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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well, I went today to get my custom exhaust built for the car. Had a connection from another board (from my Ferrari days) and, after a chat, was sold.

The owner of MufflerTech has mutiple exotic cars with one being a Lotus Esprit V8. Needless to say, he knows what it takes to make it sound GREAT. In heading to their shop (2.5 hours away in Sacramento) I was still debating whether I wanted them to do a Center exit exhaust setup or keep it standard dual.

When I got there I got a good look at the owner's '98 with the center exhaust setup. I was sold.

So they went to work. I left the car there in the morning and spent time with one of my reps in the field in Sac. Got back at 4 to the shop.

I was immediately blown away with what I saw. When I got closer to inspect the welds (with a friend owning an Aviation Exhaust company I know how critical a good weld is) and was SUPER impressed. The guy was good. Looked like he painted the weld on. It was solid work. The tips were perfect. They had taken off the owner's center exhaust shroud and installed it on mine to mock it up.

The thing looked awesome. Like a work of art. I just needed a shroud. They sourced a new one for me from JAE that will get here 5 days after I order it.

Time to start it up...

From the second I started it, the was more volume but it was such a PURE, deep, sound. Sounded GREAT at idle. Deeper, meaner. Perfect.

By the time it was warmed up and ready to go, I was in awe of how good it sounded oncw I was driving. It was crazy. Sounded every bit as good as the 360s and 430. Different, but just as good. WAY better than my 348 I just sold. Kind of cross between a Corvette (deep in tone) and a Gallardo (mean). Not as high-pitched as the Ferrari, but every bit as high quality.

This doesn't even sound like the same car.

Turbos spool up WAY faster. Probably twice as fast. I noticed that they really spooled up quickly even at 80 in 5th gear. Barely touched the pedal and the boost gauge was already moving.

These guys do GREAT work at a GREAT price. They know their stuff.

Here is their site. I know they have fabricated bolt on exhausts for Gallardos, Murcis, numerous Ferraris, etc. and shipped them. They could probably do it for the Esprit.

What I had done....
New Aluminum piping - Reconfigured to a center exit
High Flow Cats
High Flow Exhaust

Here is their website in case anyone is interested....
Muffler Tech Sacramento

Enjoy some of the pics I took tonight. Will have better ones later. Just a note- The tips are perfect, straight, etc. The angle of the pics I took make them not seem symetrical. They are. Of course, I will be ordering the shroud (the later model one with the ovals, not the circles).
 

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98 Esprit V8 Calypso Red
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I had a major debate whether I should powder coat the valence to semi-gloss black or not. I did it & it looks superb...I think it has a good contrast w/the red & also matches with the license plate panel. Also makes the car look wider. A good powder coating shop can do it in 1-2 days and it only costs $60. It's all preference but here are some photos for you to compare...

Before:







After:





Oh...and I just tinted my tail lights recently:

 

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Very nice. I never get sick of looking at Esprits.
 

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2008 Exige S240
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Nice Esprit! I like the black valence.
How loud are Esprits'?
Do they have a distinctive note?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I had a major debate whether I should powder coat the valence to semi-gloss black or not. I did it & it looks superb...I think it has a good contrast w/the red & also matches with the license plate panel. Also makes the car look wider. A good powder coating shop can do it in 1-2 days and it only costs $60. It's all preference but here are some photos for you to compare...

Before:







After:





Oh...and I just tinted my tail lights recently:

Funny you did that. I was actually trying to photoshop that in in black to see what it would look like.

Nice. I like it.
 

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Care to let us know what the cost was for the system? I'm dying to know... Did they create some sort of template that would allow them to replicate the system? Being in Va....it's a bit of a ride to Sacramento.

Thanks!
 

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Valence/Shroud

I just learned this myself -- but please note that the factory oval (later) ones are cheaper than the factory circular ones because of material.

The final edition ovals = aluminum (cheaper but lighter, prone to rust? Don't know.)

The '02 - '03 circle ones = stainless steel (WAY more expensive and heavier, but stainless nonetheless)

FYI
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Care to let us know what the cost was for the system? I'm dying to know... Did they create some sort of template that would allow them to replicate the system? Being in Va....it's a bit of a ride to Sacramento.

Thanks!
That would be one fun ride though!!

$950 before taxes. That includes installation obviously. Quite a steal in my opinion.

I was about to spend $1600 on the Larini. And I still would have to have bought the cats, tubing, labor (installation and the custom bending). It is quite a deal.

I am pretty sure they don't have a template. What they do have is the owner's car. They could simply use his car for the mockup and it would be perfect. I am sure this wouldn't be a problem. Like I said, they told me that they have done Testarossa, Gallardo, Murcielago, etc. exhausts in the shop to ship to customers all across the country. The only thing you would have to do is find a shop that would do a good install. One of the toughest parts are having good welds on the hangers. Our motors move around quite a bit more than your average Camry so those can sometimes fail.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I just learned this myself -- but please note that the factory oval (later) ones are cheaper than the factory circular ones because of material.

