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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 07-31-2006, 04:55 PM
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Since I've heard and read so much about the benefits of mandrel bent pipes I decided to try a set on one of my '57s. My 150 2-door Wagon to be exact.

I know for a fact no one in my area can mandrel bent pipes I asked my girlfriend for one of the Flowmaster kits (#15816) which she bought for me at Jeg's and gave to me as a Christmas present.

When I was trying to install the pipes I have some serious issues with the driver side pipe. After calling Jeg's who puts me in touch with Flowmaster I get frustrated one afternoon and cut the driver side pipe to "Make it fit better" but in reality I screwed the pipe up.

I have a friend who can build anything. He hand builds street rods. So I take this pipe to him and beg for his assistance. He tells me to get a piece of 3" pipe which he cuts a 4" length, smacks it oval with a hammer and welds it inbetween the two pieces of pipe I now have. It cures the problem I have with the driver side pipe.

In the meantime Flowmaster is trying to make the situation right and they next day air a set of pipes to me for free. This set of pipes arrives the same day my friend welds my split pipe back together for me.

I do like the sound of the 2.5" Flowmaster pipes on my Wagon. And my $0.05 worth is the Flowmaster kit is worth the money spent.

Oh, one more thing. The pipes are connected to a set of Dynomax Super Turbo mufflers bought at Summit. Great sound out these mufflers.
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 07-31-2006, 05:09 PM
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mandrel bends are ok, around here in my little section of NY, they need to be ordered in, nobody has the tooling for them. I'v never run them, never seen the need on stock 6cyl's that I run. when I do an exhaust I get 10-20' of str8 pipe and a variouse selection of pre bent pipe sections, and build my exhaust that way. cost's about 100$ a side with the Glasspack mufflers I run ( Thrush Magnums )
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 07-31-2006, 05:19 PM
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Friend of mine has a mid 12 second Nova powered by a SBC. It has full length headers (with dumps) run thru a generic 2 1/4" muffler shop dual exhaust. It only makes two tenths of a second difference in his 1/4 mile ET's with the dumps closed vs. open.

IMO not much of a difference.
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Old 07-31-2006, 11:13 PM
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Wonder if the mufflers create more or less restriction than the cheap bends???
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 08-01-2006, 02:08 PM
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Well they say using the pipes bent up on a pipe bender robs the car of horsepower.

But this is Flowmaster, Magnaflo, and other people who sell mandrel bent pipes. So what do you expect from them?

I wanted to do my own testing to see if I like the mandrel bent pipes over pipes bent up on a pipe bender. If you have a question you can ask others but do you really know first hand by this method?

I think I may have $130 total in my pipes. And the mufflers I bought in late 2002 so they've seen some usage. At the time Summit was running a sale on mufflrs so I bought a set.
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 08-01-2006, 05:15 PM
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It's really not a matter of taking Flowmaster or Magnaflow's word for it, it's pure physics. A smooth pipe with no obstructions offers less resistance to anything flowing through it. Now the question comes down to is your engine producing enough power to take advantage of that less resistance?

Vince
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Old 08-02-2006, 06:52 AM
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Well fellas, after going around to muffler shops in my area, they are quoting anywhere from $350-$450 for a 2.5 dual exhaust with H pipe. Most are telling me $400-$450 with a Midas shop quoting $750! We both laughed when he said that and he admitted he was guessing. I am guessing that he won't be getting my business. Seeing that a Flowmaster kit for my car is $339 bucks from Jegs I am going to get the mandrel bent exhaust kit. Once again, the small shops and manufacturers get squeezed out by the big boys. It's a real shame. If somebody would step up and buy a true mandrel pipe bender, they would make a killing! I know in the Detroit area some of the franchise muffler shops are owned by the same person or group of persons. They could buy a bender, put it in ONE of their shops, and send everybody to that shop but split the profits. Very short sighted.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 08-02-2006, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
If somebody would step up and buy a true mandrel pipe bender, they would make a killing!
It would take a lot of pipe bends to pay for just the machine price, for the low low cost on sale for $31,825.00 with the tolling sold separately. See this link for details. Not knowing much about these benders I'm not sure if it is a good quality bender.

