Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Scarlett gets the Raceway Services Two-into-One headers installed.

Back in early December of last year, I'd bought Raceway URAL's (formerly Raceway Services) kit to convert my 2014 URAL Patrol from having two mufflers, to just using one, the starboard one.

You see, the stock mufflers on the sidecar rigs made by URAL have what I've come to think of as a design defect.  Nothing safety related of course, it's just that when one's rig is on a rough/rocky trail and is tilted towards the left or port, the muffler sometimes contacts a protruding rock.

Said contact, given enough speed/force, tends to knock one's muffler loose from its connection to the catalyst pipe or even the header pipe.  Quite a PITA to put back in place while on the trail, let me tell you!  I'd taken to carrying a heat-proof glove and a big hammer for just such occasions.

As it is, even when the muffler doesn't get knocked off, it acquires some rather sad looking "dents" and scratches from rock impacts.

Reference pic, the red arrow shows where rocks usually
impact the muffler when rig is tilted to the left because
of rough terrain conditions.

The Two-into-One Header pipes from Raceway URAL allow you to eliminate using the port-side or left muffler and catalyst converter pipe, that links it to the left side header pipe, which goes into the left cylinder head.

The stock header pipes.  The holes you see near
the junction of the header pipes to the cross-pipe are
the oxygen sensor "bung" holes.

The hardest part of the whole install?  Removing the oxygen sensors that were rusted on solid into their mounting holes in the stock header pipes above.  I eventually succeeded in removing them but basically ruined the edges of the 14mm nuts securing them into the header pipes above.  Dammit.

Tried three different 14mm open end wrenches, all were just slightly loose!  Ended up using vise grips and brute force after trying both solvent oil and applying heat as well.  Sigh.

Once past that particular obstacle, all else went pretty much OK.  I had previously purchased a "reducer" to allow for the mating of the new header pipe and the stock muffler which I elected to leave on the right side of the tug.  Darrell S., a fellow Uralista, had previously done this install and had elected to use a HD Sportster muffler for his rig.

I have not, ever, had a rock impact the right side muffler in the almost six years or more that I've been driving URAL sidecar rigs, so I figure it to be a good risk.

I had to cut the right side header pipe from Raceway Ural in order to fit with existing hardware. Raceway Ural ships it to you long, so you make final adjustments as you do the install.

In the picture above, you can see the pipe onto which the left side header pipe connects.

Above pic shows the right side header pipe mounted to
right side cylinder.  Again, you can see the pipe where
the left side header pipe will connect.

Now you can see the left side header pipe connected and
secured onto the right-side header pipe.

Though it was a damn close fit on both ends, I still ended up with an exhaust leak on the trailing edge of the reducer!  Darrell advised using some heat resistant sealant from the local auto parts store and so it was applied.  

I removed the port side muffler and mounting bracket, tightened everything down on the new assembly, took it out for a test ride and everything seems to be good to go!

Here's some pics of the final assembly:

The right side header pipe, linked now to the stock right side muffler
You can also see the Mr COB belly pan which protects
the oil pan.

The left side header pipe, mated to the right side header pipe.
You see see the right-side oxygen sensor's cable near the right-side
header pipe.

Sorry the rig looks so dirty, it gets that way when you go riding in the snow.  What you're seeing is dirt-encrusted accumulations of magnesium chloride on the radiator fins of the cylinder heads.

I am quite happy with this farkle for Scarlett, she's gained about four inches of ground clearance on the left/port side of the tug.  Scarlett is ready for this Spring's Moab gathering, and she won't be leaving her left side muffler on the ground this time!

just look at that new ground clearance!


Did not use the new header gaskets provided by Raceway, re-used existing ones.  Wanted to avoid removing the stock header studs after all the "fun" I had with the oxygen sensor mounting nuts.  Using the Raceway gaskets, which are thicker, would have possibly required the longer studs they provide.

Update: 24JAN16.  Replaced the reducer with the one pictured below that I got from O'Reilly's Auto Parts. It's always best to ensure that the flow end goes into the next section, shall we say.  Previous reducer forced the flow out at the join point, no amount of sealant would do the trick.

