The Definitive Exhaust Manifold Thread

massivewangers

Paid Member
Okay, so I know this has come up a lot but, as my manifold is blowing and I have been looking through the options, I wanted to try and compile as much information into one thread that will, hopefully at least, be a useful resource for anyone looking to solve this common 197/200 problem, or wondering about the potential performance implications of changing their exhaust manifold.

Standard Manifold Issues

So, firstly, for the newbies, and those that have been asleep since the 197 was launched, the standard exhaust manifold on the 197 and 200 has some inherent flaws:
  • Liable to cracking around the flange joints
  • Flexi sections prone to failure
  • General build quality of the manifold poor in terms of primary size and finishing
Points one and two are generally caused by worn engine mounts, particularly the lower torque mount in my view, which allow greater movement of the engine as they deteriorate. This additional movement puts stress on the flexis and manifold mounting flange, causing eventual failure and a blowing exhaust.

There were a few options for the exhaust but, please remember, unless you fix the engine mounts, then you will will soon run into this issue again. If your manifold is on the way out, the first thing I would advise is to inspect the engine mounts and look at replacements, or even adding poly inserts to at least some of them. I fitted the Powerflex lower torque arm insert and noticed an improvement. I have since added the upper as well, which has stiffened things further, but has caused some additional vibration.

Anyway, on to the exhaust solutions. It's worth noting at this point that, to remove the exhaust manifold, you have to drop the front subframe. This may require you to have the work done by a garage if you're not able to do it at home. This will come with a cost, so will need to be factored in, even though it's going to be required whichever option you choose.

Also, changes to the exhaust can cause a flat spot between 2,000 and 3,000rpm. This can be fixed with a remap, which you will obviously need to account for in your budget. The bonus of this is that it should make the car nicer to drive once it's done. Views on how essential it is vary, but it's worth keeping in mind. Obviously it doesn't apply if you repair/replace the standard manifold.

New Renault Exhaust Manifold

Get your wallet out if you want to go down this route...

This is obviously a bolt-on solution and will get you back to where you were before your original manifold failed. No power gains, no dramas, just a standard bit for a standard car. The problem is, the manifold is very expensive from Renault (check direct for the current price) and availability can be hit-and-miss. Fitting this manifold also leaves you open to a repeat of the flex/flange issue in the future, so you may end up having to replace it again later. In my opinion, this makes the cost hard to justify.

In any case, if you go down this route, make sure your engine mounts are in good condition, otherwise it will definitely break again.

Repair Existing Renault Manifold

A much cheaper option than above, which involves removing the standard exhaust manifold and installing new flexi sections and/or repairing the flange welds.

You'll need to buy two 50x100mm flexi sections, like this:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/50-x-100...ble-Flexi-Flex-Joint-Pipe-Repair/132513181460

You'll also need to find someone to weld them in for you. If your manifold is cracked at the flange, you will also need to repair that. When repairing cracked metal, it's good practice to drill a hole at each end of the crack before welding it up. This helps to ensure that the crack doesn't continue to propagate.

Reconditioned manifolds are available on eBay or, if you wanted to tackle it yourself, you could always buy a cheap one, repair it, and then fit it to your car (you could even repair the one you take off and sell it if you're feeling particularly entrepreneurial).

As above, please please please make sure your engine mounts are good if you go down this route, or you'll soon be taking that subframe off again, and no one enjoys repeating the same job because they didn't do it right the first time.

Repair Existing Manifold and Add Supersprint Pre-Cat Delete

This is a middle option, between replacing/repairing the standard manifold and going for an aftermarket one. It's similar to what was used on the Clio Cup race cars I believe. You'll still need to carry out a repair as detailed above but, while you've got the manifold off, you might as well try and find a horse or two, right?

The Supersprint "Y-pipe" can be seen here:
https://www.supersprint.com/ww-en/r...talytic-converterbrweld-on-connection.aspx#!/

It essentially replaces the lower part of the manifold, deleting the pre-cat and (in theory) improving performance. I haven't seen any dyno data for how well it works. It's also not that cheap to buy and, if you pay to have it fitted (it has to be welded in to the standard manifold), it may end up costing almost as much as a Ktec/PMS manifold by the time you have replaced the flexis, had a flange repair done and had it all fitted. With that in mind, I am not sure it represents particularly good value unless you can do the work yourself.

