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Old 05-12-2012, 01:35 PM   #1
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Muffler Delete + Magnaflow Resonated X-pipe + Solo HF Cats DIY Install

Ok ladies and gents. I'm going to be tackling this installation here in the next 3 weeks or so, and I wanted to start leeching information out of everyone ahead of time. I'll try and photo-document everything.

First off... if you have done this yourself (or even if you haven't i guess), I would love to hear any kind of tips, advice, or opinions you might feel like sharing. Don't be shy. Also don't hold back... I can take it

I ordered a 220v/175A MIG welder. It should be here soon enough. I still need to go up to a welding supply store and get a bottle of gas. I can't decide whether to get tri-mix, or just 75/25. This is the only stainless project I have on my list. I also need to pick up some 309L filler for welding the 304 to 409 (magnaflow to OEM).

My goals are: in this specific order ...
A) learn to weld
B) make a 3-tier brewing stand (practice, practice, practice!)
C) hack and weld my new exhaust

My first thought was that I would like to do the cutting and welding off the car if possible. I'm not sure how to go about doing that without completely screwing up the alignment of the exhaust though. I might be able to get away with cutting the exhaust on the car and perhaps tacking the new pipes in place... then pulling the whole cat-back out and finishing the welds in a more comfortable position. I don't have a lift.. only jackstands.

I'm also wondering if welding in couplers at the joints instead of butt welding would be a better idea? I've had buddies suggest I just buy clamps and skip the welding all together, but we never learn anything new by taking the easiest route every time do we?

I'm pretty excited about learning a new skill, and adding a little more growl to my favorite toy. Stay tuned.

Last edited by thahemp; 06-07-2012 at 08:18 AM. Reason: Updated title to include Solo cats
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Old 05-12-2012, 07:08 PM   #2
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I'm subscribed, wish you luck my friend. I would say couplers would make things easier but not necessarily the cleanest look. The hangars I gave you per mounted should help with your alignment issue. I'd say a small slit, overlap then weld but I'm no pro.
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:30 PM   #3
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Sounds like a neat project and good luck! As to what you are doing, I did that, well with the outlaw mufflers, allmost a delete. Resonated x made it deep, but muffled in sound and to quiet. Ended up with stock exhaust(stock resonators in place) and the outlaws with just j pipes to kill the drone. Even with the stock resonators deleted the res x was to quiet.
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Old 05-12-2012, 10:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birm View Post
I'm subscribed, wish you luck my friend. I would say couplers would make things easier but not necessarily the cleanest look. The hangars I gave you per mounted should help with your alignment issue. I'd say a small slit, overlap then weld but I'm no pro.
Yeah I think you're right. I need to just get everything cut, hung, and tacked while under the car. Especially since the hangers are already there to guide me. I think I'll probably still drop the whole exhaust once it's all tacked together and finish up where I have some room to work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VR Baron
Sounds like a neat project and good luck! As to what you are doing, I did that, well with the outlaw mufflers, allmost a delete. Resonated x made it deep, but muffled in sound and to quiet. Ended up with stock exhaust(stock resonators in place) and the outlaws with just j pipes to kill the drone. Even with the stock resonators deleted the res x was to quiet.
Thanks for the luck. I'll surely need it

I'm gonna have to stick with the res x probably. I need it to be just a hair quieter than loud, or I'll end up with wife problems... you wanna talk about loud!
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Old 05-12-2012, 11:42 PM   #5
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Ok. So I've done enough reading for tonight. Two things.

1) The smallest diameter 309L I have found is .030". Everyone seems to recommend smaller diameter filler for SS sheet metal. Hopefully .030" is close enough to the right number to not make a difference.

2) I think I can borrow a flaring tool from Autozone. Should I worry about the metal splitting? Or just don't worry about it and weld up whatever splits? I'm trying to imagine just how ugly it would look with welded up splits.

