Have you been pulled over for running straight pipes? - TCCoA Forums
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post #1 of 65 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 03:39 AM Thread Starter
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Have you been pulled over for running straight pipes?

Its pretty much general knowledge now that running no mufflers whatsoever is illegal, but up here in Washington there isnt any visual inspections. I just recently straight piped my tbird (with the resonator and cats still intact) and its loud, but it doesnt sound loud enough to justify being pulled over for. Some hondas I hear are definitely way louder. So I am just curious as to if any of you have been pulled over or ticketed for your straight piped exhaust.
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post #2 of 65 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 07:45 AM
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I don't know for sure but I'm 99% sure it's fine not to have mufflers... Atleast here in Tennessee. What's illegal is not having cats.

I have been pulled over for "reckless driving" but I assure you it was the straight pipes that got me in trouble. They didn't say anything about my exhuast. It's happened twice actually. No tickets to date (knock on wood)

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post #3 of 65 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 09:34 AM
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Having mufflers or not is irrelevant. The law states that the car cannot be over a certain decibel limit at a certain distance from the car. Unless the officer has a decibel measuring device, and depending on how by the book the judge is, you may be able to get out of a ticket if you can prove you are within the law. Most officers go "by ear" in their enforcement of this, so if you can prove you're legal by your local laws (I would consult state and city laws) then you should be able to get out of the ticket.

However, having owned several loud cars (1985 Cougar XR-7 2.3 Turbo where the exhaust pipe rotted off behind ahead of the catalyst, a 1974 Trans Am with 4" side pipes with next to no mufflers in the pipe, a 1985 Cougar LS with a 5.0, straight pipes all the way back with glasspacks on the ends, and my current 97 Thunderbird with a dual in/out mid mount magnaflow and glasspacks on the ends) I have yet to be pulled over for "loud exhaust". Usually, someone either needs to file a noise complaint, or you have to be ripping on it in the officer's vicinity to get the officer's attention, and they're looking for anything else they can find to bust you with by that point.

So, get to know your local noise ordinances (google searches are very easy for that), get a decibel meter 72-935 - TENMA - METER, SOUND LEVEL, 40-130DB, 3.5DB | Newark element14 (can get apps for free, for android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...ra.sound&hl=en or Iphone https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/deci...448155923?mt=8) and measure it, make sure you're legal, and then don't worry about it.

And here's a Washington state sound ordinance, which says that 60db in residential areas, reduced to 50db between 10pm and 7am, but can be exceeded for temporary purposes (driving through a neighborhood for example). So look up your local ordinance and go from there. You measure 25 feet from the source, and you'd rev your engine to cruising speed because you're hopefully not redlining it in the neighborhood.
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post #4 of 65 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input, guys.
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post #5 of 65 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 11:35 AM
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Seriously though, I've never been stopped for it. And although I'm 100% convinced police hold a double standard for motorcyclists anyway, I hear Harleys and crotch rockets clear as a bell from a mile away in the summertime, never once seen a motorcycle pulled over for it(or pulled over period, even for something truly obnoxious...).
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post #6 of 65 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 12:57 PM
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Thats one of the things about the MN12 as long as you dont make your car too flashy you can fly under the radar.
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post #7 of 65 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 01:42 PM
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Only time I ever got pulled over for loud exhaust was in my 79 Firebird when I was 19 years old, and I was running open long-tube headers. I ran the car like that for a couple months, and got pulled over 3 or 4 times for the open headers, only one ticket though, which was only like $50 at the time. These days, I would rather try to find ways to make my car quieter without sacrificing performance, and I couldn't imagine driving something more than a few miles with open headers, let alone it being my daily driver for months.
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post #8 of 65 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by MadMikeyL View Post
Only time I ever got pulled over for loud exhaust was in my 79 Firebird when I was 19 years old, and I was running open long-tube headers. I ran the car like that for a couple months, and got pulled over 3 or 4 times for the open headers, only one ticket though, which was only like $50 at the time. These days, I would rather try to find ways to make my car quieter without sacrificing performance, and I couldn't imagine driving something more than a few miles with open headers, let alone it being my daily driver for months.
What? I can't hear you over the open headers!

