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Dissapointed In My New Exhaust, Twice!!


Pennyman

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Hey everyone. I put on my header as seen in the thread "Installing Header As We Speak!!" and I took it to a muffler shop to have the rest done.

Well, the pipe hung too low, and the muffler hit the underside of the rear valence, causing an occational buzzing. This did not please me. Not to mention the U-bolt holding the muffler on was defective, causing a huge exhaust leak. I attempted to fix the problems myself, and ended up making it worse.

So I brought it to different shop today. The guy seemed nice at first, but then started to get progressively more aggitated as I told him what I wanted. He even threatened me saying he wouldn't do the work if I kept talking to him. Also seemed like he felt I didn't trust him. Truth is, I don't trust anyone with my Z. He said to leave and come back at 2pm so I could help him allign the muffler, so I left, took a bath and came back at 2. By then it was done, and the muffler was crooked as hell, welded on (usually they clamp them on so you can replace the muffler if need be) and the main tube was just as low as the last one. Not to mention he welded the muffler hanger to the exhaust tip in plain view!!

I didn't want to deal with this meathead any longer, so I signed the check ($163.31) and drove home, parked my Z and tore the system out.

I cut the welds and removed the muffler, and tomorrow I'll do the rest. I'll also cut off the hangers and have my buddy weld them in the right places.

I swear, no one has any idea how to hang a muffler in this town! ARGH!! If you want something done right you have to do it yourself!! :angry:

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Are you going to run of the mill exhaust shops? Because for what you want, you need to go to the shop that all the local hot rodders use. Those type of shops don't mind if you watch, and they depend on word of mouth for their business. They are generally very easy to deal with.

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uhh forgive me if im wrong, but what do you mean by crooked? my muffler is at an angle, and i think most Z's that ive seen have angled mufflers :-)

but i agree...my shop wouldnt let me watch inside the shop, i had to stand outside away. they said insurance reasons. right.

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I agree with Arne, If you want it done right you have to pay the piper. I took mine to a guy that did custom exhausts for race cars. He also does roll cages. I was 100% satisfied with his work and you can't find him in the phone book, he's a word of mouth guy and very busy. Too bad he's down east of San Diego otherwise I'd tell you to give him a visit.

post-1052-14150796651075_thumb.jpg

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I hate to generalize but I have also found many muffler guys to be devoid of any people or business skills whatsoever. Perhaps it's due to the simplistic nature of the task. They get bored and can't bear to hear anyone try to tell them how they want the job done. I know I'd be a grumpy old fart if I had to do their job.

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Joey,

I took my '71 to Leo's Muffler at 701-15B Kings Row in San Jose (408-275-1126). The place is in a terrible part of town, it's filthy, and there are a few old dogs that have the run of the place - just the quality indicators I look for in a muffler shop. I wanted a resonator installed to quiet the old Z down a bit. Mike, who did the work is a very nice and patient guy. He rummaged through a 50 gallon drum filled with various resonators, pulled one out and said this looks like it should work. He spent maybe two hours working on the car, installing the resonator and replacing a gasket between the header and down pipe that had gone bad. All for about $120, parts included. Well the sucker does hang kind of low, but Mike said he would have to tear the whole thing out and redo the parts that were already there to get it right, so I am living with it the way it is. Anyway, if you are looking for someone who will listen to you, and will let you hang out and watch, Leo's might just fill the bill for you. You might want to wear your old clothes, however, if you plan to sit on any of his furniture.

