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Old 07-30-2006, 05:47 PM
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Mandrel bent vs. muffler shop bent

Time to put a new exhaust on the Camaro. Does anybody have any info on whether or not mandrel bent tubing makes that much of a difference on a street car's exhaust system? Having a tough time finding a muffler shop that has a mandrel tube bender.

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Old 07-30-2006, 06:03 PM
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This is not an engine question per se, but I will toss in my 5 cents worth.

Generally speaking that depends a lot on what you have and what you intend to do.

If you have a lot of bends that get squashed a lot, that hurts. Some bender types squash pipe more than others, some even adding ripples to the inner radius to make a sharper bend. Worst cases are over the rear axle with larger diameter pipe and short radius bends.

IMO, generally speaking, mandrel bent helps, allows a smaller pipe diameter to be used, costs more, but rarely makes much real world difference on a street performance car. A moderate 350 SBC maybe 10 hp.

I ditched the turn downs and went full tailpipes/peashooters on one car and it was noticeably slower 1 hour later.


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Old 07-30-2006, 08:21 PM
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I paid $300.00 (cdn)for a 3" mandrel pipe kit (no mufflers) from Flowmaster and $130.00 ea for Dynomax Ultra Flows. I installed the system myself. My old muffler shop system cost $500.00 for a 2.5" system with $50.00 mufflers. Mandrel bends are always better. If you can install it yourself (its not that hard) you are much further ahead and will have a much better flowing system. I can't say for sure on any performance gain that I can attribute to the exhaust system as I went to bigger headers as well. Seat of the pants... a little softer on the bottom end and a lot stronger in the top end.
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Old 07-30-2006, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve karch
I paid $300.00 (cdn)for a 3" mandrel pipe kit (no mufflers) from Flowmaster and $130.00 ea for Dynomax Ultra Flows. I installed the system myself. My old muffler shop system cost $500.00 for a 2.5" system with $50.00 mufflers. Mandrel bends are always better. If you can install it yourself (its not that hard) you are much further ahead and will have a much better flowing system. I can't say for sure on any performance gain that I can attribute to the exhaust system as I went to bigger headers as well. Seat of the pants... a little softer on the bottom end and a lot stronger in the top end.

My guess is that a 2 1/2" system might have been better all the way through.
Mandrel 3's come in at about 500 cubes and 500 hp.

Just 5 cents worth.

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Old 07-30-2006, 09:03 PM
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The exhaust on my 34 is real tight, especially over the rear axle. I wanted nothing less than 2.5" OD. The muffler shop 180 to go over the rear axle was way too restrictive IMO. I purchased aluminized mandrel bends from J.C. Whitney in 45, 90 and 180. Took them to the muffler shop and they welded them up for me. It worked out great and looks good without those unsightly bends and ripples in the turns.

Vince
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Old 07-30-2006, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xntrik
My guess is that a 2 1/2" system might have been better all the way through.
Mandrel 3's come in at about 500 cubes and 500 hp.

Just 5 cents worth.

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406 making 450hp and 500 lbft. 3" is just fine thanks
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Old 07-30-2006, 09:44 PM
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If it makes you feel faster spend the money. Do you really need perfect bends on a street car that frequents supermarkets, hamburger joints, and malls? Probably not.

I always chuckle when I see a mag article that touts all the latest overkill speed gear, but has dents in the primaries to clear a steering box.

My two cents.
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Old 07-30-2006, 10:02 PM
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my 59 is an X-frame car with disc brakes in the rear

I (reads muffler guy) could NOT get anything larger than 2" to go over the rear and still clear the calipers and tires

If I did not have the discs---I could probably fit 3"

so I ended up with 2-1/4 exhaust thru the muffs--and 2" to the rear

425hp 454HO----probably strangling that motor a bit---but nothing is banging in the back

Bryan
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Old 07-31-2006, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MI2600
If it makes you feel faster spend the money. Do you really need perfect bends on a street car that frequents supermarkets, hamburger joints, and malls? Probably not.

I always chuckle when I see a mag article that touts all the latest overkill speed gear, but has dents in the primaries to clear a steering box.

My two cents.
The point here is that if it is not more expensive to install a mandrel system why would you not install a mandrel system. To me, it doesn't make any sense to install an inferior part when a superior part cost the same. If you want to install crushed pipes then go for it. Maybe some decals too.

my 2 cents
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Old 07-31-2006, 08:25 AM
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"If" mandrels are not more expensive...

Anyone seen Skippy? Here, boy.
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Old 07-31-2006, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MI2600
"If" mandrels are not more expensive...

Anyone seen Skippy? Here, boy.
Skippy, IF you read my post you will have noticed that manderals were not more expensive, even up here in Canada. I can't see them being more expensive in the USA.


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at a girl. Down girl...
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Old 07-31-2006, 10:51 AM
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Fellas, fellas, fellas. Don't hijack my thread with some pising match over cost? I am looking for opinions on how much more a mandrel bent system will flow over a typical muffler shop bent system. I will determine if it is worth the cost to ME, or not!
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Old 07-31-2006, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MI2600
If it makes you feel faster spend the money. Do you really need perfect bends on a street car that frequents supermarkets, hamburger joints, and malls? Probably not.

I always chuckle when I see a mag article that touts all the latest overkill speed gear, but has dents in the primaries to clear a steering box.

My two cents.
I have always gotten a kick out of that one too.
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Old 07-31-2006, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cool rockin daddy
Fellas, fellas, fellas. Don't hijack my thread with some pising match over cost? I am looking for opinions on how much more a mandrel bent system will flow over a typical muffler shop bent system. I will determine if it is worth the cost to ME, or not!

Sorry about that... its good natured though, I hope.

Steve
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Old 07-31-2006, 11:44 AM
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It's all good Steve. It looks like there are no shops in the detroit area that mandrel bend their pipes anyway. So it either buying a exhaust kit and having it installed or just having them bend one up. I have a feeling it is like painting and detailing the underside of your car even though it is a driver. Really impressive when the car is on a hoist but other than that, who cares? Just don't want to be throwing away 50 horsepower (if the diff between the two is actually that much) without some research.
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