Pipes are a pain as chrome shops hate doing 2 stroke exhausts – and here in Calgary while I have had many things re-plated they duck and hide behind the counter as soon as I start to ask about getting exhaust systems redone. The issue is the coke and oil that builds up inside the system – see this previous article I did showing just how much coke can be in even a small muffler. Getting the insides of the pipes clean is difficult, and any residue will ruin the chemical baths used in the plating process so the reluctance is understandable.
I needed a set of pipes for this project and considered how to repair the ones I had. Given the amount of metal work required to hammer out the many dents the easiest way seemed to be to cut the pipes open so I’d have access to the inside which would also allow me to be certain that the insides were spotlessly clean. When considering the amount of work this would entail, the cost to have someone skilled re-weld them back up and then the cost of having them re-plated I came to the conclusion it wasn’t close to being reasonably affordable.
Paul Miller in the USA often sells what he calls ‘show quality’ re-plated T500 exhaust systems – typically for around $400 USD each. With shipping from the USA to Canada then, that is $1000+ CDN for a pair, and while they would look nice they would still have 40+ year old internals which can be a problem. There are a series of welded metal baffles inside the mufflers which eventually can rot out or come loose, so re-plating old pipes without verifying the state of the internal structure is potentially just throwing good money after bad. So I looked for reproduction exhaust systems and happily these are currently available via Marcel in The Netherlands for roughly the same cost as Paul’s re-plated ones when the total cost with shipping is considered.
The reproduction mufflers arrived from Marcel in NL and he has done a very nice job indeed of having the original look recreated – the shape is perfect, and likely as good a copy as you will likely ever see and of course the internal baffles are brand new. He includes the removable rear baffle and the two seals at the front of the pipe where they connect to the two down pipes. He has even had the sound deadening mesh installed in the forward section of the pipe so the sound should be the same as the originals (this has been a common complaint with the Delkevic GT750 reproduction systems as while they look great – they don’t sound correct) . There were a couple of minor problems with the chrome on both pipes, but after some discussion Marcel adjusted the price, and I have had them both re-chromed locally here in Calgary. They look fantastic !
Anyone ordering these from Marcel will get an excellent product, but may want to consider:
a) asking for additional packaging to better protect them during their journey and
b) asking him to inspect the pipes before sending them just to be certain that the quality of the finish is acceptable.