V-Bands or Flanges?
For decades now, the most common join in an Exhaust System has been the trusty flange. In either a 2-Bolt, 3-Bolt or 4-Bolt design. The Flange is easily the most common and widely used join in the Exhaust Industry.
Flanges are robust and durable and very seldom break or crack. However, flanges tend to leak given enough time, wear and tear. Flanges, as you know, require gaskets, glue and at least two nuts and bolts which means re-installation requires a few key musts!
The first being the need to clean the face of the flanges being reused to make sure they are clear of any stubborn debris which may cause an incorrect seal and thus premature leaking.
The second stage would be ensuring you have a nice new gasket to help seal between the two flanges. In addition to that, it’s also essential that your nuts and bolts are in good working order so they can be torqued back up without issue. As mentioned above, there is also the consideration whether or not to use glue. Glue can be messy and obviously comes at a cost.
Flanges can be quite cumbersome to remove depending on their positioning. Due to the Nut & Bolt setup of a Flange, the person removing or reinstalling has to use both hands in order to prevent any ‘free spinning’ of the Bolts.
Enter the V-Band Clamp Kit!
V-Band Clamps have been around for years in the Automotive Industry and primarily featured on Turbocharged setups to begin with. Turbo brands and other performance based brands began to use V-Bands for their ease of use and relatively compact design. Early on, V-Bands came at a cost with their prices being quite high.
V-Bands feature two separate flanges that are slipped over the end of the exhaust tube and are welded into position. Once the flanges are welded, they can then be joined together as each end of a V-Band Flange has a Male and Female counterpart. Once mated together they are simply Clamped and secured up with the the aid of a Nut.
V-Bands have quite a few distinct advantages over flanges. The first being the most obvious, ease! Rather than trying to get two spanners into a tight space to undo bolts as you would on a flange, instead, you simply have one Nut to locate. Not only is it easier with one Nut but due to the circular nature of the V-Band Clamp you can rotate the clamp into a position that is easiest to access.
This brings us on the next advantage… ROOM!
V-Bands are much more compact than a Flange and this is the primary reason they were originally used on Turbochargers and in tight engine bays. They are much easier to access and work with. They never need glue or gaskets and can be reused over and over again. Simply realign and clamp up!
Another great advantage of a V-Band Clamp is the fact that the hotter they get the better they seal. Once the male and female ends are tight in position and the clamp is also firm and torqued up correctly, it is common knowledge that steel expands once its hot. This causes the join to become even tighter sealed than when cold and helps prevent any leaks.
V-Bands are infinitely more aesthetic than Flanges. With a high grade steel, V-Bands can look like a piece of art. They blend in with a quality stainless steel exhaust system and scream class.
Over the years, V-Band Clamps have become more and more popular due to their decrease in pricing. Our Racecraft V-Bands are specifically designed to capture all the key attributes of a great V-Band Clamp along with our own personal tweaks along the way.
For instance, we adjusted the depth at which the V-band Flanges slide onto the exhaust tube. We found that the strength and integrity is much higher with a nice deep insertion point. Our V-Bands also feature a ‘stopper’. A flat face groove that is machined into each V-Band to ensure a perfect fit and uniform distance on each and every installation. All our Clamps come with a Steel Locking Nut which is entirely heat proof so there are no worries of melting that come with using Nyloc Nuts etc.
Our main goal has and is always to provide the best quality products as possible without the ridiculous price tags. The results speak for themselves with multiple customers giving us some amazing feedback on our V-Band Clamps. Not to mention, the ability for our V-Band customers to competitively quote jobs without needing to cost cut and use Flanges.
We thank you for all you support!