These are pictures of an original muffler off one of my Isetta's. As you can see in the last photo, it's probably time to replace them. Both of my Isetta's have the old style header pipe without a heat exchanger. Unfortunately both of my Isetta's are also missing the under seat heaters meant to work with this style of header pipe. I've been trying to find under seat heaters for my cars but so far have been unsuccessful. I've seen a few on ebay over the years, but they're either in horrible shape or I've been outbid on them. If anybody happens to have one available, please contact me because I'm still looking for two of them. Anyways back around the end of 2009, since I had been unsuccessful at finding a heater, I decided to purchase a stainless steel muffler and heat exchanger from Group Harrington. Harrington is a British owned company manufacturing their parts in Vietnam. At the time I purchased these, it was close to $500.00 for the pair with shipping. Quite a substantial bit of money for me.
The photos on Harrington's website and on their ebay auctions show a muffler with the correct hanger and mounting brackets. The above photo shows the muffler I received from Harrington. You can see the hanger bracket is missing and the mounting brackets are incorrect. The hanger bracket serves an important function in addition to facilitating installation of the muffler. It also prevents the muffler from dropping to the ground and wrapping it's self around your rear axle in the event of a hanger strap failure. I contacted Harrington by email with a photo of the muffler I received. About a week later, I received an email stating I should take the muffler to a metal shop and have them bend the brackets. Not exactly the response I was hoping for.
Had I only ordered a muffler, I would probably not have been so upset because it's a relative easy fix for me, but the heat exchanger I ordered with the muffler had far more serious issues. The heat exchanger I received was so poorly made it was basically unusable. The result was I ended up having to use the "old style" header pipe that came with the muffler instead of the heat exchanger I ordered with the muffler. I might also mention that the bend on the header pipe that came with the muffler was not even remotely close to being where it needed to be to connect with the muffler. It was at least 8" off where it needed to be to connect to the muffler.
This is the heat exchanger I received from Group Harrington. You might say that doesn't look so bad. Well, lets have a little closer look.
The biggest problem with the heat exchanger is this flange that mounts to the cylinder head. You can see that this flange is welded to the exhaust pipe crooked. Tightening the flange to the cylinder head caused the heat exchange box to be so crooked, it hit the air filter canister box before I could completely tighten it to the cylinder head. I'm actually getting a little ahead of myself though. Before I could even try to tighten the cylinder head nuts, there were other problems.
This is a view of the same flange from the side. In this photo, I've already cut about an inch off of the exhaust tube that extends past the flange and inserts into the cylinder head. The reason I had to do that was that the bend in the tube continued past the flange, and was severe enough that that it would not insert into the cylinder head.
Here's another view of this flange. The holes are huge compared to the holes in an original header pipe. Even as big as these holes are, the flange barely fits on the studs of the cylinder head. If I had been able to use the heat exchanger, I probably would have done some filing on the holes to get a little better fit. In addition to the crooked flange, the heater control flap was very crude and hard to operate, the heater box did not align correctly with the engine cooling shroud, and the bend of the pipe to connect to the muffler was incorrect (although not as bad as the header pipe that came with the muffler). When I contacted Harrington by email with photos of the problems with this heat exhanger, I never received a reply. In the end, I'm stuck with a useless heat exchanger. I regret buying this muffler and heat exchanger from Harrington. They were poorly manufactured and their customer service was dismal. Needless to say, I probably won't be placing any more orders for Isetta parts from Harrington.