Sunday, 10 February 2013

New stainless exhaust

My exhaust tail pipe developed holes, and finally broke just beside the rear mud flap. It must have been getting sprayed with water there as everywhere else it's solid. Just shows you how the rust can get a grip and destroy things.
After a couple of days with it held together with a tin can and two exhaust clamps I headed up to Dee's Exhausts in Newtownabbey. Dee is a Powerflow supplier, specialising in custom stainless steel exhaust systems. I've had work done there before and always been more than satisfied.
I finished my nightshift, had breakfast, and coffee in hand, called round to show him the van and arrange a date. As it turned out I was there at a good time so a price was agreed and the guys got to work right away. I stayed to watch and learn from the proceedings (I'd nowhere arranged to go during the couple of hours it would take).
Here's my old exhaust once they'd cut it off the van:




They made the cut just in front of the flexi pipe as the downpipe from the engine is rock solid and well protected. Here's the remains of the old tailpipe:




It's in two pieces due to the original break. As you can see there are lots of twists and turns in it so the operator was looking forward to the challenge of making up that section. First they got to work on the main pipe and silencers. Dee suggested two boxes to cut down on noise. After a short time this was the result:





This done the guys stopped for a cigarette and coffee, and meanwhile managed to help out an old lady with a flat tyre, and weld up a builders thrashed wheelbarrow (there was a site next door). I had a good inspection of the underside of my van for damage/rust and its looking good. I noted a couple of places that I missed with the waxoyl, so I'll get to that asap.
Next it was time to set to work on that complex tailpipe. Working mostly by eye, and with much reference to the broken pieces he skillfully handled the machine and the pipe began to take shape:




We decided to make it in two pieces and step up the diameter from 2" to 2 1/4" at the rear to improve the look of the visible tail pipe. I browsed the selection of end pieces in the storeroom but we finally decided that leaving the plain pipe and adding an angled slash cut would be most in keeping with the simplicity and Japanese origin of the vehicle.




Going out for my first drive, I was really pleased with the exhausts sound and there is definitely a noticeable improved performance under acceleration, due to the less restrictive flow of the design. When idling the engine now produces a pleasing throaty rumble which is an added bonus.
To celebrate I headed off for a bit off greenlaning further along the coast at a location I'd picked out on google maps the night before.
Link to Dee's Exhausts coming soon on the links page.

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