View Full Version : 3" Stainless Midpipe Group buy for ST185

10-04-2011, 11:49 PM
I have reached out to a local performance shop who do good work. They have nicely fixed up one Alltrac so far. They did a custom midpipe, but they did a custom DP also so they were not able to make a jig for a midpipe that will work as a universal unit. I went down today to speak with them. They have rough figures at this point for cost, I am guessing $500-600 (keep in mind this is a rough and inflated price as I would rather guess $5-600 and have it end up $4-500 than vice versa) based on their guesstimates, but we will see once we have gone over all the details. Obviously the more we have the cheaper it is.

The magic number here is 10 people.

They did not see much of an issue and based on the numbers will be working this out with us. They are a decent shop and have a good reputation, with a good 5 man crew so they can have them made in a fair amount of time. I am getting one regardless.

I will be taking Demon down on Monday the 17th to get a solid number and figure out a few of the last issues for fitment then I will get a timeline and firm cost.

Details known:
These will be for the ST185
Will be stainless, 3" mandrel bent with flex pipe.
They were able to do the other midpipe without rubbing issues on the crossmember so this shouldn't be an issue.

Still to be determined:
Cat option - I expressed this as a high priority and suggested a test-pipe option, so we will see.
Final dollar figure - They are working up a materials list at this time and will go over options on the 17th.

So who wants one? Based on feedback they may be able to start as soon as end of October.

Please indicate your level of readiness:

1. Ready now
2. Ready within 1 month
3. Ready within 2 months
4. I need more time


10-05-2011, 03:43 AM
OK.... just so you know....
Flanges = $20
Flex pipe (Dual braided 3", not outer braid with bellows inside) =$25
3" mandrel U bend (enough bend to make at least one mid pipe) = $40
3' 3" DOM tubing = $20

So total in cost for far more materials than needed is $105.

Making a jig for this will maybe take 2-3 hours, then total time in cutting and welding each is about an hour.

a One-off should cost no more than $300. If you are building a jig, and have 10 total sales, the cost should drop down to $200-$225 at a shop rate of $50 per hour.

10-05-2011, 05:19 AM
I would disagree on some of the prices based on my research, as a 4' straight stainless ran $65. This is public prices and shop rate is higher than $50/hr anywhere you go; as the average is generally $65/hr. The price range I quoted is higher than what they said, but I am erroring on the side of caution. Once they have the mats list and we go over the details, I am confident the cost will be lower. To also add the test pipe option doubles the cost for flanges, not a huge difference, just pointing it out.

At the same time nobody else has been able to successfully get a group buy through without a price in the range of $550+... then again lets face it 99% of the attempts to get this done have failed.


10-05-2011, 11:26 AM
well, I buy wholesale (like fabrication shops), and a 10' stick of DOM 304 or 409 Stainless tubing is in the $100 range at most at all pipe shops.

Here's a 5' length for $48 shipped from E-bay. http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Stainless-Steel-Exhaust-Tubing-3-Straight-Pipe-/200659561489?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item2eb83dec11#ht_1794wt_1165
Here's 3" collector flanges for $17. 3" collector flanges (http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/2-3-Exhaust-Collector-Stainless-Steel-Flange-/380374091434?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item58901006aa#ht_2399wt_1165) If I was having these water jet cut from 1/2" plate (which I would do if I were a fab shop doing this project, I could get the costs down to $15 per pair or cheaper)
Here's a 3" Mandrel U Bend for $47 shipped: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/MANDREL-BEND-180-DEGREE-U-3inch-409-STAINLESS-STEEL16ga-/180161983862?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item29f27db576#ht_500wt_803
Here's a 3" Full Stainless flex section for $25 shipped: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/3-x-6-Exhaust-Flex-Pipe-Tube-Stainless-Steel-/200659562741?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item2eb83df0f5#ht_1628wt_1165

So with a quick 5 min E-bay search (With LOTS of excess materials), the total cost is: 137 Any fabricator can beat those prices with a local wholesaler.

