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Discussion Starter #1
OK to all the aficionados out there I'm contemplating buying a second hand Record Monza exhaust. It's only a year old but already quite speckled with rust. Will this be an issue longer term? The current one on my Lusso is 3 years old and still spotless and shiny. I can only assume the Monza exhaust is made from an inferior grade of stainless.
The sprung flapper valve, which is prone to stick due a 'build up carbon and rust', appears to pivot in unsealed steel bushings. Does this mean the exhaust gases are prone to leak from here?
Although the Monza sounds wonderful and the pivot can be greased to stop it sticking, as a design it seems flawed. Does the price really justify the end result given there's no power increase?
 

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Hi, You haven't stated the price as such that I can see, the down side is noise and that spring by all accounts, these appear on ebay UK regularly as they seem to be unloved and do stick, however......at least one member here "CDPond" I think it was, reports an annual inspection and grease with no problems inbetwixt, the noise thing all depends on you and your neighbours I should think....... I have a Good-Win system myself and love it but had to import is from the USA vis "RacingBeatEurope". There are threads discussing the Record Monza with for and against. As for the rust ?
Cheers
ron
 

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Why not just go straight pipe with a small middle 12 inch resonator in the middle.....less cost, reliable, not load, still should pass inspection due to the resonator.....obviously depending on country regs. I have another car with the valve ......and these will alw be an issue especially if daily driver.
 

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The rust bit baffles me, given that stainless shouldn't rust. But it will discolour, as will the stock exhaust in the vehicle. As for the spring/valve assembly, it can be a complete non-issue with a little bit of maintenance each year... like 5 minutes out of your schedule some day. First, if it appears stuck, use locking pliers to grab the bolt head that affixes the flap/spring assembly, and after spraying on a liberal amount of rust cutter. I can't make recommendations for products in either the anti-seize or rust cutter as I'm unsure what products are available locally for you, but I'm sure they exist in some form in your local auto supply shop. So, after you've sprayed the flap and spring assembly with rust cutter, rotate the bolt head back and forth till the assembly is moving smoothly and easily. Once that's done, apply some anti-seize to the moving component areas.... sparingly.... a little goes a long way. Then you're good to go for another year. I'll agree to disagree with the assessment that it will always be an issue. It's only an issue if you don't give it some maintenance, much like many other components on a vehicle.

As for leaking gasses, none will leak that aren't designed to. The RM does not completely block off the flow of exhaust to two of the pipes, it just adjusts the flow volumes that pass through them. More pressure, more "accoustic response".

What I find is that when I first start the vehicle, it runs loud for the first minute, then settles down into a nice growl. But once you step on the throttle, she'll talk back to you very nicely. For those that don't want a variable exhaust note, striaght pipes can be an option for those that don't want to go OEM parts.

Hope this helps...
 
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Discussion Starter #5
The second hand one is going for £450. Last year I fitted an Allison quad system and it's OK, but not as crackly or fruity as the Monza seems to be. On top of that there are times when I boot it and the acceleration seems to hold back - as if the exhaust gases are not being extracted properly. The standard system never does this, so I put it down to lack of development - something I wouldn't expect the Monza system would suffer from. Maybe the initial constriction is the key, and once spooled up the turbo needs to work against the spring pressure to create the optimum back pressure. So in this regard having an unrestricted big exhaust on an otherwise standard engine may be a step too far.
 

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The Record Monza is built using T409 stainless steel. T409 was developed in the 1960's specifically for automotive exhaust systems. Compared to T304, T409 has about half the chrome and very little nickel, so it is less "stainless". There will be some very light surface rust or discoloration, but it will not rust through. It is not an "inferior" grade of stainless, it is the grade of stainless developed for the extreme heating and cooling cycles of automotive exhaust systems.

As for the valve, I apply anti-seize every year just like CD wrote above and I have never had a problem with the valve sticking.

If your most important criteria is "shiny" then perhaps you should consider replacing your existing RM with one of the many aftermarket systems built from T304, rather then spend your money on another non-shiny RM exhaust.
 

