A new exhaust for your Ford
Written by Matt, aka PZG302
So you want to upgrade your exhaust?
This is a look at what work goes into a quality installation of an exhaust system. I have replaced the standard Ford system on my Ute with a 2½” cat back sports system. I did look at a full system with extractors, high flow cat and sports mufflers, but couldn’t really justify the money for what is essentially a work car.
After looking at my options, including buying a Redback mandrel bent cat back system of E-bay and talking to the guys at Ultimate Performance Exhaust at Brendale, I went to them to get a system fitted.
What I got fitted was a 2½” cat back system with Redback muffler and Redback resonator with a Chrome twin tip. The system is a press bent system and custom fabricated to suit.
One trap to watch out for with pre manufactured systems like those done by Redback is the fit, like suits, off the shelf rarely fits like tailor made. Whilst there is a slight disadvantage in press bending over mandrel bending for flow through the pipe for my application it is not a problem. There would be a good chance that a premade system would have to be modified to fit around the tow bar, or not leave enough room if I change my steel spare wheel for a 17” alloy rim.
For a race system mandrel bends would be done to minimise any flow restrictions that could hurt power.
Fitting the Exhaust
Standard System before removal.
Cutting existing exhaust.
Standard system removed by oxy torch.
Cutting pipe back to Cat outlet. New system will slide over and be welded.
Ends of muffler and resonator trimmed, again joints will slip over and be welded.
Trimmed end being prepared for slip joint.
Muffler positioned under car for best fit.
Cutting the first section of pipe to length.
Trial fit of pipe to see what bends are required and where.
Bending up the pipe in the press.
Initial fitting and tag weld to hold in place.
Once pipe and muffler are in the correct position the pipe is fully welded.
Front joint at cat.
Weld at muffler.
Resonator in place ready for tip to be welded on.
A twin outlet tip was fitted just to finish the system off nicely.
Finally the whole system, except for tip was painted black, as well as look good, it protects the welds from rusting.
Twin tip fitted for a finishing touch.
Painting the system to protect from corrosion.
The End Result
The ute now has a subtle growl at idle that develops into a nice note as the revs rise. The exhaust is not boomy at cruising speed and lets people know you are around without having to sound like a boy racer.
The finishing touches, like the tip and the painted exhaust give the ute a look that is clean and simple. It doesn’t need a huge dump pipe out the back screaming “BOOK ME”
As for performance, it feels a little better in terms of pick up, but if I did a before and after dyno run I’d be surprised if there was more than a couple of kW difference.
The car certainly sounds better, though nothing near as loud as the 240Z race car. It is also a bit quieter than the Fairlane, which runs a 2¼” twin system with a muffler on each pipe and has that rumble only a V8 can have.
Special thanks must go to Scott and Dave at Ultimate Performance Exhaust for letting me wander around the shop taking photos and generally trying to keep out of the way. The service they provide is excellent and I can thoroughly recommend them for any exhaust work from simple repairs to fabricating extractors for competition vehicles.
The contact details are: