No announcement yet.

The Smaller Side

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • The Smaller Side

    Today, weíll be exploring some of the smaller things around the shop. After all, itís not the size that counts, itís the effort you put behind the work.

    When it comes to fabrication, big or small, weíre here to get the job done right. Our first example of a ďsmallĒ job is on our client Kenís E60 M5. Heís a big fan of the drags, and has taken his ten-cylinder behemoth onto the strip on several occasions, posting some surprisingly great times. However, there are always steps that can be taken to shave off a few fractions of a second. His full aftermarket exhaust, while being lighter than stock, is still carrying weight that contributes to a slower ET and trap speed. For that reason, he brought the car to FMUís fabrication department, where we are creating a set of very short turn-downs that come right off the header.

    As you can see below, itís not going to be very large at all, but that doesnít mean weíll be shortcutting the welding or anything like that. It will still be backpurged with inert gas and TIG welded to perfection. The flanges were milled in-house from billet, as well. It should also help the S85 throw some gnarly fireballs, which is a shame only because heíll be dirtying up what is undoubtedly the cleanest E60 M5 underbody weíve come across. Weíll have the finished product up here for you soon.

    Now, speaking of doing the job right, another E60 M5 rolled through the shop this week. When we put it up on the lift, we were surprised to see a bit of on-the-quick exhaust work. When youíre looking to prioritize cost efficiency over the final product, thereís going to be a sacrifice in quality. Depending on where you go, that sacrifice can manifest in different ways. On this setup, in which part of the OEM midsection (the secondary cats) was cut out and replaced with a MIG-welded section of straight pipe, the two new pieces of steel were braced by a piece of steel rebar. Rebar, as you may know, is used primarily for reinforcing concrete. Even though itís a small piece, itís still rebar in an exhaust system. So, thereís thatÖ

    In the OEM midsection, there is a small inward bend in the pipes, where the exhaust is bolted to a cross-brace on either side of the piping. In this case, the muffler shop that did the work found out that replacing this kink with straight piping wouldnít provide enough room for the braces to be reattached, at least somewhat the same manner as before. They decided to modify the cross-brace instead, cutting a square hole into it and jamming a rubber exhaust hanger between the two pipes, sealing it off with a bolt. It works, kind of, but the new hole in the cross-brace was not covered, which can lead to unwanted oxidation on the surface of the exposed metal. It also doesnít look very nice. As weíve stressed before, you get what you pay for when it comes to fabrication work; yes, quick and easy might be cheaper, but itís also something that you wouldnít want to put on display at a car show.

    Letís move on to other, less depressing small things, shall we? This E90 M3 rolled into the shop last week for some pre-emissions work. We took a couple sideways glances at the exterior, as we thought it looked familiar, but itís pretty much your garden variety, stock appearance M3 sedan.

    However, after entering the car, the appearance of one small trinket reminded us exactly where weíd seen this car before ó it was ours! Last year, we sold the E90 M3 after weíd run our course developing the velocity stack system. Since then, it went between a couple dealerships and was sold off. Now, though, itís back for a bit of service work. Remember how we had the Aquamist HFS-3 water-methanol system installed on the car? Well, when it came time to remove it, we had to plug a hole in the center console that was left over from the Aquamist power switch. So we milled our own small ///M button and called it a day. Seeing as how ours is the only M3 to have that, itís a pretty dead giveaway. Itís always nice to see old faces.

    Finally, we move to a job thatís only small in terms of the time thatís devoted to it every day. Tom isnít about to stop work during business hours to work on his Z32 Nissan 300ZX, so he devotes an hour or so every night to the build once the day is over. Even with that small timeframe, he keeps making leaps and bounds in his build. Last time we looked at his engine bay, he was working on smoothing out the newly-laid body filler in preparation for painting the engine bay. Now, heís made good progress on that front, and things are moving closer and closer to the paint booth, metaphorically speaking (he has the car on jackstands, so it canít actually move). Canít wait to see a fresh coat of paint on this engine bay; between this and the actual wire tuck he has planned, this car will be a show-stopper.

    Thatís it for today! Have a great day, and weíll see you back here tomorrow!

    Originally posted by Oxer
    I'm pretty sure I will molest any exhaust systems you leave lying around

  • #2
    M is the most expensive letter of the alfabet...

    BMW M5 V8 1993
    Slowtoys CC