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Old 05-16-2007, 02:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Legality of a straight piped big rig

I just bought a 2002 International with the Detroit 60 Series. This is a dump truck that will be used either around Colorado Springs, CO or our home office in Odessa, TX.

I have never driven any kind of truck (light or heavy duty) that has a muffler on it. In fact, that is the first modification I make.

I want to straight pipe this truck, but I am worried about legality issues.

I see big trucks all day that have straight piped stacks and was wondering if they are in fact legal. I assume they are since they have to go through scales everyday.

Bottom line: Will I get harrassed by the fuzz for no mufflers on this big truck?
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Old 05-16-2007, 02:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Legality of a straight piped big rig

First of all, Colorado has a $500 fine for running an exhaust brake on an unmuffled truck. So if it has an engine brake, and you get caught, it could get expensive after awhile.

Second according to federal regulations, it is illegal to remove a noise suppresion device on any vehicle originally equipped with one after 1972. This isn't enforced very well, but it is the law. Read the door sticker one of these days. Every truck has one...

I personally can't stand unmuffled trucks. I live about 3 blocks from a highway that gets a lot of truck traffic (Wal-Mart dist. center just outside town). The only time I really notice them is when an unmuffled jerk blows through with his jake brake running (usually at 2am [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mad.gif[/img]). I replaced the muffler on my truck last year, and it's a little louder than the old one, but still a whole lot better than straight pipes.

Being in Monument, I assume you would hit that port there fairly often. Usually they're not bad there, but when they get in one of their "moods" they'll stop every truck and nitpick them.
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Old 05-16-2007, 02:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Legality of a straight piped big rig

In the FMCSA, under exhaust systems inspection, they do not specifically state a muffler is required, but some states may be more restrictive however. I have done straight pipes on trucks, and done the annual inspections on them without mufflers. I have yet to hear of any problems through the scales here, but if there ever is a question, it had a muffler on it when I performed the inspection. BTW, If it has jakes, I would recommend keeping the muffler, you'll go deaf in the cab if you kick the jakes on in a straight piped truck, unless you have some good sound insulation in the cab, but it does sound good though [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img].

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Old 05-16-2007, 05:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Legality of a straight piped big rig

i have heard of people getting tickets for no heat shields on the stacks but not having straits. I knew a guy that got a ticket for using a compression brake within city limits a while back. His truck was strait piped.

As long as you keep off the throttle near obviously bored cops and tip toe through scale houses you will be fine. Just don't drive it like its strait piped. drive it easy and light on the throttle you will be fine. If all else fails you can mount a ridiculous small little muffler under the cab.
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Old 05-16-2007, 06:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Legality of a straight piped big rig

Oh man have you hit a sore spot with me [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mad.gif[/img]
It IS illegal to have straights on a big truck. I've been all over the NC Transport Police about this and have been hounding them to do better with enforcement. It IS a federal offense and they CAN write a ticket for it. This straight pipe issue is the MAIN reason many local communities have banned Jake Brakes in their jurisdiction, it isn't the Jake Brake that is the problem of course, it is the lack of a good muffler. BTW several western states have gotten together to push the enforcement of the LAW with stiff fines, and if I have any success so will NC.
I own land near a major hill on an interstate and some of those guys with no mufflers can be heard for many miles, it is VERY annoying. BTW I have been told by an official with NC to get their DOT numbers and if they are an NC trucking company they will get an audit visit [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img]

Here is some info you might want to read- Jake Laws
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Old 05-16-2007, 08:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Legality of a straight piped big rig

Loud Pipes save lives.
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Old 05-16-2007, 10:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Legality of a straight piped big rig

I can be a max of 54,000 lbs in this truck, so I dont know how much the jake will get used. Especially in Odessa.

I do agree that guys sometimes abuse the "privelage" of having straight pipes. Kind of like the train engineers that come by my house at 3 AM and blow their horns like they are coming to the worlds busiest track crossing at rush hour.

This truck just has a single stack on the passenger side. I am gonna stick a piece of 5 inch on there today to see just how loud it is in the cab.
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Old 05-16-2007, 11:20 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Legality of a straight piped big rig

[ QUOTE ]
I personally can't stand unmuffled trucks.

