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First-Gen Camaro Exhaust - Flowing Low
Our Slammed F-Body Gets A Set Of Cool Pipes That Are Sure Not To Be A Smashing Hit
Sep 1, 2000
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First-Gen Camaro Exhaust - Flowing Low
The suspension of our Classical Resurrection Camaro has been tuned to give a cool stance and, we're sure, terrific handling. But, you might wonder, how are we going get a free-breathing exhaust system to fit beneath the lowered underbelly without major clearance problems? The answer comes in the form of this dual-exhaust, single-muffler Flowmaster system designed to tuck neatly under a lowered first-generation Camaro. Add in a set of shorty Hedman headers and speed bumps should be no problem.
The Flowmaster system comes complete from headpipe to exit tips. The 2 1/2-inch heavy-duty aluminized tubing is mandrel bent and features an H-pipe connection and a large single muffler, which essentially mounts in the stock location. Tips come straight out the back, but in our case, we had them modified so they would dump out right after the rear tires.
The shorty headers from Hedman worked perfectly for this application. The collector ends right at the area where the firewall meets the floor. This allows the headpipe to be mounted as close to the underneath of the floor as possible, for maximum ground clearance.
Our headers came silver coated for maximum corrosion resistance.
Here's the headpipe coming off of the collector. Note how tucked up the combination is. A standard three-bolt flange adapts one to the other. This was the starting point for our expert exhaust fabricator, Craig Watts of The Muffler Man shop. The first step was to get the correct angle and tighten it in place.
From there, Craig lined up the first length of tubing under the floor. His goal was to keep it as far up as possible without allowing it to make contact.
With a stand holding the rear of the driver's side pipe, Craig MIG welded it to the short piece of tubing coming from the collector.
With the angle of the welded head pipe determined, Craig welded the three-hole flange in place...
...then used a grinder to smooth out the weld material as much as possible. With the collector flange welded in place, the pipes will always be in the same position, and the likelihood of getting exhaust leaks is diminished.
The headpipe was then bolted to the header and Craig set off to complete the rest of the system.
With both headpipes welded and bolted in place, the next step was to fit the intermediate pipes. Flowmaster sends this section welded together with a balance, or H-pipe, already installed. This helps equal out the exhaust pulses and makes for a cool sound.
A small level is used to make sure the intermediate pipe is installed flat, not twisted. It's attention to detail like this that separates an adequate exhaust system that will do the job from a well-built one that a cool custom car deserves to have.
The dual-inlet/dual-outlet single muffler fits nicely in the stock location. Note the heat shield on the backside that will help dissipate the muffler's temperature where it faces the gas tank. The inlet pipes go up and over the rearend.
The inlet pipes go between the intermediate H-pipe and the muffler. Here Craig trial fits the pieces together. Note that every connection will be welded and that no muffler clamps will be used. The Flowmaster kit does, however, come with clamps so you can remove the system if necessary.
Here's a great shot of how exacting the mandrel bends are. This is the pipe that goes from the intermediate to the muffler.
The tailpipe comes from Flowmaster designed long enough to go straight out the back just inside the rear lower quarter-panel. Since our Camaro has a pretty good size 17-inch tire coupled with a 2-inch de-arched leaf spring, we chose to have the pipe cut and angled down so it dumped out right after the rear tire.
Craig made sure that all of the strategic points of the Flowmaster system had an appropriate hanger installed.
At this position, under the floor, the rear seat was removed and a hole was drilled in the floor so a bolt could be used to secure the rubber-mounted hanger.
Craig used the utmost care when welding the joints together, not only to be safe, but also so that our hard work at detailing the perpetual Classical Resurrection project was not in vain.
At each tailpipe section, a hanger was welded on to the pipe and it was attached to a polyurethane bushing mounted in the unibody. This will give the pipe a little give, but since it was a tight fit, won't allow it too much so that it vibrates against the underbelly or rearend.
Initially, Craig tack welded all of the parts to the system in place and then went back to fully weld the joints. Here's the final weld on the right exit pipe.
In this view, with the gas tank removed, you can see how the Flowmaster system tucks in place and avoids any humps or suspension components for a smooth and consistent fit.
Craig uses high-temp silver paint from Plasti-kote to dress all of the welds. This not only makes the system look good, but will also help prevent rust and corrosion.
Here's the finished tip and the complete assemblage of pipes in place.
All we can say is that if this exhaust system sounds half as good as it looks, we'll be happy. Hopefully, we'll be able to fire this puppy up real soon, and then...Stay tuned!
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