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Apologies for a mild "hijacking" of the threat but can someone confirm that the original standard exhaust fitted to Fiats rather than Abarth's are made of mild steel and not stainless. I'm thinking about having a custom stainless system made with the primary reason being I don't want to get caught out with a parts supply issue when the original exhaust fails. Secondary bonuses being a bit more noise and small performance benefits. Clearly if the original equipment is stainless I wont bother with the custom exhaust as the £400 cost, 1 days holiday to get it made and fitted and all the hassle means I'll stick with the original. I have contemplated a Record Monza but don't want to wake the dead ( or more importantly the neighbours ) when I leave for work at 4am every morning
 

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The Record Monza is a mix of 409 stainless, which doesn't exactly rust, but it tarnishes, and some regular metal which does rust, but slowly. I haven't had any issues with mine, and I'm quite happy with it. I checked the movable flapper recently and it's still smooth as when it was new.

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well today I went and bought a Record Monza - off ebay, it comes with the centre pipe for £300. Have to say It looks pretty tarnished and has rust spots, but I'll polish it up and ensure the flapper is in lubricated heaven before it goes on.
 

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Apologies for a mild "hijacking" of the threat but can someone confirm that the original standard exhaust fitted to Fiats rather than Abarth's are made of mild steel and not stainless. I'm thinking about having a custom stainless system made with the primary reason being I don't want to get caught out with a parts supply issue when the original exhaust fails. Secondary bonuses being a bit more noise and small performance benefits. Clearly if the original equipment is stainless I wont bother with the custom exhaust as the £400 cost, 1 days holiday to get it made and fitted and all the hassle means I'll stick with the original. I have contemplated a Record Monza but don't want to wake the dead ( or more importantly the neighbours ) when I leave for work at 4am every morning
Another option that might work for you is to check if anyone local to you has upgraded their Abarth from the exhaust it comes with to a RM. They'd more than likely be willing to sell you the stock four pipe Abarth exhaust for a very reasonable price, and, though it's more snug on non-Abarth models, they can fit without cutting into your rear trim. Of course this is all based on what happened with the Abarth's sold in North America, which shipped with a four pipe exhaust that was not a RM. Later years it became an option on new vehilces, but for a lot of us, we paid to upgrade and have a spare OEM exhaust sitting around taking up space. Given that Abarth is a separate dealership in Europe, maybe all the Abarth's sold on that side of the pond come with RM as stock equipment. Sadly, the shipping costs from Canada would be horrendous, otherwise I'd offer you the one I have tucked away.
 

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Thanks CD. All good suggests but unfortunately you are right in what you say - all Abarth's in the UK at least, come with the RM as standard. To be honest I'm not sure it would solve my problem unless the non RM supplied with Abarths as per North America is stainless as I'm trying to get away from an exhaust that is mild steel - still not sure if the standard exhaust on a Fiat in the UK is mild or stainless steel. My big concern is that if the original exhaust fails, I maybe on the wrong end of a lengthy back order as I understand that a standard replacement is a Fat only part in the UK. The usual exhaust suppliers don't offer an exhaust for the Fiat 124 as its such a rare car in the UK
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I've spent the last 2 days on the Record Monza, and it's thrown up a few surprises some may be interested in. Firstly the flapper return spring I have (and I believe there are at least 2 varieties) has a measured pre load of 9 LBF/ inch with the flapper in the closed position and 13 LBF/ inch with the flapper fully open. This means if you have the early heavy spring like I have, exhaust back pressure has to exceed 9 LBF/ inch to start to open the flapper, and maintain in excess of 13 LBF/ inch to keep it fully open.
I believe that even without the stiction issue concerning the pivot, it is unlikely that back pressure will ever get close to that figure. Or to put it another way if you have the early spring fitted I believe the flapper valve will always stay closed. And because they stay closed exhaust gases gum the pivots, till eventually the flapper seizes solid.
Certainly that's what I found on mine. I've largely freed up the pivot and fitted a much lighter tension spring. It's rated at 4 LBF/ inch and still may be too stiff. I'll only know when I've fitted it up and tried it out.
How do you know which spring you've got? Pretty easy really - if you can reach up and remove the spring relatively easily just using fingers you have the light spring - if your spring can't be removed except with pliers you have the heavy one.