[/ QUOTE ]
Me too, but I hardly ever come across one anymore except maybe a seldom used old ranch truck. I used to drive a guy's Pete logging truck, straight stacked with a 318---real fun (NOT) as long as you didn't mind wearing ear plugs every minute you were behind the wheel. I'd be more concerned with keeping one running right and on the road than how much racket I could make.
[ QUOTE ]
Second according to federal regulations, it is illegal to remove a noise suppresion device on any vehicle

[/ QUOTE ] That's been my understanding too for quite a few years now.
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Old 05-16-2007, 11:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Legality of a straight piped big rig

You can do like some, keep the stock muffler, but slip a pipe thru the center. Looks stock, has official part number on it, but if they bring the ol decibel meter out you'll get an earful.

I have just a small Dynomax "race" muffer on my Mack. Since it's a naturally aspirated motor it really has some kick with no muffler(like when I bought it). This muffler just takes the crack out of it. I run twin 4" stacks(factory size). I mind my P's and Q's when going thru scales and my neighborhood.

Before you beat up on the trucks with no mufflers.........go to a biker bar and tell them that THEY can't make any noise when they leave!
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Old 05-16-2007, 11:54 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Legality of a straight piped big rig

Colorado is AWFUL about mufflers - I don't remember offhand what the state law is, but every podunk burg in that state has a noise ordinance, and many bored cops. I used to get pulled over almost every time I went through Johnson Village with a custom exhaust on my pickup (WITH a muffler!). Along with that, I worked with a trucking company that hauled cows through CO for a while that ran straights, and they were constantly doing battle with them. I guess I personally would leave the muffler on it, they don't cost that much - if they pull you over for that, sometimes they keep looking and find bad lights, oil leaks, etc....

As far as actual noise, though, it depends a lot on the engine, and the exhaust routing/configuring. Many of our farm trucks are straight-piped without heat shields (less chance of hanging up hay/chaff, hence less fire danger), and they actually got quieter in the cab without the muffler resonating next to it. Outside, an aftercooled 855 Cummins is still pretty quiet straight-piped, but if it doesn't have a cooler, look out! you'll be shattering windows for a few blocks. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] Not sure if it's the compression ratio or the smaller turbo or what, but they really bark. I've still got a '71 Astro cabover with a 335 and a FACTORY straight-pipe (says it right on the line ticket), and it really rattles.
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Old 05-16-2007, 01:06 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Legality of a straight piped big rig

[ QUOTE ]
Loud Pipes save lives.

[/ QUOTE ]

No - Driving the speed limit saves lives.
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Old 05-16-2007, 01:14 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Legality of a straight piped big rig

[ QUOTE ]
Loud Pipes save lives.

[/ QUOTE ]

No- Loud Pipes piss off nearly everyone.

As for the Harleys- they need to bust them too [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 05-16-2007, 01:41 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Legality of a straight piped big rig

[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
Loud Pipes save lives.

[/ QUOTE ]

No- Loud Pipes piss off nearly everyone.

As for the Harleys- they need to bust them too [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif[/img]

[/ QUOTE ]i dont care who i piss off it a cheap way to keep ur egt down. people who drive 55 on a 65 piss me off.
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Old 05-16-2007, 02:19 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Legality of a straight piped big rig

[ QUOTE ]
No- Loud Pipes piss off nearly everyone.


[/ QUOTE ]
Actually I've noticed for many years now the majority by far of owner/operators with the most beautiful show trucks on wheels, chrome everywhere, high-dollar paintjobs and pinstriping, etc that really catch your eye, their trucks are whisper-quiet. Loudest thing is generally tire-whine.
On the other hand, it's a standing joke around this part of the country, if you hear a pickup with an ungodly loud exhaust, engine wound up tight, you don't even need to look up, guaranteed it's a battered $300 thrasher '70's-80's, with multi-colored bashed in body panels with of course one always being gray primer. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 05-16-2007, 02:26 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Legality of a straight piped big rig

[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
Loud Pipes save lives.

[/ QUOTE ]

No- Loud Pipes piss off nearly everyone.

As for the Harleys- they need to bust them too [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif[/img]

[/ QUOTE ]

I agree. "Loud Pipes save lives." [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif[/img] is probably one of the most lame statements I have ever heard. There have actually been studies done that show that a driver in a straight-piped truck actually gets fatigued faster and lulled by the "drone" of the exhaust and is more likely to fall asleep at the wheel [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/sleepy.gif[/img] and crash. I'll bet they could also show a link between straight pipes and increased road rage. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mad.gif[/img]

My brother has a 2006 Harley that he's been searching the the "perfect exhaust tone" on. He's bought 3 sets of pipes now at about $200-300 a set. The last set he ran for 3 days and took right back off because they were too loud. Said it might as well have been staight-piped and it gave him a headache to drive it.
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