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.


I Just Couldn’t Buy It

Last weekend I made a trip down to North Carolina to visit my son and look at a 78 Chevy Stepside he found for an outstanding price. The pictures looked reasonable for the money, so I took a chance and rode down with the family (about a four hour drive) to take a look.

I was rather excited about it, as I liked the pictures my son sent me. here are some of those so you’ll see what I mean.

Don’t get me wrong, this truck needs some work. It was everything I could want from a truck like this. I liked the stance. There were a lot of new parts on the truck. I didn’t like the rattle-can red spray paint on the rims, but that could be easily taken care of.

The truck had some issues. Mostly concerning rust all in the typical places you’d find them on a truck of this age. The rocker panels were very much TOAST. They’d need to be replaced if I were to keep it. It had some other old Bondo issues and just some rather nasty clean up items. One of the major items I see with it is it has manual brakes. I’d put a booster on there so fast it would make your head swim (and the truck stop!). I’ve dealt with manual brakes before and it’s not a lot of fun, especially for a larger vehicle.

Mechanically it had a few issues as well. The first and foremost problem was, it doesn’t run. My son had dumped some fuel down the carb the day before and had the engine running for 5-10 seconds he said, so I knew it was just a fueling issue. The truck has the small, in-line, glass fuel filter. It was bone dry, so I was pretty sure the fuel pump had gone out of it. I was ready to replace it, which is most likely a 30 minute job at the most. The second thing which is wrong with it is the tranny pan is leaking. I’m pretty sure a new pan gasket would resolve the issue.

My son and I sat in the parking lot where the truck is parked waiting on the owner. When he finally arrived, we talked about the truck and found out it had been sitting for about 3-4 months. The person who bought the truck hadn’t had time to get it fixed. We talked a bit about it and I offered him $650. He had purchased it for $600, so he was making a little profit off of it. I asked him for the title and started looking for the VIN on the truck, only to find out they didn’t put it in the obvious spot on these truck (the dash). I looked online and found out they stamped the VIN on the frame rails, so we were in search of some numbers. I looked in the several places where it might be stamped, only to figure out those areas are covered by “stuff”. The only place I could find anything stamped on the frame rail was on the passenger side of the engine bay. The problem was, though, I couldn’t match these numbers to the title. I’m not saying the VIN wasn’t right between the title and the truck, I just didn’t have a way to verify it. DANG! I had to tell the guy I wouldn’t be able to purchase it from him. The guy said he completely understood.

My son and I left shaking our heads about it. I think he thought I should have bought it anyway. Realistically I could have had it titled without the vehicle itself ever getting checked. It would have been fine, had I been keeping the truck for myself. The problem is, I was going to do a fix/flip on this. Running, without any other modification, I could sell the truck for $2500 easily. With a little more work to it (throw in some metal panels), I could have turned it around for an easy $4000-4500. There was some serious profit to be made with the truck, but since I couldn’t verify the VIN I wasn’t going to touch it.

Since the guy is a friend of my son’s and seemed very nice and genuine, I later told my son to tell him exactly what was wrong with the truck, what to do to fix it, and the parts he’d need to do it. Realistically, it would have taken about $40-45 to get it running and about 30-45 minutes to do it. He can easily turn the truck around in a few days and have the money he needs to get some bills paid off. Well worth the time and effort. I hope he does it and is able to get it sold. Until next time … Be Well.