After introducing Mission LS to the SH Storage final month, my newly-acquired Lexus is now nicely on its option to being transformed from an unpleasant outdated tank, to one thing nonetheless outdated, however higher wanting and vastly improved all spherical. First on the listing was a model new customized exhaust system.
An simple option to get the 1UZ-FE V8 up entrance sounding higher in these automobiles is to easily minimize out a few of the (many) factory-fitted mufflers and exchange them with sections of straight pipe. I might have performed that – I don’t have a large price range for this undertaking in spite of everything – however I’d slightly do the job correctly. That is the place Francois from FatBoy Fab Works comes into the image.
Having seen the superb customized work Francois did on his personal V12 twin-turbo Toyota Hilux undertaking (which I’ll be that includes quickly), I knew he was the person for this job.
Francois often works out of his personal store in Pretoria, however he builds so many exhausts and headers for the blokes at McNabs Engineering, that he’s arrange his personal part of their store, which is lots nearer to me. In order that’s the place we determined to finish the two-day customized exhaust construct.
There’s some critically cool old skool muscle across the McNabs Engineering store, so I definitely didn’t thoughts hanging round the place whereas Francois labored his magic.
I’m fairly certain that this Ford Fairmont GT will ultimately be shipped again to Australia (the mannequin was initially manufactured in Australia, however shipped to South Africa in CKD type for native meeting) as most of them have been exported lately.
After salivating over all of the traditional metallic across the store for a whereas, Francois bought my automotive onto the carry to immediately reveal simply how badly beaten-up the exhaust was from 22 years and virtually 300,000km of use. The remainder of the underside was fairly filthy too.
The exhaust system itself got here off with relative ease, however the bolts on the manifold flange have been seized tight. It doesn’t matter what Francois tried, they couldn’t be wound out.
For those who’re questioning how Lexus made the V8 within the LS 400 so quiet, right here’s why…
After hammering, drilling and grinding for longer than he’d care to recollect, Francois lastly bought the bolts eliminated. Now he might begin on the customized exhaust.
The primary job was to chop the flanges off the unique exhaust and clear then them up in order that they could possibly be reused with the brand new system.
Francois then used his TIG welder to weld the flanges onto a pair of flexis.
Although I attempted to look away as a lot as attainable, I needed to take a peek right here and there to have the ability to shoot the pictures, leading to delicate arc eye for a few days. Belief me, that was not enjoyable.
Subsequent, Francois started test-fitting items of 63mm stainless-steel exhaust piping, measuring then slicing and tacking on new sections as he made his method down the automotive.
By the top of the primary day, Francois had accomplished the entrance sections, plus the vital x-pipe within the center. There have been no mufflers fitted at this level, however that didn’t cease me driving dwelling for the evening. And sure, it was LOUD.
I have to admit, it was enjoyable although, and the cold-start the following morning was fairly loopy.
The subsequent morning, after a return 30-minute drive to the store, Francois bought straight into including two small resonators plus a pair of oval mufflers proper at again of the automotive, and all of the required stainless-steel piping in between. After lining all of it up, the ultimate welding passed off earlier than the exhaust hangers have been added.
Trying on the completed product, I was amazed by how nicely it got here out. The general design and Francois’ workmanship is ideal.
My eventual thought is to do cut-outs within the backside of the rear bumper so the exhaust can exit there, however earlier than that occurs the automotive must go in for a full respray, so Francois simply angled the exhaust ends down factory-like as a short lived resolution.
The most effective a part of the exhaust is clearly the way it sounds, however don’t take my phrase for it, simply have a pay attention above. It has a very nice deep burble on idle, with out being too loud, and there’s no drone at cruising speeds. Then, if you actually step on it, it sounds epic.
What’s subsequent? Effectively, as we communicate, a bunch of Air Raise Efficiency suspension components are on the best way, and I believe I’ve lastly settled on a brand new exterior paint color. Extra on these issues subsequent time.