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Old 05-13-2012, 06:41 AM   #6
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I've been welding since I was 14 and I'm 23 now, and in my exp welding exhaust tube is the trickiest to weld. I suggest going to an exhaust shop getting some scrap tubes and practice ALOT! You can blow out welds with a mig if you sit on a weld too long. Use short tacks and draw the heat following each tack and when the pipe gets too hot let it sit for a min rather than risking blow outs.
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Old 05-13-2012, 09:56 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Ieatfordsforlunch View Post
I've been welding since I was 14 and I'm 23 now, and in my exp welding exhaust tube is the trickiest to weld. I suggest going to an exhaust shop getting some scrap tubes and practice ALOT! You can blow out welds with a mig if you sit on a weld too long. Use short tacks and draw the heat following each tack and when the pipe gets too hot let it sit for a min rather than risking blow outs.
I spent a long time yesterday looking for cheapo 409 and 304 tubing online that i could hack to pieces and practice welding together. There are several shops close by that i could hit up for scrap pipe. That's a really good idea. 304 tubing is expensive!

Thanks for the helpful hint. I've read in several places that you can get a nice, low-profile weld by just doing deep tacks close together. I'd be a little worried about leaks without doing a continuous weld around the pipe though.
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Old 05-13-2012, 12:13 PM   #8
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the muffler delete + res x is hardly any louder than stock, had it on my last car. but good luck with the project man.
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Old 05-13-2012, 12:46 PM   #9
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Very cool... Should sound alot like this in the end:

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Old 05-13-2012, 01:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
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the muffler delete + res x is hardly any louder than stock, had it on my last car. but good luck with the project man.
I have contemplated putting the pipes in and giving it a go without the resonator to start with. I can always add it later if it is too loud.

I think Revo1's video sounds great. It's kind of a parallel to the sound system they ship with. I don't necessarily need it louder per se. It just needs to sound right. I added just a low-power amp and a couple of Fosgate 10's to get the bass represented properly in the sound system. No thumping... just right.

I kind of feel like the resonator is the same idea. A nice low rumble that growls under pressure is perfect IMHO. After a certain threshold, the loudness is no longer a concern for me until it gets too loud.

I'm starting to get ancy waiting for this welder... This guy is ready to start melting metal!
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Old 05-13-2012, 01:29 PM   #11
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Ok, so strategy update. I think while I'm out scavenging for scrap pipe I'll find a place that doesn't mind flaring my pipe for me. It looks like nothing but PITA stories from everyone trying to use a non-hydraulic pipe flaring tool (pictured above).

That takes care of one of my uncertainties in the project. Once I get everything cut, I can hop in the wife's car and get my pipe ends flared. This should solve any problems related to not being able to find .023" 309L as well, and just make blow through that much less likely with lap welds.

Maybe I'll give the Autozone flaring tool a try on some of the scrap pieces...
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Old 05-14-2012, 12:09 PM   #12
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It looks like we'll be ordering a plasma cutter to go with our MIG welder. That should help speed things along under the car. I need to look into a grinder to de-burr the cuts.

We have been talking about restoring cars for a few years now, and I managed to spark everyone's motivation with this project. My dad wants the plasma cutter to go along with the welder for when we start replacing floor/trunk pans. More power to him... I'll be happy to use it for him until he gets a project car

Mine is gonna be a '67 Chevelle.... or maybe a 1st gen Camaro now that I have a 5th gen. That would be fitting.
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Old 05-14-2012, 02:15 PM   #13
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I did this back when I first got my car....I litterally I drove it straight from the dealer lot to the muffler shop.
http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=64964

Tips...Use a sawsall to make the cuts, get rid of the rear cat, make sure your tips are where you want them before welding them on or make it so they can be adjustable.
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Old 05-14-2012, 03:13 PM   #14
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I did this back when I first got my car....I litterally I drove it straight from the dealer lot to the muffler shop.
http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=64964

Tips...Use a sawsall to make the cuts, get rid of the rear cat, make sure your tips are where you want them before welding them on or make it so they can be adjustable.
Birm pointed me to your thread when I was considering buying these exhaust parts. That was a good read for me. We have a sawsall that I can use, but I don't think the guy that torched yours was using a plasma cutter. That looks like an oxy/acetylene torch. The edges look like they were cut with an oxy/acetylene torch too

I would have to agree that using a sawsall against a clamp or something would guarantee a straight cut at least. It's probably not as important if I end up flaring the tubing and lap welding though.