Update: 28JAN16.  Found the source of the exhaust leak:

 left side cylinder head, this is the stock gasket that
came with the rig.
The defunct gasket, came apart as I removed it from
left side cylinder head, no wonder I was getting an
exhaust leak.

The right side cylinder head gasket seemed "ok" but of course was replaced with the slightly thicker gaskets that came with the new pipes from Raceway URAL.  They'd also included longer head studs but the existing ones were long enough for the stock crowned nuts to grip and be tightened down.

A test ride revealed all the annoying popping and backfiring was gone!  


VStar Lady said...

Well done Dom. Your do-it-yourself talent never ceases to amaze me. Sounds like a great improvement.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks VStar Lady, though sometimes I wonder if I should be trusted with tools.... :)

whojigger said...

I've thought myself on doing the "high side" solution for the exhaust. My problem is snow crusted over, riding on the top then crashing through. Baby Blue settles down to the pipes then the exhaust acts like sled runners keeping the rear wheel from engaging enough to paddle wheel on. Sunk up to the exhaust can be a bummer. Let me know how she goes in deep snow! I put a photo on my FB page showing what I mean.

redlegsrides said...

whojigger (bruce), yep, been there done that. those pontoon mufflers float when the snow is deep enough and you lose all traction on the pusher!

It'll be interesting to see what happens next time I find deep snow. I'm thinking the rig wouldn't float with just one stock muffler but not sure of the outcome.

The high side solution would be optimal but the money involved is too much.

RichardM said...

If Urall didn't warranty the broken header last summer, I was going to put on the two into one header. If for no other reason than the metal felt more substantial than the stock pieces and the rear wheel would be much easier to remove. But it was replaced under warranty. I also like the high mount exhaust for the same reason. Too easy to get stuck in not very much snow. This is where chains on the sidecar wheel came in really handy.

redlegsrides said...

Darn URAL, honoring the warranty with no hassles or issues! :)

I may end up going with the Sportster muffler in the long run but for now, we'll see. I carry chains most of the time in Winter, have yet to have to use them.

Unknown said...

What a great solution to a "You gotta be kidding me!" design flaw. Did it change the URAL's sound much? At all?

BMW HACKER said...

Nice and clean....good job!
Notice any engine performance changes in running the single exhaust?

I've thought about running a 2 to 1 on my Rig, but would want the muffler on the left to get the exhaust sound away from the passenger. All 2 to 1's are right side exit that I've seen. I have seen a couple of home built left side systems.... I can't run in the rough terrain you guys do. A (dry) gravel road is about my limit...lol....you guys get to have all the fun!

redlegsrides said...

Ry, the sounds appears the same to my ex-artillery ears....as to flaw, perhaps I used too strong a word...how about "rock impact absorption feature". :)

RichardM said...

"rock impact absorption feature"

Now the rear disc is more vulnerable without the "protection" of the muffler?

redlegsrides said...

oh great, RichardM, now I'll worry about the rear brake disc!


Unknown said...

Raceway makes a 2 into 1 left side high mount. I just did the right side high mount on my 2013 GU.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Peter Mayhew, I've seen the right side high mount on a GU, it's quite nice.....pricey....but nice. Do your passengers remark on noise levels?

redlegsrides said...

BMW Hacker, sorry for the delayed response....didn't have enough data yet to answer well

Didn't notice a chance in performance, spent some time pursuing exhaust leaks which had the rig popping quite loudly at times but I think that's resolved with the use of new head gaskets. I completely understand your wishing the noise away from your passenger/monkey. As Peter Mayhew said, Raceway does make a two-into-one Left side....not sure if that would work for your Beemer rig though.

redlegsrides said...

BMW Hacker, something you wrote has me asking.

You wrote: I can't run in the rough terrain you guys do. A (dry) gravel road is about my limit...lol....you guys get to have all the fun!

What are the limiting factors of the Beemer rig you have? Is it ground clearance, gearing or some other factor(s)? I've often thought I'd like a R75 with a sidecar as a second rig.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the detail discussion and pictures. I have a 2012 Ural and you are correct on the clearance issues with the left side muffler. So, in order to keep cost down and retain stock mufflers I've purchased the 2 into one low kit. Thanks again.