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Old 02-05-2004, 09:52 AM   #1
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
Chino , California
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exhaust sys. for '85 345

I'm planning to upgrade my exhaust system,the local muffler shop that is recomended by an RV repair shop gave me an estimate of $1700.00. Is that too much or just about O.K. ? The system is made up of Thorley headers,Flowmaster muffler,and new pipes and harware all exiting to the driver side.He said that the Banks 1900 just for parts?I figured this is a good upgrade and later the Jacobs ignition?

The Unleaded Zeppellin
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Old 02-05-2004, 10:40 AM   #2
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Can't speak for the Thorleys, I've heard they are very good, but the Banks made a big difference on my 93 rig. If I ever buy another MH that will be the first thing I do to it. Anytime you can bolt on something and increase performance by 20% or better it's worth while to me.


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Old 02-05-2004, 12:09 PM   #3
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I would say that is about right. That system should be really good..maybe not the quality of the Banks, but at the price difference it should be fine. I found the banks to run 2500 plus installed.
That and either jacobs or MSD should be a terrific addition to your set up.
Now what about a new Edelbrock carb? Sounds like my wish list, too.
I am happy with my Tornadop, Accel wiring, upgraded starter and alternator and battery isolator, and now the Optima yellow top I just got. And the list goes on.............
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Old 02-05-2004, 12:37 PM   #4
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You didn't specify if the Thorley headers and Flowmaster muffler(s) were a single or dual set up.

I really think you should consider a Dual Exhaust only. Two pipes breath SO much easier than one. Don't have any strong feeling about a crossover connection, though, some people think they help. I can't think of a downside to the crossover being installed, other than access and cost.

One thing to remember, you want to tune the exhaust to the 2800 to 3200 rpm range. That is the range that I find myself in most (60 to 65 mph). The red line on the engine is only 3800 rpm, so no sense having headers that harmonicaly balance at anything above that.

"Suck it up, spend the bucks, do it right the first time."

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Old 02-05-2004, 03:05 PM   #5
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Thumbs up

Lido & Linda

I forgot to list the price of the Banks, the parts were $1,750 direct from Banks. The installiation was $670 (which included $60 to remove one broken bolt from the head). I had to travel about 250 miles on way to get mine installed by a good shop. It took them almost all day using their big RV lift and two guys, but they did an excellent job.

If I'd tried installing that myself I would still be trying to get that bolt out. As a matter of fact I would have messed up the head so someone would have had to pull the head to fix it, and I would have still have had to have someone else fix everything else right. To me changing the exhaust system is NOT a DYI project

But I really like the performance it provides and would do it again.
Oh, I'm getting about 2 miles per gallon better milage to boot.

Don Nall
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Old 02-05-2004, 03:22 PM   #6
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what diameter?

I think 3" on my Banks with stainless steel and a lifetime waranty is worth a bit more money.

I have heard on this forum than Gibsons are a duplicate of the Banks in the exhaust system.
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Old 02-05-2004, 03:31 PM   #7
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Hi Zepp!

I got exactly what you are intending for about the same price (a little less up north). Mine has the Edelbrock as well, so it kicks!

If you do this, save the old exhaust manifolds and list them here. I had someone ask me for mine for his Argosy, but both ended up being cracked and useless.

Have fun.
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Old 02-05-2004, 06:48 PM   #8
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
Chino , California
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The first estmate of 1700 is a dual system both exiting on the driverside.I found another muffler shop that wil do a pair of Thorley and dynaflow with 3'' allumized pipe going to a single pipe for $1050.00 time and material.And also all of this work are smog legal something I have to worry about here.So whats up with the Edelbrock, is it a carb/intake?Will I gain power and or gas milages?
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Old 02-05-2004, 07:25 PM   #9
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The Thorleys are $329 and the 3" Flowmaster Series 70 is around $100. Single 3" pipe out the side in front of the driver's side rear wheels is all you really need. The labor on the headers can be nasty if bolts break, but the rest of it is easy. Figure $500-550 for parts and $250 labor if no bolts break. Pull off the aircleaner while you're at it and gut the heatriser flaps in the snout and seal the slot with silicone. Get some 4" dryer vent hose on the intake snout and run it up to the grill. You'll be very pleasantly surprised with the increased torque and MPG. Noise increase is minimal.
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Old 02-05-2004, 09:30 PM   #10
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I paid $1700 plus shipping for my Banks system about two years ago. I bought it directly from Banks, who gave me a 10% discount because I'm a Camping World President's Club member. That price also included the stainless steel pipes option.

The Banks is a full nose-to-tail system, including a cold air intake and really nifty cast aluminum air cleaner housing and K&N filter. Unfortunately, this was too tall for my Argosy, so I sold it to a friend. My 24' was as short a motorhome as this system would fit without modification - the muffler's huge.

As far as installation, I think exhausts are fair game for reasonably handy do-it-yourselfers. You'll want some help because the parts are large and unwieldy, but it's not very complicated - unless you run into something like that broken manifold bolt. Hey, I find it a pleasure to work on anything with that much room underneath!

I have nothing but praise for the Banks system. Their torque-tube headers seem to make gobs of power, and all of the parts are first-rate. With the stainless steel pipes option, I shouldn't have to worry about replacing exhaust parts for many, many years. I don't think the system gives up anything to duals, either. The 3" exhaust will carry all the CFM my 502 can put out.

Bob McKeown

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