Wednesday, September 16, 2015

RC40 Exhaust Install

Now that the engine is in the car and all connected up, it seems a good time to hang the new exhaust. Although the standard pea-shooter exhaust I took off is still in very good condition, it wont be going back on as I have splashed out on a new RC40 upgrade which came as part of a Stage 1 kit.

The new exhaust itself is made up of two parts, there's the rear section which is most of the exhaust and then there's the middle pipe. In addition to that, there's also a new manifold which is made up of three parts. There's the two down pipes that hang off the head and also the '2-in-1' connector pipe.

At the point when I installed the engine, I had the foresight to put the LCB pipes in place at that time as I'd heard they can be a bit of a nightmare to fit down the back of the engine once it's installed. LCB incidentally stands for Long Centre Branch and as the name suggests has a longer pipe for the central exhaust port.

As there are no instructions, I thought it seemed sensible to start at the front of the car by bolting the manifold pipes to the head, once that was done, I set to work under the car connecting the 2-in-1 pipe.

The pipes were cleaned and a little exhaust cement applied.

The 2-in-1 connector slid into place without any stress and was clamped straight away. It also connects to the diff housing via a bracket for added support. So far so good...

... well kind of! When I looked at where the pipes sat in relation to the main battery cable that runs the length of the car, I was worried that the radiant heat from the exhaust would most probably melt it.

So after a little head scratching and thinking of various heat shield ideas, I finally came up with a simple solution - Just move the cable a bit! I didn't have to move it far, just enough to take it out of the danger zone.

Moving onto the middle section, there was a bit of a conundrum to solve as the middle pipe could go one of two ways. After a few tests fittings, trying both ways, I decided on a position I was happy with. Once that was loosely clamped, I test fitted the rear part of the exhaust and checked that the tail pipe stuck out the correct distance from the car.

Once I was happy with the positions, the middle pipe and the rear section were remarked up with permanent pen and removed so I could concentration on the hangers. A new middle hanger came with the kit and bolts straight onto the rear subframe. Unless the car is properly raised and supported, it's a tricky place to get to.

Of course I did it the hard way as I couldn't be bothered to jack and secure the car.

Moving onto the rear hanger, (which was also supplied with the kit) an additional hole was needed in the subframe to accommodate the extra 'cotton reel' mount.

I'll be honest and say that drilling the hole was a total pain in the backside for a number of reasons. The first being that it cannot be drilled from the back of the car as the rear valance is in the way, so the only way to do it with the subframe in place is to get underneath.

This leads to the second issue, unfortunately the extra hole needs to go towards the outside of the existing hole already in the subframe. This means it's right in the corner of the subframe making it difficult to get the drill in straight.

The last problem is one of my own making, as I have filled all of the rear subframe with foam to keep water out.  It seemed a good idea at the time and to be honest, it has kept the water out.

Anyway after a long time getting covered in bits of filler and foam and dealing with the cramped position under the car, I managed to get a hole in more or less the correct place. It would be so much easier if the subframe were off the car, but it's a bit overkill to remove it just for that!! Due to it's position, this was the best photo I could get .

I now re-fitted the centre pipe and the rear part of the exhaust again to where I had them marked up with the exhaust cement. I found it much easier to fit the rear section by connecting the tail pipe bracket and use a jack under the silencer part of the exhaust to lift it into position.

After a little tweaking here and there to get it into the best position, the clamps were done up. I made the mistake of cranking hard on them and destroyed the threads on the first set, so had to use a backup set and be a little less aggressive with the spanner.

Normally the last job is to fire up the engine and let it run for about 10 minutes so it will cure the exhaust cement, however the engine isn't ready to go yet so it will have to wait. I'm sure that it won't be an issue. If it is, then it will be dealt with later on.

Having never hung a new exhaust before and also having no instructions, I'm very pleased with the way things went. Yeah I destroyed a few clamps, but now I know not to do them up too much. And yeah it was hard work faffing about on the floor under the car holding heavy things in the air, but I actually enjoyed the whole experience and now have the satisfaction that I have gained new skills and also that there's yet another job ticked off the long list of things to do.

Next up is to solve the problem with the melted ignition wire, then it's engine start time, very excited!!

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