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Installing A QuickSilver Exhaust In A Gallardo

About a year ago I switched from driving a 6L Diablo to an '05 Gallardo. All in all a year later I must say I really like the car. The road handling characteristics of the car at high speed is excellent. Having had more than a few rear end spinouts in the Diablo I have come to appreciate the ESP control system of the Gallardo.

One area however in my opinion where the '05 Gallardo (and earlier models) are  sadly lacking is the sound of the muffler. I really miss the deep solid sound of the Diablo. The Gallardo is essentially silent at low RPM's and above 3000 RPM opens up to a lame Ferrari like sound.  After almost 1 year of driving I decided I could take it no more.  A muffler replacement was clearly called for. The big question I had was of the 6 or so different brands out there which one should I choose. I spent quite some time searching the web for comments etc. on each system. In some cases I could even locate sound tracks. However nowhere could I hear a "before & after" sound.  Trying to compare different sounds by different vendors in different situations with the OEM muffler Gallardo sound is like comparing apples and oranges. On top of that each vender/user praises just their system. Fortunately at the recent Monterey Car Festival I did get to hear a few systems live.

  Figure 1. OEM and Quicksilver Gallardo Exhausts
This helped me narrow my choices down.  Different people have different requirements for a muffler sound. For me let me make it clear , I was not looking for an extra loud/harsh sound. I wanted something as close as possible to the kind of sound that comes out of the OEM 6L Diablo.  With only 10 instead of 12 cylinders clearly that was asking a lot.  To cut a long story short, I decided on the English Quicksilver system.  It sounded good on the web. They are a well known manufacture and make excellent mufflers for many quality sports cars. On top of that the price of their Gallardo system was half (or more) that of some other systems.  With some trepidation I ordered a set on the web from England. To my delight It was at my doorstep within a few days. 

Figure 1 shows one of the two OEM Lamborghini and Quicksilver systems. Quicksilver supply two muffler systems for the Gallardo. A Sports system which I will describe first and a louder Super Sports system which I will describe later below. I was struck by the simplicity of the Quicksilver exhaust. It was about 1/4 the weight of the OEM system. On top of that it was made of really thick stainless steel. The joint welds were very well done with no apparent weak spots.  What I have below is an account of my travels installing the system.  This account is somewhat long and more detailed than those in many of the other "repair entries" on this web site. I have done this to help those that don't normally do repairs on their car. The whole process took me about a day to do. However this was because I was doing much of it for the first time photographing each step as I went.  Most DIY's should have no difficult following the steps outlined below.  If you are installing another type of muffler in a Gallardo the process should be essentially the same.

OK lets get started. First we have to remove the cover over the rear part of the engine.  This is done by removing the screws around the edge of the cover (figure 2). Don't forget the one screw at the front between the two air filter housings. Also take care to store the screws in one pile. We will have many similar looking screws in this process. It's easy to confuse what screw goes where in the reassembly process if they are all in one pile. A little bit of care starting off can save much trial and error later!  Figure 3 shows the car with the cover removed. The OEM mufflers can now be clearly seen.  
Figure 2. Figure 3
Next we will proceed to remove the five honeycomb panels at the rear of the car. If you carefully look at these you will see that there are small screws holding them in place. These screws take an "Allen wrench" to open. They have longer than you might expect treads. I use a power-tool to speed up the process. Figures 4-5 shows steps in this process. The good news is that all the screws are the same size. Remember each has a washer that can easily be left behind and lost.    
Figure 4. Figure 5
Next we need to disconnect the wire that is connected to the lights for the rear license plate. The wire is held to the rear frame with a clip as shown in Figure 6. This clip pulls away from the frame. Further up along the wire (under the right brake lights assembly) you will find a socket that allows you to disconnect the cable. In my case I also had wires connected to the rear radar detector and rear view camera. If you have not already done so you should have these connected via a socket as well. As many times in the future you will have to remove the rear bumper of the car. Also as shown in Figure 7 one of the two larger screws need to be removed -- one on each side.    
Figure 6 Figure 7
Now we need to remove both rear wheels. If you cannot do that yourself stop right now and go no further! We then remove the rear part of each rear wheel housing. These are held in place by a number of screws. They are of 3 different sizes so make a note of which one goes where for re-assembly. All 3 types take Allen wrench sockets. All screws are around the edges of the plastic panel. Some are shown in Figure 8.  
Figure 8 Figure 9 Figure 10
Do NOT remove the ~6 aluminum screws in the center of each panel. These are used to hold a heat insulation layer on the inside of the panel as seen in Figure 10.  Finally take care there are 2 small screws at the bottom of the panel  see Figure 9.  
Now we are at the final stages of removing the rear bumper. First go along the back removing the 6 screws as shown in Figure 11. There are 4 large screws underneath the bumper (the black portion that joins it to the frame). Finally remove the larger bolt as shown in Figure 12 that is on the side now seen with the wheel well panel removed. After carefully removing all these screws the whole bumper pulls away from the car. Pull out the sides first as shown in figure 13.    It is quite tight.   Pull the front portion directly outwards.  
Figure 11 Figure 12 Figure 13
Then work your way around the back. The whole bumper is quite flexible. With care it is really not possible to brake anything. After you pull the side of the bumper out you will need to pull out the side indicator light. It easily pops out.  

