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Installing Delta's New Exhaust System  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: 03-26-2005 12:05 am
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Mark Rosenbaum
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Originally posted August 2003

======================

I finally got around to installing Delta's new high performance exhaust system on my JH. This is the system with the tubular forward muffler rather than the oval one used previously. This design, which first appeared in their January 2003 flyer, uses heavy-wall 2" OD aluminized tubing throughout, and all three elements appear to be very well made. The forward ends of the rear muffler and intermediate pipe are expanded so that the pipes will fit together, and the end of the front muffler's forward (straight) pipe is slightly expanded to fit the rear of the stock JH Y-pipe. The system comes with three clamps using 5/16" U-bolts -- reasonably heavy duty parts for the task at hand, though stronger ones (using 3/8" U-bolts) are available.

Although I can't be entirely certain, the system appears to line up with the original mounting points. The ambiguity is due to the fact that my car had a custom exhaust, similar in concept to Delta's offering, and whoever installed it elected to remove most of the original mounting points while creating new ones matching the components they installed. I ended up having to create a couple of fairly involved custom brackets to hold things up. Anyone whose exhaust mounts have been molested will doubtless have a similar need. Handy tip: corrugated cardboard is ideal for making bracket templates and can be cut while under the car with a cheap pair of scissors.

Anyone with a non-factory exhaust system will want to check their Y-pipe and acquire any necessary adapters before installing the Delta system. In my case, the PO removed the rear of the stock Y-pipe and welded a 2" pipe between it and the old forward muffler. The expanded end of the Delta front muffler's forward pipe wouldn't quite fit this, so I had to cut off the expanded section and attach the muffler to the stub of the tube on the Y-pipe using a coupler and an additional clamp. As the front of the entire exhaust system is attached to the car only by this joint, I decided to use two heavy (3/8" U-bolt) clamps here.

I understand that a lot of people who have purchased the Delta exhaust have ended up cutting off the expanded end of the front muffler's forward pipe, so it may be that the amount of expansion currently provided there is not sufficient.

If I'd had a suitable power saw such as a Sawz-all(tm), I could have removed the old system in two minutes or less, but I had to do things the hard way, with a hacksaw. Due to the cramped conditions under the car, and the fact that I had to cut both behind the Y-pipe and just forward of the rear axle, this took about an hour. Advice for anyone in a similar situation: use a NEW hacksaw blade.

I advise anyone installing Delta's system to do a trial fit of all the bits before trying to install things on the car. In my case, the joint between the forward muffler and the intermediate pipe was so tight that it would not have been possible to adjust relative angles while under the car. A professional installer will have a tool that solves the problem in a couple of seconds, but I had to spend about 20 minutes with files and emery cloth.

Installation can be done by a single person provided that s/he is able to lift the various pieces while flat on their back under the car. One starts by attaching the forward muffler to the Y-pipe, then works toward the rear. If the joints are just loose enough to allow part rotation, and if all the mounting brackets line up, then everything fits together well, and this can be done in less than half an hour. One then installs the clamps between pieces, and tightens first the mounting bracket hardware, then the clamps. After a check for leaks, and for clearance between rear axle and intermediate pipe during extremes of suspension movement, one is done.

The sound of the Delta exhaust is quite impressive. It's very noticeable while driving, but not _quite_ loud enough to be an annoyance. It has a deep and fairly mellow rumble that's pitched about an octave lower than the worn-out system my car had. Likely my memory is faulty, but I'd compare the sound to that from a 4-cylinder Offenhouser engine from a 1950s Indianapolis car.

On a more prosaic note, every engine misfire -- which seems to happen perhaps once a minute in my case -- is now distinctly audible. About a dozen strange rattles and buzzes that I hadn't realized were exhaust-related have also vanished. I also found that slight changes in the car's mixture and synchronization settings were necessary, but it's not certain that this was caused by the new exhaust system.

In conclusion, then, I think that Delta's new system is definitely worth its price. Installation is simple enough to be done at home if all the stock exhaust mounting points are still in place, but if there are any problems in that area, it's definitely worth paying a muffler shop to do the job.

