Aluminum Exhaust?

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TanManS14
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Aluminum Exhaust?

Post by TanManS14 » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:01 pm

Was thinking of doing an aluminum exhaust, not concerned about the sound, but it would be nice to save the weight, plus i like welding aluminum.

A few of my buddies said that one of the full race something or other cars had an aluminum exhaust, and that it caught on fire at the track because of it. Now obviously the aluminum isnt going to burn, so i assume that they must have had something flammable, fuel line, etc close to the exhuast?

-Any thoughts on this/ anyone who has had an aluminum exhaust and REALLY beat on it at the track have any experience with how hot it gets? Obviously i would do a steel downpipe until around under my seat or so. Just didnt seem to me that by the time it got that far back it would really get THAT hot. Idears welcome/ speculation welcome.
Last edited by TanManS14 on Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by marko76 » Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:43 pm

I'm not sure but I thing Aluminum melts around 1220° F. I have never thought much about it, but maybe if you added it far enough back... possibly even added some cooling fins?
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Post by Walperstyle » Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:27 am

I wouldn't use soft metals for exhaust. Why not just do side pipe like all race cars?

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Post by marko76 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:34 am

NO I'VE GOT IT!!! Titanium!!!! 8)
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Post by TanManS14 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:39 am

Yea, and there's no way the exhaust gets near that hot. I dont want to do a side pipe because it will be retarded loud, and i want it to be at least somewhat street able, and not completely annoying if going on long rides. Much more likely to get pulled over with a ***** side pipe than an exhuast. I did consider having it come out before the rear wheel, but that'll also be **** ground clearance to boot. So idk.

Haha, i dont even know where to buy titanium at. And if i did, i wouldnt have enough lol. It would be awesome though.
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Post by Jmcc » Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:48 am

after the down pipe use a thin mild steel not as light as aluminum. but lighter than most
and just make your own muffler out of aluminum. to keep the weight down.

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Post by TinyT » Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:23 am

I dont know why anyone would say dont use aluminum. run a stainless downpipe and then aluminum all the way out the back.
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Post by Jordan Gladman » Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:09 am

http://www.titaniumjoe.com/

Use titanium. If you're doing an straight pipe exhaust for an S13, you only need 2 bends. You can either miter and tig the tube to get your bends or use stainless corners that the Ti pressure fits into. Either way, you can make a super light exhaust out of Ti and it will stand up. I think the biggest problem you're going to have with aluminum is the lack of strength, you'd probably flatten your exhaust completely if you ever bottomed it out.
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Post by TanManS14 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:54 am

Dosnt look like they have 4in on that site, only 3.5 for the time being. I didnt think about it crushing from bottoming out, but i plan to tuck it up as far as i can.

Tiny-That's what i was thinkin. I think that car must've been put it next to a fuel line.

Jmcc- im not all that stoked on mild, honestly i think mild is still relatively heavy in comparison to al at least. I had a mild down pipe and inter cooler piping, and im done with that jazz, it rusts. As far as the aluminum muffler i thought that would def be fun to make. 5 in pipe, perforate a pipe inside it, tac it to it, then make 4 in in and out.

That's a pretty sick site though Jordan, i figure id need roughly 8ft or so, for that it'd be around 240 bucks, which wouldn't be to bad actually. Any of you guys ever welded ti? And it welds pretty easy to steel flanges and whatnot as well?
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Post by Freise » Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:10 pm

I think the issue with Aluminum is how it absorbs heat rather quickly and gets a bit more brittle than steel at higher temps. People do it, it just isn't a long lasting solution
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Post by TanManS14 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:16 pm

Jordan raised a good point with it bottoming out, but as long as im able to tuck the exhaust up well i wont see why it wouldnt last.

240 bucks aint bad, so when i got to do it i'll check and see if they have any 4in in stock, if they do i'll prolly do ti. Plus it'd be fun to weld im sure. Pretty colors.
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Post by 8-bit » Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:34 pm

A guy I know who builds and races rally cars actually makes his turbo manifolds out of aluminum. He then coats in nickel and then in ceramic.

He is willing to make me a ka-t manifold, and for a great price. I've been looking to see if anyone else does it, but I can't find any. He told me the ka-t that his shop sponsors is still rocking and functional (and is a drift race car i think), and that his 550whp WRX that gets pounded on is still functional as well....

I know this isn't exactly the same topic, but I'm curious what others on here might discuss on the issue.

As it stands I would not trust aluminum alone as a turbo manifold, but what I learned in chemistry is that ceramics are amazing insulators --- there is a fairly good chance that the aluminum never sees any temps close to doing any damage...
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Post by TanManS14 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:39 pm

Hmm. Any idea on how costly the coatings are? That definitely is interesting. Any pics or anything of the manifold being fabbed up? What wall thickness aluminum? Never heard of an exhaust mani. Pretty crazy, and i know they dont make mandrel aluminum after a certain ID, atleast as far as i've been able to find. Havent found madrels under 2in. Maybe im wrong though.
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Post by Jmcc » Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:17 pm

i have seen ppl use mild steel for manifolds also. they don't crack like stainless.
and is cheaper. aluminum, i have seen it before i just have to remember where i found it at.

