4 x 4 Australia - - Contents -

WE tend to fo­cus on squeez­ing more power from our en­gines, but many for­get the ex­haust can also be restrict­ing per­for­mance. Take the 4.5-litre TDV8 in the Troop­car­rier (70 and 200 Se­ries). The stan­dard ex­haust sys­tem is too small in di­am­e­ter – though many go over­board with huge dump pipes and ex­hausts that mainly cre­ate noise but don’t help those who tour and tow with their 4x4s.

The sys­tem we’ve fit­ted to this Troopy doesn’t ex­ceed noise lim­its but it sounds beaut. I love the sound of a rum­bling V8 and that was a draw­card – un­til I heard how dull the stocker is. That was eas­ily fixed via a trip to Taipan XP in Queens­land for one of its three-inch alu­minised steel (304-grade stain­less is avail­able) man­drel­bent sys­tems, com­plete with Vor­tex sports muf­fler, res­onator and ce­ramic dump pipe.

The V8 throb from the pipe isn’t harsh or loud and doesn’t sound like a sick dog bark­ing. The sports muf­fler we chose is a lit­tle louder than the stan­dard Taipan of­fer­ing but after 4500km, I’ve not had a sin­gle noise com­plaint from my wife.

Taipan in­cludes a ce­ramic-coated dump pipe with the sys­tem, which is ef­fec­tively a slip­pery sur­face to help heat and air es­cape faster. It also has a threaded plug to ac­cept a pyro gauge, to keep track of en­gine temps. The ce­ramic coat­ing pre­vents heat com­ing up into the floor at the pas­sen­ger’s feet.

The Taipan sys­tem fol­lows the orig­i­nal route, al­beit tucked higher above the chas­sis rails. Notably, the tailpipe also ex­its higher than stan­dard to im­prove de­par­ture an­gles and pre­vent scrapes, and a vor­tex muf­fler speeds up the gases to aid the free-flow­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics and re­duce ex­haust gas tem­per­a­tures.

A ded­i­cated diesel-spe­cific 200-cell cat­alytic con­verter of­fers im­proved emis­sions con­trol. The con­verter is higher qual­ity than stock and main­tains le­gal­ity – any ve­hi­cle from a factory must still have a cat in­stalled after a re­place­ment ex­haust sys­tem is fit­ted.

The 409 stain­less steel flex smooths out vi­bra­tions from the en­gine to the ex­haust sys­tem, thus re­duc­ing the like­li­hood of crack­ing and dam­ag­ing other fix­ing com­po­nents. Notably, all flange plates of the Taipan sys­tem are 10mm thick to pre­vent warp­ing. The lads also change the OE ex­haust mount­ing rub­bers dur­ing fit­ting – even though this Troopy only had about 20,000km on it, they were al­ready com­pressed and de­formed from their orig­i­nal shape.

An im­por­tant in­clu­sion is a small tailpipe res­onator, which helps get rid of the of­fen­sive bark­ing noises heard on some sys­tems when stab­bing the go-pedal.

Hav­ing driven the Troopy with the Taipan ex­haust for a cou­ple of months, I can feel it is freer flow­ing – it revs out faster and eas­ier and main­tains torque, mean­ing the back pres­sure has been main­tained – some­thing an overly large or free-flow­ing sys­tem will lose out on, un­less other mod­i­fi­ca­tions are made.

Speak­ing of mod­i­fi­ca­tions, while most en­gine man­age­ment mod­ules in­crease ex­haust gas tem­per­a­tures, this freeflow­ing ex­haust sys­tem helps avoid those same po­ten­tially en­gine-dam­ag­ing heat in­creases. So it’s a win-win fit­ment of two prod­ucts to safely in­crease the all-round power out­put.

The com­plete sys­tem is made in Queens­land and is of­fered in DIY kit form. It of­fers ex­cel­lent qual­ity, in­creased of­froad clear­ance and it re­turns an awe­some note – I haven’t lis­tened to my Troopie’s stereo in weeks.

RATED AVAIL­ABLE FROM: www.taipanxp.com.au RRP: Model de­pen­dent. WE SAY: Awe­some note; per­for­mance hike; im­proved ground clear­ance; Aussie-made.

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