So for a one-off, 3 hours labor to cut in place (even at the $65 per hour price, which is inflated) we're at $332.00

As I said, if you are making a Jig off the prototype (2 hours if you're a poor fabricator), then cutting the sections in bulk, then welding up in the jig should take at a maximum 2 hours each...

So, let's add this together for 10 units:
prototyping (3 hours)
Jig fabrication (2 hours)
9 following units (18 hours) VERY CONSERVATIVE ESTIMATE
Total of 23 hours @65 per hour = $1495
Material Costs (at higher than wholesale pricing of $137 per unit) = $1370
Jig costs (Mild plate steel) $100 (WAY OVERPRICED)

Total costs of $2965.00 for 10 units

each unit cost of $296.50 As I said, everything I just quoted was WAY generous in the estimates. With wholesale pricing, less waste, and a more realistic $50 per hour shop rate, a per-unit cost would be more like $225.

As for sizing, I have to say that a 3" mid pipe is overkill on anyone using a stock based turbo. I would go 2.75" max.

Also, if I had an order of 10 identical units, I would contact a bend shop with a CNC mandrel bender, make the prototype, give it to them, and they could bend the remainders out of a single pipe. Then the only fabrication would be 4 weld beads (both flanges, and the tubing to the flex section=1/2 hour for setup in the jig, tack and finish welding). This would reduce overall costs, and improve the quality of the final product.

10-05-2011, 01:12 PM
We aren't going to agree on this topic, especially not the shop rate. I haven't seen a shop rate at $50 since I was 20. Hell KO racing is at $90/hr for fab work. Look so far nobody has gotten one of these done, so I want one and I am tired of waiting. So if you feel you could get one made for that cost, please do so. Until then, please indicate if you wish to participate in the group buy or not.

We don't have the final number and I have grossly inflated the cost estimate as I would rather over-estimate than underestimate based on their guesstimate. So at this time the conversation is less than productive. I thank you though, as it is good to know the other costs involved or at least a ballpark.


10-05-2011, 01:47 PM
OK, well just for shits and giggles, I sent a request for a quote for the mandrel bending to a bending shop I used to use. I sent them a photo based off of the fireball fabrication ST185 mid pipe.

If the per-unit cost is reasonable, all that would need to be done is have 4 weld beads laid and it would be done.

10-05-2011, 01:50 PM
I also just sent a request for quote on how much the fireball fabrications mid-pipe is for the ST185.


10-05-2011, 03:23 PM

The fireball group buy was $500 and to date it still has not been finished.

Now please can we keep this on topic.


10-05-2011, 04:15 PM
I can vouch for Joe and the Performance shop, as my brother and I were the were ones to have our all trac built there. The guys do great work and have offered up their time and expertise to allow such a group. From what conversation I had with the shop owner, looks like you could have a 3 week turn around time on these mid pipes, from the day of payment. They do great work and also are very easy to deal with.

Considering we have Joe willing to give up his car for fitment and testing, there is a strong possibility we could have these mid-pipes started at the end of October. I myself do not want this to end up like the many previous attempts at a GB on a custom mid-pipe, that take years to complete. Lets get this ball rolling and you can can all receive early christmas presents.

If you guys would like to see some of their work please feel free to take a look at their site www.trackforged.com

Here is the link to my turbo kit built by Forged, which they also are willing to build for the community.


10-05-2011, 04:17 PM
That fireball GB has been open since July 2010... it is now October 2011, who has received theirs or has made payment for theirs?

10-06-2011, 04:12 AM
yeah, I called up Greg. He's had the prototype, and it fit and worked well on his car. But he has not been able to find anyone else near him to test fit the pipe on the car, so he doesn't want to start production. He said once he finds another all trac and it fits with no problems, he can enter production.

Good luck with your group buy.

10-06-2011, 12:26 PM
Daily Bump. I want the midpipe, so if you want it, join the group buy!