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Post by TinyT » Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:11 pm

Freise wrote:I think the issue with Aluminum is how it absorbs heat rather quickly and gets a bit more brittle than steel at higher temps. People do it, it just isn't a long lasting solution
you must know more than this guy.

http://www.higherarcing.org/home

does most of his exhausts out of aluminum and makes his own mufflers
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Post by TryingToTurbo » Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:17 pm

Here is what happened to the Full-Race car according to Geoff at Full-Race....This post is taken directly from his build thread on Nissan Road Racing...
Full-Race Geoff wrote: hey guys - yes driver and car are just fine, we got the fire out right after it started and virtually no damage!

AFTER the race was finished, on the cooldown lap, the aluminum exhaust just couldnt take the huge thermal shocks anymore and gave out - puncturing a powersteering line. what happened from there is the hot exhaust gasses came out and lit p/s fluid on fire, under the car. Fortuantely the fire was out of the drivers compartment, engine bay and trunk, just under the belly pan. We got it under control and nothing a good detail wont fix in fact i drove the car into the shop that night - no problems at all.

in the future - the exhaust will be vented directly out the hood. this would keep all heat away from flammable fluids and compartments, it provides front downforce under load AND in the event of an engine failure it will not get oil under the tires - only in the air. a win-win.

i will never use aluminum exhaust on anything but a dedicated drag car again.
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Post by Jordan Gladman » Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:57 pm

Makes sense, aluminum gets hot fast and holds heat like no tommorrow.
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Post by Alonso » Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:19 pm

Ti can't be welded to dissimilar metals. That's the main thing that turned me away from it.

Also any color is unaccceptable. Only silver and light gold/straw is acceptable. JDM fanboys don't seem to mind tho :lol:
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Post by keytops » Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:41 pm

What you dont use flanges?
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Post by TanManS14 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:55 pm

Yea dude its just one of those totally custom air flanges, u just leave it open and it travels to the other pipe.:roll:

No you have to get a TI flange as Alonso so kindly mentioned, which im sure would probably be pretty damn expensive. Then id have to practice on it and waste material lol. Hmm.

-I dont even want to see how much a TI filler would be, not to mention the fact that id prolly never use the filler again and it would just sit in the garage and stagnate.

Tryingtoturbo- did that thread show where that elbow was relative to the turbo? It looks to be very close, either right off the turbo, or directly after the decent of the downpipe. Either one of these are pretty damn close. Seems like it must be the turbo unless he's got a weirdly placed power steering cooler. Also idk why you would heat wrap it. He may have been trying to keep the exhaust velocity up, or protect that power steering line from burning who knows, but not allowing the aluminum to cool is kinda asking for it imo.
Last edited by TanManS14 on Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:01 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Post by Jordan Gladman » Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:57 pm

That wasnt my post, not sure where that is from.

As for flanges, dont bother. You can buy stainless sleeve kits that use a wound up piece of thin gauge stainless and some T-bolt clamps to hold the pipe in place. You basically slide the Ti tube into the sleeve and tighten it in place.
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Post by TanManS14 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:01 pm

Sorry, Trying to turbo, his name is jordan as well. Lol. Didnt think about it. And they seal pretty well i suppose? Any pics of one? Is it baisically the same concept as a normal exhuast clamp? Relying on crushing the sleeve?
Last edited by TanManS14 on Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Jordan Gladman » Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:13 pm

Not at all, I've used them a couple times to save some trouble, but I dont bother anymore because flanges are cheaper.

You can get them at trucking suppliers, they're used on tractor trailers to hold on their big stacks so you can get them cheap in 3" and 4", $30 each or so IIRC.

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Post by TanManS14 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:14 pm

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Post by Jordan Gladman » Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:16 pm

As an alternative, I learned a trick where you can use a hack saw and make a relief cut 3-4" long in the pipe and use a pair of t-bolt clamps to hold the pipe in place. This method is cheaper and works quite well with a bit of high temp RTV.

PS. The neuspeed exhaust on my S2K is held together like this. :wink:
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Post by efeezi » Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:05 pm

Ive built quite a few aluminum exhuasts with no issues. However only one was actually a daily driven car but still had no issues. The only time I had a issue was when i did an aluminum dp, it managed to distort itself pretty good
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Post by TanManS14 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:21 pm

Hmm, that's good to hear. Id really be curious to see how quickly heat dissipates after the downpipe. Anyone ever had a EGT gauge that far back? Im sure no one has since it would defeat the purpose of measuring egt's lol, gotta ask though. Maybe i'll just do it and tap an EGT after the downpipe and log, if it gets to hot i'll do steel or TI.
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Post by Jackasknissan » Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:50 pm

im doing an alunimum exhaust prolly use v-band

make sure to isolate it from ALL vibration..

where your hanger goes you put a sheet patch over the pipe then weld on the hanger to the patch., this way it distributes the load a bit more, and wont crack.
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Post by Jordan Gladman » Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:52 pm

If I was going to do an alum exhaust, Id save it for the last 4-6 feet. go as far as the back of the OEM cat location with steel then finish with alum.

I personally toyed with the idea of doing a super light 2" exhaust from the downpipe back and running a cutout at the bottom of the downpipe, this way once you're on the throttle, you're cutting the gas out pre-alum exhaust and you have a light exhaust the rest of the time.
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Post by Jackasknissan » Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:54 pm

im going from where the cat stars back.

froward of that is 4.5 X2.5 oval tubing,( clearance) then 3.5 inch from the turbo to there
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