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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I replaced my stock exhaust with a Larini with SE tips the exit through the rear grill and now I've got a unused hole in the stock difuser where the old exhaust tips used to exit:





I purchased some aluminium sheet stock from:

http://www.onlinemetals.com/merchant.cfm?id=240&step=2

With the advice of some of the users here I selected 5052-H32 aluminium and bought two 12" x 12" x .063" sheets, and two 12" x 12" x .05 sheets. The .063" thickness seemed to be the closest to the stock difuser thickness so that's what I used. I didn't measure it with a set of calipers so I'm not exactly sure it that's the stock thickness but it seemed to work fine.

Next I cut a piece of cardboard to make a template the size of the hole:



I then transfered the pattern to the sheet stock and cut it out with my bandsaw. You can probably do this with a hand held jigsaw if you don't have a bandsaw but I'd mount the aluminium on a backing of masonite first to keep the saw from bending the edges (don't ask how I know). I then made another piece that was oversized that would provide the backing for the patch. Next I had to bend the 2 pieces. This was a bit of a trick to get a nice sharp bend without having any sheetmetal tools. I scored the back side of the piece with a utility knife repeatedly and that helped a lot. It was about a 17 degree bend. here's the finished patch:



and the patch in place just held on with tape for the moment:







I'm pretty happy with the results thus far. It doesn't fit perfect but pretty damb close and it's under the car so what the heck. I was originally planing on expoxying the patch and backing together then rivoting that to the difuser. I now am thinking that I'll tape it in place with some aluminium tape. I'm also checking into getting it anodized so the color matches the difuser better. Anyone know what type of anodizing is on the stock difuser?


For reference here's a link to my original post inquiring about what type of aluminium to use:
http://www.elisetalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24350
 

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I may be way off base, but based off some pictures, it seems like bead blasted sheet metal looks pretty close to the stock diffuser finish. Very matte and non-reflective.
 

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Why not just take it to a good aluminum welder & have it welded in ? that would be clean !
 

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Discussion Starter #4
kestrel74 said:
Why not just take it to a good aluminum welder & have it welded in ? that would be clean !
I hadn't really thought of welding it in, that would be nice, good idea. But I also like the idea of being to put the stock exhaust back in should I have any problems with the Smog police here in CA. The Larini I've got on is a cat back so it shouldn't be a problem but you never know how far they're going to push the issue of CARB compliance, and it's not unheard of around here to get cited for an overly loud exhaust. Again the Larini isn't all that loud but you just never know.
 

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pixlpush said:
I hadn't really thought of welding it in, that would be nice, good idea. But I also like the idea of being to put the stock exhaust back in should I have any problems with the Smog police here in CA. The Larini I've got on is a cat back so it shouldn't be a problem but you never know how far they're going to push the issue of CARB compliance, and it's not unheard of around here to get cited for an overly loud exhaust. Again the Larini isn't all that loud but you just never know.
I was wondering how it might turn out if you got it welded as well, a clean finish would look nice. I do like your thinking though. It's always nice to be able to return things to original. I wonder if a little filler and a light coating of some sort of "flat aluminum" colored paint would help mask it. Something that might be undone at a later date, or at least not drastically noticeable if you ever did return to the original system.
 

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Welding aluminum can be difficult; if not done right they can melt through to the opposite side. Since there's no load on this piece, tape really would work fine, or you could use double sided adhesive foam (search www.mcmaster.com for 'VHB').
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm going to use some 3M 425 Aluminum foil tape. It's 5 mils thick, good to 300 degrees, and is weather resistant as well. One of the uses listed on their fact sheet is patching tears in aircraft, I think this should do it



here's where I picked it up. It's a little pricey but I figure with an Aluminum car I'll find other things to do with a roll sooner of later:

http://www.uline.com/Browse_Listing_6114.asp?desc=3M+425+Aluminum+Foil+Tape
 
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