I need some advice and /or training on purchasing exhaust. I've got a '69 bug with a '74 motor. It currently has a completely rusted out Bugpak header and glass pack muffler that needs to be replaced. As I shop thru catalogs and websites most exhausts list a fit up to model year '73. What is the mystery of the '74 year engine? It's a 1600cc dual port with heater boxes. Is it just some pollution thing that forbids them from saying it will fit? Also, is ceramic coating really worth the extra $$? Any advice and guidance will be greatly appreciated!
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I believe that what you are running into is the difference in cylinder heads brought about by the change from carburetors to fuel injection.  They use different intake manifolds and the pre-heaters which come off of the exhaust system change configuration - thus the change in the muffler.  Is your motor a fuelie or is it carbureted?  Take a look at the base of the generator/alternator stand and you will find the engine number.  It will likely start with the letters "AE".  Post the engine serial number and you can determine the real year of the engine and what exhaust it should take.  The pre-heaters are not a "pollution thing".  They take the hot exhaust stream and run it next to the intake fuel mixture going to the engine cylinder.  This helps to prevent icing; at least in a carbureted version.  I'm not familiar with fuel injection systems but I know that they are different.  Ceramic coatings are neat depending on the cost difference from the standard versions.  In the application that I have, a summer cruiser, I am content with a factory exhaust but with the use of "J" pipes as I have no use for heater boxes and all of that foofera.  When you do your exhaust work, be more concerned about things like seized stud nuts at the point where your pipes go onto the heads.  And when you put the new nuts on, use a bit of Never Seize compound.  Some day you will thank yourself that you did.   Dan (MY72BUG) in Goderich
I'd rather have a partial bottle in front of me than a partial frontal lobotomy.
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The basic long blocks are all similar with regards to the exhaust.

The stock or most single carbs use the intake heater tube as a brace to stabilize the intake manifold. 

Many after market street exhausts have the correct little tubes rising up for the intake heater tube to mate up with.  Though many of these are way off in alignment due to poor quality.

Race exhausts like I run do not have this tube as they assume you are running duel carbs if you are using these.

So you need to see what your car has connected to the stock exhaust and where and get an exhaust that has what your car requires.

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