In this tech tip, we discuss what to look for when purchasing v-band clamps.
The clamps we sell at FabDepot incorporate all of these features. Making them among the highest quality v-band clamps available, while remaining at an affordable price.
Check them out here: V-Band Clamps
The Sealing Face
There are two common ways to do the sealing face, where the two sides of the clamp seal against each other.
The original v-band design was a flat sealing face. There are few downsides to this design. If the flange becomes slightly warped, from welding or from multiple heat cycles in operation, the flange will no longer seal. It also only takes a tiny dent or piece of debris to damage this sealing face.
The upgrade is to use a male and female stepped sealing flange. The design of this provides multiple sealing edges, increased resistance to warping, and is naturally more resistant to leaking, by requiring the gas to flow in the opposite direction to fully leak past the seal.
The other massive benefit to the stepped flanges is that they are self-locating. Anyone who has installed a lot of the old style flat flange has encountered issues with trying to get them to locate and seal properly. Often requiring tightening in stages, and tapping with a hammer to make sure they are located correctly in the clamp.
Recessed for Exhaust Pipe
To reduce manufacturing costs, some v-band clamps are missing a recess for the exhaust pipe. This also makes the cross section of the flanges thinner, and more prone to warping and sealing issues.
Without this recess, it can be extremely difficult to get the pipe to align correctly and have a consistent gap between the v-band flange and the pipe. This leads to an ugly looking weld and can make it hard to fit under the car, and you must get every flange clocked "just right", to make the exhaust system fit correctly.
The recess provides a close fit and stop for the exhaust pipe, by ensuring the v-bands you use have this recess you can be certain you will get consistent looking welds and well-fitting results.
Having a v-band clamp that incorporates a quick release, makes removing and installing the clamp a lot faster and easier. Trying to hold the exhaust, align and compress the clamp and thread on the nut is not fun.
The quick release also reduces the chances of cross threading when trying to install the nut, and galling of the threads when having to remove and install the clamp multiple times to test fit or work on the car.