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peterc

240z-280z or stock exhaust needed in ottawa for new project

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I'm working on a project to see if we can have custom designed stainless exhaust systems manufactured for our Zs. If all works out well, options would include: entire systems (including stainless header); downpipe-back; CAT-back; down-pipe only and muffler only. Muffler options would include: single or dual tips, in either vertical or horizontal orientation.

Initial feasibility studies are promising, ie: low minimum order numbers and favorable pricing. The manufacturer (STEBRO) is located here in Ottawa and has extensive experience manufacturing systems for Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porche.

As my '73 has no exhaust system (hence the interest) I need an early Z (pre-CAT) and a later model (with CAT) with stock exhaust systems for measurement purposes. No Zs will be harmed in the process, LOL.

If you live in the area and can help please send me a pm and we'll set something up.

Thanks,

peter

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Peter - It's a difficult time of the year as most of us have tucked our cars away until spring-time. I'll ask around for you...

Gordon Garrard

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Hi Peter, this is a very interesting project and I know if Stebro did design and produce components or complete systems for our Zs, they would be first rate and there would be a great deal of interest. The major stumbling blocks I see, are creating the number of components that will be needed to fit the various applications while appealing to most peoples taste and keeping the prices realistic enough to make it feasible. Looking at their web site put me into designer mode instantly. I think it is a great idea, hope to see it come about, and wish you luck!

PS - Sorry, I can't help you with a Z with stock exhaust.

Edited by geezer

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I'd love to help I have the original 71 240z exhaust off the car, and the front part of the vintage supersprint exhaust system that could be shipped back and forth. The car isn't running right now so I can't give it up as I restore it.

Also in another forum they had a picture of a vintage system they made back in the day this may help, maybe they can use the old schematics, and make a vintage system.

http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/showthread.php?t=34920

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I was thinking Peter have you contacted them yet they made a system before? Why do they need a car, can't they just reproduce what they had? I think it would be great to have more options. I've done the same with tires contacting several companies that make reproduction tires and some OEMs.

Edited by Arne
Edited to remove quote from deleted post - Arne

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I was involved (with Peter) in some of the early discussions, and can add a few things for clarification.

I was thinking Peter have you contacted them yet they made a system before? Why do they need a car, can't they just reproduce what they had?
A couple of reasons. The main one is that they no longer have the jigs from 30-odd years ago. Quite some time ago they started focusing their business on a few specific makes, and Datsun/Nissan wasn't one of them. So eventually all the old jigs (pre-CNC days) were discarded to regain room.

Additionally, as best anyone can remember, their original systems were for 240Z only, but were not really correct for them due to having horizontal tips and having to hang the muffler very low under the valance. The new plan is for systems for both 240Z and 280Z, and different tip choices as appropriate.

The major stumbling blocks I see, are creating the number of components that will be needed to fit the various applications while appealing to most peoples taste and keeping the prices realistic enough to make it feasible.
Might not be as bad as you first think, Ron. Knowing that MSA covers all North American S30s (more or less) with two part numbers, I think that really nice systems with very broad coverage could be built with minimal differences. For example:
  • Center pipe - Start with this one, and design it to connect to the outlet of the catalyst on cat-equipped 280Z. From there just go straight back and end near the rear crossmember. Probably offer two versions - with resonator (cars w/o cat) and without (cat-equipped cars).
  • Downpipes - Two parts cover most non-cat-equipped cars. One for the '70-72 stock manifolds, and one for the '74-78 manifolds. (The '73s have EGR piped into the downpipe, difficult to make. Even MSA doesn't cover those.) Both parts terminate with an outlet having the same size, type and location as the catalyst outlet on the cat-equipped cars. Probably no downpipes for those cat-equipped cars as exhaust upstream of the converter is subject to CARB approval in California. More headaches than it's worth.
  • Rear "S" pipe - Simple, and only one part needed, as long as the connection to the center pipe allows some height adjustment at the muffler end. A simple slip-fit joint would do.
  • Mufflers/tips - Since the tips would need to be welded on to the muffler, current ideas are that three muffler/tip assemblies would be offered. A single tip muffler, a dual tip (vertical) muffler and a dual tip (horizontal) muffler. The two dual tip units could use the same shell, just different tips. The hangers here would need to accommodate different muffler locations - it would need to hang lower on big bumper cars than on small bumper cars (where the tips can tuck well up into the valance cutout).

If headers were to be offered (uncertain when I was involved), you'd need two parts there as well, for the different port shapes. But the collectors would be designed to exit as the downpipes, the same as the catalyst outlet. Minimal parts required, and minor differences between the versions. People who already have other headers would just buy the cat-back and fab the front connection locally as always.

