get emails with questions about pipes all the time..."what pipe
should I buy?", "is
this pipe any good?", "what's the best
pipe?", etc. If you have
looked at my trucks over the years, you may have noticed that I almost
always run CVEC and have been a firm believer of the extra power their
products deliver. As you probably know, CVEC is dead and gone....so
Enter Buku Performance Pipes.
they work. They are similar to CVEC in that they have a internal cone that
moves and it has spring tension on it, so the tuned length of the pipe changes
during operation. But this is not a CVEC....after looking mine over, this appears
to be a serious step above.
this animation out for a cool picture of how tuned pipe length affect performance. Here's
good write up
on tuned pipes and how/why they work like they do.
PACKAGING / INITIAL THOUGHTS
The pipe and accessories come very well packed in a padded box, almost
like a little custom suitcase.
• 1 Fully Assembled Buku Power Exhaust System
• 4 Tension Springs
• High Power Convergent Cone
• 2 Restrictor Rings
• Tuning Plug
• Adjustment Wrench
• Mounting Wire
• Buku Decal
• Detailed instructions
The only thing it does not come with
is a new rubber coupler so be sure to check the condition of yours before
putting the Buku pipe on....there's no better time to get a fresh
coupler on than with the install of a new pipe!
This is truly a unique pipe as you can change cones and springs without
removing the pipe via a simple removable plug on the end of the pipe
(wrench included). You can also adjust the spring via another adjustment
on the end cap (using the same wrench). Again, you do not have to pull
the pipe off the truck to do these adjustments or make cone and spring
changes! How cool is that?! It's very cool and makes tuning for the sweetest
power spot possible easy as can be.
The overall size of the pipe is massive! It says "look out....there's a bazooka
on board". It looks awesome. It would be nice to see this pipe in a polished
finish or a hard anodized finish. The stock finish is good but I noticed some
light scratches on it after I removed the tuning plug. That's kind of a bummer
as our brand new pipe was scratched and we were still in the tuning phase...not
even out bashing it yet. Hey, this is Beat Your Truck and things get scratched!
This is not a big deal as it does not affect the performance of the pipe
at all, it's only an observation.
I chose to install the Buku on our Losi LST equipped with a Racer's
Edge 32 engine. While this truck has lots of engine power, I was
still running the stock pipe and figured this would be a perfect
place to see what the Buku could do.
Installation is easy and the included manual goes through every
step in detail. About the manual, it is significant, especially for a
pipe! You are going to need to take the time to read this manual and
understand it completely Buku gives specific instructions on how to
tune the engine and what cones and springs to use to fine tune performance.
Yeah, yeah....I know that nobody wants to read the manual but this time,
you are going to have to do it! No worries. It is a quick read, is
well written and easy to understand.
PERFORMANCE / TEST RUNS
followed the manual to a "T", installed the tuning plug and
tuned the engine for power. Interestingly enough, as soon as I put
the pipe on with the tuning plug (which defeats the moving cone...see
picture below), the truck was shifting out of first in about 2-3 feet!
I initially thought the truck was stuck in second gear as it was shifting
so fast out of 1st, I could barely hear it! So I did the transmission
adjustment, turning the screws in two full turns just to get it to
hold onto 1st gear for about 10 feet. It was quickly becoming clear
how restrictive the stock pipe has been.
Once I had the transmission shifting a little later and the engine
was running good, I removed the tuning plug and started tweaking the
spring force. Basically, you are adjusting springs and cones to find
the best mix of low end punch and high end power. The standard setup
gave me very nice low end punch with a few small spring turn adjustments.
My high end was good but needed a little more....it seemed to hit a
plateau and just stop revving.
A quick check of the manual, a few more tweaks and we were flying. This
thing not only hauls the groceries, it hauls the whole grocery store. I
was very impressed by the amount of power on tap at almost any throttle
position. 1/4, 1/2, 3/4.....just pull the trigger and watch it go! Even
with the big 40 series tires on it, this thing would pull wheelie's all
day long if you so desired. The Racers Edge 32 has been choked out for
a long time and I never even knew it. This pipe really lets the engine
I am extremely impressed by the quality and design of the Buku pipe.
Buku stands out as the performance exhaust leader, offering more
customizable options for tuning than any other pipe on the market,
by far. Seriously, you get a manual with this pipe! The manual is
extremely well written and does an excellent job of not only telling
you what to do, but it explains how the pipe works. You will NEED
to use the manual and make adjustments as listed to get everything
out of this pipe. It is well worth the time spent to do so as the
results are excellent.
A complete pipe package sells for about $100. Remember that this includes
a variety of springs and cones to tune your engine for maximum power
output. It is not a "one size fits all" pipe and truthfully,
when you think about the variety of engines and trucks out there, you
need to be able to fine tune your pipe.
The only suggestion for improvement would be a slightly different finish
that would be a little less prone to scratches. I also realize that
polishing or anodizing a pipe adds cost. If I had to pay another $20-$30
for one of these finishes, I would. Maybe it could be an option?
Regardless, don't let this extremely minor issue shy you away from buying
Buku also has a 100% Satisfaction guarantee! From their web site: At
Buku we pride ourselves in knowing that we produce the highest quality
and best performing products. If you are having difficulty with your
Buku Power Exhaust System then we encourage you to call (1-877-BukuPower)
or email tech support. However, if you decide that for any reason you
do not want to keep the Buku Power Exhaust System then simply return
it within 30 days of the original purchase and we will refund 100% of
your purchase price.
Thanks to BUKU for giving us a new pipe to worship and recommend
to fellow BYT bashers. With the wide range of sizes and engines covered,
there is certain to be a BUKU pipe on all future BYT nitro vehicles!
Visit the BUKU
Performance Pipe web
site and get on the pipe!