If you are looking for a way to make necks turn while at car shows then you have probably already considered making flames shoot out of your exhaust. Chances are you don’t have a Lamborghini Aventador that does this stock, so what is the best way to accomplish this setup?
Keep a few things in mind. For starters, you will have to modify your vehicle in order to produce flames. It can also be quite dangerous. Lastly, it may not even be legal in your state.
Having said the above, the main way this is accomplished is by causing unburnt fuel to catch fire. In this article, we look at some of the ways you can make this happen.
Are Exhaust Flames Legal?
Please note that we are not lawyers nor is this legal advice on the topic. We are simply reporting what we found when trying to find the answer to this question. Before performing this modification you should consult your state’s DMV to confirm legality.
As we mentioned there is a serious lack of information on this topic. The first place we found was Hot Licks exhaust who makes flame-thrower exhaust kits. They note the following:
The next place we went was Justia’s US Law to find any regulations or if they are prohibited. We found two instances, the first being in Virginia, and the second being in North Carolina. Links to these codes can be found here:
Both of these go over prohibited modification of “devices for emission of smoke screens, gas projectors or flamethrowers…” These codes are also from 2005 and 2014 respectively. These may be outdated codes and the most recent versions of the documents are likely available through their respective state.
Again you should contact your local DMV to determine if these are prohibited on public and private, only private property, or not at all. Even in the above screenshot from Hot Licks website, they note that they are for off-road usage on your private property only.
To sum this up, we would suggest never using a flame-thrower on a public roadway. Check the legality in your state and use them only on privately owned property.
Ways to Make Your Vehicle Shoot Flames
1. Flame-throwing Kits
This method is the easiest way for you to get this effect. Flame-throwing kits are not very expensive, and for the most part, they do the job. Also, since this way requires the least amount of work, it might be the safest. However, if you prefer a DIY project, you can try a cheaper method, and do it yourself.
One of the most popular brands for flamethrower exhausts is Hot Licks. You can learn more about the kit by clicking here.
2. Use an Older Car
Believe it or not, you can cause an older car to backfire without much effort. Modern cars have systems to prevent it from happening, but you can cause most cars from the eighties to backfire. Before doing so, make sure that everything is in perfect working order. Most notably, there should be no drips or leaks that might cause an accidental fire.
The first step is to turn your engine on and give it some gas. Then, you can turn the engine off, but do not take your foot off of the pedal, maintain light pressure instead. Give it a few moments and start the car again. Once the engine is running, floor the accelerator. This should cause flames to shoot out of your exhaust.
Obviously, this method isn’t practical but it’s a way for flames to come out of your exhaust.
3. Place a Spark Plug in the Exhaust
This method is a very simple, and crude way of making your car spit flames, but it works. Connect a spark plug about five inches from the end of the exhaust, run the wiring to the driver, and set up a switch to ignite the spark. On the other end, the wire from the switch should connect to the positive terminal of your car battery. This method offers a lot of fun, but don’t overdo it. The flames can be quite large and thus, dangerous.
The Antilag system is a relatively common way to reduce turbo lag. It works by burning fuel after the engine, but still, before it gets to the turbo. This system will keep the turbo in action even when there are not enough exhaust gasses. However, a notable side effect is that it can create impressive flames.
5. ECU Programming
This method requires a lot of knowledge and equipment. It includes remapping the programming of your engine control unit (ECU). However, the skill level necessary for this modification means it is not feasible for noobies. You can always take your car to a tuning specialist and ask for a “Pop & Bang” ECU remap.
In essence, the idea behind this reprogramming is to make your car keep the fuel going with a closed throttle. That means that fuel will go through the engine and out into the exhaust as unburnt fuel. The heat of the exhaust can light the fuel resulting in flames.
In the example video below DegenerateMotoring uses the Openflash tablet with ROMRaider to achieve a pop bang.
No matter which of these methods you go with, remember to be safe at all times. Tuning your car like this can be dangerous, and it might cause injury or material damage. Make sure to understand how each part operates and avoid any unnecessary risks. For example, make sure spectators are at least 30 feet away, especially during the testing phases. And, remember, don’t overdo it. These flames can be really hot, and any leakage might lead to serious damage.