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Custom Bent Exhaust System Upgrade - Thoroughly Exhausted
When aftermarket suspensions get in the way, a custom–bent exhaust system is the solution
There's no lack of performance-minded, aftermarket suspensions for your classic Ford these days, but oftentimes these components do not work with factory/aftermarket exhaust systems. With our High School Hauler '70 Mustang project, we ran into just such an issue. In the Feb. '13 issue of MM&F, we covered the installation of Total Control Products' torque arm rear suspension in our mild-mannered Mustang coupe, and while the torque arm itself did pose an issue with the driver side of the exhaust system, the subframe connector support brace that we also installed rendered the current exhaust layout unusable. The solution—a custom-made exhaust system that could weave it's way through the additional components.
When it comes to bending exhaust tubing, you can break the styles down into press bending and mandrel bending. Mandrel bending is a higher end process that maintains the internal cross section of the tubing throughout the bend, and you will find a number of custom exhaust shops that offer this type of fabrication. More commonly used is the press bending technique where there is a slight deformation of the cross section of the tubing. For the budget-minded enthusiast, this is a great option, and if you've thought ahead about the size of tubing needed for you engine's output, you won't have to worry about the cross section being diminished.
After surveying the landscape beneath our Mustang coupe, we quickly realized that a 2.5-inch tube size was not going to pass between the floor and the front torque arm mount without modifying the floor. As our coupe is only pumping out around 300-325 hp, the 2¼-inch tubing will provide more than adequate exhaust flow.
To get our Mustang back on the road, we contacted Glen Yudman at Running Great Automotive in Tampa, Florida, and set up an appointment to have the exhaust fabricated, as well as have an alignment done since we didn't perform one after installing TCP's front coilover suspension a while back. Running Great Automotive is a full-service facility that handles everything from daily driver tuneups to full restorations of classic cars. Everything is done in house, and they are located just 20 minutes from our Tampa offices. After assessing the situation beneath the car, master technician Chris Bach opted to utilize the Flowmaster mufflers we previously had on the car due to their center outlet design—the Pypes mufflers that were on the car utilized offset inlets and outlets. Luckily for us, we had the old Flowmaster mufflers that were previously on the car at our disposal. Check out the captions and photos to see how it all went together.