Wait, you mean to tell me that the 18 year old factory fitted Genie exhaust on my WRX isn’t any good anymore? Oh..
Look it’s fair to say that when I was doing the rear brakes on Project WRX and noticed one hell of a rust hole forming on the pipe just before the muffler I knew that it wouldn’t be an easy fix. Add that to the ‘interesting’ patch job someone had attempted earlier in the WRX’s history and suddenly I had the sneaky suspicion that attempting to gain a roadworthy certificate for the pride of boxer engines from 1994 would become a far more difficult task than first imagined.
Not realizing the work involved in the creation of this WRX exhaust back in 1996 and not knowing much about exhausts period, my first thought was that maybe I could find the curved pipe section somewhere and get the father in law to cut off the old one and weld in a new one. Nice idea in theory, completely rubbish in reality unless I found someone who got exactly the same exhaust for the exact model GC8 pretty much around the time my dad got his.
My second thought was the find both the curved bend and length of WRX exhaust behind it that could simply bolt on. See above paragraph about how this wouldn’t work.
The father in law suggested that maybe I could find a second hand muffler with a few of the bits attached to solve my problem on the cheap and the search was well underway until it slowly dawned on me that the chances of finding one a) the same size as this custom made WRX exhaust (3 inch) and that b) would line up far enough to make it past the patch up job and bolt up to what was left wouldn’t be easy in the slightest.
Which ultimately meant either getting the Genie you could hear coming from three blocks away on there fixed professionally or looking at other options.
I showed the photos above to the exhaust shop that helped me fix my Rx7 setup previously and the bloke behind the counter was a little skeptical at the chances of a straight fix. ‘Hmm a hemorrhage’ he mused as he looked at the patch plate. That didn’t sound promising. ‘Best leave it with us and we’ll have a proper look at it and let you know.’
An hour later and the verdict was grim: ‘It’s a full custom job from start to finish and it’s well and truly stuffed. You can either spend a lot of money trying to restore it or we can create something a little more reserved to suit today.’
Oh dear. Why doesn’t anything ever go right when you’re patching up a car to sell?
So I mulled it over and called him back, explaining that since it was heading for the for sale section of the classifieds soon then a new and not so attention seeking WRX exhaust would probably be the way to go. He warned me that it would probably ‘Pull this thing up on it’s nose’ but since it’s as stock as a rock, I figured whoever bought it could change it anyway if they didn’t like it. Besides, they might actually prefer to start the car without waking the neighbors at 5am daily.
A few hours later and I had the call to pick up my now silenced project. Now usually when you start it there’s the turnover sound before it sounds like a warlock instantly conjuring up a very loud fireball and then that quintessential escaping pre-muffler boxer rumble that would echo off the carport walls and fill the cabin. And drive the neighbors insane.
Now however at the first turning of the key it’s turnover followed by the sound of a Magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat. The rumble is just there, you just have to really work hard to hear it. I’m so used to the mortar like explosion that occurs when you fire it up that it’s taken some time to get used to the fact that I can drive into my driveway and the wife won’t hear me coming from the next suburb over.
Goodbye Genie, you were a lot of fun and never failed to drown everything out with noise.
Now to turn my attention over to these leaking rocker covers..