Published: 14 June 2020
PPD's cheap stainless exhaust” What's the cheap PPD Performance exhaust like on the 200 series LandCruiser? Does it drone?
For my whole life I've always wanted a V8 and when I finally managed to get my hands on one, it sounded like a bloody Toyota Camry.
The factory 200 series exhaust was obviously designed with Sahara owning school drop off owners in mind, not GX owning bogans like me. But when I went to look for an aftermarket exhaust I soon discovered that my dream of a sweet sounding V8 was further out of reach than I thought. Researching on the Internet and phoning around, I was getting quotes in excess of $2000 to fit a new exhaust! That's when I discovered PPD Performance in Perth. Their website was showing a price well under $1000. It was a stainless system too, so obviously a Chinese manufactured product being that it was so cheap and stainless. Now I've already been burned on this vehicle with Chinese accessories so I was a little gun shy, but for less than half the price of an Australian made mild steel system and the difference between having that V8 sound now or driving my bogan looking GX LandCruiser and having it sound like a Tesla for seemingly all eternity, a decision had to be made.
So I ordered the exhaust from PPD from their website. Unfortunately I didn't see the section in the description saying that they were waiting for stock, but after a few back and forth emails I decided to wait for the stock and PPD agreed to express freight the exhaust at no extra charge when it arrived. And they did, and it arrived nearly two weeks before it was expected! So kudos to PPD Performance for that effort. The system fitted up quite well, and there are some very tight tolerances on the 200 series for the exhaust so it has been designed and manufactured to a reasonably strict margin of error. Unusually it comes in many many different pieces that all bolt together via flanges. I assume this is to cut down the international and domestic freight costs as when it rocked up I did wonder if there was box missing... But no it was all in there. This along with probably installation issues has meant that when cold I notice it is a little leaky with a different sound to when it's warmed up. I assume the stainless expands substantially when hot. It's not horrible but I can hear some additional turbo whistle in the cab when you first start it in the morning (it is winter here at the moment). Once you've warmed it up all of that goes away. I will have to get under and see if I can tighten some of the bolts at some point and see if that rectifies that little issue.
Now for the elephant in the room, what does it sound like and are there any performance gains? Well it sounds pretty awesome to be honest. It is noticeable in the cab, right from when you first turn the key, but it's not intrusive. You can hear a nice little rumble coming from the back at idle and under even light acceleration. Under heavy acceleration you can hear it even with the radio on at a reasonable volume but cruising on the highway is pretty quiet. It's there, but it's not a horrible drone. At around 2000rpms the exhaust does have a slight drone, it is quite noticeable even with the radio on but luckily the 200 series tends not to sit at 2000 rpm's too much unless I'm driving at 80kph or if it won't shift into 6th at 110kph. Generally I find if it's being stubborn at shifting into 6th gear I just manually shift into 6th and then pop it back into auto and it will stay there so it's not a big deal. I'm not very often doing 80kph for super long distances so a drone at that speed is quite ok in my book.
As far as performance goes, isn't it always faster when you modify your car?? Well, it almost always FEELS faster. And it does. But that's most likely because it sounds faster, because it does that too. I am nearing the end of my first tank of fuel with the system and I do feel like I've had a substantial increase in economy. Normally I hit 300kms at the first 1/4 of a tank and this time around I hit 400kms. But that could also have something to do with my motor only having 5000kms on it since the rebuild and it could be freeing up a little too. I guess that's something for the long term review later on down the track. What I can say is that it does 'feel' like it has a little less lag from a standing start, and that would make sense if that was true with less restriction on the turbines but without dyno testing before and after it's a pretty hard call to make. What I have noticed is what I think is a definite change to the engine load percentage on my Ultraguage on the highway at 110kph. Between 5% and 10% on my last 500kms highway trip. Now this could be due to different wind, how much weight I had on board, the hills, the temperature or anything really. But if that is the case, that might explain why I am looking at getting many more km's out of this current tank of diesel compare to my previous economy figures.
The quality of the welds seem to be quite reasonable and I couldn't stick a magnet do the pipe so it must have at least some stainless to it, but I guess we'll have to look at the longevity of the system after a bit more time and see if it holds together or gives me any other problems.