Thanks for the tips.. I think I will get rid of the rear cat. I re-read your thread because I was trying to figure out whether or not that will throw a code. Good to know they're not monitored. Also, all of the hangers are already welded to the pipes, so I don't think tip alignment will be a big issue for me... thanks for that Birm
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Old 05-14-2012, 09:06 PM   #15
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Ok, so as it turns out, the people at magnaflow try to make our lives a little bit easier. I was test-fitting parts today, and the x pipe has 2.5" ID connections, which will fit nicely with the 2.5" OD existing piping. 2/3rds of my connections just got easier than i was prepared for. Win. That even gives me some slop for cutting the pipes since they'll happily recess into the x pipe fittings.

Since that is out of the way. I'll likely just butt weld the pipes and tips in. It'll make it really easy to get the length right. I'll get a picture up of the actual parts i have to work with tomorrow.
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Old 05-14-2012, 09:12 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caverman View Post
I did this back when I first got my car....I litterally I drove it straight from the dealer lot to the muffler shop.
http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=64964

Tips...Use a sawsall to make the cuts, get rid of the rear cat, make sure your tips are where you want them before welding them on or make it so they can be adjustable.
Caverman helped me a lot when I was doing it figured it would assist you as well

Quote:
Originally Posted by thahemp View Post
Birm pointed me to your thread when I was considering buying these exhaust parts. That was a good read for me. We have a sawsall that I can use, but I don't think the guy that torched yours was using a plasma cutter. That looks like an oxy/acetylene torch. The edges look like they were cut with an oxy/acetylene torch too

I would have to agree that using a sawsall against a clamp or something would guarantee a straight cut at least. It's probably not as important if I end up flaring the tubing and lap welding though.

Thanks for the tips.. I think I will get rid of the rear cat. I re-read your thread because I was trying to figure out whether or not that will throw a code. Good to know they're not monitored. Also, all of the hangers are already welded to the pipes, so I don't think tip alignment will be a big issue for me... thanks for that Birm
very welcome bro, can't wait to see the finished product. Also, told you that x was awesome, its literally perfect fit
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:20 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by thahemp View Post
I spent a long time yesterday looking for cheapo 409 and 304 tubing online that i could hack to pieces and practice welding together. There are several shops close by that i could hit up for scrap pipe. That's a really good idea. 304 tubing is expensive!

Thanks for the helpful hint. I've read in several places that you can get a nice, low-profile weld by just doing deep tacks close together. I'd be a little worried about leaks without doing a continuous weld around the pipe though.


That's why you gotta practice lol. The tacks will overlap and give the look of a continuous bead and if will also be gap less if done correctly. Take your time find the proper heat setting for the pipe your using and get busy. Once you feel confident in your wields move on to the car and get that exhaust done. Remember if you practice with a weaker steel then try stainless it's not going to weld the same same thing with different thicknesses. You may need to adjust after the first few tacks. Too cold of a weld and they will break too hot and you'll blow out the metal. Same thing with wire speed to much wire will cause popping too little will cause feeder jams and dirty wields. One more thing make sure all the tubing is clean of contaminants and burrs from cutting. Nothing messes up a good weld like oils, water, and rust. If you run into excess splatter you can get a spray or gel that you spray into your nozzle to stop that. Umm anything else just pm me, I'm sure I'll end up thinking of more tips if you need em.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:24 PM   #18
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Before I forget always push the wire into the weld never away. Meaning if you are starting a weld going clockwise your gun will be pointing into the weld from the 3 o'clock direction. If that makes cense to you lol.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:53 PM   #19
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That's why you gotta practice lol. The tacks will overlap and give the look of a continuous bead and if will also be gap less if done correctly. Take your time find the proper heat setting for the pipe your using and get busy. Once you feel confident in your wields move on to the car and get that exhaust done. Remember if you practice with a weaker steel then try stainless it's not going to weld the same same thing with different thicknesses. You may need to adjust after the first few tacks. Too cold of a weld and they will break too hot and you'll blow out the metal. Same thing with wire speed to much wire will cause popping too little will cause feeder jams and dirty wields. One more thing make sure all the tubing is clean of contaminants and burrs from cutting. Nothing messes up a good weld like oils, water, and rust. If you run into excess splatter you can get a spray or gel that you spray into your nozzle to stop that. Umm anything else just pm me, I'm sure I'll end up thinking of more tips if you need em.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ieatfordsforlunch
Before I forget always push the wire into the weld never away. Meaning if you are starting a weld going clockwise your gun will be pointing into the weld from the 3 o'clock direction. If that makes cense to you lol.
This is exactly why I started this thread. I had always read that you should push your puddle, but I didn't realize that meant angling your wire into it as well. That is gonna be a really helpful hint!

