump.

Hope this helps! :-)
By Tom & Kathleen I 639 Date 2009-10-11 22:37
Any of the mechanical "VW" noise is gone, just a different exhaust note.  You can run the turbo with no muffler with a very short pipe, but I have added a baffle which has reduced the noise considerably.  By adding the disks for the center pipe of the baffle, it can be even quieter.  Tom
Tom & Kathleen Manxter #16, Kick-Out SS #16 & FiberFab Buggy
Manx Club #1030, CVA, RBC, SCCA
By dunelimo Date 2010-01-21 11:41
A new V2 buggy with a 2.5 liter 4 cam engine was sound tested before registration and it made 88 decibells @ 4,000 RPM which is the standard test, a healthy VW engine is waaaaaay louder than that
By @Jeff GS Date 2010-01-21 22:05 Edited 2010-01-22 12:12
I appreciate everyone's comments.  I guess I'm getting old... LOUD cars just don't turn me on anymore!  Yea, they're neat and attention getting, for about the first 10 minutes or so.  After that the noise becomes tiresome if not downright annoying.  I'm also trying to preserve what hearing I have left - as we know loss of hearing is a one-way street!
Riding in Bob E.s classic 'Vair powered Deserter GS last Summer (the same buggy I referenced early in the thread) reminded me how the engine noise can dominate the general impressions of a neat car.  Believe me - riding in a GS is so "foreign" compared to anything I've ever experienced - there's a Lot of "impressions" going on!  That fan sitting literally about a foot and a half behind your head definitely makes it's presence known!  Otherwise I found the Corvair relatively quiet, even despite the Holley carb sitting just above the fan with an open element air cleaner.

So I have visions of mine being a bit more "conversation friendly" going down the highway and zipping around town - without the earplugs.   It sounds like overall the Suby engine can be a bit quieter than the air cooled options.  I've managed to fit the exhaust with the biggest (free flowing) muffler I can fit in.  Hoping for a nice low tone in general driving, with a good snarl when it winds up on full boost!

Previous Next Up Topic Engines / Subbug - Subaru Power / Subaru - noise level vs. VW? (7602 hits)

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