Lotus Elan

Stainless steel exhaust - the right sound

PostPost by: MenBret » Sat Apr 08, 2017 9:29 pm

Hello,
Re-reading Gordon Lund's Lotus Elan restoration guide, I see he mentions (page 99 of the last edition) that "some makes don't make the right sounds".
What do you think is the right exhaust to be fitted on a sprint to have a good (and reasonably neighborhood friendly :)) sound?
Thanks!
Vincent
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PostPost by: JimE » Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:11 am

I will be interested to see how members respond to your question. I have a stainless steel silencer on my Sprint and it sounds just like the original Lotus ones. On the other hand, I fitted a stainless steel one to my Plus Two and it was so quiet it spoilt the car. Happily I was able to replace it with a NOS silencer that the factory fitted towards the end of production which I bought from a friend.
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Sun Apr 09, 2017 12:15 pm

I have a full 2" TTR exhaust system (headers, pipe and silencer) on my S1. Sounds great! Here is a short video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIhCYLEToLw

This is the installation:

img_3461.jpg and


Prior to that I had a stock exhaust system and it was pittyful sounding. Plus that teeny pipe exiting the silencer coming out from under the rear bumper looked like a mistake.......

I have a real focus on the sound of an exhaust system in addition to the performance. I must have gone thru half a dozen on my Exige before I found the right balance of performance (measured on a Dyno) and sound. Luckily Jim at Tubular was friendly and kept supplying me with different versions. Ahhhh, the old days when he ran the business.
Last edited by Certified Lotus on Sun Apr 09, 2017 6:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: JimE » Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:23 pm

Funny you mentioning the Exige. When I bought mine new in 2005 I had a Stage 2 exhaust fitted which sounds brill. Recently, in shifting the original one to the loft I couldn't believe how heavy it was. Colin Chapman would have had a fit!
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PostPost by: ElanDNA » Sun Apr 09, 2017 5:24 pm

MenBret wrote:Hello,
Re-reading Gordon Lund's Lotus Elan restoration guide, I see he mentions (page 99 of the last edition) that "some makes don't make the right sounds".
What do you think is the right exhaust to be fitted on a sprint to have a good (and reasonably neighborhood friendly :)) sound?
Thanks!
Vincent

Hi
Do it and test it yourself ! :wink:
I've done it and I am very happy, with this exhaust, which is only half from stainless steel.
The sound is exciting but not too loud. It's a deep strong sound.
Inside diameter is minimal 2". Is big enough for my little engine with 162hp on dyno.
It was a great challenge to make max. Ground clearance.
Look on the flexibility in the Axis!
The damper with inlet and outlet on same side is very important.
No damper are reflectors, only absorbers.
Excuse me for the dirty bottom you can see in some pics.
Cheers Urs
00.jpg and
01.jpg and
02.jpg and

03.jpg and
04.jpg and
05.jpg and

06.jpg and
07.jpg and
Inside damper
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PostPost by: JimE » Sun Apr 09, 2017 6:29 pm

Quoting Miles Wilkins Lotus Twin Cam engine "a correct system is very important - the wrong diameter pipes and silencers will impair performance, while incorrect silencer baffling will cause back pressure which in turn will cause an engine almost to stop". I had a home brew silencer made and my engine did indeed momentarily stop which was a heart stopping moment. So I'd stick with Lotus exhaust systems made under licence which should be made to original specifications regardless of the sound.
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PostPost by: Davidb » Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:56 pm

Urs: I like the look of your system-especially the heat shield protecting the gearbox. I plan on doing that too.

I am waiting for a Dynamax muffler/silencer that looks very like what you are using-it should be here in a day or two.

