View original topic: Vintage speed exhaust
Trevor P Fri Apr 03, 2020 8:10 am

Is anyone here running the full vintage speed exhaust on their WBX? I have one of their setups on my 2.1 and notice when its running and the lighting is a bit darker out that the stainless pipes coming off the heads glow orange. Normally Id be concerned thinking its running super lean but have checked CO%, timing, and basically anything that could cause a lean burn. Even checking the temps with an infrared gun tells me they are running at normal exhaust temps. The only thing I can think of is that the quality of stainless tubing they are using is the cause. All 4 head pipes are doing the same thing.
Anyone else with one of these setups ever notice this?

82westyrabbit Fri Apr 03, 2020 12:11 pm

I would think that might be normal the pipe right there runs from a low of about 800 degrees to a high of 1400 degrees the later at full power. John

tencentlife Sun Apr 05, 2020 10:41 am

We heard this a lot with the WBXaustSS, both owner and shop installs. I think there are two factors, one psychological and subjective, the other physical.

Subjective is the unacknowledged fact, but a fact nonetheless, that when a person buys something new and expensive, especially something that is bought to give some pleasure, it occupies their attention for a time. There's probably some term for this in psychology, Shiny Object Syndrome or something. So when you stick on that new exhaust system, with all the cost and work involved, it's what you're gonna look at, so you notice things it does and think they're new. I see this all the time selling automotive add-ons, they make people suddenly notice minor things that were there all along. Unfortunately these newly-noticed things are invariably seen as problems, and you wouldn't believe the amount of time vendors spend talking customers down off ledges that exist only in their minds.

So the question is, were you in the habit before of watching your old exhaust pipes in the dark? Because I can tell you, they glowed too, maybe not as brightly but at some degree of darkness they visibly glow as any piece of hot metal does.

Your old exhaust spewed steam and sputtered water out the tailpipe while warming up on a cold morning all its life, but people only notice that after the new exhaust installation, because it's what their looking at, and they think it's something new.

The possible physical factor is that mild steel will conduct heat about 4 times faster than stainless. So at the exhaust ports, where there are rapidly repetitive blasts of flaming gases exiting the cylinder head exhaust port, both types of metal are exposed to the same heat. My possible explanation, and this is theory, is that the mild steel conducts more of that heat down along the pipe runner and spreads it out, where the SS conducts less heat along the pipe so the spot temp builds higher where it's directly exposed to the fire, in the first few inches of runner length. So the SS pipe glows more brightly for a shorter length, and the mild pipe glows less brightly over a longer length.

This could be tested with an IR temp gun and an example of both type of pipes to look at.

bugeye72 Tue Apr 07, 2020 3:36 am

Stainless is a terrible conductor of heat, as metals go. When welding it, it's amazing how cool the workpiece stays even a short distance from the actual weld area. Because of this, the pipe might well be quite a bit hotter right where it bolts to the head than on a stock steel exhaust, which would scavenge heat better.

9.5isCanadian Tue Apr 07, 2020 9:50 am

I do.
and it does.
I've seen tons of different headers glow at night.
Had a 350 chev with Hookers on, they sounded sweet and looked amazing at night.
but I'm old and others may disagree.


rubbersidedown Wed Oct 28, 2020 10:09 pm

I'm looking into this Vintage Speed as well, I do have a GW 2.2 kit carefully installed on a 1.9l case in my '85 Westie, I'm not entertaining the GW sport exhaust kit because they seem to offer no appreciable performance gain.

I used tencentlife's many detailed posts and guidance for this build, and with the mods to the AMC heads etc. i want this to wake up just a bit more but I have some stumbling blocks, namely:

It was born a 1.9l, so with the Vintage Speed I' think i'd have to convert to the 2.1 mounting system no? Not sure who supplies the best...

I live in CA, thus I'd need a 50 state compliant performance cat for it to make sense, any suggestions appreciated, though I guess I'm not entirely opposed to swapping every two years. I do enjoy clean air though.

I originally wanted to install the WBXaustSS because for this 2.2 (1.9 case) build only the best will do and after following the guidance on tencentlife for the build it makes the most sense but alas I'm making a feeble attempt to keep costs down :shock: post covid and it appears they're no longer in stock.

Any thoughts or wisdom fellow vanagonauts?

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