I'm very interested in this project, and wish the distance between myself and Stebro was less - I'd love to assist.

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Peter/Arne - So far, I'm striking out finding people locally who haven't stored their Z off-site for the season, or who hasn't modified their exhaust. One person I contacted suggested there used to be a "card system" that provided bend specifications for various exhaust systems, and if you could locate this, it might help??

I'll keep looking

GWGarrard

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Thanks for all the replies. I figured there might be some interest.

Gordon (ggarrard) Yeah thought we might run into that problem. But I figured come spring most people would rather be driving than give up their car for a couple of days. I was hoping we might find someone with a stock system already off the car. Also, I'll check with Dan regarding the "card system" , although you'd think he'd already be aware of such a system.

Ron (geezer). Thanks and I agree (being a former client) Stebro's stuff is top notch.

(ajmcforrester) Thanks for the offer. Wonder what the shipping costs would be? In my experience shipping across the border using USPS is reasonably quick and less expensive than the alternatives. On the other hand hopefully we can come up with something local. And as Arne (who, by the way, has been a tremendous help behind the scenes) pointed out, any jigs from back in the day would be long gone. In fact, I'm not certain that they ever built complete systems specifically for the Zs. All I could get for my original Z (and that was 30 some years ago) was the muffler itself. And it was a generic unit that serviced several makes and models.

Arne (Arne) Again, thanks for all the help. Thanks for the head's-up on the header, totally forgot about the square-ported heads. Am I mistaken in thinking that you could use one header for either round or square ported heads?

Going forward, once we have the donor car(s) or exhaust system(s) in place, Dan will fab up a system, tune it, work out any manufacturing issues and determine option feasibility (number of tips/orientation, header feasibility, etc).

Once ready, we'll take some pictures of the system (laid out on the floor as well as installed) and post them for your opinion. By this point we should have some pretty solid price points and minimum order numbers.

Again, thanks for everyones interest. I'll keep you posted.

peter

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Arne (Arne) Again, thanks for all the help. Thanks for the head's-up on the header, totally forgot about the square-ported heads. Am I mistaken in thinking that you could use one header for either round or square ported heads?
No, you'd need two different headers as the flange shape differs between them. One for square port, one for round port. Development costs might be considerable on the headers, due to this requirement for two different parts, and the low sales volume that would likely result.

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Thanks for all the replies. I figured there might be some interest.

Gordon (ggarrard) Yeah thought we might run into that problem. But I figured come spring most people would rather be driving than give up their car for a couple of days. I was hoping we might find someone with a stock system already off the car. Also, I'll check with Dan regarding the "card system" , although you'd think he'd already be aware of such a system.

Ron (geezer). Thanks and I agree (being a former client) Stebro's stuff is top notch.

(ajmcforrester) Thanks for the offer. Wonder what the shipping costs would be? In my experience shipping across the border using USPS is reasonably quick and less expensive than the alternatives. On the other hand hopefully we can come up with something local. And as Arne (who, by the way, has been a tremendous help behind the scenes) pointed out, any jigs from back in the day would be long gone. In fact, I'm not certain that they ever built complete systems specifically for the Zs. All I could get for my original Z (and that was 30 some years ago) was the muffler itself. And it was a generic unit that serviced several makes and models.

Arne (Arne) Again, thanks for all the help. Thanks for the head's-up on the header, totally forgot about the square-ported heads. Am I mistaken in thinking that you could use one header for either round or square ported heads?

Going forward, once we have the donor car(s) or exhaust system(s) in place, Dan will fab up a system, tune it, work out any manufacturing issues and determine option feasibility (number of tips/orientation, header feasibility, etc).

Once ready, we'll take some pictures of the system (laid out on the floor as well as installed) and post them for your opinion. By this point we should have some pretty solid price points and minimum order numbers.

Again, thanks for everyones interest. I'll keep you posted.

peter

I was the first to take it off the car, it has not sagged or anything it is spot on, just 30+ years old.

The other option is in the spring I'll be putting the car together (if everything goes well) and I can keep you posted on the progress. If they will give me an exhaust system that is what I'm looking for and maybe some thing else to off set my cost maybe I could trailer or ship the car up. I'd still need to price the cost of doing this , but I wanted to put it on the table to see what the thoughts of doing this would be.

What I'm looking for on my car is something that looks and sounds like a classic 70's style exhaust, that gave me more aggressive. I was first thinking of making an American version of the Trust system, like if someone saw it in an article back in the day and had it made. Then I found the front half of the Suppersprint system so I was going with that, but I can't find the back half now.

Maybe this is what my car needs, I'd like more info on what they want to do, I don't know whats your thoughts.