Figure 14 shows the car with the rear bumper removed. All that remains is the strong aluminum to which it was supported.  It is not absolutely necessary to remove this frame although the left side has to be opened up (see below). If I were to do it all again I would just take it off at this stage. You will see it is connected to the rest of the car with just 4 large bolts and 4 smaller ones under the lights.

Figure 14
We next need to remove the heat shield over the muffler in the center of the car. Again remove the necessary screws, Figure 15. Disconnect the tube that controls the exhaust valves (see below) Removing this heat shield is tricky. It is flexible and needs to be flexed to get it out. It is shown in Figure 17.  
Figure 15 Figure 16 Figure 17
The OEM exhaust is shown in Figure 18. We can see in Figure 19 where the O2 sensor and exhaust access plug are situated. Both of these need to be removed.    
  Figure 18   Figure 19
The exhaust access plug simply screws out, figure 20.This plug is used for OEM diagnostic tools to access the exhaust gasses and must be inserted into toe Quicksilver muffler.

To remove the O2 sensor first we disconnect the wire lead from its socket in the wheel well area, Figure 21.  There are 3 sockets in this area so be sure to disconnect the right one first.


  Figure 20   Figure 21
Now pull the O2 sensor wire through the frame and into the engine area Figure 22. Then carefully open the O2 sensor as shown in figure 23. In my car it was not real tight. I would avoid putting things like "liquid wrench" on the treads as I have heard they upset the O2 sensor when the car is restarted.    
  Figure 22   Figure 23
Figure 24 shows the removed 02 sensor.  Carefully store it away from oil rags etc.      
  Figure 24    
Now we need to remove the C clamp that connects the OEM muffler tube to the catalytic converter. This C clamp is shown in figure 24. I unfortunately used a air powered wrench to open the screws and broke one of the bolts. I put "Liquid Wrench" on the left hand side, let it sit for 20 minutes and it opened with no problem. Figure 26 shows the C clamp removed.    
  Figure 25   Figure 26
OK now we need to get to the exhaust tubes coming out of the OEM muffler. Part of each muffler in the wheel well area is surrounded by a heat shield box. This box (one each side) is attached via two bolts under the brake lights area. These are difficult to get at. There are also a few smaller screws attached to the frame as shown in figure 27-29.


  Figure 27   Figure 28   Figure 29
To get the box out you also need to remove the small aluminum bracket shown in figure 31. Then the whole box slides to the side. The box is shown in figure 32.  

Figure 30 shows the exposed OEM muffled muffler. We need to open the C clamp shown in figure 31. With this opened the exhaust tubing from the muffler box drops to the round

  Figure 30   Figure 31
Figure 32 shows the exposed OEM muffler box with the exhaust tubes removed.  Removing the box itself is a bit tricky. For the right hand side:  by rotating the box it eventually slides out.  Figure 33 shows a side by side comparison of the OEM muffler box and the Quicksilver box. I was amazed how heavy the OEM box was. The Quicksilver box is about one quarter the weight of the OEM box.    
  Figure 32   Figure 33
We now will install the right hand Quicksilver muffler.  First we attach it via the C clamps to the catalytic converter, Figure 34.  Do not tighten things up yet. Examine the flanges of the muffled. As shown in figure 35 there was a slight dent in mine. I bent this out with a pliers before continuing.    
  Figure 34   Figure 35
Now for a bit of a side track! Each muffler has a valve that using the engine vacuum line opens up at around 3000 RPM to allow both exhaust tubes to exit gas. This is to comply with EURO sound restrictions. I noticed that in my car (figure 36) that the right hand hose was bent at an unnecessary angle. This can in time lead to hose fatigue. I corrected this by opening the 3 small screws that attach the valve to the frame and rotating the valve.   See figures 37 and 38.      
  Figure 36   Figure 37   Figure 38

