One of the most important upgrades to consider on the F430/Scud/16M are the exhaust brackets. The way the exhaust line is fixed on the gearbox is the main source of the well known exhaust headers issues. The exhaust is fixed so solidly that it can expand freely when hot. Also, strongly attached to the gearbox, the exhaust line will have to support the vibrations on the engine side while the gearbox has different vibrations.
The first produced OEM exhaust brackets were cracking easily because of these 2 problems. But then, they have been changed by stronger brackets. They may still crack but the risk now is higher that the stress will go all the way up to the exhaust headers and eventually the headers will crack.
The MK1 exhaust headers will all eventually have crack or leak and in some extreme cases, can create serious engine damage. They have been replaced by MK2 headers and have re-enforced welds to support the stress. But even the MK2 headers may also fail eventually (there are already several cases) because the root cause hasn’t been resolved.
Fortunately, Antonio Capristo has been working and researching intensively on this problem and created a new exhaust bracket which is radically different than the OEM brackets. It replaces all the exhaust mount parts as shown in red on the pictures:
The Capristo exhaust brackets or rather their new exhaust suspension system have a double spring system so that the exhaust can now move and expand freely. Instead of being mounted on the gearbox of the F430, the two bracket 90° angled lips are mounted on the rear cross member on each side. They are fixed with the existing bolds so no drilling needed. These exhaust brackets will support easily the entire exhaust system including the cats, muffler and exhaust tips.
For the Scud/16M, there is only one central spring suspended bracket which is mounted on the gearbox. The Capristo exhaust bracket for these cars is entirely different.
Double spring system integrated in the exhaust suspension system
The 90° lip is mounted on the rear cross member using the existing bolts
The flat part of the bracket (suspended arm) is fixed on the exhaust using 2 of the 4 holes which fixes the muffler on the exhaust pipes
The above pictures were made of the first version of the Capristo exhaust brackets. I realised that the arm wasn’t adjusting as it should because of a small steel tip which was touching the suspended arm (LHS of the muffler only, on the RHS of the muffler, this steel tip is facing upwards)
Antonio Capristo took this issue immediately in consideration and reshaped the arm in such way that it would not touch this metallic tip anymore. If you buy these exhaust brackets, make sure that you have this latest version.
On these pictures, the left arm is the old version while the right one is the new version
The installation is very straight forward. All red marked OEM parts must be removed. The first step is to remove the read diffuser and the muffler which is very easy (4 bolts).
Make sure to support the cats as shown in this picture. As you can see, the gearbox is now cleared of all parts and OEM brackets.
I used a high temperature anti-seize lubricant which I applied on the exhaust bolts and springs.
As shown in the previous pictures, the “leg” of the new exhaust bracket is fixed directly on the rear cross member using the existing bolts. The brackets (springs) must be adjusted at the right height before screwing the "legs" on the exhaust side in such way that their is no force between the exhaust and the legs but simply sit on them.
The suspension arm holes should align perfectly well with those in the exhaust
Fix the suspension arm using the 2 provided bolts. The bolts are copper plated (heat resistant) and the M8 copper plated nuts are self-locking.
Now you can adjust the level of the exhaust brackets by acting on the bolts going through the springs. I just had to slightly adjust the LHS to obtain exactly and identical alignment between the LHS and RHS exhaust tips (2 cm gap between the inner pipe and the upper edge). Here is the result of the installed new exhaust brackets (no more issues with this embarrassing tip) View from above once the muffler reinstalled