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 Posted: 06-28-2005 04:57 pm
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kneff
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Mark,

Was no welding required? I thought that, as delivered, some welding would be required to assemble the system. I'm trying to decide what to do with my exhaust system, and I'd prefer a solution I could do myself. I have no welding equipment or expertise, so ...

Right now, I have what I've been told is a Delta header attached via an oversized (sleeve) pipe - welded at both ends - to a straight pipe that is itself attached to the 1-into-2 pipe that leads to the intermediate muffler. From that point back, everything is stock. The welds between the intermediate muffler and the pipes from it to the rear muffler have given way, the mounting bracket for the intermediate muffler is missing, and the pipes that go up and over the rear axle are banging on the left rear suspension bump stop.

What I'd really like to do is to remove everything aft of the oversized (sleeve) pipe and use that pipe to attach to an aftermarket - Delta or JHPS - system.

If the oversized (sleeve) pipe used to link the header to the straight pipe (replacement for front muffler) hadn't been welded at both ends, I could just unbolt everything and remove it. As it is, I'm thinking of hacksawing through the oversized pipe (as far rearward as possible) and reusing it to attach whatever system I end up with.

Advice and suggestions most welcome!


Thanks,
Ken

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 Posted: 06-28-2005 07:51 pm
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Mark Rosenbaum
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No welding was required.  All the joints in the Delta system stay together with nothing more than heavy-duty U-clamps.  I torqued these (to 5-8 ft-lb IIRC) during installation and so far none have even started to loosen.

At the front, I used a coupler to slip over the rear of the Y pipe and the somewhat shortened front of the Delta input pipe.  A photo of this area is attached.  If this is similar to your sleeve, then you may be able to remove any pipe remnants from the rear of the sleeve, and slide the Delta input pipe right in.  An expander or reducer might also be necessary.

I'll caution that the rear edges of the chrome exhaust tips remain razor sharp even two years after installation.

Attachment: Exhaust front.jpg (Downloaded 100 times)

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 Posted: 06-28-2005 08:25 pm
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Mitch Ware
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I've been using the delta system from the exhast gasket all the way back. It wen't on easily, it fit without any modifications, it does not drag, and it doesn't rattle. On top of that it looks good and sounds good.

As you can tell, I've been quite pleased.

Mitch Ware
1974 JH-5 #111119670
1971 TR-6 #CC66950LO

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 Posted: 08-05-2005 11:42 pm
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kneff
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Mark, you wouldn't happen to have any undercar photos of the exhaust system after installation, would you?

I purchased the Delta system recently. I've cut off (too much rust to unclamp and remove) the rear half of the old system. My front pipe (straight pipe in place of front muffler) is still welded to the Delta header via a sleeve pipe. I don't want to remove it until I've test-fitted the new system.

On the Delta system, the front pipe (including resonator) has a ~ 30 degree bend in it. I can't see why, but I haven't test-fitted yet. I thought some pics of an installed system might help.

Thanks,
Ken

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 Posted: 08-06-2005 02:20 pm
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Mark Rosenbaum
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Ken,
The front muffler installs directly to the rear of the Y pipe, with its bent section horizontal and to the rear, allowing the intermediate pipe to loop over the rear axle instead of the differential.  The front muffler connects to the straight end of the intermediate pipe, which in turn loops over the rear axle with its curved part facing to the rear.  These must be oriented so that there are no interference problems -- it will be tight, with 1/4" clearance or less in some cases.  The rear silencer then connects to the intermediate pipe so that its chrome tips face rearward with the rearmost edge of the tips to the top.

Attached is a composite photo showing (1) the orientation for the front muffler, and (2) the junction between the rear of the intermediate pipe and the rear silencer.  This may clarify things a bit.

Attachment: exh composite.jpg (Downloaded 121 times)

Last edited on 08-06-2005 02:22 pm by Mark Rosenbaum

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 Posted: 05-13-2006 09:09 pm
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John Harriott
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I tightened everything and went for the first test drive.  There is a resonance at 3000 rpm and a slight misfilre.  I think the mixture needs adjusting.  Mark, you mentioned you adjusted your mixture - did you make it leaner or richer?

