RA29 – Act 3

Celica update time!

It’s not often we get to work on the shop cars and when it happens it’s normally just to resolve an issue so the car can be moved about the shop. But recently I was able to manage a quick Celica project that was both fun and functional.

OEM FreshHere at RetroFIX we like our old cars, but one nice thing about late model vehicles is the quality of parts installed at the factory. Such as this stainless exhaust I sourced from a brand new Honda Crosstour V6.

4-2-1This newly acquired stainless would be the perfect complement to a 4-2-1 divided manifold and downtube I had lying around the shop for a 22R pickup.

Stock 20R The original manifold and exhaust pipe had been patched a few times…

RA29 Exhaustand were held together by rust.

Complete RA29 Exhaust Not much use for this…

Out with the old, it was time to mock up the new. First order of business was crossing my fingers that the manifold and downtube fit the Celica…

They didn’t. But a bit of coaxing from the rosebud…
Fitment..and the pipes were whipped right into shape. From here the real fun began.

For those who have not ever built an exhaust system, it’s fundamentally a combination of pipe fitting and Tetris. And with an array of bends and straights I began my own game with a blank wall. To start, I needed to step-up from the factory truck collector to the 2.5″ pipe I had on hand. To accomplish this I needed a Venturi, which I didn’t have…

Venturi..until I sectioned a piece of straight pipe and using a bit of math, built one.

DP and CollectorYeah, Math… you win again. And with the new venturi welded to the collector I got busy routing the exhaust along the factory exhaust path, taking advantage of the heat shields already in place.

Poor man LiftThe factory exhaust hugs the body over the axle, but with the Celica being so low, routing under the axle is a much better option in terms of both appearance and speed of fabrication…

Tucked..without sacrificing ground clearance.

TackedAfter much Tetris and error, I arrived at this: a tacked version of the new exhaust, complete with a slip fit for attachment to the collector, using both resonators and all but about 6 inches of factory Honda stainless (it’s all in the family). After one last check for fitment, the final welds were made.

MockedWhile string, a floor jack and random pieces of 2×4’s make great mock up tools, the most dreaded part of exhaust fab comes from the realization that these items must be removed, yet their function must remain.

Yes, I’m talking about exhaust hanging. It’s just not a very fun part of the process for a couple of reasons. First, if you’ve made it this far, you’re dying to hear what your new setup sounds like. And second, if you’ve made it this far, you’re probably tired of working on it.
HungForging ahead… The factory hangers for the honda exhaust are very nice and built from stainless tubing. The center mount near the large resonator was wide and set up by a nice little bracket, which I chopped and re-mounted to the large resonator, via a square stainless patch to increase surface area at the mount point. From here, I simply welded some new exhaust hangers old coil spring material to the existing hanger locations on the chassis for attachment using some nifty rubber exhaust things OEM Honda parts. Tetris game finished, the welders and torches shut down…

Done!…and the end product revealed something I’ve been wanting for the Celica Project for quite some time. It’s a high profile part of the car that now represents what this particular build is all about: a bit of flash, RAW as f$%! and built for free.


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