I have been thinking for quite a while who will have the privilege to build Datto’s 1st branch and exhaust. For the entire duration of the project one of my friends was going to help me, but seeing that he is so busy these days, I rather decided to find someone else, at least I can tell a business I’m not happy, or do it this way, as I want it. The first place that was suggested was powerflow, I’ll rather spend 3 months struggling on the ground making my own branch and exhaust than let these clowns come within 6 feet from my car, all this hate ret because they stuffed a friend of mine around, it went something like this. We’ve been building a MKII Escort Sport with 2.0 Zetec, he phoned them during the week, will you be able to build me a branch for this project, yes sure, can we bring it along on Saterday, yes sure, rocked up with the car nice and early, no we do not build branches over weekends etc. What, no sir, we aren’t here to sit and wait for you to finish, we just want to show you what we want done and leave it up to you to fit it in between your busy schedule. All this after my friend was told to bring it in. We took the car to a other shop. Since that day I don’t want to hear about powerflow, I truly believe they just have a well-known name, that is it, nothing special. A few other shops was investigated, but nothing impressed me. At this point keep in mind, I have been working on this car for almost 2 years, driving a total of 220km each free weekend to go work on the car, I was not going to leave the car in a okes workshop with dirty floors etc.
The name ProFit Exhaust was mentioned, I phoned Brandon the owner one afternoon and had a chat with him over the phone, the first thing that impressed me was the fact that he was willing to work on a car that was unable to move, he also made me aware off the fact that I would have to bring the car back at a later stage when it is running in order for them to make sure there is no leaks etc. This actually impressed me, but still being the sceptic, I had to see his shop in person to make sure it would be a good holiday spot for Datto, the stress from all the wire work was becoming too much for it. Datto arrived in Cape Town and the next open weekend that I was in Cape Town, I went thru to ProFit Exhaust to have a look and meet Brandon and if I was satisfied, discuss my particular scenario. On arrival I was met with a very neat sales area and equally neat workshop. Brandon mentioned to me that he would keep the car covered for the entire duration of its visit, he properly figured out that I’m very proud of the car, full off crap and more worried about the condition off the car than the exhaust, which is true, as I can always build my own or get another one made than replace all the hard work.
Needless to say, the next weekend the car was towed to Brandon. Let me put the work to be done in perspective before anyone asks me but why not mandrel bends, as crush bends is flow restrictive etc. Yes I hear you, mandrel bends is the best. The future state of the project is still undecided, not that I will ever sell the car, but the main priority currently is getting the car to run, not searching for the last newton meter of torque. A exhaust now is on the lower side off the important priorities. If you see the route the exhaust had to be routed, you will understand that this is more a experiment than anything else, but still I wanted the work to be as good and clean as possible. If I decide to one day open the motor or build a second one, the exhaust will be redone, in actual fact I’ll actually spend the time to build my own from mandrel bends, but first I need to now the current route that it follows will work. On arrival, Brandon rallied his troops and the car was pushed onto the lift and then it started, the long process off what and were as space was not handed out in huge chunks. The branched seemed to be the easier part to the hole job, once we lifted the car and stuck our heads underneath the headaches started. There was no way we were going to get a 63mm pipe thru the rear suspension and even if it was possible, I was not going to allow it as it would melt CV boots and removing a driveshaft or differential a huge issue. I mentioned to Branden that my father came up with a crazy idea, and that was to run it thru the wheel arch. After a little more investigation it was the only option I could see that would work and not end up on the floor after I cut it off due to pure frustration. Next on the list was the silencer boxes, I wanted as many as possible, you may ask why, well I live in a complex and have a few silly neighbours that frown upon my hobby. After indicating to Brandon that I want the exhaust as high as possible with nothing dragging behind me, the only option was to use round boxes with a OD of 110mm. We played around with a few configuration and ended with a sum total of three boxes, but Brandon mentioned that the first box can be longer, but 2 joined was going to be too long, so we decided to get a custom unit made 500mm long.
The long wait started. Luckily for my curiosity, Sparxx Automotive provided myself with a few new Deutsch connectors, this enabled me to go visit the car as I had to remove the 2 Two Channel LINK Ignitors for some wiring over the coming Easter Weekend. As I pulled into the parking I was greeted with Datto snugly tugged away under a white blanky. By that time good progress was made on the branch. The next few days was a blur, Brandon notified me that the car was done and I could come and collect it. On arrival I was treated with one weird exhaust, never in my life have I experienced an exhaust running along the wheel arch, I have seen some exiting before, but this was a first. I was quite happy that Brandon didn’t need to drill any holes as he was able to use existing bolts to secure the exhaust. The complete system including boxes is neatly tugged away out of view, I’m pretty sure it took a little tweaking to get it in its place.
Datto was moved from ProFit Exhaust directly into storage as its smaller brother “Lil Datto” was throwing a hissy fit and not asked, but demanded attention. We had a lot of work waiting for my brother and I with Lil, but once everyone comes to the table, the little one will be running strong again. During this time I took the branch in for plating, at least it will prolong the Mild Steel from rusting, then was painted with 2 coats of Duram NS7 Hi Heat paint and wrapped. I’m pretty happy with the outcome, considering I was about 500mm short on wrap. All the flanges was tig welded on the inside to get the transition from flange to pipe smoother, then also coated with NS7 to prevent rust, or at least that is the idea. Seeing that the silencers and pipe on the exhaust is Stainless, I only painted the flanges and welding.
While I was doing wiring on the car and before it went for the exhaust I managed to finish with the rear fuel lines. These was all done with 3/8 Stainless Braided Teflon hose and JIC crimp on fittings the equivalent size to AN6. it was decided to do it this way as normal Aluminium AN fittings is way too expensive and that the steel counterparts will work just as good, a decent bit heavier. One of the other reasons was durability as rubber hose needs regular replacement. I still need to redo one of the fuel lines in the engine bay as it ended a little too short, I’ll rather play it safe and redo it, than risk it tearing off, this is actually a good example why AN fittings is better, I can actually unscrew the current fitting, cut a new piece of braided teflon and screw the old AN6 fittings back on, and the fact that a thinner pipe is used with the AN style fittings, the steel fittings utilize a thicker pipe that is more bulky and could look un neat. While I was busy with this, I also decided to finish the remote fuel filler, a piece of 57mm (2 1/4″) ID silicone pipe was sourced and installed, at first the blue pipe looked as if it was shouting for attention, which isn’t my idea, but I was reassured that it looks fine.
I’ll continue with the wiring as it is 80% done, it’s quite a challenge to start with it again after a long break, it takes a while to get back in the swing of things, luckily only a few wires must be routed to the fuse box location and then I can finish all in in place, it can’t take that long. Then I’ll start working on the flares, damn I wish I could just buy a set.
More Pictures – 13 May 2012 – Branch, Exhaust & Fuel Lines
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