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1986 SEC 560
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164 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
After leaving Taco Bell yesterday (sit down not drive-thru)I noticed my car's exhasut noise was considerably louder. I looked under the car and discovered that the mid-pipe between my cat and muffler is gone, a small section has fallen off, probably due to age. The car sounds beastly though! Shows the true nature of these 560 engines. If it wasn't for the throbbing inside the car and the legal issues I'd leave it.[:D]
 

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'90 560SEL
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2,553 Posts
I got a completely new exhaust system supplied and fitted last week for NZ$510 (about US$400). A local outfit with the weird name of "Magoo Mufflers" did the lot. Now I have a low beautiful throb from the rear - but no "drone noise" and the pleasure of driving without the radio on [8D].
I had been tentative about replacing outside of original spec. but the guys were experts, and very reasonably priced. They listened to what I was after, and delivered perfectly. I recommend you "go for it" with a local shop- no need for expensive after market "Merc. only". stuff. So little money for so much driving/owning pleasure.
 

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380sel 1983
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31 Posts
Did your $510NZ include exhaust manifolds/headers as well or just the pipes mufflers and cats? I can't get a price below $1500AUD if i want tuned length tubular headers of significant diameter and high flow cats. Tarquin
 

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'90 560SEL
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2,553 Posts
Fresh pipe is the new stuff - oval tail pipe was included in price. Yeehah! I have 3 photos - but am bloody hopeless at how to post in one go (sorry) - here goes..
 

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1989 W201.029/M103 3.0
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244 Posts
Hi Tarquin [:)]
That price would be a "cat-back" exhaust system, including maybe a muffler, stock circa. 1.85" dual pipes and a resonator, but leaving everything forward of and including the catalytic converter(s).
About AU$500 locally is typical for near-stock pipe diameters.

Hi-flow cats run into the hundreds of dollars alone.
Free-flowing mufflers too.
Tubular headers can cost around $1000 depending on the quality, finish and rarity. Lucky buggers will get a pair for closer to $500 but that's your mainstream manufacturers (Holden, Ford, Chev and Mopar). And aluminium-spraying/powder-coating costs extra (good for exhaust scavenging and max. effect).

But (and this is the important bit), actual pipe guaging (upping to anything up to dual 2.5" piping), doesn't vary much in cost price over stock sizes. Any Midas Mufflers workshop stocks sizes up to 2.5" in pipes and off the shelf mufflers. If the price jumps significantly increasing to these diameters and less, chances are you're getting ripped off. Shop around.

It's when you want to go bigger, like a 3" single system (which can improve torque curves), which is when you have to go to a custom exhaust fabricator for mufflers, cats and the whole shebang to keep the same piping diameter all the way to the manifolds.
That's when the cat-back exhaust system gets expensive.

Or when you specify stainless steel everywhere. Or titanium alloy (super light).


Last bit, since you were looking at large diameter tubular headers. Bad idea to have tubular headers too much larger than your port diameter. Around a tenth of an inch larger is good, but bigger than that kills your power curves because the exhaust velocities drop too much and the pipes lose their vacuum effect. The cylinders don't empty so efficiently and residual exhaust starts killing your power production.
This is because tubular headers flow so much better than stock manifolding, their tremendous efficiency can be their own worst enemy.
Get the right diameter for your engine capacity/port diameter and the right length primary pipes for your performance application (longer 4-into-1 or even stepped 4-into-2-into-1 for mild engine modifications, shorter 4-into-1 for wild).

Good length on the collectors are important too (these are the first stage of the exhaust system itself, that collects up all the gases from the manifolding pipes).
20-35" long, the longer the better and fat ones (ie. 3") for horsepower. Thinner ones (say, 2.5") for torque. Then have a step-down into your cats and run the free flow but relatively conservative exhaust system from there (say, 2" dual from the cats back).

Remember that setting up a system for power without modifying your engine like crazy just kills your torque and does little else.
But setting up for torque and then going too hard on engine mods kills your power potential.
Know what you're going to do down the road before you spend your dollars.

Tuning your exhaust system properly is one of the big, untapped resources of an engine, both in economy and power.
 
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