Last summer I installed my Pypes brand dual exhaust with crossover. As I noted in August I installed the system and had some headaches. This post is going to explain the frustration I had with their band clamps.
12 of the 14 clamps I ordered from Amazon.com, the remaining 2 came from the tailpipe tips kit (which I had fitment issues with). Not all of the clamps are the same (see photo). The ones that use yellow zinc (gold color) hardware are really good quality clamps. The remaining ones appear to use a combination of cheap hardware and poorly cast middle H washers. One H shaped washer broke apart on me, as well as two of the nut washers sheered as I tightened the nut. The high quality clamps have the Pypes logo stamped onto them, where the cheap band clamps have the letters PYPES etched onto them. The stainless steel appears to be of higher quality with the yellow zinc hardware. The head of the yellow zinc bolt has 10.9 stamped on it, an indication that it truly is high-strength hardware.
Clamp on the right is worth it’s weight in gold. The clamp on the left is not even worth $1.
When using these clamps I was able to get the exhaust to seal regardless of the washers sheering, but I have no confidence in being able to re-use the hardware on the non-zinc coated clamps. The zinc coated clamp I was able to tighten confidently, where once I had one of the cheap clamps sheer a washer I took my time tightening them. I also added copper anti-seize to the threads and used a torque wrench to try to not to exceed 10 ft/lbs (I just picked a torque I thought would be safe with the cheap hardware).
I suspect Amazon.com sent me either counterfeit or old stock Pypes band clamps . I hope this is not a bean counter move by Pypes / Performance Years, as that is a company I expect better from.