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Installation
Flowmaster's Universal Mandrel Bent Exhaust Kit was designed for the DIY ethusiast with average fabrication skill and welding ability. A vehicle lift helps as well. However, like a majority of hobbysists, even FM doesn't have a lift. To demostrate how "universal" the kit really is, we worked with the local performance exhaust specialist, Mr. Z's Muffler of Sparks, Nevada.


As we mentioned, having a shop install this kit will require some initial contemplation on part of the installer, these guys are accustomed to building custom systems from scratch.
 
The project was started by cutting off a header collector flange and tack welding on one of the ball adapters from the Header Collector Ball Flange Kit.
     


The adapter fit cleanly and the increased ground clearance over the standard three-hole triangle flange was already noticeable.

 
The first mandrel bent pipe was mocked-up here in combination with the ball flange Kit.
     

Once fitment was confirmed, the flared adapter was welded to the first pipe in the system.
 
In order to size up the cross-over pipe, the procedure was repeated for the passenger side.
     


Flowmaster includes these "fish mouthed" H-pipe ends to build a tight fitting cross-over pipe.

 
The nature of the Montego chassis created a narrow gap between the first pipes off the headers. The H-pipe Ends that Flowmaster inlcuded in the exhaust kit were not usable for this application.
     

This shop improvised and used somes excess to create a short 2.5" diameter H-pipe.
 
At this point, it was time to mock up the positioning of the 50-series mufflers.

(Installation continued)
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Choosing an Exhaust Shop
Just like low-quality imported speed parts are compromising your street machine, so is having critical fabrication done by employees who have little to no stake in the company they are working for. If there is a service you require for your project car that you'd rather contract out, then choose a skilled fabricator, engine builder, or other craftsperson who has experience working on enthusiast cars or runs their own shop. By all means, it really is our responsiblity to keep these guys operational since their skills are most suited for the consumers that can really appreciate the work.... Us!

Unfortunately, once you've decided to search for the right shop, you will still be faced with the potential feelings of apprehension and anxiety that come with letting somebody else work on your car. With Project MX, FordMuscle was faced with the same possibilty when we needed to partner up with a exhaust shop to help us with our Flowmaster install. The difference this time? We managed our concerns by doing a little research.

Start by asking around. Find some local enthusiasts and inquire about who is doing custom exhausts in town. Once you have found a few candidates, dig a little deeper by paying a visit to the shop. Look for clues that the business really is serving the local peformance niche by taking a quick survey of the office environment. The photo to the right here shows a large collage of past projects performed by Mr. Z's Muffler. This was a great indicator that we were in good hands. for our Flowmaster exhaust install. Another bit of advice, be patient and let the shop work without hounding them. Remember, many of these guys are artists in their own right and most prefer time to do the job correctly over delivering early.


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