Worth noting that, pre-cat removal shouldn't cause any emissions concerns when it comes to your MOT, as long as you retain the main catalyst.

To be continued...
 

massivewangers

Paid Member
Continued...

Toyosport/Direnza/Gravity

This is the go-to solution for a lot of people, and replaces the factory manifold entirely. In terms of value, it's very appealing. Toyosport is the best known, but the Direnza and Gravity are essentially the same thing. All offer a bolt-on solution for £180-200 plus fitting.

This is the Toyosport one:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/STAINLES...IO-III-MK3-RS-SPORT-197-200-2-0L/382707282428

There are good and bad points about this manifold. Like the Supersprint Y-pipe, it removes the pre-cat, which might release a pony or two. It also moves the flexi section underneath the car, meaning it could potentially be replaced in isolation if it were to fail in the future. Reportedly a bit louder than standard too, though I suspect this is due to the pre-cat removal, rather than anything about the manifold itself.

On the bad side, some have found issues with the fitment. In some cases, the manifold will knock against the front subframe. The fitment of new OEM engine mounts has been enough to cure it for some, while some have found that Powerflex inserts are required to reduce engine movement, while some have even ended up notching the subframe slightly. Even with these potential issues, it's still a very cheap way to overcome the manifold issues.

One final point is on the performance of this manifold. I haven't seen too much data to support this, but questions do appear over how well the Toyosport performs in comparison to the factory manifold. @lostmotel had one fitted some years ago and reported a 7bhp loss in power when a Toyosport was fitted, though this was recovered once the car was mapped. Details of that can be found here: https://clio197.net/threads/toyosports-exhaust-manifold-performance-wise.44799/ You certainly need to go into it with your eyes open, and ignore the claims made by the manufacturer about increases of up to 15bhp, because I think that's more than a little optimistic.

Note: Make sure you buy a genuine Renault exhaust manifold gasket if you go down this route, as some have noted that the one supplied with these manifolds is of poor quality.

Ktec

Well-known Renault bods, Ktec, also make a manifold for the 197/200, which you can find here:
https://www.k-tecracing.com/show_product.asp?id=4927&appid=3

Like the Toyosport-type options, it is a complete, bolt-on replacement, which also eliminates the pre-cat and moves the flexi underneath the car. The fitment is apparently very good, so no subframe issues like with the cheap manifolds. This is probably the best bolt-on solution, but comes at a price, at more than three times the price of the cheap eBay manifolds.

In terms of performance, I haven't seen any graphs for this manifold fitted to an otherwise standard 197/200. Ktec recommend a remap alongside this manifold (and can do the fitting for you too), but the car shouldn't blow up without one. Expect a bit more noise too, again, because of the pre-cat delete.

Pure Motorsport

This is a bit more of a serious option and is not a straight fit unless you buy the complete PMS exhaust system to match. Like other PMS stuff, the quality is supposed to be very good. Like other aftermarket options, it removes the pre-cat.

You can find it here:
https://www.pure-motorsport.co.uk/c...-exhaust/197-200-racing-exhaust-manifold.html

Purchase price is lower than the Ktec, but this manifold is longer than the standard item, meaning it won't fit with a standard or aftermarket exhaust system. If you want to use it with a different exhaust, you will need to modify your exhaust to fit and try to accommodate a cat too. This one is aimed more at track/race/rally users more than road cars.

Like the Ktec, I haven't seen much in the way of graphs to see how it performs. PMS aim it at those who are running more heavily modified engines so, if you are looking at further tuning, it might be the manifold for you.

R3 Manifolds

This is where it starts to get more expensive still. There were three levels of R3 Clio - Access, Maxi and Maxi Evo. The Access used a similar arrangement to the Cup race car (so similar to the Supersprint option above), while the Maxi and Maxi Evo used bespoke, Renault Sport manifolds, designed for cars with forged pistons, steel rods, different cam profiles etc etc. Again, perhaps not something for those with a pure road car.

