1973 malibu


#1

Hi I have this 1973 Malibu it has side pipes are there some kinda muffler in the pipe or is it a straight pipe it comes right off the engine


#2

If it’s ear-splitting loud, it’s open.
If it’s a nice mellow sound, the baffles are in it.

These aftermarket pipes were sold both ways, “straight” and with baffles, and lots of buyers cut the baffles various amounts to make the exhaust louder. They could also be “capped”, diverting the exhaust through mufflers when desired and blowing the exhaust out with minimal restriction when desired by removing the caps.


#3

I recall they were called lake pipes. A few hot rod tunes mentioned them back in the day.


#4

First time I’ve seen aftermarket side pipes on a post-'72 car, except for Corvettes.


#5

Look under the car. Is there an exhaust pipe attached at the front of the sidepipes? Is there any other exhaust going back to the rear of the car? If there are no other exhaust pipes except to the sidepipes, and the car doesn’t try to break your eardrums when its running, then the muffler is in the sidepipes.

If there are other mufflers farther back, they may be what is called Lakes Pipes which allow you to remove a cap to run open exhaust at the racetrack and capped so the mufflers work when on the street.

If there are NO exhaust pipes going to the sidepipes, the car is just a poser and the sidepipes are for looks only. People used to do that in the 70’s for some reason.


#6

And if they do work, and bypass the catalytic converter, that’s a big no-no.
Edit - nope, didn’t have a cat.


#7

I don’t think the 1973 model year had catalytic converters yet.


#8

You’re right, that too early for cats.


#9

PvtPublic: I was thinking 1975 for GM. I looked it up anyway. Although development began in 1973 the first model year so equipped was 1975.


#10

Rod Knox: The Beach Boy’s Little Deuce Coupe “purred like a kitten till the lake pipes roared”! Surprisingly my 6 y/o Grandson requests Beach Boy music every time he rides in my car. When his 13 y/o girl Cousin was his age her favorite song was Jan and Dean’s Little Old Lady from Pasadena. Perhaps there is hope for the new generation.


#11

Those are not lake pipes. Lake pipes were not pretty and were not used for decoration. They first appeared before headers became popular. They were a cutout in the exhaust pipe that went behind the front wheels in the wheel well and were capped off for the street, uncapped for the strip.

They were replaced by headers that had a collector that had both a cap that forced the exhaust to go into the exhaust pipe and could be “un-corked” for the strip.

Side pipes came later and were first seen on European Formula race cars. They looked cool so they were adopted mainly for street/show use only, don’t remember seeing many at a drag strip.


#12

Yeah those were included in every AMT model car kit I had in the 60’s. Complete with lowering blocks, spinners for the wheels, flame decals, and 1/4 panel antennas. Looked real cool but didn’t need them on my Morris Minor or VW bug.


#13

keith: You are correct. The 1973 Malibu pictured has side pipes. If they are the exhaust system they are mostly show with little performance enhancement. If they are not connected to the exhaust system they are 100% show. I owned one vehicle with the “un-corkable” headers you describe. I only opened them a couple of times on deserted country roads. They are very loud and would result in a nearly instantaneous excessive noise, exhaust ticket in town.


#14

That era Monte is one of my all-time favorite vehicles. It was considered a cheeper luxury car.

One of the problems with many cars of that era was they needed to breath more. This was long before computer controlled fuel-injection and engine cad design. The Monte came stock with a 350 and Quadrajet carb. Adding a tuned exhaust to this vehicle could give you a significant increase in performance. I’m not a fan of the side-pipe look on a Monte Carlo.


#15

Nineteen seventy three was the first year when detuning really took hold. Unless the engine has been modified I don’t see the point in side pipes on a stock engine unless someone thought it was a cool dress-up factor.

Pretty car though.


#16

Re. catalytic converters, my dad’s 1974 Olds Toronado had one. It had a 455 V8 and the cat was about as big as a large pizza box and about 3x as thick as I recall. Obviously they’ve improved a bit since then.


#17

The wiki at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oldsmobile_Toronado says 1975. I pumped gas those years and that was the year the pumps were modified to handle unleaded gas.

But there are a lot of grey cells between those years and now -:wink:


#18
Those are not lake pipes. Lake pipes were not pretty and were not used for decoration. They first appeared before headers became popular. They were a cutout in the exhaust pipe that went behind the front wheels in the wheel well and were capped off for the street, uncapped for the strip.

I would call those “lake plugs” or “lakes plugs.” Lake(s) pipes do go the length of the rocker panel. Lake(s) refers to the dry lake beds the SoCal hot rodders used for time trials in the '50s.


#19

I had a 74 Olds Cutlass with the 350 and it didn’t have the cat yet.


#20

According to the Walker Exhaust Catalog the '73-74 Toronados did not have a Cat.