Can You Straight Pipe a Snowmobile?

When temperatures drop, and snow covers practically everything in sight, snowmobiles are taken out of their sheds and into the light. A snowmobile has skis in front and a continuous track at the back and can run pretty quickly and smoothly, handling quick turns and jumps with ease. But is there a way to further enhance your snowmobile?

You can straight pipe your snowmobile to enhance the riding experience. Doing so will have noticeable effects on aesthetics (a subjective issue altogether), performance, fuel efficiency, and sound. However, straight piping can be detrimental to your engine’s performance. 

In this article, I will be talking about the benefits you may enjoy when you straight pipe your snowmobile. I will also discuss some disadvantages, including possible engine damage and reduced power. Finally, I will give pointers on what to look out for in the market should you decide to go ahead and straight pipe your snowmobile.

Can You Straight Pipe a Snowmobile?

People ride snowmobiles in their backyards, in wide-open spaces, and up in the mountains. Whether it be for getting to and from places, game hunting, or purely for recreation, riding your snowmobile is one of the highlights of the season.

You can straight pipe a snowmobile to make it look nicer, ride better, and sound louder. To do so, you will essentially utilize a tube as an exhaust for the engine and bypass its usual exhaust routes.

A typical snowmobile is equipped with either a two-stroke gasoline internal combustion engine or a four-stroke engine. It usually has a resonator, muffler, and catalytic converter. If you straight pipe your snowmobile, you will circumvent the use of these mechanisms. 

When engine combustion occurs in a straight piped snowmobile, the exhaust gasses will no longer pass through these routes. Instead, the gasses will be released from the exhaust manifold straight through to the pipe. 

Can a Straight Pipe Damage a Snowmobile Engine?

Straight piping can damage a snowmobile engine. The engine is designed in such a way that allows it to maximize fuel and engine performance. Hence, it’s best to call in an expert to do the straight piping as this will help you avoid potential damage to your snowmobile’s engine.

This is how a typical two-stroke engine works:

  • Both the intake and exhaust ports in the cylinder open whenever the piston is at the bottom center.
  • Unburned fuel enters the cylinder and exits with the exhaust gas.
  • As the fuel exits, a pressure wave from the pipe restrictions pushes it back into the cylinder to be burned.

On the other hand, this is what happens when you straight pipe a snowmobile: 

  • You eliminate bends and curves in the engine design.
  • There will be no rebound for unburned fuel.
  • Exhaust gasses will exit immediately through the straight pipe, along with the unburned fuel.
  • Exhaust gas velocity may increase, depending on the length of the pipe used.

What Are the Benefits of Straight Piping a Snowmobile?

At best, improving noise output – if you would enjoy a louder, roaring noise from your snowmobile – is the only worthwhile benefit of straight piping your snowmobile. That said, you may find the sleeker look more visually appealing.

Here are additional things you may expect to enjoy when you straight pipe your snowmobile: 

  • A richer and more distinct sound from your engine.
  • Reduced back pressure that may help make exhaust gasses flow more freely.
  • Reduced vehicle weight that may result in improved maneuverability.
  • Better handling that may improve fuel efficiency.

The Drawbacks of Straight Piping a Snowmobile

Straight piping a snowmobile has a lot of disadvantages. Here are a few of the most immediate effects:

  • Heat from the existing unburned fuel could melt holes into your pistons.
  • Increased exhaust gas velocity can reduce your snowmobile’s RPM.
  • Reduced RPM will make your engine work harder, possibly causing engine temperatures to rise.
  • Decreased back pressure may result in reduced torque.
  • Gas consumption may increase when the engine starts working harder.
  • Your snowmobile will be noisier with the absence of a muffler (this may very well be an advantage, depending on what your goal and preferences are).

Points To Consider When Straight Piping a Snowmobile

Given all the pros and cons, straight piping a snowmobile does not really do much for the vehicle, except that it will make the engine louder. That said it all depends on your preference and the trails and neighborhoods you ride in. You might want to be mindful of noise pollution since straight piped snowmobiles may cause quite an uproar.

Sure, you may notice a few changes in your snowmobile’s drivability, fuel consumption, and engine performance, but be prepared to make some compromises along the way.

Is It Easy to Straight Pipe Your Snowmobile Yourself?

Unless you have a deep understanding of motor vehicles and are highly skilled, straight piping  your snowmobile on your own might not be easy. It’s best to use an expert. Also, It may ultimately turn out to be pricier if you make mistakes along the way. Worse, you may end up damaging your engine.

There are quite a few details to consider if you decide to straight pipe your snowmobile yourself. You need to pick the right cone sizes and tube diameters. Also, you must know your engine’s port timing specs and desired RPM. 

Keep in mind that different sizes, measurements, and specs will produce different results. You have to be very particular about the materials and measurements you choose to modify your snowmobile.

Turning to an expert for help with straight piping your snowmobile would be your best bet. It may seem costly at first, but you will be better assured that your snowmobile is in good hands. 

Furthermore,relying on an expert’s opinion and know-how could save you a lot of money in the long run since you may avoid potential damages and repairs to your vehicle.

Are Straight Pipe Kits for Snowmobiles a Good Idea?

Investing in aftermarket straight pipe kits and exhausts for your snowmobile is a great idea. While there is a wide range of options to choose from, the key is to find one which will best deliver your desired output. 

Some people want to maximize the power in their engines, while some would rather invest in improved maneuverability and safety. Others would like to focus on improved gas mileage, while some just want a more distinctive sound from the engine.  

Whatever your goal may be, it is a good idea to scout for the best aftermarket kit or exhaust for your snowmobile. 

Talk to an expert about your options and don’t forget to weigh the pros and cons of your preferred straight pipe kits. Also, be aware of what you need to compromise on, if need be, to achieve the output you want. In the end, all that matters is that you’re satisfied with how your snowmobile looks, feels, sounds, and rides. 

Conclusion

Straight piping your snowmobile may do more harm than good to your vehicle. This is especially so when it is not done methodically. Practically the only worthwhile advantage this offers is a relative improvement in the sound quality of your snowmobile’s engine. 

When push comes to shove, straight piping your snowmobile could sacrifice the quality and performance of your engine. At best, this should be done by an expert to ensure that your snowmobile stays in top shape. 

Also, invest in a reliable straight pipe kit or exhaust to fully maximize your snowmobile’s performance, aesthetics, sound quality, and fuel efficiency.

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