The final edition ovals = aluminum (cheaper but lighter, prone to rust? Don't know.)

The '02 - '03 circle ones = stainless steel (WAY more expensive and heavier, but stainless nonetheless)

FYI
I was a little surprised by that too. Aluminum obviously makes more sense for weight anyway in my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Nice Esprit! I like the black valence.
How loud are Esprits'?
Do they have a distinctive note?

Not especially loud or not super distinctive at stock. You can tell it is "something different" when you hear it though. It sounds good still at stock, don't get me wrong.

With the exhaust I just put on, it sounds cross between a late-model Corvette (classic deep V8 tone but without the gurgle) and a Gallardo.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
What would you all think of a custom built, carbon fiber diffuser instead of the valence?? My buddy was looking at the pics today and told me that a guy we know through the Ferrari club knows someone who builds carbon fiber diffusers. Would that look strange or good.

Knowing the guy we know, it would be a very well made piece. What do you think??

The only one I have ever seen was one on that Mellow Yellow Esprit and the fins were WAY too thick. Didn't look good IMO.

Here is a pic of one but I am not sure I am liking it. I would want one with a little more "flair" to it....

FYI- I am probably not going to do it, just wondering. Wheels are next anyway after I get my shroud.
 

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98 Esprit V8 Calypso Red
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Care to let us know what the cost was for the system? I'm dying to know... Did they create some sort of template that would allow them to replicate the system? Being in Va....it's a bit of a ride to Sacramento.

Thanks!
If you need more info on the Center Exhaust...send me a PM

Funny you did that. I was actually trying to photoshop that in in black to see what it would look like.

Nice. I like it.
Good, it makes the car look better IMO.

I was a little surprised by that too. Aluminum obviously makes more sense for weight anyway in my opinion.
Believe it or not. The slotted holes valence is stainless steel as well. I took them to an anodizing shop & they told me it's stainless steel. So I had to take the to a powder coating shop instead. I think it's just a thinner piece of stainless steel.

What would you all think of a custom built, carbon fiber diffuser instead of the valence?? My buddy was looking at the pics today and told me that a guy we know through the Ferrari club knows someone who builds carbon fiber diffusers. Would that look strange or good.

Knowing the guy we know, it would be a very well made piece. What do you think??

The only one I have ever seen was one on that Mellow Yellow Esprit and the fins were WAY too thick. Didn't look good IMO.

Here is a pic of one but I am not sure I am liking it. I would want one with a little more "flair" to it....

FYI- I am probably not going to do it, just wondering. Wheels are next anyway after I get my shroud.
A diffuser would help w/the aerodynamics, some (including myself) believe the factory muffler plays a role in the aerodynamics, w/o the mufler, there's a huge section that air might be trapped down there, I wouldn't worry about the aerodynamics unless I'm driving over 160MPH. If you do plan to go over 160 MPH, then I would recommend either a "real" diffuser or the 02+ front spolier
 

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98 Esprit V8 Calypso Red
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Nice Esprit! I like the black valence.
How loud are Esprits'?
Do they have a distinctive note?
This is a clip of an Esprit w/stock 02+ center exit muffler w/test pipes

YouTube - Esprit V8 revs

Check out the video clip of my car w/center exhaust & stock cats (the camera mic sucks)...

YouTube - My Lotus Esprit V8 Starting Up

YouTube - Lotus Esprit V8 Dyno Run

And here is my car leaving Cars & Coffee at 5:43...PM me if you want to know what kind of set up I had...:D

YouTube - "DO"burnouts Carrera GT R8 ferrari lamborghini XJ220 aston M
 

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Discussion Starter #17
If you need more info on the Center Exhaust...send me a PMGood, it makes the car look better IMO.Believe it or not.* The slotted holes valence is stainless steel as well.* I took them to an anodizing shop & they told me it's stainless steel.* So I had to take the to a powder coating shop instead.* I think it's just a thinner piece of stainless steel.A diffuser would help w/the aerodynamics, some (including myself) believe the factory muffler plays a role in the aerodynamics, w/o the mufler, there's a huge section that air might be trapped down there, I wouldn't worry about the aerodynamics unless I'm driving over 160MPH.* If you do plan to go over 160 MPH, then I would recommend either a "real" diffuser or the 02+ front spolier
PM sent....

I need to have this stuff done by the 14th. Taking it to the Italian Concorso in Monterey. It will be displayed there and I have a lot of work to do...

Just wait....

;-)
 

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Good to know about the latest rear valence material, maybe I should switch to the lighter stainless oval-slotted rear valence. Thanks, guys!

As for the rear diffuser...if you're hardcore, go for it. But it looks a bit much for everyday look-wise.

Good luck!
 
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