Saturday, July 17, 2010

Custom Exhaust System

Ever heard of a badly modified exhaust sound? It's noisy and annoying; this is exactly how it sounded when my BB Lion's exhaust pipe cracks. The sound is horrible, the performance drops and it's a shame on the road, plus for those that didn't know, will thought you modified your car and wants to race you! The cracks happen on weekday and I have to endure the whole week until the weekend before I can get it repaired.

To cut the story short, in total the crack happen 3 times, each happen after some time of the previous repair, and the cracks happen on the same line after the crack as if it will break apart. After repairing the cracks on my exhaust pipe twice, finally I change the whole Exhaust System on the third crack.

For the first incident, since it was repaired, I decided to change when it happen again, but the second time it happen at not-so-good time where festive season is near and when I'm busy. So, after getting the quotation of the price from a recommended reputable workshop "Ah Heng" in Subang, I get it repaired first temporarily.

The 1st & 2nd Crack:

The 3rd crack (this one is real bad, almost as if it's breaking apart):

Close up:

My Repair History Episode:
My first repair visit was some exhaust shop in Sunway, I was quoted RM500++ for a set of Stainless Steel Exhaust System (excluding the Catalytic Converter). It was "really" cheap. During the first incident, I have also surveyed and remember one of our members, Dacmo (Donovan) have blog about a good workshop (Torque Gear) which does his RX7 and he also owns a 206. After checking with him, he suggested me to check with Everco in Sunway. Tough, in the end, I didn't take the time to go there.

My 2nd repair visit to "Ah Heng" in Subang, I was quoted around RM1500 for a set of Stainless Steel Exhaust System (excluding the Catalytic Converter). The price was quite surprising as it was triple the price of the previous quote I get, but the product/material quality and workmanship is very important in this case. Was thinking of checking out Jaafar and also Everco to get their quote, but in the end, also didn't took the time to do it.

Current Episode:
Cutting short again, basically in the end I went to Torque Gear in Sunway, which I found out was also belongs to/partner of "Ah Heng" in Subang. The reason I choose Sunway is because it is easier to access and less traffic congestion issue. Now here's the funny part: there was no Shop Name/Banner, when I reach, the shop hasn't open and I actually round a few times around the area looking for it. In case you're looking for it, it's just next to Beemerholics.

The boss name is Andrew, a friendly and nice chap. Now, here's the difference from the other 2 shop. Andrew checks through my BB Lion and explain some minor technical to me. Later, he went into his office, did some drawings and start explaining many things about exhaust modifications to me and also providing few options with different pricing for me to choose. The modding options can affect your powerband, whether you want to shift the powerband lower or higher or stock standard depending on individual preferences. To avoid me giving wrong explanation or confusing explanation, it's best for you to consult Mr. Andrew (no, not the blackdolphin) directly if you're interested in modding the exhaust system.

Basically, since I drive mostly in the city and I prefer to have more torque at lower rpm, I opt for the mod that is close to stock standard; Of course, this is in theory, the actual we will need to dyno it to find out. Due to my setup which the materials (pipe diameter) does not have local version and have to opt for imported product, it's the most expensive option of all. In total, it cost around RM1.5K (similar to what previously "Ah Heng" quoted). Damage to the pocket, but the workmanship is really good.

The Custom System Starts After The Catalytic Converter

The Cat (Meow):

Stock Peugeot 206 GTi Muffler:


The Joint (Before touch-up):

The Sound:
I was also asked if I would like some "sound". As I don't really fancy these exhaust sound, especially inside the car when you're dragging your car in 1 gear higher, it's horrible, so I opt for the "quiet" version. I prefer engine sound, that's the real roar, especially when you install an open pod, that's the real nice and fierce roar. No offense but, exhaust sound sounded like 'fart' to me; It's different from engine sound and have this rhythm which sounds like 'fart', well after all, it's similar concept, the release of air (no pun intended).

I've sat in a friend's car with modded exhaust, it's really horrible experience. Funny thing is, he have also modded his sound system and installed head unit with video player. I can tell you that I'm sitting in front as passenger, and I can hardly hear the conversation from the movie, even talking and listening to one another is hard. It's worst when he tries to overtake a car, not to mention that his car is auto transmission, so imagine as he floor the accelerator and the "loudness" inside the car, it's like we're inside a subwoofer.

Nonetheless, it's not like I don't like the exhaust sound at all, I do like those that sounded "manly" and not over. I have heard few cars which have such nice sound, not necessarily from expensive cars, even many low end local cars have done good mod with nice deep "manly" sound.

