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Starla muffler advice

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.

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Volvo Repair Database Starla muffler advice

Post by g-volvo » Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:28 pm

Hi Folks:
4 years ago I replaced the muffler assembly on my 1996 non turbo 850 with a Starla part from FCP Groton. Every year I fail my exhaust inspection in Mass. because it's too loud. Then I have to argue with the guys to lift the car and check exhaust (which usually means I have to leave it there for a day) and when they can't find a leak they give me a some song and dance about how they should fail me but are "letting" me pass this time. Every year I try a different inspection shop. Every year it's same story.

The exhaust is a little loud, I'm not saying it isn't. It's just that for $286 bucks I expect it to pass inspection.

Has anyone else had experience with the Starla muffler from FCP? Are these normally loud or do I have a lemon?

I'm thinking of replacing it with Bosal, for the simple reason that it's a different brand. Any experiences with Bosal? I'm just looking to shut this car up. I see a lot of cheesy honda civics with shirtless drivers that have louder exhausts than me. Somehow these guys get away with it....

I checked the manifold and the cat and there are no leaks anywhere.

Any advice? this problem is more annoying than the Air Pump error....


Thanks,

g.



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Re: Starla muffler advice

Post by precopster » Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:22 am

I purchased a Davico brand cat converter from FCP last year and it was:

1) 3/4 inch too short ( a small section had to be added)
2) not horizontal but twisted at around 10 degrees.
3) Combined with the slightly unbaffled old muffler I had it almost failed inspection for transfer of registration due to noise


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Re: Starla muffler advice

Post by g-volvo » Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:35 am

I know! I had the same Davico converter which ended up getting burned and had loose pieces inside. I could never get the ball fitting with the muffler to clamp solidly. I ended up purchasing a used a volvo original cat from EerieVovo, $325 tested with shipping included. It's been fine for 2 years now.

Now I'm thinking of replacing the aftermarket muffler with an original as well. I'm tired of fighting silly battles like this....



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Re: Starla muffler advice

Post by precopster » Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:43 am

Almost forgot about the ill fitting ball joint. That never worked either and the muffler was then simply clamped directly to the cat after the ball joint was cut out.

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Re: Starla muffler advice

Post by FCPEURO » Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:49 am

G-volvo, on your set up, are we 100 % sure there are no leaks coming from anywhere on the car from the manifold all the way back? I only ask as typically whenever exhaust tone is a concern, its usually Bosal mufflers that have any slight noticeable differences to factory exhausts. And even still its only barely different. I ran a full Bosal exhaust on my car a few years back and though slightly different in tone it was not unbearably loud and though we do not have inspections here in CT, I highly doubt it was anywhere near an inspection decibel limit (again depending on state). And Starla tends to be the closest to stock available in most cases, just the first I have heard about something like this being wrong.


Jason VanGorden
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FCP Euro - European Car Parts Specialists
Quality & Service, Guaranteed for Life
155 Hill Street, Milford, CT 06460

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Re: Starla muffler advice

Post by g-volvo » Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:46 pm

Yeah... reading the posts on cracked flex pipes I thought that might be the issue. But I check the pipe as thoroughly as I could and did find any obvious leaks. I even asked you guys about an exhaust manifold for an SAS setup.... but I just couldn't find a problem with the one I have.

I'll look into getting is smoke tested I guess. I was just wondering if the internal baffles on the starla have a tendency to fail over time or during shipment? I know it's unlikely but this is head-scratcher for me....

g.



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Re: Starla muffler advice

Post by g-volvo » Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:49 pm

BTW- my exhaust is no-where near "unbearably loud". Just a little loud enough to excite MA inspections.
g.



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Re: Starla muffler advice

Post by FCPEURO » Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:26 pm

Smoke test is a good idea, honestly your best bet, I doubt if any of your baffles broke you wouldn't here them rattling around in the muffler itself. Let me know what you come up with curious as to what you find.


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Re: Starla muffler advice

Post by bojified » Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:41 pm

So I had a loud exhaust on my 1997 855 with 130000 mikes that was traced to a broken outlet pipe on my converter and ripped wire mesh on the flex which was loud when things moved around. So I replaced the converter with the one listed below and the maifold. Less loud but still too loud and way louder than stock. So I felt I needed a new muffler. I assumed that there must have been problems with the baffles inside. So new muffler.
Only slightly quieter in the end. But clearly not back to spec. I assume the new converter is different enough that is where the whole applecart is upset. The new conveter looks very different and I assume the origianl plays a role in the overall muffling system as it is much larger and most of it's length is the same diameter as the conveter part.
Anyone on the site know how to restore stock muffling when all new system is in place?
Thanks
Scot

New Front Davico Catalytic Converter Natural Volvo S70 98... (140729638052
Volvo 850,S70,V70 exhaust manifold stainless steel new tig welded 9471934 (360409570956
New Muffler Natural 90 in. Oval Volvo S70 2000 99 98 V70 ... (230740931569)


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Re: Starla muffler advice

Post by g-volvo » Sat Sep 01, 2012 11:41 pm

this sounds exactly like my experience. I ended up replacing the Davico cat because it was causing problems with the O2 sensors and it eventually burned out. All those headaches went away after I replaced it with a used original volvo cat. The sound noticeably improved with the upgrade to the volvo Cat. But its still pretty load and I'm not clear why. I plan on running some more test tomorrow and will post what I find.



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