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Any Z repair shops up in your area doing work? My last 71Z I had the MSA

6into1 header, and called the local Z shop and asked what shop he used locally, and brought my car there, the guy did a great job, nice and straight under $200 bucks. this time around, I had installed a Nissan motorsports 3 into 2 header, and brought it to the local shop, with a "Y" adaptor I wanted him to use to connect to the exhaust pipe, but it was a bit off, touching the drivers floor area slightly, so he fabricated a new one, angled slightly different, and ran a nice clean new pipe all the way back..i pointed out how low my existing muffler hung too low, and that it would be nice to be able to tuck it up higher, I bought one of his slightly shorter mufflers, with the intake part on the correct side to meet up with the pipe, and he tucked it up like better than stock...this setup cost, about $250, plus $400+ for the nissan header.

the guys in both applications, welded the muffler, to the exhaust. a nice new setup should last you many many years...and not need replacing. those U clamps rust out..and are a pain...if your concerned about having to replace it,

go with a stainless muffler, and or aluminized piping..they usual are backed with a long warranty..

and yep, the usual way aftermarket mufflers are installed is at an angle..or turned..due to limited space in that area.

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"Dont bother, I'll take it somewhere else. Nice not doing business with you."

Haha!! I was SOOO tempted to do that, but the other part of me wasn't going to give in to this guy's BS or get pushed around by him.

He chucked my OEM muffler hangers, which weren't in bad condition, and replaced them with massive ugly ones that don't work as well. I think it would be funny to go back there and ask him for my OEM hangers back, just to mess with him. He'd probably be like, "What's wrong with the hangers I gave you?" Haha, I can be too juvenille sometimes...

I hate to generalize but I have also found many muffler guys to be devoid of any people or business skills whatsoever. Perhaps it's due to the simplistic nature of the task. They get bored and can't bear to hear anyone try to tell them how they want the job done. I know I'd be a grumpy old fart if I had to do their job.

Yesterday 07:52 PM

Yeah, my neighbor (a former mechanic) said that exhaust shop guys are often just monkeys who can't handle real mechanical work, or have even been fired from mechanic jobs in the past, and that a lot of them do hack jobs.

Luckily my friend has a welder and just spent 9 months at Wyotech, and he's willing to help me get this system to where I'm satisfied. He looked at the welds on my system and said, "If this dude was at Wyotech, he'd have to take the welding course again!"

I'll try to get a picture of the muffler before I cut the other hanger off (from the muffler tip!) to show you guys...

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DAMN, so sorry to hear about your terrible experience with the exhaust. Just goes to show that you cannot trust ANYONE to touch a Classic Z. True that some places are exceptions for example a place that specializes in hot rods like mentioned earlier.

At the Z Site I used to go to before here, there was a guy I talked to that had a early 240Z in awesome shape. He went to have new tires put on and the dumbsh!ts didn't position the hoist in the correct spots and put a large, ugly dent in his passenger floor pan :hurt: :cry: So as irritating as it is, remember that things could be worse :) I'm sure you and your friend will get it back into shape.

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I had a MSA 6-2 header and turbo exhaust system installed by a local Z shop. These guys restore Datsuns & build race cars, they know what they are doing. The installation turned out great.

A good exhaust shop can be hard to find. I've had problems with bad exhaust installations on other vehicles, not enough clearance between the bottom of the vehicle & the muffler, so that you get a nice rattle inside the car...annoying!

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I did my own 3 inch mandrel bent exhaust on my Z (with turbo motor) for about 120 dollars. Used a freinds mig and went at it.

If you have a recipricating saw, a welder, the ability to see what you want which apparently you do, and the patience to put it together, then just do it yourself the right way the first time and be done with it.

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Any Ideas how to fabricate muffler hangers? I guess I could use the metal rod type and weld them where I need them.

My plan is to allign the muffler EXACTLY where I want it, then try and get the tube to work. If it does, great. If not, I'll get one more tube bent (at yet another shop) and I'll be sure to tell them NOT to move the muffler.

I don't suppose it's too much to ask to tell a shop to bend a muffler between an already hung muffler and the catalytic converter? I mean, how could they screw that one up?? hahaha!

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I'm anal about my cars also!! Anytime I have to go get a tire fix, exhaust done, anything if they dont let me stand there and watch there every move I take it someplace else!!! I had the same prob. getting exhaust put on my 1967 firebird, nobody wanted me around when they were doing the work. I understand it might make them nervous but this is my baby and noone is going to mess with it or take it out on a "test drive" when they are done!! My friend had is 2000 ss camaro, and my cousin had his 2001 trans am WS6 both at the same shop at the same time for minor repairs and I cought the shop guys on the out skirts of town with both cars racing them!!! Needless to say everything was repaired for free!! LOL and cousin chewed arse for a week!!!! So be carefull!!!

