EVERY now and then you come across a manufacturer located within our girt vastness, that makes you ask: “Why aren’t more people doing it like this?”
Located in the Darling Downs region of Queensland, Lachlan ‘Lux’ Shields at Lux Fab has been producing bespoke stainless-steel exhaust systems for the Australian 4x4 and streetcar community since 2019. Combining his ideas on how to construct a better system with a well-developed sense of quality and customer service, Lachlan’s systems are meticulously pieced together using art-like TIG welding, stainless-steel V-band joins, and perfect fitment for their intended vehicle.
Starting with 304 grade stainless steel chosen for its ability to handle heat cycles better than 316 grade, an on-car system is first constructed while ensuring the best clearances around the body/chassis and from the ground. The completed system is then removed to construct a detailed jig, allowing Lachlan to build multiple systems to whatever a customer’s requirements may be.
The inaugural Lux Fab offering being the KUN26R N70 Hilux, chosen for the common chassis between single- and dual-cab models and a long 10-year (2005-15) production run.
Kicking off a business producing a quality aftermarket exhaust for one of the highest selling 4x4s in Australia was a wise move, setting the foundations for Lux Fab to expand into the 79 Series LandCruiser as well. Future models in planning are the 200 Series, Ram and Isuzu D-MAX currently scheduled for production.
The shoot-rig Hilux required a new exhaust so a call was made to Lux Fab to discuss what would suit its requirements best. Paramount being that it flowed a lot better than the OEM system, allowing the turbo to spool up as quick as it could while not droning or being obnoxiously loud on the highway. Plus it had to do all that while looking the goods and resisting rust.
A short time later, a big box arrived with a brushed stainless-steel system divided into four components inside. An added bonus being Lux Fab chooses to wrap its new systems in a full-length packing blanket instead of bubble wrap, and this doubles as an excellent ground sheet when laid under the 4x4 while fitting the new pipes in your driveway.
From the turbo flange a three-inch mandrel-bent pipe connects to a 200-cell catalytic converter, with a braided flexi-join about halfway between to absorb any engine movement. Provision is also made for an Exhaust Gas Temperature probe to be screwed in just after the turbo, but it comes with a brass bung should you not require it. From the converter the pipework flares out to a whopping four inches, continuing all the way to the downturned tip, while incorporating a six-inch straight-through resonator just before the diff arch.
Joining the four sections are not the normal nut-and-bolt secured flanges, however, but machined V-band joins. Among their many benefits these are more slimline than the more agricultural flange joins, do not require gaskets, flow perfectly and do not leak, plus allow for rotation should you need to tweak the alignment of your exhaust from its standard path. After watching USA-based builds using these for a decade it’s a wonder why more manufacturers Down Under haven’t incorporated them in their offerings.
Fitment was as straightforward as they come and took less time than removing the old exhaust. Once all pipework is hung in place, it’s as simple as flicking open the V-band clamp and placing it over the machined male/female V-band pipe ends, before re-securing the clamp, nipping it down just enough to maintain its position but still allow some rotation of the joints. Get all the pipework in the desired orientation before final tightening of the V-bands, and Bob’s your mum’s brother.
THE END RESULT
AFTER driving beach dunes, mud holes and across heavily rutted tracks for around 2000km so far, the Lux Fab exhaust has performed flawlessly, doing everything asked of it when first ordered while delivering a nicely rugged note only slightly louder than standard. It really is a shame something so well put together is hidden under the 4x4.
Website: Lux Fab on Facebook
Phone: 0431 652 837
Full exhausts for the N70 Hilux start at $1285 through to $1650 for the full-spec system.