Now throw in the cost of the pipe, the cost of the guy bending it and hanging it, it would take many jobs to pay for itself, before any profit would be seen.

But I do see the killing, the killing of the exhaust shop/repair shop

Steve
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 08-02-2006, 09:03 AM
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32 grand split across three or four shops making them go broke? C'mon! You have to spend money to make money and there is a need for the service in the market. NOBODY does it in the Detroit area.
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Old 08-02-2006, 09:21 AM
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my thought

3" is more expensive than its worth my camaro runs 10 times better with 2.5" exhaust than three or open headers. I guess it likes a little backpressure. this is a full roller motor 383 stroker
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Old 08-02-2006, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cool rockin daddy
32 grand split across three or four shops making them go broke? C'mon! You have to spend money to make money and there is a need for the service in the market. NOBODY does it in the Detroit area.
Split it 3 ways and its still $10k a pop. Now who gets the machine in their shop? How many exhaust shops are willing to shell out that much money and not have the machine in the shop? How many people NEED mandrel bent pipes, yes it looks good and yes it does flow better, but still is it needed? People always say they want "the best for their car" until it comes down to paying for "the best"

You yourself said you would not spend the $750.00 on the exhaust system. Do you think they will still sell you a system for $400-$450 if it is mandrel bent? I think not. Not many people will shell out that much money on exhaust if they can get it cheaper in a kit form from Flowmaster, plus you can buy all the bends and weld it up yourself for a lot less than a shop would charge.

Also if you are going to spend the big $$ for mandrel, I would think you would have it made out of stainless or at least aluminized pipe. Now that exhaust system is going to last darn near forever!!! Not much repeat business in forever. If it was such a money maker every shop on every corner would bend mandrel.

Not trying to be a jack A.. just practical. And yes I do own a repair shop and I know what is profitable and what is not. Now the cool factor is very high but the profit is very low.(until the machine is paid for).
Just MHO.

Steve
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 08-02-2006, 09:40 AM
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No worries Steve! I appreciate your opinion, especially since you own a shop.

Seems to me that with people wanting to do cold air kits, turbo installs, and custom exhaust there could be a way to make some money, especially with a machine that only costs 32K. Being from MI, you know this is an area with lots of lakes and the boating market might come into play also. Who knows? I come from the CNC machining industry where it is not unusal to pay .4-1.5 million bucks for a CNC machining center.

Think I might put a biz plan together and investigate maybe starting my own custom shop to offer mandrel bending along with other services such as chassis dyno. Then again, the study might prove there is no way to make a decent living at it.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 08-02-2006, 09:48 AM
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especially with a machine that only costs 32K. I come from machining industry where it is not unusal to pay .4-1.5 million bucks for a CNC machining center.
When it is YOUR money that you are spending its a different story.

Most cold air kits and turbo pipes are much larger than exhaust, just more tooling that is needed to be purchased. I'm not saying they are no money to be made in mandrel bends just not from the common everyday driver. Thats who the shops are catering to.

Did you check with Motor City Steel (a hot rod shop) to see if they can bend the pipe for you? I know they are not doing well with business so if they can bend mandrel it may be cheaper than normal.

Steve
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 08-02-2006, 10:01 AM
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Mandrel bend aluminized exhaust from J.C. Whitney

Or stainless mandrel exhaust from J.C. Whitney if your feeling rich.

Once I got all my mandrel bent fittings in I went to my local Meineke muffler shop. We hoisted the 34 up on the rack, welded up the header collector flanges to some straight lengths. I bought two Dynomax Hemi truck mufflers from then in addition to two stainless exit tips. They fit all the 45, 90, and 180's up and welded everything up for $375.

Vince
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 08-02-2006, 10:27 AM
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The most important section of the exhaust system is the first 60". Once you've established the scavenging physics, the length and construction of the tertiary pipe becomes a fairly moot point provided it is large enough to conduct the gases. We run a 2-1/2" shop-bent tailpipe system on a 417 rwhp road racer.
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