Sunday, August 28, 2016

Man who run behind car get exhausted

Two months ago I had a little photo shoot with my car. My wife had recently gotten a nice Canon DSLR and she was nice enough to let me use it and even join me as I dragged her all around town at golden hour shooting photos of my rustbucket. This was my favorite of the evening which was good enough to get an honorable mention in my company's photo contest. Ironically it was the only automotive photo to place, and as many of you know I work for an automaker.

So for the fourth time, I spent a Saturday working on my exhaust system. I'm starting to understand that taking your car to an exhaust shop is not a terrible idea. Not only does the guy at an exhaust shop have a lift to get under the car, removing the need to perform the worm every time he needs to get under the car, but he probably has a chop saw, tubing bender, and oh yeah, skills.

kinda like this, but not really at all
I'm not saying I don't love my angle grinder, but I'm open to the idea that there may be better tools to complete some jobs. As you can see in the image below, my muffler has what was dubbed by my buddy Vaughn to be a "gangsta lean". In the photo above, I actually photoshopped it to be straight. My goals for the day were to straighten the muffler, add exhaust tips that extend past the rear bumper, move the location of a v-band joint, and remove the glasspack that was in the system.

muffler with a gangsta lean
previous configuration with glasspack in mid-pipe
Originally I had included the glasspack in the midpipe in hopes that it would reduce drone while cruising. For those not privileged to have experienced exhaust drone, it's like sticking an oversized clothes pin on your head while you drive. After a while it gets annoying and you start wondering where did this gigantic clothes pin come from? Who even makes this stuff? Was it from that one catalog, Oriental Trading, that used to show up every few months when you were a kid? And then you realize that everything in that catalog had to be purchased by the gross and now there are probably 143 other people out there driving around with oversized clothes pins on their heads... Where was I going with this? I don't know, but in any case, the glasspack did not prevent drone, so I felt it was unnecessary and replaced it with a straight pipe. I have also been researching 1/4 wave resonators as a solution for drone, but that's a topic for a future post. Removing the glasspack didn't really increase the overall noise level but I felt that it allowed a little more turbo noise out the exhaust, which I am totally OK with.

glasspack removed
The next item on my list, moving the v-band joint, was necessary because the joint was too close to a suspension link. There was only about 1/2" clearance, and that meant the v-band clamp would hit the suspension link when there was any movement in the exhaust. V-bands are not particularly cheap and I didn't want to buy a new set of them, with the help of my DeWalt grinder, I reclaimed them and moved the location of the joint.

joint cut off the pipe, new location is halfway between 1' and 2
joint cut off the exhaust pipe
reclaimed v-band flanges
v-band joint tacked into new location
I don't have any pictures of the process of re-fitting the muffler to sit straight, just the finished product which is shown below.
finished tail pipe with muffler
finished tail- and mid-pipe
exhaust tip side view
exhaust tip top view
As you may be able to tell, I drew a little upon the look of vintage European tailpipes (a la E28) for this setup. I feel it will be one of the subtle visual cues to those who pay attention that everything is not as it seems with this rusty little car.

As I was driving home on the freeway after finishing this project I spotted a brand new Lamborghini Huracan ahead of me. I didn't pay it much attention, I hate to admit this but I was glancing at my laptop which was in the passenger seat as it performed a ECU auto-tune. When I looked up, the Huracan was next to me smiling and giving me a thumbs up. I had to laugh a little but it felt nice to have a fellow car nut driving something worth at least ten times more than mine give some recognition. In honor of Mr. Huracan, I'll leave you with something else that happened in a Lamborghini just a few miles down the street from me.

PS: If you care to see more of my car photography like the lead pic, follow me on instagram @gearandlightning