Flying Bajan
10-06-2011, 07:05 PM
I want one for sure !!! No cat please :-)

10-07-2011, 05:48 AM
what about a non-stainless option? Would there be a noticeable savings?

10-07-2011, 01:06 PM
They were not willing to do it non-stainless during our initial discussion, but I will bring it back up with them on the 17th to confirm.


10-07-2011, 05:31 PM
Well so far my conversations with Dave@ Forged have been very good. Looks like as soon as Joe's AT is in on the 17th the prototype will be made asap and they look forward to having it built within that weeks time frame.

This groupbuy will be different from others, this one will be a put your money where your mouth is type of deal. There will not be a "make a deposit type deal", it will be a pay up front and receive your Mid-pipe with-in a 2-3 week frame. So if we set this up to open officially to open on 10/24 and close the deal on 10/31, we are looking to have all the midpipes built and shipped by mid November. This GB is a serious deal to get us what we have all been trying to get.

Any questions at all please feel free to pm me, other than that please look forward to seeing pics as this develops. Prices will be determined the week of the 17th-21st.


10-07-2011, 05:34 PM
Also considering, we have about 4 all-tracs around town from modded to bone stock, we can have this done fairly quickly. I my self am looking forward to actually being able to help the community out with getting these mid-pipes built. This gives us a great opportunity to have future products built from Forged Performance.

10-12-2011, 02:50 PM
Demon is going in around 9:30 on Monday. Hopefully we will have a prototype worked out by the end of the week.


10-18-2011, 04:33 AM
Okay, we do not have pricing nailed down, we should have the prices tomorrow.

Here is what is nailed down:

I dropped the car off today and we will have a prototype by Thursday or Friday.

So the midpipe will be offered in 3 packages:

1. Midpipe + Cat. (Cat is V-band attached) For those of us who want the cat option.
2. Midpipe + Test pipe. (Test pipe is V-band attached) For those of use who do not want the cat option.
3. Midpipe + Cat + test pipe. For those of us who want the cat option for emissions and the test pipe for race days.

Midpipe will only be available in 409 stainless and all components will be stainless as well. No coatings will be available as part of this. (You can always get it coated yourself) This will be a full 3" mandrel bent midpipe.

Shipping price will be made available once we have nailed down midpipe cost and determined dimensions of packaging.

Preliminary discussions regarding group buy are we will open it up for a window to participate. This will be a cash up front(put your money where your mouth is) type deal. Once the window has closed the midpipes will be made and ready for shipment within 1-2 weeks time. I will have the exact details once I iron them out and we decide the best plan of attack.


10-18-2011, 04:41 PM
Great job Joe

10-18-2011, 10:03 PM
I want one of these things for my 165. I'm pissed about the 2yo "effort" over at AT.net. Hopefully you get yours up and running, Joe. I applaud you for taking things into your own hands.

10-18-2011, 11:12 PM
Is this for alltrac's only or.will it work for swappers also?

10-19-2011, 03:51 AM
RedRkt01 - I am unsure if the ST185 midpipe will fit the ST165, but I can't imagine it is vastly different as with the cheap ebay knock offs people have only mentioned the modification to the rear tow hooks when interchanging with ST165/185.

Celica9303 - I honestly have no clue. It is my understanding the tunnel on the FWDs is smaller, but then again the front placement (cross member routing, etc) should be the same. If you happen to know of anyone in my area with a FWD 5th gen I would be happy to check it out and compare/measure with mine. I will try to check the local yards, but they are usually limited on 5th gens.

So we have prices nailed down. I did run it by them to do just a straight midpipe without the test pipe section. Unfortunately, due to the intricacies with the cat option, it would require a completely new jig; which would add to the cost and would not in our opinions, be a cost effective product.

We should have pictures of the midpipe on Thursday or Friday.

Prices are:
1. $580 Midpipe + Cat. (Cat is V-band attached) For those of us who want the cat option.
2. $560 Midpipe + Test pipe. (Test pipe is V-band attached) For those of us who do not want the cat option.
3. $600 Midpipe + Cat + test pipe. For those of us who want the cat option for emissions and the test pipe for race days.

