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Old 06-13-2004, 10:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default DIY catback exhaust

alright, before I post this, to anyone thinking that it's a 1 hour job, and heck, why not do it yourself: unless you have the right tools, you are going to have a huge job on your hands, unless your car is new, you're going to have a huge job on your hands, and unless your car came with just the cat, you're going to have a huge job on your hands. This is simple mind wise, but actually doing it can take a ton of time, so here goes:

Jack your car up on all four sides using some good jackstands. We used two jack stands in the front, and a hydraulic jack in the back, but this is highly discouraged. it's very unsafe, and we were lucky. once you have your car jacked up, grab your tools. if you don't have a plasma torch, or any fire of some kind to burn through metal, you're going to have your work cut out for you.
grab a sawzall, a dremel, a wrench and socket wrench, and a drill with different sized drill bits. start by seeing how rusted in the bolts between the catalytic converter and the exhaust piping are. if they aren't at all, and come right out, go ahead and take those out. but 99% of our cars aren't, so don't worry about those just yet. With the first two, go ahead and cut the tops of the bottom two bolts off with the dremel or sawzall. Once you have those cut off, you're going to have trouble taking off the top one. What you can do is take the rest of the piping off the hangers. We did this by cutting the piping in half and working both the back half and front half. On this project, there were rubber hangers that the metal supports slipped into. With a monkey wrench, or some strong pulling, you ought to be able to remove these from the car, which is fine. DO NOT CUT THEM!
I was able to remove the muffler without taking off the rubber hangers from the car. Some of them you might be able to do this with, some maybe not. once you have removed the piping from the rubber hangers, it ought to hang to the ground like you're white trash dragging along their exhaust. this is exactly what you want. it will pop the cat down and you'll be able to reach the third bolt. Cut the top off of it. Now if they aren't too rusted, you ought to be able to pop them out with a screwdriver and hammer, or a punch if you've got it. Now if you run into the problem we ran into, it has basically been welded by rust into the cat flange. This poses a problem. What you do is take the dremel grinder, and grind down the bolt top until the flange of the exhuast is smooth. After some working, the exhuast will be loose enough to pull from the cat. Now to work the holes. If the bolts are still in the holes, there is a trick, but it takes some time. this is where the drill comes in. Take the smallest bit, and drill until you've made a hole all the way through. Do this with all three, and try and work the holes as large as you can with the small bit, moving it around in the whole to keep filing away the sides. Then grab a medium size bolt, and work all the holes over again to make them bigger. The goal of this is to make them as big as the bolts on your next cat-back. Grab the third, and biggest drill bit, which has to be bigger than your bolts. Work the hole until the bolts can slide in the holes.
Now to bolt up the new exhaust. Replace the rubber hangers to their points on the car. Attach the axle-back section to the hangers, and make sure it's secure in them. Take the section that attaches to the catalytic converter. Attach the section to the cat with the top bolt. now pop the cat back into place and the section onto the hanger. Then put the bottom two bolts in and tighten accordingly. After this, you have your third and final piece (if it's a three piece, if two piece do steps accordingly to it being a two piece or even one piece) hang this piece first, and then bolt it up. Everything should go tight, and feel like it's pulling. that means it's secure underneath the car.
let the car down off the jacks, and fire her up and let her idle for a few minutes, to let the backpressure settle and the car get used to it's new exhaust. Now, drive the car around, and let 'er rip at WOT throttle a couple of times. This will even out the backpressure.
Now, I'm posting this in hopes that instead of deciding to take your dads 5 tools he owns and try it yourself, go and have a pro do it. We started at 4:30pm, and because of those dang bolts, we finished at 12:30am. We didn't have the right tools, and go screwed because of it. It's too much hassle to bother, but if you're set on doing it, I hope this helps you out.
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Old 07-08-2004, 10:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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hahahaha 1 hour job!! thats funny

even for a "one hour job" I leave about three or four just in case
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Old 07-08-2004, 11:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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the actual tools needed:
1 Mandrel pipe bender
1 miter saw with carbide blade
2.25", 2.5" or 3" exhaust piping
exhaust fittings and gaskets
1 nice welder
and hanger/mounts

Did I forget to mention...PLENTY of TIME to GET IT RIGHT!
1 hour is for photos. Take as long as you need to get it done right the first time.
nice right up though.
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