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Pennyman, hope all goes well at the next shop :) With your friends welding skills, you shouldn't have any issues fabricating hangers ;-) I look forward to seeing pictures once you get your exhaust system complete.

"I'm anal about my cars also!!"

We all are man :) We wouldn't love our cars if we weren't :) I don't have to worry about watching someone as I do all my own work ;-) As for tires- Do like I do and what I told the poor guy with the 240Z to do next time. Put the Z on jack stands in YOUR garage, remove the wheels yourself, load them up in your daily driver and take them to the tire shop and drop them off since they have the expensive equipment to properly mount them and balance them and dispose your old tires. Then when they get done working on the tires only, pick them up and bring them back and install them on your Z :D

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Instead of getting tubing bent unless it is mandrel bent you will be ending up with a small exhaust then what you want.

For instance, if you wanted to go with say a 2.25 inch exhaust, at the bends it would be 1.87 inches, using a press bend type machine.

That will be your bottleneck always unless you go with mandrel bends. You can buy them here at www.performancepeddler.com. He is very cheap on prices and doesnt charge for shipping via UPS ground.

Good to deal with and very personable.

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Hrm... it's funny I've had just the opposite experience with a shop... Tires Plus nonetheless! ... All of the gearheads there seemed to hold my car in some kind of ethereal awe... Hell, the manager even came down to take a look at her and tell me what great shape she was in and how much potential he saw... "Yeah man, this could be totally cherry, wouldn't take that much work."

They even let me get up under the car while it was on the lift (this let me check for rust underneath and leaks... and... yes... I found both, but, 'can't expect perfection for a car pushing thirty, she's having her mid-life-crisis I think), and I was able to stand on a platform in the garage and watch them work until until they lowered it back down to the ground.

I'd take my car there more often if they didn't charge so much... (I had a coupon that day...)

So yeah, I trust Tires Plus... and there's this other place I've been meaning to try out that always has loads of old collectibles through it (walking up to it, there was an old Chevelle in the parking lot, and I saw a 70's 'vette on a lift inside).

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Wholesale Tube Bending in Vista CA did an unbelieveable, top quailty job on both my Roadster and my Z...And the Z was NOT easy to do. Very reasonable too, and they let me work with the fabricator to get it just the way I wanted it done on both cars.

I cant say enough good things about these guys.

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Seems a bit pricey if you ask me. I'd expect a header to come with it for that price.

The Nissan Comp header for that car was an additional $600. For the vast majority of Z owners the price is stupid. For the few Vintage racing, ITS, and HybridZ guys I've built exhausts for, the price is cheap (well, maybe not "cheap.")

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The Nissan Comp header for that car was an additional $600. For the vast majority of Z owners the price is stupid. For the few Vintage racing, ITS, and HybridZ guys I've built exhausts for, the price is cheap (well, maybe not "cheap.")

LOL yea not cheap but worth every penny...I think I paid somewhere close to

$480+tax for mine and drove to gardena to get it from the warehouse.

(1-5/8ths, chrome)

is betamotorsports your shop John? Sounds like yours is close to mine in Whittier

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One thing to watch for when upgrading your pipes is the clearance with the tranny tunnel...."Mongo" (not his real name) who did the first job on my exhaust routed the pipe too close...major heat buildup on the sheet metal on the trans-tunnel and in the cab....it's really important to watch what's being done..if the shop won't let you in on the fabrication, not necessarily under the lift, move on..."Mongo" was a d**k in retrospect, started getting antsy when I started asking him questions...charged me for new pipe hangers and ultimately used either what was already there or scrap off the floor...(Celebrity Mufflers in Silverlake :angry: ), I ultimately had to pay for someone else to rework the pipe routing in front/under the bell housing..

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