Exhausting Work

My son has a Silverado which is a year older than mine (his: 2005). My Daughter-in-Law drove it up here with the kids to VA to stay with us for a few days. While she’s here, we decided the truck needed a new exhaust system installed. The old one was SHOT!!! Here’s what the old muffler looked like on the truck:

This image shows the bottom of the Flowmaster muffler blown out the bottom. It really doesn’t show all of the damage, though. Most of the hangers were rusted through at the weld on the pipe and had torn free. My son has fixed it temporarily (the hangers, not the hole) by just wiring the stuff up. At least it wasn’t banging around anymore, but it did nothing for the noise.

I went onto eBay and ordered what looked like what we wanted. I ordered a kit which included aluminized, mandrel bent pipe, a Flowmaster Super 44 muffler, hangers, clamps, and stainless steel tips. The company is called Performance Curve. For the money, I’d highly recommend you give this company a go because their description was spot on, the fit was good, and the sound it produces has a nice rumble (that last bit belongs to the Flowmaster, not the company which sells it :o). Here’s what the kit looks like as Performance Curve posts it on eBay:

It comes just as shown. The shipping happened really fast. It came to me in one day, but since the company is only about a 1/2 a state away (they reside in Roanoke, which is just the other side of VA from me), it’s no wonder why it came as fast as it did. It was boxed well with no worries or irritations.

Getting the old exhaust out wasn’t too hard. At least nothing a Sawzall couldn’t easily fix! I had to go purchase a couple of new blades. It’s amazing how well new blades will tear through metal. The old cliche about butter and hot knives comes to mind. It took me about 15 minutes to figure out exactly what I wanted to do, cut the old bailing wire holding up the rear part of the exhaust, and then have at it with the Sawzall. It all came out fairly easily. Here’s what the muffler looked like after removal:

Here’s the new setup laid out and ready for installation:

I first started with the muffler. The inlet is 3″ OD and the exhaust from the y-pipe back is 2.75″ OD, so an adapter was in order. I went by Advanced Auto. The best they had was an adapter which was 3″ OD on one end and 2.5″OD on the other. It turns out it worked out pretty well. The 2.5″ OD slid inside the 2.75″ OD pipe. Since the other end was the same size as the muffler, it required I butt weld the two together. The first hit of the welder on this blew a small hole into the adapter. This meant I’d need to be a bit more careful with it. I turned the Amperage down a little bit and ended up stitch welding it little by little until the whole thing was welded all the way around. Here’s what the ugliness looked like after the fact:

I then hit it with some black hi-temp paint, which should help it not rust in the future … at least for a little while.

I slid the adapter into the exhaust pipe and put one of the clamps on it, which held it in place really well. The exhaust pipes come in two pieces for each side. I was able to fit the passenger side front piece into the muffler. I needed place the rear of the front piece and them put the rear piece into it to see where everything would align. This allowed me to figure out the placement of the hanger. I decided I’d weld it to one of the cross bracing bars which help stabilize the rear of the truck frame. This round tube worked excellent.

I worked one side at a time, finishing the right side, then the left. After getting the hanger aligned and welded, I clamped the forward pipe to the muffler. After aligning rear section, I marked it to figure out how much I’d need to cut off so the tips would fit correctly. I then again used the trusty Sawzall and cut off the needed amount. With everything to the correct sizes, I then clamped everything in place. One side was done … I duplicated the effort for the other side. Here’s how it turned out:

Not a perfect job, but it worked out pretty well. Started it up and it was a bit louder than I’d like, but the noise was further back and headed out the end instead of coming up just under the cab of the truck. Everything was solid, so I think it’s in good shape. I’ll have my D-n-Law drive it later and ensure it’s all tight.

All-in-all it is a job well done (IMHO). Took a little bit of work, but not too shabby. Definitely a lot better than what was on there. Until next time … Be Well.