Exhaust Upgrade

The car came with a straight through exhaust and some small silencers.  It sounded fantastic, loud & exciting.  However after driving for 30 minutes it wasn’t good on the ears.  I drove with ear plugs pretty all the time.  Not sure all of my neighbours were particularly happy when I occasionally left early or arrived late 😛

So the plan was to change to a Varex exhaust to get the best of both.  Loud for fun, quite for longer drives and early starting.  Check out the sound comparison video at the end of this post.

Old exhaust removal

The exhaust was welded front to back, that made it a bit of a challenge to remove.  We salvaged the old exhaust mounts for potential re-use.  Also had an inspection from one of my parents cats ( Lex ) He’s a house cat, however broke out to make sure things were being done correctly 😀

Headers & Downpipes

For now I’m going to re-use the original headers and downpipes.  In the future may upgrade these.  Removing the downpipes was quite a challenge, the nuts were firmly rusted in place.  It required heating the nuts to red hot and quickly cooling them to break them loose.

The X-pipe was held up and sleeves tacked onto the header pipes.  Once removed the sleeves were shaped and welded on.  I’m not going to win any welding awards, but should do the job at least. Downpipes were given a coat of zinc paint to help protect them from corrosion as they are mid steel.

Silencer installation, simple hole for each one.

Tail Pipes V1

The rear pipes did not line up with the rear of the car, they also did not go around the tank.  So to fix this the over axel pipes were cut and a sleeve added to allow rotation.  The last bend that goes around the tank was adjusted by cutting a wedge out and re-welding.  This worked really well for getting the pipes in to the correct location.  When the car was lowered the spacing between the axel and the exhaust was checked unfortunately there was only 1cm space on the drivers side to the differential.  On the passenger side there was 16cm.  The gap to the bump stops is around 20cm.  As much as I’d have loved to just get on a drive at that stage I had to leave it and make modifications.

Tail Pipes V2

To increase the spacing the over axel pipes needed to be made vertical.  This moved them away from the differential.  To get the tail pipes to fit after this change the section from the rear of the over axel bends to the tail pipe needed to be modified.  The drop on the rear over axel section was shortened. The straight section then had to lengthened and rotated to fit.  Everything was tacked up into place then removed properly welded and re-installed.  This was done to both sides.  The passenger side might have been ok under most conditions however I felt much happier re-doing that one too.  Now I don’t need to worry about it anymore.

With all of the changes there is plenty of clearance now.

All done, big thank you to my family for all the help with getting this project done.  Wouldn’t have been possible without all of the help.

The sound

The below video show a comparison between original / new – open / new – closed.  The actual dB is probably different ( not exactly scientific ), however it shows a relative difference.  The phone was placed at a 45 degree angle 50cm away from the exhaust tip.


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