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post #9 of 65 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 05:22 PM
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The best performance oriented muffler is clearly a turbocharger.
Go for it.
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post #10 of 65 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 06:53 PM
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When I looked into it, here in WV we have an "unreasonably loud" law which obviously is highly subjective and the state does require mufflers (although you wouldn't know it on any given day). The legislature has tried to pass a law prohibiting aftermarket exhausts but thanks to SEMA Action Network and others, it has failed to get past committee.

You have to be aware of local ordinances as well. Just because the other guy is louder won't work as an excuse.
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post #11 of 65 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 07:25 PM
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I have straight pipes on my 32V bird and I think it's quiet. Needs to be louder lol. The cops here in my town are very strict but I've never had a problem with them... Like most have said, no mufflers are fine just don't drive like a ricer and the Five-O will leave you alone.

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post #12 of 65 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 07:28 PM
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What pisses me off about these laws that prohibit after-market exhaust or "other than stock" exhaust is that the damn Harley's that are louder and more obnoxious than anything else around are perfectly legal under these irrational laws.
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post #13 of 65 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ogbird95 View Post
Thats one of the things about the MN12 as long as you dont make your car too flashy you can fly under the radar.
This is wonderful, really; this is totally true.
I prefer quiet, high flow pipes; I don't want every cop in earshot to hear me having fun.
And apparently, we look like a Panther platform to the uninitiated, in the rearview mirror.

Quote:
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The best performance oriented muffler is clearly a turbocharger.
Go for it.
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I like your solution; quiet, yet effective!

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When I looked into it, here in WV we have an "unreasonably loud" law which obviously is highly subjective and the state does require mufflers ...
Every state pretty much requires mufflers; lack of a separate muffler can get your car towed.
As can too-dark window tint...


The big thing is to not get on the radar, so to speak; you do not want to be noticed at all.


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post #14 of 65 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 08:00 PM
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The police in my area, Renton, Kent, don't seem to be too picky about mufflers. I've never been pulled over for noise. Never heard of the Harley types get into trouble about noise either.
Also--
My 2 sports cars have never had front license plates, which is mandatory. Never been pulled over for that, and I drive by the local cop shop twice a day.
And most sporty type cars, Corvettes, Porsches, etc. don't wear front plates either.
I'm told the police DO pick on Microsoftie type yuppies in Bellevue for front plates on their sports cars, but that's the only exception I know of.
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post #15 of 65 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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The police in my area, Renton, Kent, don't seem to be too picky about mufflers. I've never been pulled over for noise. Never heard of the Harley types get into trouble about noise either.
Also--
My 2 sports cars have never had front license plates, which is mandatory. Never been pulled over for that, and I drive by the local cop shop twice a day.
And most sporty type cars, Corvettes, Porsches, etc. don't wear front plates either.
I'm told the police DO pick on Microsoftie type yuppies in Bellevue for front plates on their sports cars, but that's the only exception I know of.
Id run no front plate if there werent already holes in the bumper cover from the mount.
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post #16 of 65 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 11:26 PM
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The only time I got pulled over for that reason was back in 1997. I was pulled over in a 94 4.6 Tbird with Flowmaster 2 chamber mufflers. There was a Mustang or Camaro in front of me at a red light and the police car behind me. When the light turned green the car in front took off a little fast .. shortly after that, the cop lit me up. He came up to the window and said it was illegal to have a modified exhaust. I asked why he didnt go after the car ahead of me for taking off fast. He said ... your car looked cooler and he wanted to check it out, he didnt give me a ticket, but informed me that it wasnt legal to modify any part of the exhaust system including the muffler.


Ive never ran a front license plate on any of the dozens of vehicles Ive owned over the last 20 years .. probably at least 10 fix-it tickets for that one. Not long ago they changed it to about a $70 fine instead .. still havent got one of those but if I do ill just pay it up bruh.
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post #17 of 65 (permalink) Old 01-09-2016, 06:45 AM
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What ... Hell I'm goin deaf...
Seriously, I have been pulled over for loud exhaust on all my cars at one time or another simply because I was doing something I knew was a bad idea, like removing the cats and just putting open down tubes on to go play around a bit... Never ticketed for any of them, however I have been given a good long talking to by the many officers and told to act my age..
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post #18 of 65 (permalink) Old 01-12-2016, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Trunk Monkey View Post
What pisses me off about these laws that prohibit after-market exhaust or "other than stock" exhaust is that the damn Harley's that are louder and more obnoxious than anything else around are perfectly legal under these irrational laws.