Not sure how much these cost, or how easy the fitment is, but used items are rare and new ones are expensive, so not really something that most here will use. @TB Rich uses one I believe, so may be able to shed some more light on the ins and outs of this option.

Conclusions

So, that's it for now. As you can see, there are a few options, but hopefully seeing it all grouped together will be helpful for some. For most, it will likely come down to a choice between repairing the standard manifold or fitting a Toyosport (or equivalent). There probably isn't much to choose in reality, so you pays yer money and takes yer choice. None of these are suddenly going to give you another 30bhp, but they can help to eliminate an annoying 197/200 issue.

I don't profess to be an expert on this topic, I've just tried to bring as much information together as possible, so people can hopefully find all the answers in one place. I'm far too lazy to search endless topics, so hopefully this will be a useful reference point, and perhaps it could be made a sticky topic?

If I have missed anything, please comment below and I will try and get this post updated. Also, if you have dyno graphs before and after having a manifold fitted, it would be really helpful if you could share them in here, along with details of any supporting modifications, and even who did the dyno run. While not 100% conclusive, it would give people a bit of an idea of what to expect from each option, good or bad.

Now I just need to decide which option to go for myself :tearsofjoy:
 

RSRowe

Paid Member
Fitted a couple of Toyos before. They’re difficult to dismiss given the cost. Fitment is usually the tightest around the heat shield for the starter.

18BB5121-6DFE-46E4-8A6C-7A4D8ED20BE7.jpeg

I’m not sure which to go for myself. I like how cheap the SS y pipe is. But it also annoys me how expensive it is for 2 bits of pipe welded together.
 
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massivewangers

Paid Member
Yeah I thought about the Y-pipe, but it is expensive for what it is, and doesn't actually solve the problems with the standard manifold.

My head says Toyosport, my modifying addiction says Ktec!
 

massivewangers

Paid Member
I have have a Toyo on my 197, Like all they will fail at the exhaust Flexi in time but its a cheap and easy fix to either replace the Flexi in situ or to spend another £160 and get another manifold.

https://clio197.net/threads/ly-progress-page-4-new-updates.55582/page-5#post-723090

I would rather spend £160 every 3/5 years than spend £600+ on other manifolds that are just as likely to fail at the Flexi.
It's definitely the best option in terms of cost as, like you say, you can replace the flexi with it in situ.

While the other aftermarket ones are expensive, I would expect them to be better from a performance perspective, so there are still some benefits. Probably only worth it for those chasing every last pony though.
 

bedoef

Platinum Member
I will add that the K-tech headers have quality issues in the past. I know of 3 that have blown on cup cars running in a series out here in Dubai, and one that blew on my friend's TT clio. K-tech have said this is due to quality issues with an early batch (could be true, who knows?) so keep that in mind as well.
 
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bedoef

Platinum Member
I will add that the K-tech headers have quality issues in the past. I know of 3 that have blown on cup cars running in a series out here in Dubai, and one that blew on my friend's TT clio. K-tech have said this is due to quality issues with an early batch (could be true, who knows?) so keep that in mind as well.
I meant TA.
 

lewishunter98

Paid Member
Also worth mentioning the predator manifold that Kam racing sell.

Gets rid of the pre cat like the others and also uses a ball joint design rather than flexis so in theory should not fail in this department! Bigger primaries than OEM like the others etc.

Think the only thing I've seen is a couple people have mentioned fitment issues in it being slightly too long/curved up (or the angle) at the join which throws the exhaust off a bit and have had to have it modified.


Sent from my ONEPLUS A5010 using Tapatalk
 
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bedoef

Platinum Member
Also worth mentioning the predator manifold that Kam racing sell.

Gets rid of the pre cat like the others and also uses a ball joint design rather than flexis so in theory should not fail in this department! Bigger primaries than OEM like the others etc.

Think the only thing I've seen is a couple people have mentioned fitment issues in it being slightly too long/curved up (or the angle) at the join which throws the exhaust off a bit and have had to have it modified.


Sent from my ONEPLUS A5010 using Tapatalk
There were posts from owners detailing really poor customer service and part fit on the car. And at that price point, you are closer to a PMS exhaust...
 
