When your Locost has 2 exhausts, and they wind through the suspension, progress can be slow. It makes you appreciate why a professionally made system costs 14 times what I’ve laid out.
If you were making exhausts day in day out, you’d have specialist machinery to tweak bends, weld pipes and even hold them firm whilst working on them. I had started out using old biscuit tins for props and a lot of persistence for everything else.
One pipe although less than 0.5m long had 8 welds, 3 x 45° bends and a V band clamp. Added to that I ended up shortening it 3 times.
This roadster has 19″ wheels and 4 wheel drive. Although the over all height on the car is similar to a standard Haynes Roadster, the chassis bottom rail is approximately 2″ higher than standard, leaving the depth of the main chassis section reduced.
This extra clearance allows me to pass the exhausts under the chassis rails and still have almost 5″ ground clearance: similar to our family hatch.
Rear Exhaust Boxes
I’d bought a pair of second-hand but unused 18×5″ rear stainless boxes for £12. They had 4″ outlets which didn’t appeal too much but 2 new exhaust boxes still in their original wrapping for that money can’t be avoided. The final goal is to make one single outlet, so chances are only the centre section will remain.
V band clamps
Each side has 2 joints. One at the header in front of the flexible section and catalytic converters, and the second behind the 30×5″ stainless side boxes. The clamps are welded on overlapping CNC machined stainless turbo clamps.
All of this 316 Stainless exhaust has been oxy-acetylene gas welded. The last time I gas welded was over 30 years ago. I now reckon my gas welding is better than my MIG, but I’ll have to wait to see if it cracks once on the road.
I’m using Austin Mini polyflex bushes and modified Chinese sanitary clamps (polished CNC) to mount the exhaust. It’s a little bit rigid for my liking, so this may change.
The rear boxes have a slight downwards slope, so might fill up with rain how they are. Once I find nice a way of joining the two outlets into a single central tail pipe, I’ll start the final section. That however can wait until I have the body work done.
Industrial Pipe Bender
I borrowed a Clarke pipe bender from the brother-in-law to make the headers and it was perfect for my needs. Therefore, I put a watch on the auction sites, just in case a second-hand one came up locally. Nothing came up but, I did spot an odd looking pipe bender just 30 minutes from the house.
It looked a little old but at 1/4 the price of a new Clarke, I took a punt. I was the only bidder. When I turned up they were emptying a factory unit. I told them I was here for the pipe bender and the guy leapt into fork lift, the other guy said, It’s OK I managed to move it with a pallet truck. Alarm bells started to ring. What on earth had I bought?!
As I cornered the office I saw it. I couldn’t miss it. It’s the best part of 2 meters wide! It took 3 of us to lift into my poor old hatch back. It was too wide to fit in straight as it touched both rear doors, luckily with a bit of twisting we got it in. Needless to say we scraped a few speed ramps coming home. It has formers from 1″ to 4″. It’s a real beast!
The next job is to get that engine started!