QP system on track!

QP system on track!

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I'm writing this in reply to the posting by Ed Cain about his broken 2bular QP exhaust and subsequent fire-damage to his Exige 410. His attempt at "keeping it informative and measured" certainly curled my top lip. I am always entertained by these trackday enthusiasts posting their Go-Pro videos for the benefit (is that the right word?) of the rest of us mere mortals. Did ya catch my gearchange at 2min 32- did ya?! Driving Gods develop a heightened sense of their superiority it seems to me. Listening to the statement from one 410 owner that he was "more on it than Ed Cain - so I'll need longer add-ons!" - I could only smile. 

The stringent decibel limits placed on UK circuits these days means I am kept very busy helping out Lotus dealers sell their supercharged V6 cars by guaranteeing their prospective customers that they will be able to enjoy their new purchase on track. 2bular is the only manufacturer to offer a straight-thru V6 track system which won't cost you any power.

Ed Cain WhatsApp'd me with the sad news that his exhaust had broken and the heat had melted his near-side rear wheel. I asked for any images - a picture paints a 1000 words etc etc. He sent a pic of the small resonance silencer with its end-cap torn out. Now, that area is very highly stressed on the Lotus installs (4cyl and V6). I am aware of this and do point out in my T's & C's that "with Lotus using basic, virtually rigid exhaust mounts, the exhaust system is under constant stress from engine/transmission movement". Lotus use the exhaust system as an engine steady-bar. Soft engine/transmission mounts, hard exhaust mounts. Helps reduce NVH (Noise/Vibration/Harshness) apparently. Never seen this combination on any other sportscar. A mis-guided strategy to say the least - and I'm not going to be held responsible for any resulting damage when you spin off, because that's when the serious exhaust damage can occur. The engine/transmission bloc deflection when you stop is massive.

Other information/guidance in my T's & C's? "I build exceedingly robust exhausts but I will not be held liable if you burn/blow out/break your exhaust during track use. IF YOU TRACK THE CAR, YOUR 2BULAR WARRANTY IS VOID." Can't say clearer than that. One 430 owner pointed out that his car is guaranteed for 2 years of track use. True - and he pays a considerable premium for that.

I called Ed Cain to get as much information as possible. I am very much a petrolhead and it's always sad to hear about a damaged car as beautiful as an Exige 410. I remember he wrote-off his last 410(!) at Thruxton and I was mightily impressed with how the tub stood up to the substantial impact.  Tracking at the Nurburgring, I asked why he didn't stop right away when he heard what must have been a serious amount of exhaust noise given that there was no silencing going on at all. No answer. Melted his alloy wheel though! He did tell me he only had track insurance up to £50,000 and Daniel at Komo-Tec (where the car had been taken) had advised on a sum of £65,000 for repairs. He played all the heart-strings - fellow ex-serviceman, faithful supporter on the various forums and a little threat about "reputational damage Jim" - so could I look at helping with the balance? Now I did laugh at that! (Not at his misfortune).  Couldn't mark his neck with a blow-torch I said to a colleague.

Let me address the allegations he has made. When I told him I had seen several race/track cars burnt out due to broken exhausts I was not talking about Lotus cars or my exhausts - just my past experiences at various racetracks. His comment "I didn't cast blame at any point" - like his earlier comment about "not wanting to turn this into a circus" is his attempt at portraying himself as some entirely rational/reasonable fellow. MY attempt is this little critique! His plea on the private Exige V6 facebook page, after displaying the images of the damage to "please do not share them" - "this isn't a blame session" is risible and shows just how sleekit he really is. WHAT?! I can call him sleekit if he calls me "foul and an enemy" Of course that was once he realised that putting the bite on me for his away-days wasn't going to work ...........................

Bear in mind I have not been able to inspect the exhaust. That request was refused. It was taken from a write-off. His claim that it was regularly checked by Lotus main dealers means nothing to me. I built the exhaust, I know where to look and I know what to look for.  A dealer would not. I have access to and training for dye-pen crack testing. Zero-ing in on that highly stressed area where surprise(!) the exhaust actually broke might have saved all this aggro Ed Cain seems so keen to avoid.  Just because the damage on the write-off at Thruxton was front-end doesn't mean the engine/transmission was not subjected to substantial deflection (bet the mounts were sheared) - and as already pointed out, the exhaust would have been severely stressed. 

Ed Cain said he "knows I'm not the only one who has had this problem" - BUT he is the only one who has had this problem. The only one with an exhaust from a write-off. The only one with a broken small resonator silencer! If he is referencing the Italian chap who spun off at Monza wrecking his 2bular valved silencer (bad choice for a track car) the circumstances were totally different. Spun off into the gravel. Spent 12 minutes trying to drive out, only succeeding in digging himself in deeper. Having admitted to removing the heat-shield above the exhaust, it was surely no surprise that the car eventually caught fire! He was persuaded to post his experience on TLF forum and had his arse handed to him. Not by me - I was banned some time ago for telling the truth. Forums eh?  

Moving on to his claims that I "immediately removed the system from his website as well as his T's and C's." It was a sad coincidence that around that time I had been altering my V6 jig to accommodate a customer's factory Ti system for adaptation to the 2bular EPK and faffing about with the round Lotus V6 track re-packable system! Again, helping a customer out. The jig was not built for round silencers - only oval - like the factory design. Unfortunately, given that I am running at 100mph every day, I didn't re-instate the jig properly and several V6 70mm valved systems and QP systems had been despatched before word began to arrive that they didn't fit! Major problem. I decided to delete the QP system and the 70mm valved exhaust from the website as I knew it was going to take some amount of time before I could fill any of those orders which might be placed.  However, some overseas customers insisted that they needed to get in the queue so I did a quick QP write-up and put that and some QP images back up on the website. I've only just received word that the revised jig is now all ok again. I HAVEN'T ALTERED THE T's & C's SINCE 2018. Ed Clouseau didn't notice the 70mm valved system was also deleted but joyously WhatsApp'd me "You're on the back foot now!"  umm, yeah ok Ed.

Apparently I am "a man with all the answers but none of the solutions."  Tautology - just when you need an example! Why he feels the need to point out that "Oh, and your track exhaust is not covered under warranty ......." is a mystery. Maybe he needs to read those T's & C's again?

Update 16th June:  Txt message - "Why are you hiding behind "withheld number" when calling Ed Cain?"

Umm - I don't know what you're talking about but if he is claiming that, then it sounds like he's on the back foot.

"Jim - you need to get on ****** forum and deal with them."

Ed Cain has had his say. I have had mine. In this age of Social Media (and I include the forums in that category now) you have to allow the mob to have  their say.

Update 17th June: Have I published this post anywhere? NO! So how come it's all over the forums? Because - INTERNET! So another lip-curl when I received this WhatsApp from Ed Cain. "Jim I've deleted my Facebook post so that's that."

Oh - so you stuck the knife in but it's ok - you pulled it out again!

You gibbering blob of sanctimonious smegma.

And I still haven't had the chance to inspect the exhaust.