Ron, they don't care what pisses you off ROFL!!

I've been stopped twice for mine over the years but never given a ticket. But the Prick in VA flat told me that mine was illegal after a traffic stop that had nothing to do with me except I stopped to insure a friend was ok. The State Officer had the audacity to tell me that my exhaust was illegal in his state. Considering I didn't live and reside in his state I kindly informed him that it may be but to notice my inspection sticker and tags registered in WV and to notice It had just passed inspection in my state and I was only passing through. He didn't like it but went on about harassing my friend about his windshield and registration. The other Officer was a bit more calm when he came up to the car and stated it was a nice car and just asked to see my insurance and registration. They were good so there was no more issue after that.

A lot has to do with also how you handle them when they approach the car and act in dealing with them.

You just never know. Most officers are reasonable though.

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post #19 of 65 (permalink) Old 01-12-2016, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
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What pisses me off about these laws that prohibit after-market exhaust or "other than stock" exhaust is that the damn Harley's that are louder and more obnoxious than anything else around are perfectly legal under these irrational laws.
Lots of cops are ride off duty I've found, so that whole brotherhood nonsense plays a big part IMO

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post #20 of 65 (permalink) Old 01-12-2016, 08:20 PM
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I have been pulled and given a ticket for my car being to loud. Cop said every one was pointing at my car for him to pull me over. My car was dumb loud at the time. Ported manifolds, no cats, x pipe , mandrel dual 2.5 exhaust with no mufflers. Hurt my ears to drive it lol. Have tripple chamber MagnaFlows on it now and I wish it was louder lol.
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post #21 of 65 (permalink) Old 01-12-2016, 08:34 PM
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Yep V we remember that day at the track with them pipes very well

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post #22 of 65 (permalink) Old 01-12-2016, 08:54 PM
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Ron, they don't care what pisses you off ROFL!!

I've been stopped twice for mine over the years but never given a ticket. But the Prick in VA flat told me that mine was illegal after a traffic stop that had nothing to do with me except I stopped to insure a friend was ok. The State Officer had the audacity to tell me that my exhaust was illegal in his state. Considering I didn't live and reside in his state I kindly informed him that it may be but to notice my inspection sticker and tags registered in WV and to notice It had just passed inspection in my state and I was only passing through. He didn't like it but went on about harassing my friend about his windshield and registration. The other Officer was a bit more calm when he came up to the car and stated it was a nice car and just asked to see my insurance and registration. They were good so there was no more issue after that.

A lot has to do with also how you handle them when they approach the car and act in dealing with them.

You just never know. Most officers are reasonable though.
Yea, I know they don't care. Cops don't care about a lot of things ... I know, I used to be one. The a$$holes I had to work with are why I didn't pursue that career field further; I just didn't want to be associated with those kind of people, among other reasons. It's apparently only gotten worse since then. I feel bad for the good Cops who have to put up with the idiots giving them a bad image.

As for my own car. No, I've never been stopped or harassed about my exhaust. North Carolina - being the motorsports friendly state that it is - is pretty cool about aftermarket modified performance cars.

Virginia did give me some grief about my tint a few years ago as you may remember. I've had it re-done and it's NC legal now. So, a big fat F. you to the state of VA LEO's who think it's cool to harass out-of-staters over something as trivial as tint.

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Lots of cops are riders off duty I've found, so that whole brotherhood nonsense plays a big part IMO
So true.
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post #23 of 65 (permalink) Old 01-14-2016, 09:58 PM
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Cops & pipes



The cops come to me.

Jack stands, straight pipes, long duration cam.
cops showed up before 9:00pm while brake in @ 2000rpm.
12 minutes in, cops shut me down.

needless to say that engine did not last very long.
threw a rod after about 5 races in.