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massivewangers

Paid Member
I did see this mentioned, but didn't find that much info about it, other than it being out of stock a lot.

Mods, would it be possible to add it into one of the original posts, just for completeness?
 

DS197

POTM Winner - June 2017
Paid Member
Quality and fitment issues for a product where you have access to the original is a joke. It’s not like they’re reverse engineering a product by just looking at pictures.

Fit a toyosport with powerflex inserts and call it a day.
 
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Zuban

Paid Member
Worth mentioning the pms manifold doesn’t use a flexi either instead using a sprung slip joint. With an uprated lower engine mount that should be ok.

I have their full system and it’s a perfect fit. The different options around sports cat and silencers is good aswell, I think if your looking to replace the manifold and exhaust it’s a pretty good option.

Build quality is superb, was the only manifold option that wasn’t just a remake of the original but has been designed by a motorsport engine builder with proven success building engines. Customer service with pure motorsport seems good aswell.

The manifolds a really nice bit of work.

.2E9153A5-3C63-4B9D-B4B9-74F26AA675EA.jpeg
8B8E06EE-0EDB-4CA8-AF6A-30BE385DB323.jpeg
DDE2536F-F467-43F2-9A7D-EAC104F0040F.jpeg
 
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N0ddie

Platinum Member
Worth mentioning the pms manifold doesn’t use a flexi either instead using a sprung slip joint. With an uprated lower engine mount that should be ok.

I have their full system and it’s a perfect fit. The different options around sports cat and silencers is good aswell, I think if your looking to replace the manifold and exhaust it’s a pretty good option.

Build quality is superb, was the only manifold option that wasn’t just a remake of the original but has been designed by a motorsport engine builder with proven success building engines. Customer service with pure motorsport seems good aswell.

The manifolds a really nice bit of work.

.View attachment 141004
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View attachment 141006
Any vids of this system. I'm looking to go down this route.
 

bedoef

Platinum Member
Worth mentioning the pms manifold doesn’t use a flexi either instead using a sprung slip joint. With an uprated lower engine mount that should be ok.

I have their full system and it’s a perfect fit. The different options around sports cat and silencers is good aswell, I think if your looking to replace the manifold and exhaust it’s a pretty good option.

Build quality is superb, was the only manifold option that wasn’t just a remake of the original but has been designed by a motorsport engine builder with proven success building engines. Customer service with pure motorsport seems good aswell.

The manifolds a really nice bit of work.

.View attachment 141004
View attachment 141005
View attachment 141006
:thumb: so nice! Any update on noise levels? Is this on a DD or a track toy? I would love to get one but my car already came with an Akra exhaust, and I feel bad cutting into it.
 

Zuban

Paid Member
My cars still being put back together so have only had it running on the drive. I went for both the silencer and sports cat as I didn’t want anything too loud especially as I’ve no interior in the car and don’t want noise issues on track, all I have is a couple of clips of it on the drive so far.

 
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R3 Manifolds

This is where it starts to get more expensive still. There were three levels of R3 Clio - Access, Maxi and Maxi Evo. The Access used a similar arrangement to the Cup race car (so similar to the Supersprint option above), while the Maxi and Maxi Evo used bespoke, Renault Sport manifolds, designed for cars with forged pistons, steel rods, different cam profiles etc etc. Again, perhaps not something for those with a pure road car.

Not sure how much these cost, or how easy the fitment is, but used items are rare and new ones are expensive, so not really something that most here will use. @TB Rich uses one I believe, so may be able to shed some more light on the ins and outs of this option.
About a grand. Much longer than the oem manifold so you'll need to chop the centre up. Also the divide between the 4-2 and 2-1 section is bolted so you need to add some form of movement at the system joint.
I ran for about 4 years a sprung flange (using the mk2 clio parts), but tbh that always had a slight blow, so more recently I've converted to a v-band (and put a flexi on the Akra's centre section). I also run it with full Vibra/KTR mounts (and left the upper power flex bush in too), I would consider this a minimum given the R3's essentially run solid mounts.



 

Onrus

Paid Member
I bought the Ktec manifold and it is not the best quality, it looks nice from the outside but internally it is ugly. I’m getting the manifold reworked to smooth the internals as much as possible.
 

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