Before the final process, Mr. Andrew asked me again whether I would like a little bit "sound", so I said, a little bit is OK, and also confirmed with him that it wouldn't be "loud" inside the BB Lion. Anyway, he told me not to worry as if I really don't like the sound, I can send it back and he will fix it up for me again.

Performance Issues Dilemma:
Actually, I'm also worried that the mod might alter the powerband NOT to my preference, as many of you may have notice many modded cars sounded really loud but performs badly, like what we always say "STILL THERE". They probably shifted the power band to the top end? Not sure.
Anyway, Mr. Andrew also reassures me not to worry, as if I'm not satisfied with the setup, I can send it back and they can do adjustment to the current setup. This is a really good deal and service.

Custom Mod Info:
From the whole process, the hardest part which I can see is the muffler. Due to the placement of the muffler and the exhaust tip hole at the bumper, they need to divert the exhaust tip within a very small available space. I don't know how to explain this, but that's why they say a picture worth a thousand words.

The only complain I have is... the exhaust tip is kind of too "OUT", it come out too much from the bumper, I actually prefer it inline with the bumper. I guess it's because when they were measuring and installing, they do it from the front to the back, thus in the end, the back have cramped space, and adjusting will need additional work.

Final Inspection:
Finally, it's done. Mr. Andrew did a final inspection and then gets into BB Lion, which is then being jack up for his workers to check for any possible leaks. Everything seems in order, and the sound seems quite OK to me, not too loud or slightly softer than what I expected. I was also informed that my Catalytic Converter is not in good condition. I've known this as it's been diagnose by Nasim-Peugeot Glenmarie Service Centre, but they told me that it is "wear and tear" items, thus there's no warranty.

Experience On Custom Exhaust System BB Lion:
When I first got into the exhaust modded BB Lion and as I drive it, immediately I felt a VERY big difference in the accelerator pedal.. It's so... erm... Light??? But as I drive, slowly it seems returns to normal and I can't tell the difference with before and after the mod anymore.

As for power, honestly, I also can't tell any difference, maybe there's some improvements, maybe there is no improvements, or maybe. maybe. there is some drop in performance??? No idea, unless there is a dyno of before and after. Besides, I think a little increase or drop in performance is not really noticeable, MOREOVER, many factors can affect the current performance of the car even before modding. Even with stock, sometimes, you can feel the car is less powerful, probably due to tyre pressure, or some other reason, while sometimes, you feel the car's performance in tip top condition and just keep pushing. So, I don't really know if the mod have resulted in any changes in performance, probably it did shift the power-band slightly.
Sorry for those expecting some positive or accurate answer.

The one thing that is noticeable is... of course... the sound. Funny thing is, I notice it's slightly noisier around 3~3.5K rpm, higher rpm seems not as bad. After confirming with a passenger, seems it's not that bad as it weren't really noticeable unless asked to pay attention to the sound.
Standing outside BB Lion, the exhaust sound has deeper bass, which is OK, acceptable for me.
Starting my BB Lion, sometimes it gives a nice deep bass sound, sometimes, it sounded very close to stock or normal, but if it's inside a closed environment, then it will sound better as the bass is deeper.

Overall, it will sound nice inside a closed environment (e.g. inside parking lot, car wash centre, etc).
One thing weird that I notice, when driving in the rain, the exhaust sound goes deeper and more noticeable inside BB Lion. No idea why as of this writing.

Basically, from my personal experience, if you're looking for performance increase, I'm not sure if it's noticeable unless you're looking to shift your current power-band setup to a quite different setup?
Changing to a more free-flowing or less restriction muffler might possibly make some changes, but no idea what kind of changes.

If you're looking into modding your Exhaust System, I would advice you to go for Custom unless you can find a reputable brand which fits your car; And the workmanship is very important in this case.


intermilan said...

Andy, previously, your standard exhaust pipe diameter is 2.2 inch (for sections after the catalytic converter until the back box).

Now, what is the diameter of the new pipe for these section? Maintain 2.2 inch or changed? If changed, changed to ?? inch?

My206GTi said...

Maintain back original setting. If I choose bigger diameter, it will shift the power band higher. If I choose smaller diameter, it will shift the power band lower.

Basically my setup, I'm not sure if there's any performance gain; Even if it has, probably very minor and not really noticeable?

maheswari said...

I like the red very much.....
specially the custom exhaust looks great were you got this...!

Custom Exhausts

mahesh said...

I was looking for a site for the information about Exhaust Shop and came across your site through google.Thanks for this useful information.

All about 4wheels said...

The best exhaust is the customized one so that you can choose exactly what you like. Like you, I like my muffler quiet and purring like a cat. (meaw)What you did with your car is awesome, and all new makeover on the exhaust. I should catch up and do the same...I plan to customize my jeep jeep exhaust hoping to improve mileage and performance.