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Discussion Starter #1
So I didn't want to spend a ton of coin on a larini, tubular or Lotus Sport exhaust..and despite none of them really having much drone, I wanted to do something to minimize that and also to be different...

so awhile back I had seen something somewhere about an exhaust with a built in "sport" mode essentially...it was the X-Force Varex, and unfortunately they are made in Australia and the only US Distributor doesn't stock them..I read tons of reviews, loads of good, a few bad, but most of the bad were early models. The recent ones have lasted a long time. And granted anytime you add electronics to anything you increase the risk 100 fold..but I figured it was worth a shot and would still be cheaper than 1200 bucks.


I ordered it from mufflers to the max in Aus, it showed up 4 days later. Crazy. Shipping was a bitch (200 bucks!!!!) so that put me in a bit deep but not too bad. Then I had to track down a muffler shop that seemed legit but had experience with full custom setups..unfortunately one that zach had recommended couldn't take it, so I went with Collins Mufflers in Mission Viejo, CA..

They were leery to take it at first since it was going to be full custom. He had done Elise/Exige systems before but most were more or less bolt on. We dropped the factory stuff from the collector back to see if it woudl fit straight out (the goal/plan) but the roll bar was in the way..so adjust fire. The VMK10-250 unfortunately is a bit big..but not huge...it has the electric motor/gear housing on top with wires that run out and are heat/moisture shielded, to include the plug. The muffler is all stainless and very well built with nice welds. It on its own weighed 15.2 pounds.

We came up with a general scheme of maneuver and I let them tear at it. In the end it turned out great. A lot of bends, so unfortunately it is a bit more restrictive than I would've liked but talking with chirowolf a bit of back pressure isn't a bad thing, and it is nothing horrible. They did a great job, used the factory muffler mounting points, and although a bit stressed while working, in the end stuck to their estimate and seemed to enjoy the end product.

Right now I am about 85% satisfied. I am having trouble getting the servo to work every time...the way it wires up, it has a control box that sits in the car somewhere, and into it you plug a wire from the muffler, and a power wire (it comes with a cigaratte lighter plug from X Force which is convenient but will eventually be hardwired). The control box is the remote receiver, and it comes wiht two car alarm style remotes for opening, closing, or adjusting the muffler anywhere between. there have been issues with the remotes long term but I will be hardwiring so I am not too worried. Anyways the control box relay will click and so it is obviously getting power and getting the signal, but the servo won't actuate. I am guessing the muffler may be getting too hot since it runs so damn hot on these cars (seriously ridiculous, way more than even my elise prior) and I'm not sure that X-Force designed it wiht mid-engined cars in mind. I have reached out to them for advice. It works about 75% of the time then seems to stop until I come to the car later.

The sound is good for the most part. Free revving is outstanding-it has a nice metallic throaty/raspy sound that reminds me of a tinge of ferrari. Obviously not the same by any means, but similar notes.

Ironically, even full open, the car isn't too loud and doesn't drone bad. Lotus definitely did their homework on sound deadening, and the exhaust sounds great. Slight burbles at idle and some pops on the off-rev.

At closed it gets more metalllic and under 5k it sounds fine. Over 5k it tends to get a bit TOO raspy, but I will only close it when cruising or driving gently so I'm not too worried.

At the end of the day, the difference between the two (open/closed) isn't as drastic as I was hoping but I'm happy with the noise. Closed it really silences it and will make it a relaxed freeway cruiser..open it isn't as raucous as I had hoped but it sounds GREAT.

I do notice that under load while driving, there is a lot of "air turbulence" type noise. I think this has to do with how tight the bend is coming out of the exhaust right now...right now it has a temporary tip (cut off of the varex..we had to do some trimming to get it to fit) until I find an exhaust tip that will work due to clearances...when we cut that off and make it less severe of an angle I think it'll be a bit better. It still has the great exhaust sound, just a bit of rushing air noise too.

Overall happy and I'm in several hundred less than I woudl be otherwise with an aftermarket exhaust...I dropped the secondary cat, and I think after everything I am about 20-25 pounds lighter than the factory setup, maybe more I didn't get to weight the build after the bends..

Pics:









Vids: I apologize these suck..they are on an iphone so they neither capture the sound or volume well...but you get the point. The first is just one setting..the second video is both settings (if you listen close you can hear it get deeper..the volume difference doesn't really show up on the iphone) and then I go outside by the muffler tip and if you listen close you can hear the flap open/close and the idle noise change from a burble to a soft idle...the video is all jacked up thanks to windows for that..there is also a driving clip at the end of the second one but it is in traffic so not that great. I will work on these.


 

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BTW, their welding looks pretty good. Do you think they would be able to just cut the third cat out and replace with a pipe? I have to believe it would be easy for them and cheaper than the Larini de-cat pipe.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yea the tip that's on there now is just a place holder while I find one that works denison wise as is it looks dumb


Yea they did a good job and I'm not sure they would have much problem doing a cat delete but honestly the labor they were in to bend and get everything out you're probably better off dropping it yourself and installing it...they may be able to do it cheaper not sure-I'll ask when I pick up my muffler or I bet If you called Monday it's still be fresh and they can tell you
 

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By looking at the pictures it looks like the bends are too sharp. The ones from the muffler and to muffler. I think that's the reason for the air turbulence sound.
 