The excessive heat did not help.


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post #24 of 65 (permalink) Old 01-16-2016, 11:23 PM
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I'm not at all in disagreement over what you are stating. It sounds like you are fair in your evaluations of things.

The day my partner was stopped I was traveling with him and stopped when they pulled him. There was no (0) reason for either of the officers mentioned to even have any reason to ask me for anything at the time. I had done nothing.

I have no issue respecting law enforcement and expect the same in return. We were two cars heading to Richmond VA for a dyno tune in the early morning hours (7AM) on Rt 64, doing the speed limit and minding our own business. It was also a weekend that they had numerous patrols on the roadway for some reason. They even mentioned that.

As you stated, you can check to see what is legal in the state the vehicle is from. I don't particularly know VA law and as mentioned was just passing through. With the registration on my vehicle and a new inspection sticker I feel it was entirely uncalled for to "Make it a point" to say anything about it. It was not just that he said it but the way he said it that pissed me off. I realize he may have had a bad day but no need to pass it on to me.

That being said, I wouldn't even want to walk a day in your/their shoes. There is a lot more stupid crap to worry about other than someone from another state driving down the interstate in a somewhat loud exhaust car. You all certainly get my respect for what you do regardless.

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post #25 of 65 (permalink) Old 01-17-2016, 11:14 AM
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I'm not at all in disagreement over what you are stating. It sounds like you are fair in your evaluations of things.

The day my partner was stopped I was traveling with him and stopped when they pulled him. There was no (0) reason for either of the officers mentioned to even have any reason to ask me for anything at the time. I had done nothing.

I have no issue respecting law enforcement and expect the same in return. We were two cars heading to Richmond VA for a dyno tune in the early morning hours (7AM) on Rt 64, doing the speed limit and minding our own business. It was also a weekend that they had numerous patrols on the roadway for some reason. They even mentioned that.

As you stated, you can check to see what is legal in the state the vehicle is from. I don't particularly know VA law and as mentioned was just passing through. With the registration on my vehicle and a new inspection sticker I feel it was entirely uncalled for to "Make it a point" to say anything about it. It was not just that he said it but the way he said it that pissed me off. I realize he may have had a bad day but no need to pass it on to me.

That being said, I wouldn't even want to walk a day in your/their shoes. There is a lot more stupid crap to worry about other than someone from another state driving down the interstate in a somewhat loud exhaust car. You all certainly get my respect for what you do regardless.
Take my comments as general in nature and not personal. I was quoting part of what Trunk Monkey had to say to Va. LEOs in general. I hadn't read your post yet.

Your friend was stopped and then you stopped along with him I take it? Did you stop behind the police car or tip toe past and pull over some distance away as to make it clear you were no threat at all and not interfering and just waiting?
Any LEO stops a car and another pulls over is a concern .... so either way, they are gonna be watching that second one close .... which takes attention away from the other one he / she did stop. Best to make it easy by pulling past a ways ..... and not behind the police car.
Don't know what you did .... just saying as I've been in that spot a lot ..... and if I stop the red car and a blue one stops close enough to in any way become a threat, if driver of blue choses to inject him or herself into my stop uninvited, I always got their ID as well.

As to exhaust ..... straight pipes are illegal on Va. highways, irrespective of the car's or driver's home state laws. Same with excessively dark tinted glass on a Va. highway. My custom of checking the latest list I had available was my discretion, it was not codified. When it came to exhaust, straight pipes got a ticket whether they had Va. Tn. Tx, WV, or other tags on it.
Window tint .... I could see where they were maybe trying to stay legal .... I used discretion up to the point that my judgement told me it was not just illegal, but also dangerous.
Straight pipes ..... they didn't care I figured .... so I didn't use the same discretion.

Same with tires, busted windshields, lighting, no trailer lights, etc.

Anyway ..... none of that is meant to be particular to his or your case ..... I wasn't there and no matter what is typed here, I'll never know enough about the stops from the LEO's perspective ... or y'all's perspective ... to reply definitively.

