Pop, Bang and Burble

Saturday, 25 July 2015 09:54

I bought a new exhaust for my car. It was kind of an impulse buy. I messaged a car breaker to see what exhaust parts they had and they happened to have a full Piper exhaust with manifold and sports cat. After a bit of debating and bit of haggling on the price I bought it. All I had to do was figure out how to remove the old exhaust and fit the new one. I could have just gone to a garage and paid them to fit it but then I learn nothing and it costs me more. I like to do as much as I can myself and I like learning.

I learnt a lot working on the car and it’s built up my confidence. I had to do things like drop the rear axle and remove engine mounts in order to fit the new exhaust. Things I had never done before. On the first day I spent about five hours with my friend getting most of the exhaust system off. He was a great help and pushed me on when I was fed up with the car. One bolt that was holding on the heat shield would not come off, this made it much harder to get to the nuts we really needed to remove. By the end of the day we had removed all of the exhaust system apart from the manifold. We got that off the engine but it was stuck between the chassis and the gearbox / drive shaft.

The second day I removed the gearbox stabiliser and was able to rock the engine to make enough room for the old manifold to fall through. To fit the new, bigger manifold I had to remove the right hand side engine mount and enlist the help of my brother. He pulled the engine whilst I wiggled the new manifold. Like most things so far, you just keep fighting with it and then suddenly it pops into place. I put all the engine mounts back and tightened up the manifold nuts. It was getting kind of late and I managed to round a nut in a very annoying place so I called it a day.

On day three I worked on getting the rest of the exhaust system on. This was another fight. It started well with the sports cat going into the right position. It’s just kinda hard because it’s in the middle of the car, so no matter what end you jack the car up from you have to squeeze yourself into a tight space. Laying on my back with my face in the exhaust tunnel so i guess it means I’m not claustrophobic. Getting the back section in was like a 3D puzzle that fought back. Whilst trying to get it in position it slipped and smacked me hard on the arm. It hurt but I kept going because I want the car done. Also because it happened to fall into the right position. With everything in place I bolted it together and I was so close to the end. But whenever I thought I’d finished I saw another thing that I needed to fit the to car. It was about 10pm by the time I finish bolting everything to the car. Part of me really wanted to test it it out but I have a young family living next door and I didn’t know how loud it would be.

On the forth day he said let there be noise!…and smoke? Since I’d used a lot of oil to loosen things and the exhaust had WD40 all over it there was a decent bit of smoke whilst it burt off. After the car had stopped smoking I took it out for a drive and it was so loud it was ridiculous. I love the pops and bangs that come from the exhaust and after 5,000rpm it makes an amazing roar. This tank of petrol won’t last long. The longer I was working on the car the more I was hating it. I was wondering why I was doing this; I could have saved myself a lot of time and money by just leaving the car as it was. But when I took it out for the first drive with the new exhaust I loved it again. It is ludicrously loud but I’m getting used to it. Each day it seems quieter to me. I’ve also bombing it about everywhere to make it pop, bang and burble. It is something I’m glad I did and it’s got me thinking: what else can I do to the car?

This car was meant to be a toy that I had for a year or two and then moved on. It’s coming up to two years now and I’ll be hanging on for a bit longer because I’m still enjoying it and because I’ve just spent a lot on it. I am thinking about some more upgrades, two of which the car is already insured for. They are more spacers but this time all round, Brembo front brakes and a power steering fluid cooler, because sometimes when I go out for a spirited drive it boils over. The car was called Dirty Little Bastard when I got it but I might rename it to Money Pit, maybe Thunder since it’s so damn loud now.