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(ajmcforester) I understand the exhaust system is now off the car. Is it disassembled? If I recall correctly none of the individual pieces were that long. Just thinking, if we can't get something local, it would be far cheaper and quicker to ship your exhaust system up rather than wait til spring and trailer up the entire car.

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I think I'll rename this thread to something that notes that off-the-car exhaust is needed. I can think of several people who might have stock exhaust parts sitting in storage.

But Peter, are we certain that the exhaust alone will be good enough for Dan to work from?

As was noted above, I'm looking for a period style exhaust for my car. Period sound would be great too, but not as critical. The stainless is not essential for me here in Oregon, aluminized pipes last a real long time here, but stainless is fine if the rest of the system is what I want.

My fear is that I'm not going to be able to hold out long enough on the exhaust to wait for this. I know that these types of things don't always come together as quickly as we expect. And the 30+ year old mild steel system on my car now is on its last legs.

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If it helps here is a good illustration of the stock exhaust system up to July '73. We have a thread somewhere that had details of the changes made and dates, up to '78.

PS: Found the mounting thread. Some good illustrations also.

http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/showthread.php?t=29320&highlight=exhaust+mounting

Edited by geezer
added link

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(ajmcforester) I understand the exhaust system is now off the car. Is it disassembled? If I recall correctly none of the individual pieces were that long. Just thinking, if we can't get something local, it would be far cheaper and quicker to ship your exhaust system up rather than wait til spring and trailer up the entire car.

It's off but it won't separate at the joints from the downpipe back. I'll take pictures tomorrow when it is light out. I was going to try heat next to separate the sections I don't want to destroy it in case I ever want to put it on again, but I would like to brake it down to save on room. The front pipe and muffler from the Supersprint exhaust only cost $15 to ship from Michigan to me. If you wanted the exhaust manifold that might cost more to ship.

Also you might want to note the different exhaust manifolds (they have numbers on them) if your going to make a kit that starts from the exhaust manifolds. I found on my first Z a 72 with a non-smog-pump system that it had a different size outlet and pipe angle than the standard US versions and could not get the gasket for it. That car was a little special, the engine was no good from the factory so a engine was replaced in mid 73 with a hand built engine that was balanced with factory parts at that time the exhaust manifold was changed. I was told the exhaust manifold was from Japan or the Europe version, but I was also told they were brought in for Bob Sharp and BRE what ever truth that holds. The former owner I bought the car from told me Bob Sharp's shop did the work and he heard it from the original owner which lived in that area, but their is no records to prove what I was told. Sorry that was a somewhat interesting tangent, but my point is in my research about this exhaust manifold I found 4 different versions around the world for just the 69-73 production, and they had 2 different connections. Sorry I do not have the other exhaust manifold the insurance company would not sell the car back to me or place it in an auction were I could try to win it back:disappoin. I also don't have the numbers for the exhaust manifolds, I was going threw a lot when I lost that car and I can't find some of my papers. I wish I still had her I had some great memories of that car, I was even offered $35,000 for it and I turned it down and a month later someone hit me while stopped at 85mph.

Sorry if I ranted to much about my first car the Z car is one of my top 10 dream cars and the @$$ hole took it away from me(like lousing a family member), got me hurt, killed his two kids and never got caught. For the two of us I hope to never see him. It has made restoring my new Z about 10X harder for me if something happens to this one I'll never own a Z again. It's to hard to restore one again.

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Peter - I have a complete 2.25" custom system not installed in the barn...It is mated (?) to a 76 manifold... The issue for me is getting down to the barn...(Thousand Island Bridge area)...

If Dan knows of the "card system", and just doesn't have them for the Z car, perhaps another muffler shop would be willing to lend him what he needs.

Just a thought....

Regards

GWGarrard

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Am meeting with Dan today. Will take print-outs of the various diagrams and will inquire about the 'card system'. The diagrams, while not a replacement for the actual thing, should give Dan a pretty good idea of the level of complexity of the project.

Will update everyone accordingly.

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....maybe it was harder than they thought it would be?
Probably. It always is, you know. But since these people ARE professionals at this stuff, I figure they probably know what they are doing.

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That is why I jumped in quickly to help I thought this was a great thing. Back in 2003 I was talking to my friend in Gates Rubber about doing accurate reproductions of the hoses; then of the other rubber parts. His bosses liked the idea if we could get all NOS for z cars from 240z-280z to make the molds. Well I called MSA and several other shops explained what we are doing, they would tell me we like the idea and let us know when they are available, but we won't let you barrow (or buy in some cases) our NOS stock. So it ended.

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Arne and AJ - I've been checking in regularly , and watching my PMs - but haven't seen/heard anything at this end either.

GWGarrard

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