78983
 

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Thanks CD. All good suggests but unfortunately you are right in what you say - all Abarth's in the UK at least, come with the RM as standard. To be honest I'm not sure it would solve my problem unless the non RM supplied with Abarths as per North America is stainless as I'm trying to get away from an exhaust that is mild steel - still not sure if the standard exhaust on a Fiat in the UK is mild or stainless steel. My big concern is that if the original exhaust fails, I maybe on the wrong end of a lengthy back order as I understand that a standard replacement is a Fat only part in the UK. The usual exhaust suppliers don't offer an exhaust for the Fiat 124 as its such a rare car in the UK
Not that it likely helps you given your geographic locale, but yes, the stock four pipe exhaust that came stock with the Abarth's here is stainless as well. I don't know the specifics, but based on appearance after usage, I would hazard to speculate it's the same spec as the SS used for the RM variant.
 

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Certainly that's what I found on mine. I've largely freed up the pivot and fitted a much lighter tension spring. It's rated at 4 LBF/ inch and still may be too stiff. I'll only know when I've fitted it up and tried it out.
How do you know which spring you've got? Pretty easy really - if you can reach up and remove the spring relatively easily just using fingers you have the light spring - if your spring can't be removed except with pliers you have the heavy one.
So where did you source your lighter spring?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I modified another return spring to mimic the free length of the original and I 'estimated' rating of the lighter spring . It measures 4LBF/ inch. Someone from FiatCares or Fiat service department would be best placed to find a part number or a specification, but with so many RM exhausts replaced under warranty I suspect it may not be available.
One observation I've found is that a flapper that is free moving when cold can quickly bind up when heat is passed through it. I think the reason for this is that the pivot pin expands more than the collector box, and this might explain why many people report a fruity exhaust on initial start up quietening down after a short period of time. So for the flapper to work as intended it's down to having sufficient clearance at normal running temperature. If you suspect yours may be doing this you could unhook the spring and warm the engine, then try turning the pivot and see if there's any increase in resistance. The pivot should remain resistance free and the flapper should audibly clack as it turns from side to side - fully open to fully closed. As for lubricant a high melting point ceramic grease should serve longer then copper grease or WD40, which tend to melt away and evaporate after a few heat cycles.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
So today and just out of interest, I've run a check on the relative airflows - inner pipe to outer pipe with flapper fully closed and then fully open. Expressed as a percentage when the valve is fully closed, the inner pipe (which bypasses the silencer) flows 40% of exhaust gases and the outer 60%. When the valve is fully open the inner pipe flows 75% and the outer 25%. So when you're caning it 75% of the noise is unsilenced mixed with 25% which is.
 

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So today and just out of interest, I've run a check on the relative airflows - inner pipe to outer pipe with flapper fully closed and then fully open. Expressed as a percentage when the valve is fully closed, the inner pipe (which bypasses the silencer) flows 40% of exhaust gases and the outer 60%. When the valve is fully open the inner pipe flows 75% and the outer 25%. So when you're caning it 75% of the noise is unsilenced mixed with 25% which is.
Need to check my flapper then. Car is 4 years old in November. Definitely fruitier when cold. Been using WD40 so time for changing using that too. Thanks for info. They do still sound good at any speed mind!!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well I have to report I'm really quite pleased with the Record Monza. It's definitely quiet pootling about, but give it the beans and it's nicely vocal with a crackle at the top end. But it also feels quicker mid range, something I hadn't expected, so I think the smaller pipe sizeing better suits turbo spooling, over the Allison which has 2.25" through pipes with no silencer. Fitment is another issue however, and it will require some serious heating and bending to get it symmetrical enough so it looks right.
 

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I just live with the asymmetry. I barely notice it. However I have heard of people adjusting it out with a different exhaust hanger.

Greg
 
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