I think that silencing the car enough is important-I do long rallies-only a couple a year but I have suffered serious hearing loss in the past couple of years from spending 8-10 hours a day in a classic car over 3-4 days with the exhaust howling away. I need hearing aids now. If I could turn back time...
'65 S2 4844
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:59 pm

The constant drone of an exhaust will impact your hearing. Particularly at a race track. I wear earplugs almost all the time for longer drives in a sports car, track events and skeet shooting. Several years ago i was in a helicopter in British Columbia getting to the ridge line of some mountains. The pilot handed me E.A.R UltraFit 27 earplugs. They have a noise reduction rating of 27 decibels. Extremely comfortable and disposable. I get them by the box, carry a couple of bags of them and hand them out all the time.
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PostPost by: MenBret » Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:10 pm

Hello
Thank you for your replies so far.
To ask the same question in another way, do you think that the stainless exhaust systems available at Paul Matty or Sue Miller (or any of the other usual suspects) produce the "right sound"?
Any brand/make you would recommend?
Thanks a lot!
Cheers
Vincent
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PostPost by: Orsom Weels » Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:51 pm

Hi Vincent,
I can't say for a Sprint, but we fitted a Sue Miller stainless system from the 'Y' section back, keeping the original mild steel headers, to my friends series 3 & the sound is good, perhaps not exactly as an original mild steel system would be, but very close. A nice throaty bark, but not overly noisy, quite tolerable over a long journey without the need for ear plugs. And it looks correct with a " teeny pipe exiting the silencer" :D . My own series 4 has an original Lotus mild steel twin pipe rear box with mild steel headers but stainless centre section & sounds lovely from a few feet away, but is really beginning to get on my nerves on anything more than a quick blast down the road, it's way too noisy & spoils the enjoyment of the car. It's something that has got to be changed, so I too would welcome any recommendations for a nice sounding but quieter 'off the shelf' rear box suitable for a series 4/sprint, but had planned to buy from Sue unless anyone knows of a better option. My +2 has a stainless box & pipe of unknown origin, again with the mild steel headers, & sounds just right, again, not too noisy, & with a nice bark, but I fitted a Christopher Neil stainless system to my first +2 & it was horrible ! It sounded really weedy & completely strangled the engine. I guess it was over baffled, & in the end I cut the box off & fitted a Peco box which restored the performance & sounded just like the Lotus original.

Regards, Tim
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PostPost by: Craven » Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:41 pm

Not much help really but when stainless steel systems first became generally available, the consensus at the time was they just didn?t sound as good as the old mild steel ones. I guess stainless just doesn?t resonate/vibrate in the same way, too stiff or something.
Ron.
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PostPost by: Quart Meg Miles » Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:13 pm

Craven wrote:Not much help really but when stainless steel systems first became generally available, the consensus at the time was they just didn?t sound as good as the old mild steel ones. I guess stainless just doesn?t resonate/vibrate in the same way, too stiff or something.
Ron.

More like too thin and vibrates too much! Even a SS mid-pipe ruined my mild steel system but now you can't buy mild steel systems so don't have the choice.

The standard early Elan box doesn't have baffles, it's just a perforated pipe inside an empty box and sounds perfect. It was never a noisy car and neither was the MGB; trying to make either rorty or sport destroys the intended images of the original designs. The S130 exhaust was a disaster IMHO. It projected the wrong image for a long-distance fast tourer, otherwise it was a perfect car.
Meg

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PostPost by: JimE » Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:41 pm

The s130 had two different silencers as far as I recall. I remember talking to a mechanic at Len Street about the last one Lotus fitted which apparently was down to their supplier. He said the comment in the garage when it was changed over was "what the hell is that". It was also a bad fit and had a tendancy to ground if you had two in the back (which I sometimes did) and that was before the days of sleeping policeman. All of that said, I personally use to like it's sound and as I have said earlier in this thread, I recently fitted a NOS one after cutting and rewelding the pipe so that it fits properly. The last Europa Specials had a very similar silencer.
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PostPost by: jonsered 11 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:27 pm

Hi Guys,

I have some new mild steel front pipes and silencers for S1 and S2s, if anyone needs them?

Regards Jonsered
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PostPost by: Quart Meg Miles » Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:09 pm

jonsered 11 wrote:Hi Guys,

I have some new mild steel front pipes and silencers for S1 and S2s, if anyone needs them?

Regards Jonsered

Yes please and I'll PM you.

More generally, what country are you in?
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