In an effort to maybe help explain (and keep in mind most state's laws concern themselves with conduct / conditions on that state's highways, not other state's) ..... I post some links ..... it's easy reading.

Take care .........

Code of Virginia - Title 46.2. Motor Vehicles

Code of Virginia Code - Chapter 10. Motor Vehicle and Equipment Safety

Examples:

§ 46.2-1047. Muffler cutout, etc., illegal
§ 46.2-1049. Exhaust system in good working order
§ 46.2-1050. Mufflers on motorcycles
§ 46.2-1052. Tinting films, signs, decals, and stickers on windshields, etc.; penalties
§ 46.2-1079. Radar detectors; demerit points not to be awarded
§ 46.2-1121. Flag or light at end of load

A fine pair ... ... and whatever you do, Have a Safe Trip!

Last edited by CrystalPistol; 01-17-2016 at 11:20 AM.
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post #26 of 65 (permalink) Old 01-17-2016, 11:20 AM
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Remind me never to go to VA
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post #27 of 65 (permalink) Old 01-17-2016, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrystalPistol View Post
Take my comments as general in nature and not personal. I was quoting part of what Trunk Monkey had to say to Va. LEOs in general. I hadn't read your post yet.

Your friend was stopped and then you stopped along with him I take it? Did you stop behind the police car or tip toe past and pull over some distance away as to make it clear you were no threat at all and not interfering and just waiting?
Any LEO stops a car and another pulls over is a concern .... so either way, they are gonna be watching that second one close .... which takes attention away from the other one he / she did stop. Best to make it easy by pulling past a ways ..... and not behind the police car.
Don't know what you did .... just saying as I've been in that spot a lot ..... and if I stop the red car and a blue one stops close enough to in any way become a threat, if driver of blue choses to inject him or herself into my stop uninvited, I always got their ID as well.

As to exhaust ..... straight pipes are illegal on Va. highways, irrespective of the car's or driver's home state laws. Same with excessively dark tinted glass on a Va. highway. My custom of checking the latest list I had available was my discretion, it was not codified. When it came to exhaust, straight pipes got a ticket whether they had Va. Tn. Tx, WV, or other tags on it.
Window tint .... I could see where they were maybe trying to stay legal .... I used discretion up to the point that my judgement told me it was not just illegal, but also dangerous.
Straight pipes ..... they didn't care I figured .... so I didn't use the same discretion.

Same with tires, busted windshields, lighting, no trailer lights, etc.

Anyway ..... none of that is meant to be particular to his or your case ..... I wasn't there and no matter what is typed here, I'll never know enough about the stops from the LEO's perspective ... or y'all's perspective ... to reply definitively.

In an effort to maybe help explain (and keep in mind most state's laws concern themselves with conduct / conditions on that state's highways, not other state's) ..... I post some links ..... it's easy reading.

Take care .........

Code of Virginia - Title 46.2. Motor Vehicles

Code of Virginia Code - Chapter 10. Motor Vehicle and Equipment Safety

Examples:

§ 46.2-1047. Muffler cutout, etc., illegal
§ 46.2-1049. Exhaust system in good working order
§ 46.2-1050. Mufflers on motorcycles
§ 46.2-1052. Tinting films, signs, decals, and stickers on windshields, etc.; penalties
§ 46.2-1079. Radar detectors; demerit points not to be awarded
§ 46.2-1121. Flag or light at end of load


Just to explain somewhat, I was the lead car. I stopped after I saw them stop the other car in my rearview mirror. I waited there on him to see what was happening. They then came the couple hundred yards up to my car following him. Then the rest took place. Myself and my passenger never left the car.

My car did have full exhaust and flowmaster mufflers on it to the rear of the car. It was loud but not obnoxious. At highway speed 65 MPH in VA approximately 2600 RPM it is a little loud but not like cracking it wide open. Again, the officers comment was it was not a factory exhaust and therefore illegal in VA. That was directly from him.

Regardless, I have nothing but respect for what you guys do. This is nothing against you for certain. Just comments from my particular encounter. And thanks for you information and explanation of things. Its nice to know we have friends on this fourm!!!!

