Repairing Exhaust, want recommendations (finish repair or buy new header pipes)?

Discussion in 'Engine, Fuel and Exhaust' started by Technologist, Oct 6, 2008.

  1. Technologist

    Technologist Member

    OK, this is gonna be fun.

    First, I have an '02 RK (Carb), with 32K miles. EVERYTHING has been fixed 2 times on this!

    I never wrenched on the bike before this year, just let the Stealership take care of it. I ride hard (bike seems to like 80 mph for some reason)... I don't ride a bagger like a retiree (although I am retired Army). I put Metzlers on because someone told me it would take the curves better (and it does... the bike feels like it lost 100 lbs!).

    LAST year, the y pipe was cracked, and the stealer replaced it (without asking me, while it was in the shop for other issues)... cost about 179 for pipe plus labor.

    This year, I noticed the pipe cracked again... and at my NEW favorite HD shop (can I name them?), the tech came out and said ALWAYS check the brackets...and lo and behold, bottom (transmission) bracket was broken. *I wonder how long it has been broken, and did the other Stealership miss it last time*

    Bought a take off Y pipe from ebay (50 bucks shipped), and new transmission / exhaust bracket, and exhaust gaskets... and started tearing the beast down...

    Found out I had to remove the oil filler spout to get to one of the bracket bolts.... and then had to remove the cover to the clutch assembly (transmission level check site) to get to another. Ran back to the Stealership (its closer than the good store), and got the gaskets.... along with some more trans fluid, assorted nuts, another exhaust gasket.

    Got everything off today (YEAH!!!)... but now have found out that the only way to get the front header pipe through the transmission bracket ring and tied to the bracket is to remove the front header pipe (and the right floorboard)... so job will finish tomorrow.


    Why are systems layered so much, so you have to remove 6 other parts to finish the job you started (more of a rhetorical question)?

    I am going to finish this repair, so I can continue to ride until it snows.... but I ASSUME it is gonna fail again... so should I switch to Rinehart or V&H true duals? I don't want to go through this whole exhaust system take-off, repair/replace, put back on experience more than 1 more time. What do I gain (HP, torque, SOUND)? I saw V&H header pipes ONLY for about 350... and rinehart is around 700 (includes mufflers). Suggestions?

    Can I use my modified OEM mufflers with V&H or Rinehart? I am kinda trying to budget the upgrades...

    I am glad to be wrenching my own bike... and have the service manual... and most of the skills (although that was all on cars almost 30 years ago!)... but I would rather be RIDING!

    After I get some opinions, I am probably going to (FINALLY) re-jet... or at least rebuild the carb, so if that affects what exhaust I should consider, please keep that in mind.

    I understand my questions MAY seem like "what color is best"... but I can weed through the input (if you are so kind as to leave it), and base a decision on the results. I don't mind LOUD (especially when I go WOT (Wide Open Throttle)), but would also keep the quiet neighborhood in mind (esp. in the morning...LOL).

    Thanks again all... in advance for your suggestions. Also, feel free to go off topic to provide other suggestions.

  2. Technologist

    Technologist Member

    Well finished the exhaust today (Guess no one saw the thread to offer suggestions).

    Stayed stock, took about 4 hours to get it all back together (took my time). No leaks that I can tell, although WD-40 burning off scared me for a sec...LOL!

    No more backfires, minimal pops (infrequent) on decel. Much better take-off power, low end, AND high end! Apparently, I have had at least a leak for a while...

    I am still interested in know more about people's opinion on bothe the rinehart and V&H true dual conversions... not that I want to do an exhaust swap all over again right now! But I am sure the Y header pipe will crack again.

    And it sure does feel good to be wrenching again... although my bones ache. It gives a nice feeling of satisfaction.
  3. hntwrobin

    hntwrobin Active Member

  4. Technologist

    Technologist Member

    Thanks for the tip and the link... now I guess i have 3 MFRs to compare. I would love to hear from people that can give pros and cons on all 3. I'm wondering about sound, power, mileage, look, etc. Any input is appreciated.