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I have wanted to upgrade the exhaust on my Mk1 MR2 for a long time, as it such an easy modification to do. But, the previous owner of my car had paid for a new Toyota exhaust to be fitted to my car only a few months before I bought it, so junking that would have been a waste. Therefore I waited until it had corroded away (which they always seem to do after 3 or 4 years) and then decided to have a stainless steel exhaust fitted in its place. Most stainless steel exhausts are only marginally more expensive than the mild steel Toyota exhaust, but come with a lifetime guarantee, unlike the Toyota exhaust which is pretty much guaranteed to be useless after 3 or 4 years, judging by what I have read!
Noise and Power
Magnex don't quote a specific power gain for their Mk1 MR2 exhaust, but their general literature implies that you can expect a minor increase in power. My car is certainly slightly more responsive with the Magnex exhaust and JR air filter than it was with the standard Toyota items.
The Magnex is not an overtly loud exhaust, but it adds a deep throaty note, especially with the throttle open and the revs building. Which is just what I wanted: an exhaust that sounds good when I push the car hard, but does not deafen me when I am cruising on the motorway. Oh, and if you are pushing hard, sometimes it will pop and crackle on the over-run, lovely :)
The Magnex has longer tailpipes with a wider (2.5 inch) diameter than the original exhaust, so it looks good without being over the top. Build quality appears to be superb.
I let a local Magnex dealer (Elite down in Rainham, Essex) fit my exhaust, which helps with the guarantee because they stamp the guarantee card after checking the engine and exhaust mounts etc. If you want to fit one yourself the process should be very simple, although you may need somebody to help you lower the old exhaust and offer up the new one because they are rather heavy. They can be bought mail order from a number of places, including Fensport.
Mongoose sell a Mk1 MR2 exhaust which appears to be very similar in terms of noise, power and looks to the Magnex.
Janspeed offered both mild steel and stainless steel Mk1 MR2 exhausts in the past. Interestingly, their Mk1 MR2 exhausts are very loud, and a performance gain of approximately 10BHP is specified. From what I have read, the mild steel exhausts corroded very quickly, so their stainless steel system was a wiser choice. Certainly if you were looking for a power increase, and did not mind the noise, this was one to consider seriously! A chap called Trev emailed me in 2010 to say that he has been in contact with Janspeed and they no longer manufacture the stainless steel exhaust (and presumably the mild steel exhaust as well). However, they do still have the jigs for the stainless steel exhaust, and would make them if they received an order for 5 or more. I pointed Trev in the direction of the Mk1 forums at IMOC UK, because he was interested in generating enough interest to have them made, so if you are interested it may be worth checking over there.
The other company I considered was Powerflow. They have a number of dealers around the
country who will custom build an exhaust system for you using Powerflow pipes etc. From what
I have read on
I wrote a comparison table of Mk1 MR2 exhausts for IMOC-UK, which I have reproduced below. The table below is a comparison of some of the various exhaust systems available in the UK for the Mk1 Toyota MR2. Most of the entries are not absolute, most figures are approximate due to variations in pricing and performance measurement, and the more subjective items are just that: subjective. Please mail any comments, corrections and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks to Alan Head, Ben Dodson, Christopher Moore, Jamie Ayres, Peter Wedge, Trev and all on the imoc-uk list for the input to date.
|Toyota OEM Mild Steel||Janspeed Mild Steel||Janspeed Stainless Steel||Magnex Stainless Steel||Mongoose Stainless Steel|
|Warranty||3 years?||1 year?||Lifetime?||Lifetime||Lifetime|
|Flexipipe||Yes||None||Yes, shorter than OEM||Yes, length please?|
|Fitting||Bolts straight on||May require slight rolling of exhaust notch in the rear valance, and slight trimming of offside rear exhaust mount (clearance for the thick triangular tailpipe support/mount is tight)||May require slight adjustment of clamp which hold exhaust hanger nearest to the flexipipe section to make sure it is hanging freely without touching anything.|
|Remove heat-shield under rear boot?||No||No||Sometimes, although adjustment of clamp holding exhaust hanger nearest to the flexipipe section should make sure exhaust is clear of the heat-shield.|
|Approx power gain over OEM||0||5%||Small||Small|
|Sound - tone||Not particularly sporty||Metallic and raspy at low revs, deep and resonant at high revs||Deeper note than OEM||Deeper note than OEM|
|Sound - loudness in the cruise||Not particularly loud||Somewhat louder than OEM||Slightly louder than OEM||Slightly louder than OEM|
|Sound - loudness at full throttle||Not particularly loud||Very loud indeed!||Louder than OEM, but not deafening||Similar to OEM|
|Trackday noise tests||102dB, so illegal for Bedford, Bruntingthorpe, Castle Coombe, Goodwood and Thruxton.|
|Notes||Tend to corrode away shortly after 3 year warranty has expired!||Tend to corrode away shortly after 1 year warranty has expired! See notes above regarding Janspeed availability.||See notes above regarding Janspeed availability.|
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