RGM-Techniflow exhaust systems
Making exhausts can’t be that tricky: after all, every man and his dog appears to be doing it. In fact, some people do it out in the open. But like most things, the end result can be good, bad, or indifferent…or it can be excellent.
Excellence is what RGMotorsport strives for with every Techniflow system, a premium quality exhaust brand that uses the very best materials, skills and equipment to deliver a product of flawless precision. It must, by definition, also sound good and deliver a performance advantage compared to the stock system.
Our starting point for any RGM-Techniflow exhaust is a careful look at the underside of the car and the location of the various components such as the catalytic converters and silencers. As far as possible, we try to keep the main components where they originally were, as the actual floorpan is invariably shaped around the exhaust pipes and most of the acoustic/heat shielding is positioned accordingly too. The fore/aft location of the various components along the length of an exhaust system is also made with power characteristics in mind, so we largely maintain these factory positions, but it is the seamless internal finish and curvatures of our system that unleashes the power.
Improved torque is achieved not only by minimizing disruption of the airflow thanks to the constant and uninterrupted radii and inside diameter of the bends, but by ensuring every weld from front to back is ‘clean’. If you could run your fingers over the internal joins of a Techniflow system or reach where two sections are bolted together at a flange you would barely feel a change in surface and jagged edges and rough surfaces can severely disrupt airflow.
Our material of choice is highest-quality stainless steel such as 316-grade (identical in many respects to what is used in the petrochemical industry due to its resistance to any form of corrosion inside and out) and the required result is best achieved by using TIG welding – an acronym for Tungsten Inert Gas. This type of arc welding is the only way to work with thin-walled stainless steel and we use a thickness of 1.6mm to get the best combination of weight and strength. This, of course requires the highest standard of welding accuracy in terms of applying the right amount of heat at the correct point.
TIG welding essentially means that a skilled artisan works with a torch which has a tungsten tip (which can handle extreme temperatures) in a perfectly clean environment, feeding a stainless steel filler rod into the area where the arc produced between the rod and the torch takes place in a ‘pool’ of inert gas such as argon. This results in a weld of maximum strength that is completely airtight and of the highest quality.
The operator needs sufficient skills and steadiness of hand(s) to keep the torch and the rod in exactly the right position relative to each other as well as the component being worked on, and then operate a pedal control to feed the right amount of electrical current to melt the rod and form a beautiful fillet of overlapping weld.
Each of our Techniflow exhausts is a custom exhaust. We don’t use jigs or patterns, though we make use of pre-formed forged stainless steel sections that come directly from our supplier in a variety of diameters. We also make use of mandrel bending, but any bend which can’t be machine-made we make by linking together as many precision-cut ‘bands’ of stainless steel to create the desired directional change. For a dual 76mm system this can take up to 12 hours on precision welding work. In a recent system build on an Audi, one complicated, three-dimensional bend required the precise assembly and joining of eight individual pieces of stainless steel piping.
This kind of tight radius fabricated bend and the combination of mandrel bending (which leaves the inner shape and diameter of the pipe unspoiled) is key to airflow efficiency. We also look carefully at the stock outlet as well as mechanical factors such as the number of cylinders and engine capacity, before deciding on exhaust diameter - generally 63mm or 76mm - though we do make smaller systems too.
With the aid of technical information and by looking at the ‘before’ torque and power curves obtained on our rolling road dynamometers, our tuners are able to maximize the benefit of a non-standard system.
Precision craftsmanship and superb materials are what Techniflow is all about, and this includes dimensionally accurate laser-cut flanges, brackets, and hangers – all of which are stainless steel. Once the individual components are assembled, the entire system is tack-welded in situ using the simpler and easier MIG welding technique and the TIG welding completed off the vehicle.
Exceptional skill and quality equipment make for a great exhaust:
RGMotorsport’s star welder, Ryan Randall, compares specialized welding to an art form, where there’s an element of creativity in coming up with a finished product that is a feast for the eyes but also extremely functional.
Ryan has spent most of his working life specializing in welding and reckons he can weld just about anything: “Stainless steel, titanium, pewter, cast iron, ally, brass, copper…I can weld it. Each one requires a slightly different technique but I’ve been a specialist welder for over 16 years and I’ve learnt some tricks of the trade along the way!
“Welding for me is really about passion and patience – when I have a torch in my hand I feel like an artist with his paintbrush, and the end result is what makes it worthwhile. Having the right kind of welding equipment and the correct materials is essential and management at RGM fully understand the importance of this if the end result is going to be perfect.”
Keeping exhaust noise and tone down to an appropriate level is an important consideration, not only in terms of the law, but also occupant comfort – unless we’re building a system which is intended for track use only. We often advise customers to go for a quieter rather than louder system, despite their initial desire for a more extrovert note! In a number of cases, we’ve toned down sound levels when customers have returned having realised that they should’ve taken our advice.
Our Techniflow exhausts incorporate stainless steel silencers that form a crucial part of the total system. These silencers use computer aided design (CAD) to ensure the correct construction for ultimate airflow performance as well as adding the correct back-pressure. These silencers are manufactured from 409-grade perforated stainless steel inner tubing wrapped in 304-grade knitted stainless steel mesh and then packed with high quality E-glass. This material is weighed and then packed into the silencer to ensure the correct density.
The outer skin is 430-grade stainless steel, so at least three grades are used in each silencer, which are manufactured off-site and under license to RGMotorsport. When appropriate, we also fit off-the-shelf aftermarket high flow 100 CPU catalytic convertors.
Have you heard of Techniflow High performance exhaust systems? No?
Here is Rob Green, managing partner of RGMotorsport, explaining the true meaning of Techniflow high performance exhaust systems. Here you can see how our qualified staff build a Cat back high performance 76mm Techniflow exhaust system on a 2016 Ford Mustang 5.0l V8 with our signature Satin black RGM Tailpipes. Here you can understand the way we build our exhausts in house and the fact of the matter is, CUSTOMBuilt to satisfy your needs!
How would you like your vehicles exhaust system look or sound ? Contact the team at RGM today or pop into our showroom at 21 Hammer Ave Strijdom Park Randburg (Gauteng - South Africa) and we will show you our facility and build your vehicles Performance Parts to suit your every need.