Despite all the warnings I, like so many others, purchased a chinafold.
I need to learn the hard way, that's just how I am.
So i finally I got tired of the mess I was creating under my hood with failed reinforcement attempts. This was the last straw.
I've been meaning to place an order with Stahl for some mandrel pieces and the flanges, for a proper header build, but I've been procrasterbating allot lately.
So on my day off, armed with my welder, some 2" aluminized pipe, and a crush bender, i started to craft my own.
I started by making a jig:
my plan was to reuse the flanges: (cut and cleaned them up a bit)
I was weary about using the flanges with the mild steel. I figured that would be my weak point.
The bender limited me to a 6" radius bend( to wide for a manifold).
My solution was to bend the pieces, cut the radius's short, then swell the ends to maintain a constant radius of about 2".
By all means this is not the right way to do this, this is just a temporary solution brought on by weeks of frustration.
My original plan was to create a log manifold but i got carried away.
Like i said earlier this is not correct way to fabricate a manifold. I took no consideration for the runner length. I just made sure the collector wasn't creating a mess of turbulence between 1 and 4.
After it was welded together i was able to port the flanges quite a bit to accommodate the larger runners.
Comparing the 2 manifolds:
My welds started to get sloppy towards the end. It was pushing midnight and I was getting tired.
I header wrapped it shortly after this photo.
All in all it was a fun experience, and I now have a nice jig to work with when the real parts get here.
So far Its been almost 1k miles and no cracks. Which is better than the chinafold did. The tone of the exhaust is much different than before. Most likely because of the size and unequal length of the runners. Its much deeper now and has a subaru boxer rumble at 4k rpm and up. Very unique in my opinion. I will be taking it to the drag strip tomorrow night to see how my time will be effected by this new custom addition.
p.s. Power seems just as good, if not better than before, but its hard to say since its been a hot couple of days.
Hope this was a somewhat interesting read for everyone.