Shipping cost is still to be determined. Once I have photos and all the time frames worked out I will make an official post for the group buy.

I am going to be upfront with you on this, our market is small, this group buy will most likely have 5 people at most. (based on feedback so far) So to offer a quality product, made with quality materials and that will be built by people who are passionate about what they do, I am doing my best to meet the needs of our group in terms of quality, performance and price. I personally am willing to pay extra for quality, but at the same time I understand that there is still the determining factor of money for many of us.

David and Jon (Forged) have worked very hard with me to make this happen and in a timely manner; not to mention, Sentraman (Leng) has done a lot of work just to help ensure this happens. As an example of this hard work and effort, I approached David on October 4 to start this group buy. Now October 18th we have a prototype being built with pricing set. I would say that is a good example of our efforts. To add, thanks to Sentraman, they know the troubles, disappointments, and let downs we have faced trying to this exact product made.


10-19-2011, 05:31 PM
Great work Joe, I will try my best to be as helpful as I can be.

10-25-2011, 06:18 AM
Here are my pics, these are phone quality, so please be nice lol. Also these are all in car and not out of car. Also this was built from Joes AT with stock downpipe and Stock cat-back to assure fitment.


10-25-2011, 06:40 AM
Well - uhmm. - I already got one on one my cars - and $600 min seems high. So a nogo for me - but best of luck on the group buy!

Maybe I misunderstood the pricing?

10-25-2011, 03:05 PM
I think the 185 units normally fit the 165s, but just to be sure I'm probably going to start my own GB and build effort on my own when the time comes. After two years of looking the prices definitely seem decent. I will say that you guys have done an excellent job with this effort. My hat goes off to you.

10-25-2011, 03:56 PM
Does anyone know of an ST165 owner here in the Portland metro area? If I can get one into the shop we can test fitment.


10-25-2011, 05:01 PM
Well - uhmm. - I already got one on one my cars - and $600 min seems high. So a nogo for me - but best of luck on the group buy!

Maybe I misunderstood the pricing?

Well $600 will actually come with test pipe and catted pipe, considering it will be 3 pieces that you can remove and add for emissions purposes.

I think the 185 units normally fit the 165s, but just to be sure I'm probably going to start my own GB and build effort on my own when the time comes. After two years of looking the prices definitely seem decent. I will say that you guys have done an excellent job with this effort. My hat goes off to you.

Thank you, just trying to help out the community... Two years of searching, maybe you can just get in on this GB LOL

10-28-2011, 07:30 PM
Thank you, just trying to help out the community... Two years of searching, maybe you can just get in on this GB LOL[/QUOTE]

It is most appreciated! I will get in on it if someone up there can support the build with a ST165. Once it's proven my hat is in the ring......

10-28-2011, 11:34 PM
Come on guys I need a 165 to come and test fit...

10-31-2011, 10:25 PM
here is a recent pic of the midpipe uninstalled


11-01-2011, 08:06 PM
Here are more pictures


11-01-2011, 10:02 PM
Okay guys, we will have the group buy details posted tonight so be on the look out for all the details.


11-02-2011, 05:29 AM
Group buy thread is up and active.


11-18-2011, 04:19 PM
Our first shipped mid-pipe was received yesterday (and it was shipped to Canada) - what are you waiting for?

Group buy thread can be found here: http://www.celicatech.com/forums/showthread.php?54766-ST185-3-quot-Stainless-mid-pipe-is-a-go!&p=30188458#post30188458


11-23-2011, 10:46 PM
Whos next?

11-24-2011, 07:40 PM
Pipe looks really good guys. Good work and thanks for your efforts to support the community!

12-28-2011, 11:07 PM
is this still open? im interested in one but you love a whole exhaust for my 92 st with a 3sgte in it

12-29-2011, 07:46 PM
:ar: omg kill me now i want a pipe for the 165.......