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?? Might as well have just gone dynomax, thrush, or flomaster. Considering how hot it gets back there, I don't give that motor 5000miles IMHO. That would save you additional $200 on the spot.
RAMTIN is right. Not a good fit.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I agree on the noise-the final bend coming out is too much, the one going into the exhaust isn't as dramatic as it appears in the pictures-I think perspective has a lot to do with it. Since I didn't have a tip I let the last portion end up as is. I think when I have the tip put on (I've found one I have in mind) that is going to all come off post muffler.


I'm interested to see the outcome on the motor-they have it on some high boost, high heat cars, and some big V8s (ls7s) and have no reliability issues. We held up several different dynomax/flowmaster and one thrush muffler of varying sizes and series, and none of them were going to work straight through like I would've liked unless it had been one similar to chiro's pipe. All would have had to have a similar setup.
 

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I don't think the sharpness of the bends is nearly as important as maintaining the interior pipe diameter throughout the bends (mandrel bends). These don't look like mandrel bends. Each bend seems to have slightly "crushed" the pipe. They can be difficult to find, but locate a high-end shop with mandrel bending equipment to replace those pipes.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Agreed on the Mandrels-I'm going to try to use a more local place when I have the back half redone and will be asking about that as well now/finding someone to mandrel the end.

I went into this fully aware I would be tweaking
 

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Overall, still a cool concept that allows you to go full blown loud when desired, yet subtle the rest of the time. Hopefully, the valve operation bug will get fully sorted, then the rest is just fine tuning. Looking forward to hearing it next weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
UPDATE


Sheet video I know, and I apologize, you can thank my iPhone and Windows Movie Maker for combining to make it so hateful, but it gets the point across.

Took it to Richards Performance Muffler in Oceanside, CA. Guys build some crazy stuff to include full tube chassis trophy trucks (chassis made in house) headers, etc. Crazy mandrel machine, can handle super big stuff. They did an outstanding job un-effing the work I got done earlier. I won't get into everything but it was worse than I thought since I hadn't gotten up under there since taking it home. Anyways they made it right at an outstanding price, with super quality work. I just wish I had been told honestly the first time around how much experience the other shop REALLY had with "custom performance exhausts." You live you learn and you spend money...


Full 2.5" aluminized steel all around, mandrel bent and beautifully welded. Seriously nice work, all new brackets and hangars, still using the factory positions. All the piping was coated in high temp flat black, the muffler and tips were left in polished stainless. The tips are not a 100% solution necessarily; I like them but due to space they stick out and leave some exposed black pipe, but I wasn't too upset as thanks to Ramtin I have been looking at the Evora S diffuser..and it will work perfect with that.

Much smoother, more responsive, free revving now. Sounds great, nice burbles and pops with a nice throaty sound. Flap open and closed makes a huge difference now, and helps tune out the drone at highway speeds and keep the car more quiet. It isn't horribly loud but it definitely makes itself known so it is a nice option. Even closed still has a nice throaty sound, more character than stock. Only drawback is under heavy (over 75%) throttle and over 3500 rpm with the flap closed you can hear some wooshing type noise due to the way the mufflers chambers are structured (entrances on the sides) and I think this would be mitigated with a larger can or dual mufflers, neither of which would be ideal for this car. But it is sort of a moot point because if I am getting on the throttle like that I'll usually have the flap open-I've only been closing it when I leave for work at 6 am and on the freeway cruising.

No clue on power gains but I definitely lost weight. The vid has some feedback from wind noise and flying under an overpass, and some of the clips got chopped up by my iphone..oh well.

Hopefully more/better videos to come after the weekend.

I don't have any pics from underneath this time sorry, next time I get it on the ramps I'll get some nice up close ones
 

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Discussion Starter #14
short sidenote...did some santa barbara canyon cruising today and screaming around the 101 last night...the exhaust is breaking in and sounds awesome. Nice throaty burble that turns into a really good scream up high. I wish I had 8500 like the Elise but I am totally happy. Nice free revving (seems to be more responsive to heel toeing and rev matching) and lots and lots of burbles and pops.

Still very happy. I'm going to get the car up on ramps to check the plug tomorrow and fix a fuse I blew, and hopefully get the valve back working again.


I think chris, zach, carlos and ramtin can attest to how it sounds..
 

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Discussion Starter #15
ok so I got under the car today to take some pictures...







And some soundclips from this weekend..the video is great but the audio not so much..working on that.


 

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Looking good! I love seeing more than 1 Evora in the same place :)

I just got back from a 200 mile drive from Dallas to Oklahoma city. Love this car!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Ok update! In lieu of a few of the other exhaust threads, and the fact that X-Force express mailed me updated parts from Australia! (couldn't have been cheap..new control box, remotes, wiring, motor and gearbox) the muffler is functioning flawlessly. Apparently they have gone through the latest iteration with some small changes that have made big improvements.

While I pulled off the muffler to replace the parts, I resprayed it with 2000 degree paint (the 500 degree stuff had baked off) and took some more pics..




And an updated video..I apologize for the ****ty quality-thank you windows movie maker for ruining every video I make, no matter the format...

At about 1:37 the valve is closed, and you can definitely hear the difference...with the valve closed, the exhaust has turbulence above 3500 or under heavy throttle..but thats not the point of the exhaust..it is perfect for freeways, garages and at night in the apartment complex as you can hear in the drive bys..

overall very happy and it continues to be freer revving and sound better!

 

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Discussion Starter #19
on another note, I got tired of the white/chrome OEM tail light surrounds and went with black!

 
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