Stainless exhaust - mal
I am about to have a custom made s/s exhaust system fitted to my Honda Civic Aerodeck 1.6 VTEC.
I have been quoted £250 for the full system up to the cat which should pay for itself as I keep my cars long term.
It is being done by a tyre and exhaust outfit well known in the North East where I live.
Problem is I had to explain that I was not "boy racer" and did not want a 4inch exhaust sticking out the back and that I wanted it as close as possible to the original. They said they would do this by matching the boxes as best they could to the originals and then they would cut and bend the pipe to match.
Would this have any affect on the performance of the complicated VTEC engine ?
Regards Mal.
Stainless exhaust - Dizzy {P}

I don't know about the 1.6 VTEC engine but OE exhaust systems are usually, if not always, matched to engines, especially in respect of back-pressure. Sometimes even a relatively small hole in an exhaust sytem can make an engine run rough because it alters the back-pressure.

A search on this site should pull up discussions on S/S exhaust systems, with one posting (mine as it happens) pointing out that a commonly-used S/S (Hyform 409) should be avoided for the boxes and preferably for the pipes as well.

I have fitted several good and bad S/S systems over the years and my preference is those supplied by Double-S of Cullompton. Last time I looked at their website, they were prepared to do Hyform 409 pipes for economic systems but recommended the far better S304(?), at a higher price of course. I don't know if they stock an exhaust for your car but will make to order. Please note that I have no connection with that firm other than as a very satisfied customer.

Stainless exhaust - none
Many stainless systems used to have a pre drilled small hole at the lowest part of the system, to allow for drainage. It creates a fairly strong 'blow' and I've known cars to fail the MOT because of it. I guess most testers are aware of this feature now.
Stainless exhaust - Aprilia
My dad ran a small independent repair shop for many years. When he replaced a customer's exhaust he always used to drill a tiny 'drain hole' at the lowest point in each exhaust box. This meant the exhaust lasted a lot longer. Come MoT time he just screwed a small 'self tapper' into the hole and then removed it afterwards!!
Stainless exhaust - Altea Ego
Boy racer or not, your car will be noiser with a stainless steel exhaust. The metal is thiner and has a greater reasonance quality than mild steel. Be prepared for this.
Stainless exhaust - DL
Stainless exhausts don't cut it in my books, they sound 'odd'
Stainless exhaust - mal
Mmmm,I'm beginning to have second thoughts about having this done, and to be honest I was never confident that the end result would be ok. Might just weld it up in the meantime and give myself time to decide.
Regards Mal.
Stainless exhaust - DL
Small drain holes in exhaust systems are to be ignored, as instructed by the Vehicle Inspectorate - no need for self-tappers etc...
Stainless exhaust - Aprilia
Really? My dad was an MoT inspector!
Stainless exhaust - smokie

I considered stainless recently, had a strange experience in Halfords where they wanted to know just how loud I wanted it to sound, when I said "Quiet", they seemed to not understand what I meant...

But I ultimately decided not to go stainless as expert advice from here made me aware that there is stainless, and stainless, and unless I was sure I knew what I was getting, I would be paying twice what I really needed to for maybe not much benefit.

I managed to find a place which sold me a standard exhaust system with a two year warranty - as the guy said, if they are prepared to guarantee ot for two then it should be good for at least 3.
Stainless exhaust - DL
"Really? My dad was an MoT inspector!"

So am I......just been on a two day course and this point was raised.
Stainless exhaust - CMark {P}
Mal, I fitted a S/S exhaust to my Spitfire around 17 years ago and it has been great. OK so now one of the baffles in one of the rear boxes is a bit loose and rattles a little but I can live with that. (It is not as if there are not plenty of other rattles to listen to.)

It is still completely MOT-proof (no drain holes fitted either).

I got it from Triumphtune in Richmond and it cost about double the price of a mild-steel version AFAIR and worth every penny. I fitted it along with a "proper" 4-1 tubular exhaust manifold. It has been a fit-and-forget item.

The fitment of this uprated exhaust system eliminated, at a stroke, one of the most frustrating problems with the standard setup - that of the triangular, manifold-to-downpipe gasket blowing on a regular basis.

In keeping with the type of car it is a bit noisier than standard but certainly not excessive.

If anyone is going to keep a car for a L O N G time and possibly combine it with short/ infrequent journey use I can strongly recommend a S/S exhaust.
Stainless exhaust - Sooty Tailpipes
The previous owner of my 1998 diesel Omega Elite (BMW straight six) had a "powerflow" stainless exhaust fitted.
It came with a card saying it had to be inspected at the fitting place in Grimsby every year to keep the warranty, but as I live too far away, I haven't biothered.

I think the sound is fine, it's not noisey or peculiar-sounding at all, sounds pretty OEM. I just hope it lasts! Around town it sounds normal, in the car, it sounds quiet at all RPMs.
I was once stood outside the car while a Vauxhall technician tested a steering problem in a large empty car park, it sounded fantastic, but in no way boy racerish or crappy, it was like a DENNIS fire engine when they put their foot down, a mixture of whooshing viscous fan, feint turbocharger whizz and six-cylinder howl! Gave me a warm sense of pride :o)

The only thing I had to do was cut the tail-pipe embelishments off with an angle grinder. The metal was quite thick, I had to buy a 9" grinder to do the job it was that tough.
Stainless exhaust - SjB {P}
I second the recommendation made of SS Exhausts in Cullompton.
Back in the eighties, I fitted an SS Exhaust to my MG Metro, and in the not too distant past, saw my old car parked up when visiting a friend in Emsworth. The SS exhaust was still fitted, and a quick squint showed it to still be in apparently fine fettle.

