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Man, I tell you there are days that I hate living in Alaska, and days that I just love. Today is a 'hate' day. Aside from the rain/hail/sleet/snow/wind soup happening outside my office window, and me wondering how long it'll take me to shovel out the entrance to my toolshed to get my summer wheels out, I'm hating local exhaust vendors.

Why, you may ask? Nobody in town has a mandrel pipe bending machine. I've checked those non-automotive shops we have for building pipes for pipeline work. Nobody bends w/ a mandrel bender. I went over to the local "we install duals" muffler shop. They show up as a recommended dealer by FlowMaster...M=me, C=counter person

M: "Hi, I'd like to check out putting a 3" cat-back on my car w/a FlowMaster."
C: "Dual or single"
M: Single
C: That's $375 (not bad, imho). What vehicle.
M: Volvo 850
C: <blank stare, blinks> A, uh, what?
M: It's not a truck. See, that's it out there, next to the Ford Extrusion.
C: <blank stare #2> Well, I guess we can take a look at it.
M: You do use a mandrel bender, yes?
C: No. Why would you need that?
M: Well, I'm running decent boost and need to have a better flowing exhaust. (didn't go into the benefits of mandrel bending...)

Same story at every muffler shop in town. So, is it just wrong to not go w/a mandrel bent pipe? Also, anyone have an alternative, like a shop that can bend them off of a spec sheet or something? SS or ipd would cost a mint after all is said and done. Maybe they're my only options.

Hey, thx for everyone's feedback on my last thread!
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