I'm pretty cautious about jumping right to the stock metal to 304 welding. I would guess that the pipe gauge is the same, but in reality, I really don't know that right now. I am definitely going to order some 304 and 409 tubing to hack up if I can't find any at a local shop. I already ordered the 309L filler.

BTW. I've decided to give up on the plasma cutter for chopping the pipes. Even though it's a cool new toy, I think I'll take the advice of everyone so far, and cut it with a sawsall. Kinda stupid to ask for advice, then not take it
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:08 PM   #20
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Yeah I was going to say the plasma is a great machine but it wouldn't be the best for pipe you will have thebest cut from a saw. But if you get into doing diff things with metal then the plasma will be perfect. When do you plan on doing this job? Because I'll be driving tomy new base in Kentucky at the end of June if you need any help I don't mind taking a weekend and going that way.
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Old 05-17-2012, 11:31 AM   #21
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Yeah I was going to say the plasma is a great machine but it wouldn't be the best for pipe you will have thebest cut from a saw. But if you get into doing diff things with metal then the plasma will be perfect. When do you plan on doing this job? Because I'll be driving tomy new base in Kentucky at the end of June if you need any help I don't mind taking a weekend and going that way.
That is incredibly generous of you. I HOPE i'm done by then, but you never know! Learning curves can be pretty unpredictable!
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:21 PM   #22
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No problem bro plus it gives me an excuse to drive the car lol
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Old 05-19-2012, 12:31 PM   #23
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I did some mockup today. And took a couple pics.

After jacking everything up (I skipped the front end for now), I've decided that the more I can get accomplished with the catback off of the car... the better.

How does this sound for a course of action?

1) Remove full stock catback
2) Mock in replacement parts and make my cuts
3) Re-install catback with new parts (remember the OEM piping will slide into the Magnaflow x pipe about an inch or more on both sides)
4) Align everything. Put the pipes in the hangers. Tighten everything down.
5) Tack weld the muffler delete piping first.
6) Make any last minute adjustments by using up the slop in the overlapping x pipe.
7) Tack all 4 joints on the x pipe
8) Pull the whole catback out again and finish the welding.
9) Install and enjoy.

I would do the cuts under the car, but I don't like the space I have to work with under there. I think I'd rather pull the catback twice than fight the sawsall with 18" under a car to work with.

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Old 05-19-2012, 01:03 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thahemp View Post
I did some mockup today. And took a couple pics.

After jacking everything up (I skipped the front end for now), I've decided that the more I can get accomplished with the catback off of the car... the better.

How does this sound for a course of action?

1) Remove full stock catback
2) Mock in replacement parts and make my cuts
3) Re-install catback with new parts (remember the OEM piping will slide into the Magnaflow x pipe about an inch or more on both sides)
4) Align everything. Put the pipes in the hangers. Tighten everything down.
5) Tack weld the muffler delete piping first.
6) Make any last minute adjustments by using up the slop in the overlapping x pipe.
7) Tack all 4 joints on the x pipe
8) Pull the whole catback out again and finish the welding.
9) Install and enjoy.

I would do the cuts under the car, but I don't like the space I have to work with under there. I think I'd rather pull the catback twice than fight the sawsall with 18" under a car to work with.

Attachment 373407

Attachment 373408
Bro I'm enjoying this thread

My opinion, with proper stands I think it would be 10000xs easier off the car then on. I think you got it figured out, can't wait
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Old 05-19-2012, 01:12 PM   #25
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Thanks for the vote of confidence!

I'm starting to feel pretty sure of myself here. I don't care if it takes all day pulling the catback repeatedly and putting it back on. I'm 99.9% concerned about getting it right the first time. It looks super easy to pull the catback and put it back on, so it appears to be the path of least resistance.

We will all find out!
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