 

Thanks,

John

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 Posted: 05-13-2006 10:17 pm
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Mark Rosenbaum
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At this late date all I can say with certainty is that I re-balanced the carbs and set the mixture on each according to the procedure in section C11 of the shop manual -- lifting the vacuum valve on each one a small distance, noting whether the engine speeds up or slows down, and making the mixture leaner or richer respectively.  IIRC I had to go through the whole process several times before everything seemed satisfactory.  If in doubt, err on the rich side.

Another thing to do, particularly if the engine seems to be missing a lot, is to verify the points gap and reset it if necessary.

I don't know of any inherent mechanical resonances in the Delta exhaust system, though if one of the mufflers were defective, perhaps with a loose internal baffle, you might experience that sort of thing.  I suggest putting the car on jack stands and seeing if an application of brute force via prybar to the engine and exhaust plumbing can create any condition where something makes contact with the bodywork.  If so, try loosening the clamps and moving the exhaust components so that contact no longer occurs.  If that doesn't help, check your transmission mount, engine mounts, and engine damper, in that order, and replace whatever has failed or rotted with age.

 

Last edited on 05-13-2006 10:19 pm by Mark Rosenbaum

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 Posted: 05-27-2006 06:11 am
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Jim DeClerck
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About 2 1/2 years ago while driving with the top down at freeway speeds to a Club Christmas party (OK, I admit I was wearing a jacket while driving) I checked the cockpit sound level with a Radio Shack meter I had purchased for ROM auditory hazard use at work.  The meter reading exceeded 100 dB.  A sustained sound level of 85 dB or higher is considered to be damaging to unprotected ears. 

The sharpness of the exhaust note coming from the 20 year old Monza exhaust system caused me to finally order a new system from Delta.  I had the Delta system installed by a shop near my office and it is much easier on the ears.

The only thing I would ask Delta to change on this system is the angle of the twin tips.  I think they would look much "cooler" if they were angled slightly upward, like the Monza, rather than the straight back current orientation.

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 Posted: 07-11-2006 04:01 pm
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mdutch
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First, thanks for the re-post from the old board.  This kind of archive is extremely valuable!

Second, has anyone had experience with a Thrusmaster exhaust?  Those throaty pipes are music to my ears.

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 Posted: 07-11-2006 06:04 pm
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John Kimbrough
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Some time ago I replaced the Monza muffler/tailpipe system with a Delta straight through system - had Midas install it.  Along with a nice roar from the pipe now, for no extra cost I also got a metallic clicking sound from the system as it heats and cools.  It virtually never stops from the time I start the engine to well after I shut it off.  Although I can't hear it while driving, it speaks to me at stop lights and in the garage. 

Anyone out there have the same sounds.  Any thoughts on what could be causing it and how to get rid of it???

Thanks, John. 

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 Posted: 07-11-2006 06:24 pm
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Mark Rosenbaum
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I hear a few thermal contraction 'tink' sounds from a hot exhaust when I shut the car down after a long drive, but nothing peculiar during operation.  Possibly there's a loose baffle or something inside your muffler or resonator.  Maybe you could localize the noise with the aid of a mechanic's stethescope.

If it didn't occur when the engine was off, I'd also suggest that it might be related to a lack of clearance somewhere, combined with engine vibration.

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 Posted: 07-12-2006 03:19 pm
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John Kimbrough
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Well, Mark, I will probably just live with the "clink" or "tink".  Just knowing where it is will not be much satisfaction and if it is internal to the muffler, not much I can do about it except replace the unit - not likely.

As always, thanks for sharing.  John.

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 Posted: 07-13-2006 03:35 pm
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mdutch
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What would all of you vote as the "best" exhaust system for a street car?
I know the Delta is popular, and the Flowmaster sounds like JAWS, but are there others out there?

I guess the Delta's advantage is you don't have to custom-fit anything, which certainly adds to cost.  But what's the "dream" exhaust system for a 907?

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