by Dan Cameron

Originally printed 9/87

Many of our Tiger and Alpine members have spent a great deal of time, effort and money restoring their cars only to find that within a few months’ time that the once shiny exhaust system is beginning to rust. In a most recent effort to keep the underside of my Tiger as appealing as practical, I decided to hit this one head on and am pleased with the results. Surprisingly, it was pretty easy on the pocketbook as well. The procedure used was as follows:

  • Have the exhaust headers and cone downs sandblasted to remove all paint, corrosion, etc. (approximately $20). For best results, try to handle the headers as little as possible prior to painting.
  • Paint headers with VHT, 1350 degree high temperature paint (not engine paint). It is best to spray a light coat initially, and then follow it with two heavier coats, but don’t skimp. Drying between coats will help the curing process. (4 cans cost approximately $20)
  • Next, purchase stainless steel mufflers of your choice. I used Midwest sonic turbo mufflers for their free flow characteristics and compact design without excessive noise. They have a 2″ center inlet and a 2″ offset outlet. When positioning the mufflers, the offset outlet is away from the center of the car.
  • The next step, finding a good muffler shop, may prove to be the most difficult, however, it pays to be fussy. There is no substitute for smooth bends and clean welds. I used 2″, mandrel bent, aluminized tubing. This tubing is becoming commonplace and will maintain its metallic finish. With a little extra care on the bending machines, flattening the tubing where it passes through the frame is not necessary.
  • Finally, bologna slices, chrome exhaust extensions were spot welded to the exhaust pipe tips. As an alternative, for that extra clean look purchase a longer variety of chrome exhaust extension (18-24″), drill a small set screw hole and split over present pipe-nice touch.

Editors note: An option to the VHT paint is to send your headers and pipes to Jet-Hot for bright durable ceramic coating. They will give you a quote over the phone at 1-800-432-3379.

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