Building Stainless Steel Exhaust system, level of pain and technical
I'm wanting to build one of those "vetterman" or "skydynamics" SS header systems, and was wondering what the most difficult part of the system is to build. I'm thinking bending or shaping stack pipes is the most challenging, and wonder if a die is required to heat and bend the 321 SS tubing with collapsing walls.
Has anyone built a SS header system ie 2 - 3 into 1 or 6 into 1 system for an IO-540? thanks
I ran a muffler shop for close to twenty years. From what I've seen of the Vetterman systems they should be fairly easy for a competent exhaust man to fabricate. A couple of caveats- for maintaining a constant diameter in the bends, you'll want a "mandrel bent" pipe- not the more usual die bent. Also, given the price of stainless steel tubing (used to be in the neighborhood of 5-6 X the regular steel) I'd recommend you build a system out of steel first and work out any problems with that first- when you are done you'll have a workable pattern to replicate
EAA Staff / Moderator
Building a template first is definitely the best way to start. The exhaust is a simple one though, and I plan to do the same thing when I get to the point of needing one for my Tailwind. The Vetterman exhaust is VERY nice, I had a 4-2 on my RV-7 from Larry. I just had a look at Dave Conrad's Tailwind a week ago, and he built his own exhaust in the Vetterman style, turned out great! 499DC exhaust3.jpgDave Conrad's W10 016.jpgDave Conrad's W10 010.jpg