OK. Back to muffler installation.  Figure 39 shows the car with a Quicksilver exhaust on the right hand side and the OEM muffler on the left hand side. You can see immediately how much smaller (and lighter) the Quicksilver exhaust is.

  Figure 39
Now do exactly the same thing for the left hand muffler. The only complication here is that to get the OEM muffler out of the car there is not enough room to rotate it and slide it out between the car frame and bumper support. The Oil tank gets in the way. You have to pull out the bumper frame a little to rotate the muffler out. This is shown in figure 43 and 44. As I said above, next time I would remove this frame completely at the start.    
  Figure 40   Figure 41
For re-assembly all things go back pretty much as you would expect. The only critical point is shown in figure 42. When you attach the muffler tips it is absolutely essential to make sure the muffler exhaust tube does not touch the tips. The exhaust tube will vibrate with varying engine RPMs. There must be enough space for this within the exhaust tip. Check there is at least a 1/4 inch distance all around. This is done by twisting and turning the exhaust tubes and muffler box before tightening the C clamp bolts.         
  Figure 42   Figure 43
There is a space on the wheel side of the insulation box to get to the C clamps to tighten them up. See figure 43. For this reason also be sure to have the C clamp bolts facing forward before putting the insulation box back in the car.    


As I mentioned above. It is very easy to snap off the C clamp bolts. They are double treaded into the brass like material of the C clamp. If this happens. Simply drill out the broken bolt and use a grade 7 stainless bolt of the right size to hold the C clamp together.  Use a washer and lock nut. This in my opinion is a stronger arrangement anyway and is the way exhaust C clamps are done in most cars.        
  Figure 44   Figure 45

How does it sound.

It is difficult to describe sound differences for mufflers on cars. As with music, it tends to be a very personal thing. I have here three files that give the sound of the OEM and two Quicksilver mufflers on the above car. Let me quickly say the sound from these files do not do either type of muffler justice. I recorded the sound in a small confined garage with a simple video camera.  I cannot explain the grinding noise (particularly for the OEM muffler). I think the microphone is sensitive to different frequencies than that of the human ear.


Click the button within the picture to select the control to hear a sound track of a 2005 Gallardo with the Lamborghini OEM muffler.



Click the button within the picture to select the contro to hear a sound track of a 2005 Gallardo with the Quicksilver Sports muffler.


Click the button within the picture to select the control to hear the sound track of a 2005 Gallardo with the Quicksilver Super Sports muffler. (See below).


From my perspective the Quicksilver sound is a modest increase in aggressiveness over the Lamborghini OEM muffler sound. At low RPM it has a bit more bight to it and at higher RPM (>3000) is begins to get loud. I do a lot of long distance highway driving in the 2-3000RPM range. I did not want a sound that would be annoying when driving for hours. That being said, I still think the OEM Diablo muffler has a better sound. Also I should point out if you want a muffler that will get a lot of attention, wake up the neighborhood etc. this is not the muffler for you. Quicksilver also make a "Super Sports system" for people who are looking for something a little louder.

The Quicksilver Super Sports Muffler.

 As you can see in figure 46 the Super sports muffler is simply a straight pipe. The end to end dimensions are exactly the same as the Sports version described above. There is just no muffler box.  You might expect this to be very loud. But in fact because the exhaust goes through the catalytic converter and down this tube to be split by the constricted Lamborghini valve described above, the sound is actually not too loud. It is defiantly louder than the sports version however.        
  Figure 46   Figure 47

Installing this muffler is exactly the same as described above.  I enclose a two photographs of my Gallardo with this system Figures 47 & 48.


I have driven with both systems and in the end decided to stick with the Sports Quicksilver muffler.  This is a personal choice however. Both systems are well made and a joy to use.

  Figure 48


This page was last modified on 03/12/2014

This page was last modified on 09/06/2014