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I now have my Speedster, freshly built by original owner with 26km on the clock.  I'm working my way through a few running in niggles - and planning a few upgrades.  I have a twin carb (Solex 40) set, in a box, so those are going on when my mechanic fits the alternator.  The car is fitted with an amazing exhaust:
owever, it hangs very low, giving about 1" ground clearance at the lower flange, and it does occasionally scrape on the roads around here, which are pretty uneven.  If I decided to fit a more 'stock' exhaust system, would I notice an obvious lack of power / torque, or is this beast of a system a bit OTT? 

Audi TT TDI 2009

Previously: 986 Boxster S, 911 (964) C4,  a few ordinary cars...

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Depending on the engine's size and state of tune you may or may not notice a drop in power, as no stock style exhaust (and that includes the Vintage Speed) is as well engineered as a proper 4-1 header/extractor.  A1 does make their Sidewinder tucked up a little higher for Speedsters (it's an option when buying from but how much more ground clearance it gives, I don't know.

PS- do you have a pic of your Speedster to post?

Don't raise the rear- drop the front 

Last edited by ALB

Having been out in the car again, raising by an inch or even two just isn't going to give me the clearance I need for local roads so the Python has to go!  If I just fit a stock beetle exhaust system will the tail pipes be long enough, for some reason I can't find the engine to rear valance dimensions for a beetle and a 356, does anyone have this info?

I had a similar problem over the last TWO exhaust systems I've used.  Last year I put an EMPI version of an A-1 system on my freshly built 2180.  It sounded great, looked great, and allowed access to the heads for valve adjustments.  The muffler, though, boy did that thing drag!  But because it was the muffler dragging, I just ran it for about a year and switched to a different header system this past Spring.

That new system cost a pretty penny...not to mention the ceramic coating I paid for.  On the maiden voyage I dragged a speed bump in a freaking parking lot and left enough ceramic in the lot to think I actually LOST money!  I was going maybe 2-3 m.p.h. but the pipe just insisted on slapping the pavement.

So...I lifted the back end about 7/8 inch.  The car sat fine, rode fine, and didn't really have any ground clearance issues.  But it just didn't look right!  Since then I have dropped it back down and I just creep across anything suspect in the road and, of course, I hit just about every driveway at a slow creep with about a 45 degree approach angle.

The only thing I can think to do now is weld a steel "collar" on the pipe that drags but the only thing I'll gain is avoiding dragging a hole into the pipe...a problem I am confident I can avoid by cautious driving and undercarriage collision avoidance; something they didn't teach me when I was learning to drive.

That seems like a more permanent solution so when I have a little time I plan to fashion a piece of tubing to cover the problem spot and wrap it with with some exhaust heat wrap..sort of a two pronged approach that will be neither permanent or unsightly.

We shall see...


Could be worse.

I didn't get an A-1 because of clearance concerns, and fit a Vintage Speed instead. Not an extractor header, but decent enough flow and I liked the look and sound, too.

Problem was, it was then not the lowest point at the rear of the car - the (extended) sump was, and THAT's what I kept hitting. Finally, one day, I hit a manhole cover and tore off one of the bolt heads from the drain plate. I left a trail of oil from there back to my garage.

No serious damage, but I couldn't keep driving around like that. And banging the bottom of the engine hard enough to break things can't be a good thing for engine life, right?

I got a thinner extended sump (CB Thinline) and had the back raised two whole inches. Now the sump is just a little higher than the front sway bar, so I never hit anything. And I stopped dragging the pipe tips leaving driveways, too.

I just resigned to live with the look, but I've actually come to like it.


Last edited by Sacto Mitch

I also ordered and installed the Vintage Speed unit for 356 replicas at Very nicely made out of stainless steel and depending on the unit you get (there's two) they can handle motors of up to 150 hp; but then again I am no Pat Long so I don't plan to be on any race soon. A few years ago I had a beautiful Gene Berg sump on my motor that also met an untimely demise over a depression on the street so I decided to run sumpless. The Vintage Speed unit is fine but you still need to drive carefully and be on the lookout for possible obstacles on the road. Even the original Speedsters were low. I believe that on these cars you always have to watch it unless your rear ride height looks like that on a Baja Bug.

Plans have changed somewhat, and I'm now going down the Subaru 2l route.  The people doing the conversion will be making custom J tubes, so I can fit just about anything.  I quite like the look of the four pipe Abarth style, but actually want something that isn't too loud.  Loudness doesn't seem to be something published for any system I've found.

I don't think I need anything too fancy as I'm not trying to extract every last ounce of power out of the engine, as it will have plenty, just want something that gives decent ground clearance (the Subaru will have a 100mm sump fitted) and is not stupidly expensive - budget £500 UKP, so about $700.

Any recommendations?     

I had mine made by a muffler shop nearby for $500. They used the downpipes and flanges from a stock Subaru and just welded 1.5-inch pipes to them to make the exhaust. I had them include the front catalytic converter with both O2 sensors and put a single muffler on the end, and all this was done in a much tighter space than what's available on a Speedster.

This was six years ago and it works and sounds fine.


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