Steve
1996 Cougar XR7 Special Edition (Street & Strip)
"There's a bad, built NA 4.6L COMING Spring-Summer 2018"

Elite member of the Halfshaft snapping, Auburn eating, Tranny crunching, Piston Melting, Tire lifting, 500+ lb ft Torque Club.

Cougar ET-Stock 4.6 shortblock/Stock PI headswap Bullitt NA 12.94 @ 105+
Nitrous 11.75 @ 114 MPH

2008 Ford Powerstroke 6.4 TT F250 4X4 Supercrew: 12.82 @ 105 MPH

"IN MEMORY OF MY FRIENDS JOEL BENDER 1979-2006", JOHNNY LANGTON 1975-2011, and MICHAEL VIVERETTE 1953-2013"

Last edited by 1MTNCAT; 01-17-2016 at 11:50 AM.
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post #28 of 65 (permalink) Old 01-17-2016, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1MTNCAT View Post
... etc ...

Regardless, I have nothing but respect for what you guys do. This is nothing against you for certain. Just comments from my particular encounter. And thanks for you information and explanation of things. Its nice to know we have friends on this fourm!!!!
Oh ... Thank You ..... but I retired a few years ago ..... and I understand ....... I just didn't assume anything.

These days I work part time at an Advance store, tinker on my stuff, take drives in the cars or rides on the bikes, eat out a couple times a week, love my Wife, watch old movies late, check in on my Mom & Sis across the mountain, check out forums, etc. I do try to catch some of the local state / county units at the watering hole (coffee) or supper spots once in a while and gosh, they look so young the new guys do ..... they have some tough days ahead of them.

Later ...........

A fine pair ... ... and whatever you do, Have a Safe Trip!
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post #29 of 65 (permalink) Old 01-17-2016, 01:46 PM
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Thats awesome!!!

So you have time to get up here to our Final JBMN SB event this year, LOL!!!!. Bring a MN12/FN10/Fox and make an appearance.

Be glad to meet you. Have a good retirement regardless. Sounds like you already have it by the tail.

Steve
1996 Cougar XR7 Special Edition (Street & Strip)
"There's a bad, built NA 4.6L COMING Spring-Summer 2018"

Elite member of the Halfshaft snapping, Auburn eating, Tranny crunching, Piston Melting, Tire lifting, 500+ lb ft Torque Club.

Cougar ET-Stock 4.6 shortblock/Stock PI headswap Bullitt NA 12.94 @ 105+
Nitrous 11.75 @ 114 MPH

2008 Ford Powerstroke 6.4 TT F250 4X4 Supercrew: 12.82 @ 105 MPH

"IN MEMORY OF MY FRIENDS JOEL BENDER 1979-2006", JOHNNY LANGTON 1975-2011, and MICHAEL VIVERETTE 1953-2013"
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post #30 of 65 (permalink) Old 01-17-2016, 09:20 PM
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Thanks for your input CrystalPistol. I hope you'll join us at Summer Blast this year. It would be great to meet you.

Long story short, I paid my tint ticket that - as I recall - wasn't much more than $35 or $50.

After that "motivational" encounter I had the car re-tinted to something NC Legal.

A doubling up of 5% tint is certainly excessive. Mine was at 20% which among grades of tint is only one step below the NC limit of 35% and two steps below the draconian 50% VA limit. Hell, 50% tint so light that it is a wast of time and money to install.

In my experience though a stop for tint or a broken tail light, etc. is simply an excuse among LEOs to go fishing for other - more serious - offenses. Like a souped up Thunderbird with tinted windows screams drunk, (profiled ethnicity of your choosing), with outstanding warrants running guns and drugs with an expired or suspended license with no proof of insurance, etc. ... pfft...

I still avoid driving through VA like the plague. They are among the most aggressive states in the union about speeding enforcement and I keep that in mind every time I set foot in the Communist ... I mean Commonwealth state. They're one of the worst states about speeding. (They rank #6 among the strictest states.)
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See a list of my real mods and pictures of my car HERE. The true performance of my car was made possible by the Carolinas Crew Chief, RobertP at Rob's Tire & Auto

Last edited by Trunk Monkey; 01-17-2016 at 09:42 PM.
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