When the exhaust was new, it was a little louder than the original item, but a few thousand miles down the road, settled down.

Was it worth it?
Yes, definitely.
It paid for itself many times over in my (long) ownership of this car. As a self confessed washing and polishing victim, I prefer not to have ratty old rusty tailpipe or 'obvious' slip on chrome covers on my cars, too.
Stainless exhaust - RogerL
A slight tangent, but how long will an OE stainless steel exhaust last, like those fitted to Mk4 Astras?
Stainless exhaust - Ben {P}
An additional issue re stainless exhausts. If the exhaust is not costructed with exactly the same tube lengths and bores , performance could be adversly affected.
Stainless exhaust - DL
Alsong as the materials and spec match, I can't see any durability differences between an OE and an aftermarket exhaust system.

Didn't know the Astra (as mentioned above) had a S/S system! It's not good for us aftermarket repair people, eh?
Stainless exhaust - Vagelis
An additional issue re stainless exhausts. If the exhaust is not
costructed with exactly the same tube lengths and bores , performance
could be adversly affected.

Performance could be affected, yes, but not always for the worse! If you find a pro that knows his business, you could actually squeeze some oomph out of your car.

Stainless exhaust - Tony N
If its a cat back system it won't make much differance to performance, unless it's artificially restrictive i.e. made from from smaller diameter tube or fitted with more restrictive (than standard) silencers.
Stainless exhaust - none
Back in the early 70's I was involved in the restoration of an early 50's MG sports car (TC or TD or something like that).
This before the days of stainless systems and the owner had a replica exhaust system made of copper. I can remember it being VERY heavy, and it made a wonderful resonant sort of rasping noise.
Would it have corroded away by now? Anyone know?
Stainless exhaust - mal
I've had a look at the powerflow website and have decided to go for it after all. the only thing that now concerns me is if they have to modify the underside of the car to carry the exhausts mountings, don't think I would be too happy about that if it means drilling any holes, I will have to know if they are going to do this before they start.
The s/s pipe they use is the cheaper 404? or something but it can be made using the more expensive material butI am not that bothered as I will be having it checked every year to maintain the warranty for the extended time I intend to own the car.
At £250 it should pay it's way and it will be good to forget about rusting exhausts.
Regards Mal.
Stainless exhaust - mal
Don't know about the longevity of a copper exhaust but is it not illegal to us copper as it gives off dangerous fumes or gasses used in such a manner,I remember a mate of mine made one out o Kunifer which is an alloy of copper,nickel,and steel-or is it iron, not sure. Anyway he was told at the time that it was illegal.
Regards Mal.
Stainless exhaust - Dizzy {P}
In the 60's I fitted my Ford Special (fibreglass sports body on a sit-up-&-beg Ford 10 chassis!) with twin 2" diameter copper tailpipes with upturned ends. At the time I thought they made a glorious sound but nowadays I think they'd just sound very loud and raucous like all big bore exhausts.
Stainless exhaust - mal
Have now had my s/s exhaust fitted and I am pleased with the result. They did exactly as I requested, it is no louder than the original and it also looks fab because I have had one of their smaller custom tail-pipes fitted for an extra £20.
Now that\'s me finished with the inconvenience of replacing exhausts every 2 or 3 years.
I can recommend having a \"Powerflow\" exhaust fitted.
Take a look at their website.
Regards Mal.
Stainless exhaust - smokie
Mal - how much was it?
Stainless exhaust - mal
Smokie, it cost me £270 including the fancy tail-pipe, had a good look underneath and an excellent job they made of the welding too.
Regards Mal.
Stainless exhaust - RogerL
Back in September, I posted in this thread implying that Mk4 Astras were all fitted with stainless steel exhausts from new.

I felt sure that while I was choosing my new car, in Spring 2000, that I remembered that the Astra had a s/s exhaust but checking with my Vauxhall dealer, I must have got it wrong.

I must have been having a "senior" moment, for which I apologize.

As my Astra is now 3.5 years old, on the original exhaust, I'd better budget for a new one soon!
Stainless exhaust - Dynamic Dave
Back in September, I posted in this thread implying that Mk4
Astras were all fitted with stainless steel exhausts from new.

RogerL, I have also mentioned this before, and I was informed that the Mk4's (S Reg onward) do have stainless exhaust systems. AFAIA, they still do.
Stainless exhaust - RogerL
Thanks, Dave, I'll recheck. Perhaps my memory is better than I remember!
Stainless exhaust - RogerL
I've re-checked with Vauxhall, the Mk4 Astra (current) DOESN'T have a stainless exhaust, So I'll have to get a new one soon.
Stainless exhaust - Dynamic Dave
RogerL, thanks for confirming. Excuse me while I go kick my source of information for misleading me.
Stainless exhaust - kithmo
Many stainless systems used to have a pre drilled small hole
at the lowest part of the system, to allow for drainage.
It creates a fairly strong 'blow' and I've known cars to
fail the MOT because of it. I guess most testers are
aware of this feature now.

Why would you want a drain hole in a stainless system ??. I thought the drain hole thing was to allow water out to prevent internal rusting on mild steel systems, used on short journeys.


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