Drilling Holes In A Muffler – What To Expect

We have had a few people ask us if drilling holes in a muffler makes the sound louder or not. 

You may be thinking about conducting some alterations to your exhaust system, yet you are not quite certain where or how to start.

If this is the case, the idea of drilling holes in your muffler may appear to be a daunting and overwhelming task. But at the same time, you should be able to make this happen with only the right tools and some patience.

So, if you are looking into drilling some holes in your muffler, consider reading this post first before getting started. By doing so, you would know what to expect and whether it is worth it or not. Let’s jump right into it.

drilling holes in a muffler

Will Drilling Holes In A Muffler Make It Louder?

First of all, let us talk about the muffler and how it actually works. 

This component is a portion of your exhaust system, which helps to minimize the noise resulting from the engine’s exhaust. 

It absorbs sound waves and reflects sound waves into one another. Thus, the sound becomes less overbearing.

This component is made from stainless steel or steel. There are chambers and baffles in it, which helps to reflect sound waves. And as exhaust gasses enter through your muffler, these change direction several times, causing the sound waves to eventually cancel one another out.

By drilling holes in your muffler, noise tends to escape before it is dampened by your muffler. Hence, the exhaust sound becomes louder, which appeals to some people. But the key here is to drill holes only in the optimal location, which ensures a louder sound.

Reasons To Drill Holes In Your Muffler

There are many reasons why drilling holes in a muffler can benefit some people. For instance, it enhances exhaust sound, especially in the case of a stock muffler. You would want to harness the best potential sound out of the exhaust system, so one way to do this is by drilling holes. Hence, the sound your vehicle makes is more aggressive and more powerful.

Additionally, drilling holes also helps to enhance exhaust flow. When there is a more efficient means for exhaust gasses to escape, these are able to flow freely through the system. Thus, it improves power and fuel economy while reducing back pressure.

When water builds up in your muffler, corrosion may occur. But if you have holes in your muffler, this can help the water to drain out and reduce the risks of corrosion. You need to make sure that the holes are drilled at the end portion of your muffler to eliminate water build-up.

Drilling Holes In A Muffler

Considering these benefits of having holes in your muffler, this leaves you with this important question – where should you drill holes in your muffler?

The most optimal location is near the entrance of the muffler or on the bottom. By doing so, exhaust gasses can escape and not be affected by your chambers and baffles. You should also try not to drill very close to the muffler’s edge, since it may increase the chances of cracking.

And now that you are aware of the best location and the reasons to drill holes, let us discuss the steps to drilling holes in your muffler.

For this, you will need a few tools such as a drill, drill bit (preferably ⅜-inch), two jack stands, penetrating oil, safety goggles, and a jack.

Attach your drill bit (⅜-inch) to the drill and be sure it is attached securely. If you use your cordless drill, you would want to be sure the batteries are fully charged to avoid getting the work halted while in the process of drilling. 

Jack up your vehicle’s back end to have an easier access to your muffler and make it easier for you to drill. Put your jack stands under your car as this supports the weight and prevents it from accidentally falling off your jack. 

Once you have the vehicle supported safely, you can now drill holes in your muffler. Locate the bottom and align your drill bit to make sure it is perpendicular to your muffler. Drill slowly and increase the speed gradually as you progress. Avoid drilling too fast straight away as the drill bit may break due to overheating. 

It may also help to apply lubricant when you drill, using penetrating oil. Ideally, about 6 to 8 holes should be fine when you want to improve the performance and sound of your muffler. 

After you have finished drilling holes, you need to apply some protective material to reduce the risk of rusting. A rust-resistant paint always does the job, so apply this to your muffler and wait for it to dry. This prevents your muffler from corrosion and rust, and we also recommend putting some primer before you go straight ahead to painting. 

When you have finished drilling, the next step is to clean it all up. Take the drill bit out of your drill and secure it in a safe location. Remove your jack stands and bring the car back down, then you can remove your jack.

We also recommend that you test-drive your car to determine what it sounds like. You can also add more holes if the sound could use more work. It all depends on how you feel about it. 

Bottom Line

Overall, drilling holes in a muffler is completely safe and helps to improve the performance and sound. Just make it a point to do this task properly with the right tools and techniques. 

We suggest that you use the prescribed drill bit for your drill and ensure the optimal location for drilling holes. By doing so, you can prevent the muffler from cracking while at the same time achieving the result you want when it comes to the sound and quality of your muffler’s performance. 

In case you would like to add more loudness to the sound of your exhaust, you can also add more holes as possible. But 6 to 8 are ideal, yet you can freely add a few more as necessary and as desired.

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